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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island May 25th-31st: Hawfinch, Siberian Rubythroat, Tundra Bean-Goose

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RBA St. Paul Island May 25th-31st: Hawfinch, Siberian Rubythroat, Tundra Bean-Goose


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of May 25th-31st, 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: 102

Weekly Species Count: 78

 

Birds Mentioned:

 

*TUNDRA BEAN-GOOSE

SNOW GOOSE

Brant

Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia)

Eurasian Wigeon

Northern Shoveler

TUFTED DUCK

Greater Scaup

LESSER SCAUP

King Eider

White-winged Scoter

Black Scoter

Bufflehead

Common Goldeneye

*BARROW’S GOLDENEYE

COMMON MERGANSER (ssp. merganser)

Red-breasted Merganser

*ARCTIC LOON

Common Loon

Yellow-billed Loon

Red-necked Grebe

*LAYSAN ALBATROSS

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

*DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

Bald Eagle

Pacific Golden-Plover

Wandering Tattler

WOOD SANDPIPER

Whimbrel (ssp. variegatus)

Ruddy Turnstone

**SURFBIRD

Short-billed Dowitcher

COMMON SNIPE

Red Phalarope

Pomarine Jaeger

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Sabine’s Gull

MEW GULL (ssp. kamtschatschensis)

Glaucous Gull

Snowy Owl

Bank Swallow

*SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT

*EYEBROWED THRUSH

American Pipit

BRAMBLING

Common Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

*HAWFINCH

 

WEATHER

 

There were light to moderate S/SE winds nearly all week with strong winds (30-40 MPH) on the 26th and 28th.  Rain accompanied the stronger winds while light rain also occurred on the 27th and 29th.  Temperatures remained above the long-term average reaching the mid-to-upper 40s each day this week.  No strong pressure systems passed through the eastern Bering Sea this week with a couple weak lows passing to the south of the Pribilofs on the 26th and 28th providing us with the aforementioned wind and rain.

 

WATERFOWL

 

The BEAN-GOOSE from last week re-appeared on the 26th and 27th showing the characteristics of a TUNDRA this time around while the male BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continued through the end of the week and the pair of TUFTED DUCKS were last seen on the 29th.  Geese this week included a fly-by SNOW GOOSE on the 26th, a Brant from the 26th-31st, and small numbers of Cackling Geese daily.  The most interesting duck arrival was a COMMON “GOOSANDER” MERGANSER which appeared on the 30th while a pair of LESSER SCAUP on the 26th-28th were also of note locally.  Two to four Eurasian Wigeons were seen daily, a Northern Shoveler was present from the 27th-30th, small number of Greater Scaup were seen daily as well as King Eider, three White-winged Scoters were seen on the 27th, Black Scoters were seen on the 26th and 27th, Bufflehead were found most days this week, while a few Common Goldeneyes and Red-breasted Mergansers were seen daily.

 

SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

An ARCTIC LOON was found on the 31st providing only the 10th Pribilof record while a LAYSAN ALBATROSS seen on the 28th is likely the same individual seen earlier this spring in the same area.  A “Kamchatka” MEW GULL was found on the 31st and single DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were found on the 26th and 31st.  Loons and grebes appeared in small numbers this week with a few Red-necked Grebes seen most days, Common Loons on the 27th, 29th, and 30th, and several Yellow-billed Loons seen almost daily this week.  Migrant jaegers were noted all week with Pomarine on the 27th and 31st, Parasitic on the 25th, 27th, and 30th, and Long-tailed on the 28th.  A few Glaucous Gulls remained around the island this week while single Sabine’s Gulls made appearances on the 25th and 27th, a Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel was noted on the 25th and Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen during the first half of the week including thousands on the 26th.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

A generally poor period of shorebird migration, in what is typically their peak, the local highlight was undoubtedly a SURFBIRD found on the 28th which is only the 4th Pribilof record.  Of greater interest from a national perspective were a COMMON SNIPE on the 25th, daily WOOD SANDPIPERS with 5-10 individuals from the 25th-27th, and a “Siberian” Whimbrel on the 30th-31st.  Regular migrants noted this week included small numbers of Pacific Golden-Plovers, Wandering Tattlers, and Ruddy Turnstones daily, single Short-billed Dowitchers on the 28th and 29th, and large numbers of Red Phalaropes for much of the week.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

Several good Asian landbirds made appearances this week including a HAWFINCH on the 29th, a SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT on the 29th and 30th, and an EYEBROWED THRUSH on the 25th and 26th.  Also seen were three BRAMBLINGS on the 25th and a single on the 31st.  A Snowy Owl re-appeared on the 31st while Bank Swallows were found on the 26th and 30th, American Pipits were seen on the 25th, 27th, and 29th, and both species of redpoll were found with one Hoary on the 25th.  The resident Bald Eagle continued to be seen through the 31st.

 

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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