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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island September 1-7: SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, Jack Snipe, Siberian Rubythroat

RBA St. Paul Island September 1-7: SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF, Jack Snipe, Siberian Rubythroat


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of September 1st-7th, 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: 142

2014 Fall Species Count: 76

Weekly Species Count: 76 

Birds Mentioned:

Emperor Goose

Brant

Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia)

TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. bewickii and columbianus)

Northern Shoveler

King Eider

White-winged Scoter

Bufflehead

COMMON LOON

Horned Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

BALD EAGLE

Pacific Golden-Plover

LESSER SAND-PLOVER

GRAY-TAILED TATTLER

Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone

RUFF

SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER

Sanderling

Dunlin

Rock Sandpiper (ssp. tschuktschorum)

Pectoral Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

Long-billed Dowitcher

**JACK SNIPE

COMMON SNIPE

Red Phalarope

Parasitic Jaeger

Herring Gull (ssp. vegae and smithsonianus)

SLATY-BACKED GULL

Glaucous Gull

PEREGRINE FALCON (ssp. tundrius)

***SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF

*SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT

Northern Wheatear

Eastern Yellow Wagtail

RED-THROATED PIPIT

American Pipit (ssp. japonicus and pacificus)

Orange-crowned Warbler

Yellow Warbler

**BLACKPOLL WARBLER

Yellow-rumped Warbler (ssp. hooveri)

Wilson’s Warbler

Savannah Sparrow

Fox Sparrow (Sooty)

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco (ssp. hyemalis)

Common Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

WEATHER

A low pressure system was nearing the Pribilofs by week’s end with increasingly strong winds out of the east starting on the 6th.  Earlier in the week saw continued strong westerlies on the 1st with light winds from the west and north for the 2nd-5th.  High temperatures continued to be above average crossing the 55 degree mark most days while rain fell on 6th and 7th though there was little to no fog on those days or any other this week.

WATERFOWL

Fall migration of geese began this week with a trio of Emperor Geese on the 7th, 10 Cackling Geese on the 2nd, and one Brant on the 2nd building to seven on the 7th.  Last week’s Northern Shoveler was last seen on the 2nd while single White-winged Scoters were seen most days this week with three on the 7th.  King Eider numbers had built to a high of 48 on the 5th while the six TUNDRA SWANS and single Bufflehead remained around the island.

SEABIRDS & GULLS

The first grebes of the fall were a Horned found on the 3rd and single Red-neckeds noted on the 6th and 7th while the only loons this week were one or two COMMONS seen on the 3rd and 5th.  A single Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel was seen on the 1st while small numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters (1-400) were noted daily.  Single Parasitic Jaegers were found on the 1st, 5th, and 7th, while one or two SLATY-BACKED GULLS were seen daily, single Glaucous Gulls were noted on the 4th and 7th, and Herring Gulls were seen daily with an adult “Vega” on the 7th and a couple “American” birds the rest of the week.

SHOREBIRDS

The shorebird highlight of the fall so far was a JACK SNIPE that was found on the 3rd and 4th providing the 6th local record, with only 15 or so total records for North America.  Other more regular species of Asian origin this week included a LESSER SAND-PLOVER from the 3rd-6th, one to three GRAY-TAILED TATTLERS daily, a RUFF on the 6th, from 15-35 SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPERS daily, and daily sightings of one or two COMMON SNIPES from the 2nd-7th.  The first juvenile Sanderlings of the fall were two present on the 6th and 7th while 1-3 Dunlin continue to be seen daily along with daily sightings of Pacific Golden-Plover (up to 40+ daily), Wandering Tattler (up to 5 daily), Ruddy Turnstone (up to 250+ daily), “Mainland” Rock Sandpiper (one or two daily), Pectoral Sandpiper (up to 5-10 daily), Western Sandpiper (3-14 daily), Long-billed Dowitcher (2-6 daily), and Red Phalarope (50-155 daily).

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

The highlight of the fall thus far was a COMMON (SIBERIAN) CHIFFCHAFF found on the evening of the 7th providing the 1st Pribilof record for that species.  This represents the 4th or 5th record for North America with all previous records found at Gambell, St. Lawrence Island.  Also of note was a SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT found on the 2nd which provides one of the, if not the, earliest fall records for that species in Alaska.  The only American landbird of real note was a BLACKPOLL WARBLER found on the 2nd which provides on the 3rd local record for that species.  Raptors seen this week included two continuing BALD EAGLES and a single “Tundra” PEREGRINE FALCON on the 1st and 3rd.  Trans-Beringian migrants were still passing in small numbers with a single Northern Wheatear on the 1st and 2nd, an Eastern Yellow Wagtail on the 7th, single RED-THROATED PIPITS on the 6th and 7th, and one or two American Pipits (of both subspecies) on the 2nd and 3rd.  More typical American passerine vagrants/migrants this week included an Orange-crowned Warbler on the 7th, single Yellow Warblers on the 1st, 2nd, and 7th, a “Myrtle” Yellow-rumped Warbler on the 6th, a single Wilson’s Warbler on the 2nd with at least three on the 7th, daily Savannah Sparrows with a daily high of four or five on the 2nd, daily Fox Sparrows with a daily high of five or six on the 2nd, daily Golden-crowned Sparrows with a daily high of nine on the 2nd and eight on the 7th, two “Slate-colored” Dark-eyed Juncos on the 7th, small numbers of Common Redpolls (up to eight daily), and a single Hoary Redpoll on the 4th.

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

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, Cory Gregory, and Doug Gochfeld, 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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