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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island June 8th-14th: Olive-backed Pipit, Common Cuckoo, Tundra Bean-Goose

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RBA St. Paul Island June 8th-14th: Olive-backed Pipit, Common Cuckoo, Tundra Bean-Goose


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of June 8th-14th, 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: 112

Weekly Species Count: 69

 

Birds Mentioned:

 

*TUNDRA BEAN-GOOSE

Greater White-fronted Goose

Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia)

Eurasian Wigeon

American Wigeon

Mallard

Greater Scaup

Steller’s Eider

King Eider

Bufflehead

Common Goldeneye

*BARROW’S GOLDENEYE

COMMON MERGANSER (ssp. merganser)

Red-breasted Merganser

RED-THROATED LOON

*ARCTIC LOON

Common Loon

Yellow-billed Loon

Red-necked Grebe

Short-tailed Shearwater

*DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

Bald Eagle

Pacific Golden-Plover

COMMON SANDPIPER

Wandering Tattler

*COMMON GREENSHANK

Western Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

Red Phalarope

Parasitic Jaeger

BLACK-HEADED GULL

MEW GULL (ssp. kamtschatschensis)

Herring Gull (ssp. vegae)

Glaucous Gull

*COMMON CUCKOO

Tree Swallow

Bank Swallow

*EYEBROWED THRUSH

*OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT

American Pipit

BRAMBLING

Common Redpoll

 

WEATHER

 

A weak low pressure system passed through the Pribilof region on the 8th and 9th while incoming high pressure starting on the 10th brought with it stronger winds later in the week.  The 10th-11th saw moderately strong west winds while the 12th-13th saw moderately strong south winds whereas the other days this week saw weak winds from the north or east.  Temperatures remain around average with the 10th being relatively warm (51 degrees) and all other days hovering around 45.  Precipitation continues to be scarce with some rain on the 8th and 9th (along with a little fog) but all other days this week have been relatively fog free and clear with just bits of sunshine here and there.

 

WATERFOWL

 

The TUNDRA BEAN-GOOSE from last week was seen again on the 8th while another individual was found from the 10th-13th providing the third individual of that species seen this spring.  The only other waterfowl of note seen this week were a Steller’s Eider on the 13th, the continuing BARROW’S GOLDENEYE still present through the 14th, and a COMMON MERGANSER on the 9th.  The spring’s first Greater White-fronted Goose was seen on the 10th and 11th while three “Aleutian” Cackling Geese were seen almost daily through the 14th.  A pair of Eurasian Wigeons were seen daily while one or two American Wigeons were seen late in the week and a few Mallards were present on the 9th and 10th, regular diving ducks present this week included daily sightings of two or three Greater Scaup, a few King Eiders, a single Bufflehead on the 12th and 13th, a Common Goldeneye on the 10th and 11th, and several Red-breasted Mergansers through the 13th.

 

SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

The ARCTIC LOON again continued to be seen sporadically this week with sightings on the 8th and 12th while several DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS also remained around the island through the 13th.  The BLACK-HEADED GULL continued to be seen through the 12th while the “Kamchatka” MEW GULL was last seen on the 11th, the first “Vega” Herring Gulls of the year were three on the 11th with small numbers of Glaucous Gulls remaining around the island through the end of the week.  A Parasitic Jaeger was seen on the 11th and small numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters from the 10th-12th peaked on the 13th when hundreds-to-thousands were seen passing by the islands.   A Red-necked Grebe was noted on the 13th while a RED-THROATED LOON was seen on the 12th, Common Loons were seen on the 8th and 11th, and single Yellow-billed Loons were found on the 8th, 11th, and 13th.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

Shorebird diversity has started to subside for the spring with the continuing COMMON SANDPIPER till the 8th and the season’s second COMMON GREENSHANK from the 10th-13th providing the highlights for the week.  Other migrants found this week included a Short-billed Dowitcher from the 11th-13th, a Western Sandpiper on the 11th, a Pacific Golden-Plover on the 9th, a few Wandering Tattlers, and several Red Phalaropes through the 13th.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

Another solid week in the landbird department was highlighted by an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT on the 13th (the first spring record since 2005) and a COMMON CUCKOO found on the 9th and subsequently seen on the 10th and again on the 11th when two individuals were present.  Also notable this week was an EYEBROWED THRUSH found on the 9th and single male BRAMBLINGS on the 11th and 14th.  Regular passerine migrants included a Tree Swallow on the 13th, two Bank Swallows on the 8th and 9th, an American Pipit on the 13th, and a few Common Redpolls throughout the week.  The long-staying Bald Eagle continued through at least the 12th.

 

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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