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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island August 16-22: Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Thayer’s Gull

RBA St. Paul Island August 16-22: Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Thayer’s Gull


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Welcome birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of August 16 through August 22 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 – 150

Northern Pintail

Green-winged Teal

Greater Scaup

Steller’s Eider

King Eider

Harlequin Duck

White-winged Scoter

Long-tailed Duck

Red-necked Grebe

Northern Fulmar

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

Red-faced Cormorant

Pelagic Cormorant

Pacific Golden-Plover

Semipalmated Plover

*Gray-tailed Tattler*

Wandering Tattler

*Wood Sandpiper*

Whimbrel ssp. hudsonicus

Ruddy Turnstone

Sanderling

Western Sandpiper

*Red-necked Stint*

LITTLE STINT

Least Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Rock Sandpiper

Long-billed Dowitcher

Red-necked Phalarope

Red Phalarope

Black-legged Kittiwake

Red-legged Kittiwake

Herring Gull ssp. vegae

*Thayer’s Gull*

Slaty-backed Gull

Glaucous-winged Gull

Glaucous Gull

Parasitic Jaeger

Long-tailed Jaeger

Common Murre

Thick-billed Murre

Pigeon Guillemot

Parakeet Auklet

Least Auklet

Crested Auklet

Horned Puffin

Tufted Puffin

Short-eared Owl

*Tree Swallow*

Bank Swallow

Pacific Wren

Northern Wheatear

Eastern Yellow Wagtail

Red-throated Pipit

American Pipit

Lapland Longspur

Snow Bunting

Wilson’s Warbler

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch

Common Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll

WEATHER  

This week we had mostly West winds, with 2 days of East. Rain fell heavily for two days, but we enjoyed partly cloudy-to-cloudy days, with little fog most of the week.

  

WATERFOWL

Nothing of note, save for early/late continuing Steller’s Eiders and one pair of White-winged Scoter off of Marunick.

 

SEABIRDS and GULLS

One of the highlight birds this week was one Thayer’s Gull that continues to be seen off East Landing and in the Northeast, mostly Big Lake. Slaty-backed Gulls were recorded most days this week. Alcid nests have failed this season, with very few exceptions. Thick-billed Murre chicks have been seen at a few locations, and 3 juvenile Horned Puffins have been spotted. Several Puffin nests are still active and the hatch this year for both Tufted and Horned Puffins is likely average. Otherwise, Least Auklet and Crested Auklet chicks were likely wiped in a storm a few weeks ago. These species seem to have left the island for sea this week.

SHOREBIRDS

Overall shorebird numbers are still impressive, and the diversity is great, but the numbers are returning to a more expected pattern. Sharp-tailed, Pectoral, Least, and Western Sandpipers, were recorded most days, and Sanderling was seen on three days. Golden-Plovers have lingered at Lake Hill and the surrounding tundra. Red Phalaropes continue to be the most numerous shorebird, due to several counts of 1000 individuals or more. 3-4 Red-necked Stints have been seen each day since August 4, while 1 LITTLE STINT maintained its presence at Town Marsh and Pumphouse Lake until Tuesday, August 17. Both types of Tattlers are numerous on the island, as well. Whimbrel are starting their return migration, and 2 Dunlin have been seen at Marunick, as Fall diversity increases.

 

LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES

A great week for diversity! One Red-throated Pipit spent two days near Reef Seal Blind, and 2 American Pipits were spotted at Pumphouse Lake. 3 Northern Wheatears were seen Sunday, August 21, on or near Hutch Hill. An Eastern Yellow Wagtail turned up near Polovina Hill, and one Wilson’s Warbler was found at Noastorshna August 22. 2 Bank Swallows, and one rare-in-fall Tree Swallow were seen at Webster. Finally, a Short-eared Owl provided some excitement near Polovina, as well.

 

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

 St. Paul Island Tourswww.alaskabirding.com

(877) 424 - 5637

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