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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island May 18th-24th: Bean Goose, Common Greenshank, Laysan Albatross

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RBA St. Paul Island May 18th-24th: Bean Goose, Common Greenshank, Laysan Albatross


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of May 18th-24th, 2015, 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.

 

2015 Species Count: 84

Weekly Species Count: 77

 

Birds Mentioned:

 

*BEAN-GOOSE SP.

Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia and minima)

Eurasian Wigeon

Mallard

Northern Shoveler

TUFTED DUCK

Greater Scaup

Steller’s Eider

King Eider

White-winged Scoter

Black Scoter

Bufflehead

Common Goldeneye

*BARROW’S GOLDENEYE

Red-breasted Merganser

Pacific Loon

Yellow-billed Loon

Horned Grebe

Red-necked Grebe

**LAYSAN ALBATROSS

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

*DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

Bald Eagle

Pacific Golden-Plover

Wandering Tattler

*COMMON GREENSHANK

WOOD SANDPIPER

Whimbrel (ssp. variegatus)

Bar-tailed Godwit

Ruddy Turnstone

Pectoral Sandpiper

Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher

COMMON SNIPE

Red Phalarope

Pomarine Jaeger

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

RHINOCEROS AUKLET

Sabine’s Gull

*ROSS’S GULL

SLATY-BACKED GULL

Glaucous Gull

*ALEUTIAN TERN

Arctic Tern

Snowy Owl

*EYEBROWED THRUSH

American Pipit

Common Redpoll

 

WEATHER

 

A weak low pressure system passed the Pribilofs on the 20th while a much stronger low pressure system entered the Bering Sea shortly after which had strong impacts on our local weather for the last few days of the week.  By the 22nd the outer parts of the system (which stalled in the southwestern Bering Sea) had reached the islands and continued to impact our weather through the 24th though its affects were subsiding.  Overall winds were generally from the southeast with a few quick hits of southwestern wind on the 20th and 23rd while rain was recorded almost daily this week, though the fog remained away for most of the time.  Temperatures continued to reach the mid-40 almost daily (above average for this time of the year) with the lone exception being the 19th when the temperature stayed at or below 40 for the day.

 

WATERFOWL

 

A, as yet unidentified, BEAN GOOSE was seen on the morning of the 21st with the only other arrivals of note being a pair of TUFTED DUCKS on the 24th. The male BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continued through the 24th to highlight the rest of this week’s waterfowl species while a Steller’s Eider made an appearance on the 18th, one or two Eurasian Wigeons continued through the 24th, a Mallard was seen on the 20th, a Northern Shoveler appeared on the 21st, and a Red-breasted Merganser was seen on the 23rd and 24th.  Regular diving ducks also noted this week included up to six Greater Scaup, King Eiders, up to 22 White-winged Scoters, several Black Scoters early in the week, one Bufflehead on the 20th and four on the 23rd, and a couple Common Goldeneyes daily.  The only geese seen this week were CACKLING GEESE with a flock of 19 noted on the 20th-22nd and a few other singles seen on the 18th and 24th.

 

SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

Several unexpected species were noted this week with the most unusual from St. Paul being a LAYSAN ALBATROSS seen on the 20th, though a young ROSS’S GULL on the 24th was the first in a couple years and of equal note.  A pair of ALEUTIAN TERNS on the 24th also provided the first local record in a couple years with a locally rare DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT on the 22nd and the first SLATY-BACKED GULL of the year was found on the 22nd.  All three jaegers were found this week with Pomarines on the 18th, 19th, and 20th, Parasitics on the 20th, 22nd, and 23rd, and three Long-taileds on the 21st.  A Sabine’s Gull was found on the 24th with a single Arctic Tern on the 22nd and a couple Glaucous Gulls seen daily through the week.  Single RHINOCEROS AUKLETS were found on the 21st and 24th with an unusually early Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel on the 22nd while large numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen daily, peaking on the 24th when thousands were circling the island all day long.  Single Yellow-billed Loons were found on four days this week with a single Pacific Loon on the 20th while small numbers of Red-necked Grebes were seen each day and a few Horned Grebes were found on the 20th and 21st.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

The first COMMON GREENSHANK in a couple years was found on the 21st and continued through the 24th while a lone WOOD SANDPIPER on the 18th turned into 5-10 by the 24th.  A COMMON SNIPE was seen on the 21st with two “Siberian” Whimbrels on the 20th and a single individual on the 24th.  Regular shorebird migrants this week included small numbers of Pacific Golden-Plovers and Wandering Tattlers daily, single Bar-tailed Godwits on the 18th, 22nd, and 24th, a few Ruddy Turnstones late in the week, single Pectoral Sandpipers on the 20th and 22nd, a Dowitcher sp. on the 18th, and Red Phalaropes with a high of 100+ on the 23rd.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

An EYEBROWED THRUSH made an appearance on the 24th with the only other migrant passerines being American Pipits with the first one found on the 20th and several more on the 23rd and 24th.  A few Common Redpolls were identified mid-week while one or two Snowy Owls continued through the 21st and the Bald Eagle was seen almost daily.

 

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, Cory Gregory, and Alison Világ, the 2015 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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