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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island August 11th-17th: Ruff, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

RBA St. Paul Island August 11th-17th: Ruff, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of August 11th-17th, 2014, 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.

 

2014 Species Count: 125

Weekly Species Count: 57

 

Birds Mentioned:

 

TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. bewickii and columbianus)

Greater Scaup

King Eider

Bufflehead

COMMON LOON

Yellow-billed Loon

Short-tailed Shearwater

BALD EAGLE

Pacific Golden-Plover

GRAY-TAILED TATTLER

Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone

RUFF

SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER

RED-NECKED STINT

Sanderling

Rock Sandpiper (ssp. tschuktschorum)

Pectoral Sandpiper

*SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER

Western Sandpiper

Long-billed Dowitcher

Wilson’s Snipe

Red Phalarope

Sabine’s Gull

Herring Gull

SLATY-BACKED GULL

Glaucous Gull

Northern Wheatear

Eastern Yellow Wagtail

American Pipit (ssp. pacificus)

Wilson’s Warbler

Fox Sparrow (Sooty)

Common Redpoll

 

WEATHER

 

A second low pressure system of the season passed by to the south of the Pribilofs early this week providing moderate east and north winds from the 11th to the 13th.  High pressure returned by the end of the week and along with it were light winds, mostly out of the west.  The first three days of the week saw small amounts of rain (0.37 inches total) while the final four days of the week were nice and dry with no precipitation or fog to speak of.  Temperatures continue to be well above average with the final four days of the week having highs of 59, 60, 59, and 60 degrees F respectively.

 

WATERFOWL

 

The slow times continue with at least six continuing TUNDRA SWANS still present on the 17th while small numbers of King Eiders continue around the island, a Greater Scaup continued through the 13th, and the female Bufflehead was still present on the 17th.

 

SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

Two Yellow-billed Loons were found on the 14th while a single COMMON LOON was seen on the 16th.  The season’s first Sabine’s Gull was noted on the 12th while at least three SLATY-BACKED GULLS were seen daily this week along with a Herring Gull on the 17th and a Glaucous Gull on the 13th and 15th.  Small numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen daily during the first half of the week.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

Increasing numbers of juvenile shorebirds began showing up this week with a second SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on the 17th, one to two RED-NECKED STINTS from the 12th on, three SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPERS on the 16th, and a Long-billed Dowitcher on the 16th and 17th.  Also noted this week was a RUFF on the 12th and a GRAY-TAILED TATTLER on the 16th.  New for the season was an adult Sanderling on the 16th while Western Sandpiper numbers began to build through the week with a daily high of 28 on the 17th though Pectoral Sandpiper numbers stayed low with a peak count of five on the 11th and 13th.  Small numbers of Pacific Golden-Plovers were seen daily along with Wandering Tattlers, large numbers of Ruddy Turnstones, a couple “Mainland” Rock Sandpipers, the continuing Wilson’s Snipe on the 13th, and a few dozen Red Phalaropes daily.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

The first push of passerine migrants this fall began on the 14th with a record early arrival date for Fox Sparrow (Sooty) and picked up on the 15th and 16th when a minimum of six Northern Wheatears, two Eastern Yellow Wagtails, six American Pipits, five Wilson’s Warblers, and a second Fox Sparrow were found.  Also noted this week was a Common Redpoll with fledglings on the 16th providing the first nesting evidence for that species on St. Paul this summer.  Our over-summering BALD EAGLE was joined by a second (an adult) on the 15th.

 

Breeding or resident species present on/around the island:

 

Northern Pintail

Green-winged (and Common) Teal

Harlequin Duck

Long-tailed Duck

Northern Fulmar

Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant

Semipalmated Plover

Least Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper (ssp. ptilocnemis)

Red-necked Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
Glaucous-winged 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 and Cory Gregory, the 2014 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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