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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island June 1st-7th: Black-tailed Gull, Rustic Bunting, Black-tailed Godwit

RBA St. Paul Island June 1st-7th: Black-tailed Gull, Rustic Bunting, Black-tailed Godwit


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island rare bird alert for the week of June 1-7, 2009 sponsored by St. Paul Island Tour. The following sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; asterisks denote a species of less than annual occurrence or one of particular note.

Birds Mentioned:

Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia)

**CANADA GOOSE (SSP. PARVIPES)

Eurasian Wigeon

American Wigeon

Mallard

White-winged Scoter

Black Scoter

Bufflehead

Common Goldeneye

Red-breasted Merganser

Short-tailed Shearwater

Bald Eagle

Sandhill Crane

*COMMON GREENSHANK

WOOD SANDPIPER

Whimbrel (ssp. variegatus)

Whimbrel (ssp. hudsonicus)

BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW

**BLACK-TAILED GODWIT

Bar-tailed Godwit

Western Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Dunlin

**STILT SANDPIPER

BLACK-HEADED GULL

***BLACK-TAILED GULL

Herring Gull (ssp. vegae)

Herring Gull (ssp. smithsonianus)

Slaty-backed Gull

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Short-eared Owl

Bank Swallow

*EYEBROWED THRUSH

Eastern Yellow Wagtail (ssp. tschutschensis)

RED-THROATED PIPIT

Savannah Sparrow

**RUSTIC BUNTING

Hoary Redpoll

This week’s weather was dominated by a large low pressure system which moved southeast to northwest across the Bering Sea. It brought with it mostly south, southeast, and east winds with heavy fog and rain most days this week.

WATERFOWL

For the second week in a row the waterfowl highlight was provided by a PARVIPES CANADA GOOSE (presumably the same bird as last week) which was seen at Saucer Lake on the 7th. Small numbers of Cackling Geese continued throughout the week as well as Eurasian and American Wigeons, White-winged and Black Scoters, Bufflehead, and Common Goldeneyes. Also seen this week was a group of 3 Mallards at Antone Lake on the 3rd and a group of 4 Red-breasted Mergansers at Tonki Point on the 7th.

SEABIRDS & GULLS

This week saw both a BLACK-TAILED (the island’s third record) and a BLACK-HEADED GULL make one time appearances. The BLACK-TAILED was found at Marunich on the 3rd while the BLACK-HEADED flew over the harbor on the 2nd. Both Vega Herring and Slaty-backed Gulls remained in small numbers around the harbor and Salt Lagoon while a single Parasitic Jaeger was seen on the 4th and Long-tailed Jaegers made appearances on the 1st and 4th. Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen offshore on the 3rd and 7th from Southwest Point and Tonki Point.
SHOREBIRDS

A few Asian shorebirds continued into the week with the BLACK-TAILED GODWIT present in the Salt Lagoon until the 1st, a COMMON GREENSHANK present in the Polovina Wetlands until the 3rd, a displaying WOOD SANDPIPER which continued in the Polovina Wetlands through the week, and a pair of “Siberian” Whimbrels around the Salt Lagoon until the 6th. Also arriving this week was a BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW which delighted many as it fed along the side of Ridge Wall Hill on the 1st and a STILT SANDPIPER which was present at Webster Lake on the 6th. Of lesser note were a trio of “American” Whimbrels in the Salt Lagoon on the 7th, up to 12 Bar-tailed Godwits in the Salt Lagoon early in the week, a single Western Sandpiper at Antone Slough on the 6th and 7th, small numbers of Pectoral Sandpipers at Antone Slough, the Polovina Wetlands, and at Webster Lake, and single Dunlin at the Polovina Wetlands on the 2nd and at Webster Lake on the 6th.

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

Continuing into the early part of the week was an EYEBROWED THRUSH at Zapadni Ravine until the 1st and another hanging on near Hutchinson Hill till the 3rd. Also around this week were multiple RUSTIC BUNTINGS with the original male near Antone Slough seen until the 1st, another male found in the Kaminista Quarry on the 6th, and a female near the Webster Lake on the 7th. A few Trans-beringian migrants arrived this week with a RED-THROATED PIPIT at Ridge Wall on the 1st and an Eastern Yellow Wagtail along the Salt Lagoon on the 5th. Small numbers of American passerine migrants were also observed this week with Hoary Redpolls on the 2nd and 6th, a Savannah Sparrow at Webster Lake on the 2nd, a Bank Swallow duo which was seen at Marunich and Webster Lake between the 4th and the 6th. Appearing for the first time this year were a pair of Sandhill Cranes which were seen throughout the week in the Polovina Wetlands and small numbers of Short-eared Owls which were seen in the Telegraph Hill and Big Polovina Lake area on the 3rd, 4th, and 6th while the Bald Eagle re-appeared at Ridge Wall after a lengthy absence.
Regularly occurring species currently present on the island:

Northern Pintail
Green-winged (and Common) Teal
Greater Scaup

King Eider

Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Red-necked Grebe

Northern Fulmar
Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Semipalmated Plover

Wandering Tattler

Ruddy Turnstone

Least Sandpiper

Rock Sandpiper (ssp. ptilocnemis)
Red-necked Phalarope

Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull

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

Ancient Murrelet

Parakeet Auklet

Least Auklet
Crested 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), Sean Hegarty, and Stephan Lorenz, the 2009 St. Paul Island Tour guide, wishing you good birding.

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