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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island September 22nd-28th: WOOD WARBLER, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Palm Warbler

RBA St. Paul Island September 22nd-28th: WOOD WARBLER, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Palm Warbler


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of September 22nd-28th, 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: 162
2014 Fall Species Count: 116
Weekly Species Count: 91
 
Birds Mentioned:
 
Emperor Goose
Brant
Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia and minima)
TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. bewickii and columbianus)
Eurasian Wigeon
American Wigeon
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Greater Scaup
King Eider
White-winged Scoter
Black Scoter
Red-breasted Merganser
Pacific Loon
COMMON LOON
Yellow-billed Loon
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Short-tailed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
***SHARP-SHINNED HAWK
BALD EAGLE
Pacific Golden-Plover
GRAY-TAILED TATTLER
Wandering Tattler
Ruddy Turnstone
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER
Sanderling
Dunlin
Rock Sandpiper (ssp. tschuktschorum)
Pectoral Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Long-billed Dowitcher
**JACK SNIPE
Red Phalarope
Pomarine Jaeger
Parasitic Jaeger
Herring Gull (ssp. vegae and smithsonianus)
SLATY-BACKED GULL
Glaucous Gull
PEREGRINE FALCON (ssp. tundrius and pealei)
*SKY LARK
Bank Swallow
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET
***WOOD WARBLER
*ARCTIC WARBLER
**TAIGA FLYCATCHER
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH
AMERICAN ROBIN
*OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT
RED-THROATED PIPIT
American Pipit (ssp. japonicus)
Yellow Warbler
***PALM WARBLER
Yellow-rumped Warbler (ssp. hooveri)
TOWNSEND’S WARBLER
*AMERICAN TREE SPARROW
*CHIPPING SPARROW
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow (Sooty)
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (ssp. hyemalis)
BRAMBLING
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
PINE SISKIN
 
WEATHER
 
This week saw mostly light weather with building high pressure late in the week that left the island under partly sunny skies most of the week and pleasant conditions most of the time.  Winds this week were always light-moderate from the east mostly to start the week and then from the west at the end while the only day with appreciable rain was the 25th when a half inch fell.  Daily temperatures remain above average with highs between 50 and 54 each day and lows at night from the mid-30s to mid-40s.
 
WATERFOWL
 
Geese began to arrive in larger numbers this week with a flock of four Emperor Geese present from the 23rd on while Brant number fluctuated daily from two to six.  Cackling Geese also increased slightly in numbers with a high of 18 seen on the 28th.  The first Red-breasted Mergansers of the fall were seen from the 23rd-25th while Black Scoter numbers increased to 19 on the 27th, King Eider numbers held firm around 50, and Greater Scaup had increased to five on the 28th.  A handful of Northern Shovelers and Mallards were seen daily (high count of five for each species), both Eurasian and American Wigeons were see daily, and the only White-winged Scoters seen this week were five to seven on the 23rd and 24th.  The long-staying six TUNDRA SWANS continues through the 28th.
 
SEABIRDS & GULLS
 
A few loons and grebes were noted this week with six Pacific Loons on the 23rd, single COMMON LOONS on the 25th and 27th, and single Yellow-billed Loons on the 23rd, 24th, and 28th, while Horned Grebes were seen sporadically in singles with four on the 27th and a couple Red-necked Grebes were seen daily.  Jaegers were noted a few time with a single Parasitic on the 22nd and two Pomarines on the 23rd and 27th.  Large gull numbers remain high with a few Herring Gulls seen each day this week along with some Glaucous Gulls and between one and four SLATY-BACKED GULLS from the 24th-28th.
 
SHOREBIRDS
 
Only 14 shorebird species were noted this week, a clear decline, with many of the more common species greatly reduced in numbers by week’s end.  One to two JACK SNIPES continued through the 26th with single GRAY-TAILED TATTLERS noted on the 22nd and 25th-27th.  SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER numbers peaked on 25th this week with 20+ and had dropped to single digits by the 28th while Pectoral Sandpipers were seen daily in numbers of 5-15, and Long-billed Dowitchers remained in similar numbers to last week with 28 still noted on the 28th.  Pacific Golden-Plovers were seen in largest numbers early this week (21+ on the 22nd) and had dropped into the single digits by the 28th with only a few Wandering Tattlers noted daily all week, Ruddy Turnstone numbers dropping well below 100 by the 28th, only one Western Sandpiper remaining on the 28th, and a handful of Red Phalaropes present late in the week.  Single Dunlin were seen on the 22nd and 23rd, a “Mainland” Rock Sandpiper was noted on the 25th, and a high count of 13 Sanderling were found on the 22nd with only two birds remaining on the 27th.
 
LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES
 
It was another exceptional week in the landbird category with two first island records and a 6th North American individual found this week among others.  Both of this week’s firsts came from North America with a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK on the 22nd providing the first record for that species offshore in the Bering Sea while on the 28th a PALM WARBLER was located which is the first Pribilof record and second record for the Bering Sea islands.  From the other direction, last week’s WOOD WARBLER continued through the 26th with a second (!) individual found on the 25th, it remained through the 28th.  Other birds of note included the TAIGA FLYCATCHER which continued through the 22nd, two OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS on the 22nd and 26th, two SKY LARKS on the 25th-27th and 28th, and continuing BRAMBLINGS with 25 still present on the 28th.  American passerines of note this week included another CHIPPING SPARROW on the 25th, two AMERICAN TREE SAPRROWS on the 28th (the 10th Pribilof record), an ARCTIC WARBLER on the 23rd, a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET on the 27th, a TOWNSEND’S WARBLER on the 24th, and a few PINE SISKINS on the 26th and 27th.  Two or three GRAY-CHHEKED THRUSHES were seen during the week with AMERICAN ROBINS on the 26th and 28th, a Bank Swallow on the 27th (record late for the Pribilofs), a RED-THROATED PIPIT on the 22nd, and a couple American Pipits on the 22nd, 23rd, and 27th also seen. A few regular American warblers and sparrows were also seen this week with two or three Yellow Warblers from the 24th-28th, 8+ Yellow-rumped Warblers from the 25th-28th, a couple Savannah Sparrows on the 22nd-23rd and one on the 28th, daily Fox Sparrow sightings covering four to seven individuals, one or two White-crowned Sparrows from the 23rd-28th, 5-10 Golden-crowned Sparrows seen daily all week, and two or three Dark-eyed Juncos from the 25th-28th.  Redpolls continued this week with daily sightings of Commons and a couple Hoaries noted on the 26th and 27th while the continuing BALD EAGLES were still present on the 28th and about four PEREGRINE FALCONS were seen this week of both subspecies.
 
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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