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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island August 6th-12th: PIN-TAILED SNIPE, WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Aleutian Tern

RBA St. Paul Island August 6th-12th: PIN-TAILED SNIPE, WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Aleutian Tern


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island rare bird alert for the week of August 6th-12th, 2012, sponsored by St. Paul Island Tour. The following sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; an asterisk denotes a species of less than annual occurrence or one of particular note.
 
2012 Species Count: 121

Weekly Species Count: 58

Birds Mentioned:

 

TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. columbianus)

Greater Scaup

Steller’s Eider

RED-THROATED LOON

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

***WHITE-TAILED EAGLE

Pacific Golden-Plover

GRAY-TAILED TATTLER

WOOD SANDPIPER

Bar-tailed Godwit

Western Sandpiper

RED-NECKED STINT

Pectoral Sandpiper

SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER

Wilson’s Snipe

***PIN-TAILED SNIPE

Red Phalarope

Sabine’s Gull

*THAYER’S GULL

Slaty-backed Gull

*ALEUTIAN TERN

Arctic Tern

Pomarine Jaeger

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Bank Swallow

 

WEATHER

 

Most of the week saw light winds from the west, high pressure, and fog while a low pressure system that passed south of the Pribilofs on the 10th and 11th provided stronger winds out of the south and east and almost an inch of rain.  The last day of the week was one of the nicest of the year with lots of sun, few clouds, and temperatures in the mid-upper 50s.

 

WATERFOWL

 

The same as last week with the continuing TUNDRA SWAN seen throughout the week, the Steller’s Eider continuing through the 6th, and 2 Greater Scaups still being seen around Polovina through the 7th.


SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

The highlight this week was an adult ALEUTIAN TERN seen passing by East Landing on the 10th in the company of 3 Arctic Terns, this provides only about the 10th record for the Pribilofs.  In slightly less scintillating news an adult THAYER’S GULL was found on the 7th and continued through at least the 11th while the pair of RED-THROATED LOONS were last seen on the 9th.  All three jaegers continue to be seen with one Pomarine, two Parasitic, and one Long-tailed sightings this week while 1-2 Slaty-backed Gulls continue through the week and a Sabine’s Gull was seen on both the 10th and 11th.  Tubenoses have not been as prevalent this week with small numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels seen on the 10th.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

Still the group of birds that are making the most noise at the current time with the re-sighting of the PIN-TAILED SNIPE on the 9th being of greatest interest.  Other new sightings this week included a juvenile WOOD SANDPIPER located on the 11th and still present the next day, 1-2 juvenile RED-NECKED STINTS seen in various spots mid-week, and daily counts of 1-3 SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPERS totaling 4 birds in all.  GRAY-TAILED TATTLERS were last seen on the 8th while a Bar-tailed Godwit arrived on the 9th and has been seen daily since then.  Other species located over the past week included 10+ Pacific Golden-Plovers on the 9th, up to 5 Western Sandpipers with some seen every day of the week, 1-2 Pectoral Sandpipers seen almost daily, 3 Wilson’s Snipes (1 adult and 2 young birds) seen on the 6th, and varying numbers of Red Phalaropes from 1-500 depending on the day.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

While the total number of species was the same as last week and this category was still clearly highlighted by the continuing WHITE-TAILED EAGLE which was seen through the 9th we also had our first migrant passerine of the fall when a Bank Swallow was seen near Antone Lake on the 10th.

 

Regularly occurring species currently present on the island:

 

Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal (ssp. crecca and carolinensis)

King Eider

Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck

Northern Fulmar

Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

Semipalmated Plover

Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone

Least Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper (ssp. ptilocnemis)

Red-necked Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
Glaucous-winged Gull

Glaucous Gull

Common Murre
Thick-billed Murre
Pigeon Guillemot

Ancient Murrelet

Parakeet Auklet

Least Auklet

Crested Auklet

Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin

Pacific Wren (ssp. alascensis)
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (ssp. umbrina)

This is Scott Schuette, Doug Gochfeld, and Ryan O’Donnell, the 2012 St. Paul Island Tour guides, wishing you good birding. For tour information or to make travel arrangements visit our website http://www.alaskabirding.com or call 1-877-424-5637.

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