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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island June 15th-21st: Cassin’s Auklet, Hawfinch, Common Cuckoo

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RBA St. Paul Island June 15th-21st: Cassin’s Auklet, Hawfinch, Common Cuckoo


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of June 15th-21st, 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: 115

Weekly Species Count: 60

 

Birds Mentioned:

 

Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia)

Eurasian Wigeon

Greater Scaup

King Eider

White-winged Scoter

Bufflehead

Common Goldeneye

*BARROW’S GOLDENEYE

Red-breasted Merganser

RED-THROATED LOON

*ARCTIC LOON

Pacific Loon

Yellow-billed Loon

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

*DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT

Bald Eagle

Pacific Golden-Plover

Ruddy Turnstone

Western Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

**CASSIN’S AUKLET

Sabine’s Gull

Glaucous Gull

*COMMON CUCKOO

Bank Swallow

GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH

BRAMBLING

Common Redpoll

PINE SISKIN

*HAWFINCH

 

WEATHER

 

The weather from the 15th-21st was quite pleasant and consistent with high-ish pressure settled over the Bering Sea for the entire period.  Temperatures were generally above average (it reached 58 on the 18th) with mostly light winds out of the north or east though the 19th-21st was nearly calm.  There was a bit of morning fog a few days during the week however with just a touch of rain on the 15th being the only precipitation.

 

WATERFOWL

 

The BARROW’S GOLDENEYE continued through the 21st while single Eurasian Wigeons were noted on the 16th and 18th, a Bufflehead was seen on the 16th, five Cackling Geese were seen on the 17th, and two Red-breasted Mergansers were present on the 16th.  Small numbers of Greater Scaup and King Eider were seen daily with a White-winged Scoter present on the 15th and two Common Goldeneyes on the 17th.

 

SEABIRDS & GULLS

 

The most unusual local rarity yet this year appeared on the 19th when three CASSIN’S AUKLETS were found together, this represents only the third record for St. Paul with the previous sighting being in May 1986 and a moribund individual found in fall 2014.  Single DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS were seen almost daily this week with a Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel sighted on the 21st and small numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters found on the 19th and 21st.  Loons continued to be found this week with the continuing ARCTIC LOON last noted on the 19th, a RED-THROATED LOON seen on the 19th, a Pacific Loon on the 19th, and Yellow-billed Loons on the 18th, 19th, and 21st.  A Sabine’s Gull appeared on the 20th while one or two Glaucous Gulls were seen each day this week.

 

SHOREBIRDS

 

As is expected when we near mid-summer the number of migrant shorebirds dropped considerably with the only species present this week being a Pacific Golden-Plover from the 18th-21st, a Ruddy Turnstone from the 18th-21st, two or three Western Sandpipers from the 17th-21st, and a Short-billed Dowitcher on the 21st.

 

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

 

Another productive week a continuing COMMON CUCKOO through the 17th and a one-day wonder HAWFINCH on the 16th.  A BRAMBLING that appeared on the 20th was still present on the 21st and a GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH made a rare spring appearance on the 15th.  A PINE SISKIN was present from the 18th-21st while Bank Swallows were seen on the 17th and 20th, Common Redpolls were seen almost daily, and the Bald Eagle continued through the 21st.

 

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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