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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island June 8th-14th: Northern House Martin, Rustic Bunting, Tundra Swan

RBA St. Paul Island June 8th-14th: Northern House Martin, Rustic Bunting, Tundra Swan


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Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island rare bird alert for the week of June 8-14, 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)

**TUNDRA SWAN

Eurasian Wigeon

Northern Shoveler

Black Scoter

Bufflehead

Short-tailed Shearwater

Bald Eagle

Sandhill Crane

*AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER

Pacific Golden-Plover

RUFF

Wilson’s Snipe

Red Phalarope

Herring Gull (ssp. vegae)

COMMON TERN (SSP. LONGIPENNIS)

Arctic Tern

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Short-eared Owl

Bank Swallow

***NORTHERN HOUSE MARTIN

*BLUETHROAT

GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH

Yellow-rumped Warbler

**RUSTIC BUNTING

The beginning of the week was dominated by light to moderate East and Northeast winds while a weak low pressure system that formed over the Bering Sea brought light to moderate West and Southwest winds on the 12th and 13th.

WATERFOWL

As is typical waterfowl continue to be much less common around the island as the spring progresses with an unexpected TUNDRA SWAN appearing on Webster Lake on the 11th being the week’s lone highlight. Only small numbers of geese and ducks were present otherwise with a flock of up to 17 Cackling Geese on the island through the 13th, a pair of Eurasian Wigeons at Icehouse Marsh on the 14th, a female Northern Shoveler at Webster Lake on the 8th, small numbers of Black Scoters continuing around Marunich through the 13th, and a female Bufflehead on Webster Lake on the 8th.

SEABIRDS & GULLS

The season’s third LONGIPENNIS COMMON TERN was present at Antone Lake on the 13th in the company of an Arctic Tern while small numbers of jaegers continue to pass by the island with Parasitic on the 13th and 14th and a Long-tailed at Big Polovina Lake on the 13th. Also still around this week were several Vega Herring Gulls which continued from earlier this spring and a few passing Short-tailed Shearwaters on the 13th from Southwest Point.
SHOREBIRDS

This week saw only a trickle of shorebirds arrive on the island with the highlight being an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER in Novastoshna on the 12th. Also arriving late this week was a black and brown male RUFF in the Tonki Point wetlands on the 14th while a few Pacific Golden-Plovers were seen on the 8th and 11th, a Wilson’s Snipe was at Webster Lake on the 9th, and a Red Phalarope was in Antone Slough on the 8th.

LANDBIRDS & PASSERINES

As seems to be the theme this season the week’s highlight was once again provided by a passerine when pictures of a NORTHERN HOUSE MARTIN on Otter Island were shown to the guides by FWS personnel on the 14th, we can only hope the bird will make its way 8 miles to the north so that we may have a chance at seeing this bird. Present still this week were RUSTIC BUNTINGS with at least 4 on the island on the 8th (1 in Zapadni Ravine, 1 at the Kaminista Quarry, and 2 at Hutchinson Hill) with the Zapadni Ravine bird still present on the 12th. Other notable birds arriving this week were a BLUETHROAT near Marunich on the 10th and a GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH at the Webster House on the 13th. The continuing Bald Eagle was seen on several occasions around the island this week while the pair of Sandhill Cranes continued at Big Polovina Lake until the 12th and the Short-eared Owl at Telegraph Hill was still there on the 14th. The only other non-breeding passerines this week were a few Bank Swallows around Webster Lake and Little Polovina Lake on the 9th and 10th and a Yellow-rumped Warbler at the Webster House on the 8th.
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

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
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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