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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island September 1st - 7th: Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Gull, Little Stint

RBA St. Paul Island September 1st - 7th: Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Gull, Little Stint


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RBA
* Alaska
* St. Paul Island, Pribilofs
* September 7, 2008
* AKSPI 08.09.­07

Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island rare bird alert for the week of September 1st - 7th, 2008 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.

Birds Mentioned:

EMPEROR GOOSE

Brant

Mallard

Black Scoter

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-necked Grebe

Short-tailed Shearwater

Bald Eagle

Pacific Golden-Plover

GRAY-TAILED TATTLER

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Western Sandpiper

*RED-NECKED STINT

**LITTLE STINT

Pectoral Sandpiper

SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER

***CURLEW SANDPIPER

*RUFF

Long-billed Dowitcher

***BLACK-TAILED GULL

Herring Gull (ssp. smithsonianus)

*THAYER’S GULL

Slaty-backed Gull

Parasitic Jaeger

**BELTED KINGFISHER

Northern Wheatear

*GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH

**SWAINSON’S THRUSH

American Pipit (ssp. japonicus)

American Pipit (ssp. rubescens)

Common Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

Fewer passerines than expected were found this week with the weather not being conducive to their arrival on the island while birds associated with water made a decent appearance. This was caused by a continuation of the fall’s weather theme, winds out of the north. Each day this week saw light to moderate winds with NNW being the most common direction with due N and NNE also represented on various days.

WATERFOWL

A flock of 6 EMPEROR GEESE greeted us at Southwest Point on the 6th while a Brant was first found on Big Lake on the 5th and continued through the period at Barrabaras Pond. The fall’s first migrant dabbling duck appeared at Cup Lake on the 2nd in the form of a Mallard which continued there through the 5th. Rounding out the week’s waterfowl was the continuing Black Scoter at Webster Lake through the 3rd and single Red-breasted Mergansers at Webster seawatch on the 5th and in the Salt Lagoon on the 7th.

SEABIRDS & GULLS

For the second time this year the week’s gull highlight is a BLACK-TAILED GULL this time a 2nd year bird which provides the island with its second record, both coming this year. Of less note but still good for the island were 2 adult THAYER’S GULLS this week. One of which was the continuing bird at Big Lake which has been present for about two weeks and was last seen on the 7th and the other a new bird that was found resting on the Salt Lagoon on the 1st. American Herring and Slaty-backed Gulls continue in small numbers this week with most sightings around town and at Big Lake.

Short-tailed Shearwaters made a grand return to the island this week with over 5000 present off Sea Lion Neck most days. Jaegers continue to be seen in very small numbers with single Parasitic Jaegers on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th around Northeast Point. Also a first of the fall were 2 Red-necked Grebes at Marunich on the 2nd.

SHOREBIRDS

This week’s shorebird highlight was an adult CURLEW SANDPIPER that was seen flying past the beach at Sea Lion Neck on the 3rd providing the first island record in more than a decade and one of few for Alaska in recent years. Also making a bid for the week’s (and day’s) top shorebird was a juvenile LITTLE STINT that was found feeding on North Beach near Marunich later on the 3rd. Last week’s RUFF continued to the 1st while the RED-NECKED STINT continued at Antone Slough until the 4th with a new individual appearing on the 6th.

A rare fall Semipalmated Sandpiper was found along Antone Slough on the 7th while Western Sandpipers continued there in small numbers through the week. Also present around the island in small numbers were Pacific Golden-Plovers, Pectoral Sandpipers, and Long-billed Dowitchers while a few GRAY-TAILED TATTLERS were found in various spots this week. Good numbers of SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPERS were present this week with the high count being around 15 and most days having at least 5-10 individuals found.

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

The season’s second and island’s fourth SWAINSON’S THRUSH was found around the Webster House on the 3rd while at least 7 individual GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES appeared this week with the first being seen on the 2nd at Polovina Hill. Also appearing this week was a BELTED KINGFISHER that was first seen in the Salt Lagoon on the 6th by locals and was subsequently observed by the guides on the 7th.

Only a few other landbirds were seen this week with the continuing Bald Eagle seen at Ridge Wall on the 7th, Northern Wheatears at Polovina Hill on the 1st and the Webster House on the 4th and 5th, American Pipits of both the races on the 5th with a flock of 1-5 japonicus being seen along the margin of the Salt Lagoon and a single American bird seen at Northeast Point, and both redpolls which continue in the Quarry and in the vicinity of Lake Hill.

Regularly occurring species currently present on the island:

Northern Pintail
Green-winged (and Common) Teal
King Eider

Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Northern Fulmar
Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone
Rock Sandpiper (ssp. ptilocnemis)
Red-necked Phalarope
Herring Gull (ssp. vegae)

Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull

Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
Common Murre
Thick-billed Murre
Pigeon Guillemot

Parakeet Auklet
Horned Puffin

Tufted Puffin
Common Raven

Winter Wren (ssp. alascensis)
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (ssp. umbrina)

For tour information or to make travel arrangements visit our website http://www.alaskabirding.com or call 1-877-424-5637. This is Scott Schuette (sschuette01@hotmail.com) and Dave Porter, the 2008 St. Paul Island Tour guides, wishing you good birding.

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