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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island July 3-10, Laysan Albatross, Gray-tailed Tattler, White-rumped Sandpiper, Ross’s Gull

RBA St. Paul Island July 3-10, Laysan Albatross, Gray-tailed Tattler, White-rumped Sandpiper, Ross’s Gull


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Welcome birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of July 3 through July 10 sponsored by St. Paul Island Tours. The following sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; asterisks denote a species of less than annual occurrence, and species in all capitals are one of particular note.

Birds:  Species count to date – 137

Northern PintailGreen-winged Teal (spp. crecca)

Green-winged Teal (spp. carolinensis)

Greater Scaup

Steller’s Eider

King Eider

*Common Eider*

Harlequin Duck

Black Scoter

Long-tailed Duck

*Laysan Albatross*

Northern Fulmar

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

Red-faced Cormorant

Pelagic Cormorant

Bald Eagle

Semipalmated Plover

*Gray-tailed Tattler*

Wandering Tattler

Whimbrel ssp. variegatus

Ruddy Turnstone

Sanderling

Least Sandpiper

*White-rumped Sandpiper*

Rock Sandpiper

Red-necked Phalarope

Red Phalarope

Black-legged Kittiwake

Red-legged Kittiwake

Sabine’s Gull

*Ross’s Gull*

Mew Gull ssp. kamchatkensis

Herring Gull ssp. vegae

Slaty-backed Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

Glaucous Gull

Pomarine Jaeger

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Common Murre

Thick-billed Murre

Pigeon Guillemot

Ancient Murrelet

Parakeet Auklet

Least Auklet

Crested Auklet

Horned Puffin

Tufted Puffin

Pacific Wren

Lapland Longspur

Snow Bunting

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch

Common Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

WEATHER  

This week we had West winds 4 of 7 days, and South winds during the remainder. Some rain accumulated during a major Southwestern Low weather event, and the wetland aspects on the island were renewed. Regular intermittent sun, however, kept mudflats on Pumphouse Lake exposed. Alaska Poppy, Moss Campion, all Saxifrage, Wormwood, Capitate Valerian, Nootka Lupine, Wild Geranium, Draba, Whorly Lousewort, Cordialis, Sulphury Buttercups, Rock Jasmine, Jacob’s Ladder, Strawberry, Gentians, and Beach Plum are all in bloom.

 

WATERFOWL

 

Pintail, Green-winged Teal, and Long-tailed Duck are at the average numbers that occur on-island for breeding.  A group of (4-6)Steller’s Eider has been in Salt Lagoon sporadically, and seen from Reef Seal Blind. The lame Common Eider that has been frequenting Webster Lake for the past month continues to be seen, as does the odd King Eider here and there. Two very late Black Scoter continued in the North waters through mid-week but were not seen since.

 

SEABIRDS and GULLS

Huge numbers of Fulmars near East Landing attracted some pelagic birds this week. High numbers of Short-tailed Shearwater were recorded among the Fulmars. A few Sabine’s Gulls turned up in the same area. However, one of the three major birds of the week was one LAYSAN ALBATROSS that was seen, along with dozens of Shearwaters and several Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels at Southwest Point during a severe weather event. Seawatching has been amazing this week! All three Jaegers were seen this week, but Long-tailed Jaeger takes the cake for most prolific. No less than 42 Long-tailed Jaegers were seen on the July 9. This is most likely a High Count for the island. The weather event that provided some astonishing seawatching also deposited an amazing array of Gulls on the island. Some 9 species of Gulls were recorded this week, including several encounters with Sabine’s Gull, one Mew/Common Gull, Slaty-backed Gulls at various locations, but an Alternate Plumage First-cycle ROSS’S GULL stole the show at Salt Lagoon on July 5 and at East Landing the following morning. Incredible bird…

SHOREBIRDSA notable influx of shorebird activity occured this week, including our largest flock of Ruddy Turnstones of the year. Gray-tailed Tattlers near East Landing continued early this week, and lone Wandering Tattlers appeared at Tattler Cove and Marounick. Sanderling was a surprise on Webster Beach on July 3, and photographs confirmed one WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER at Pumphouse the evening of July 6. This was the Third island record!  

LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES

 

Redpolls are present, but scarce while Snow Bunting and Rosy-Finch fledglings are becoming ubiquitous.

 

This is Forrest D. Rowland, 2011 St. Paul Island Guide, wishing you productive, exciting birding wherever you may be. Until next week!!!

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