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Alaska Rare Bird Alert » Blog Archive » RBA St. Paul Island, August 30-September 05: JACK SNIPE, SAY’S PHOEBE, Long-toed Stint

RBA St. Paul Island, August 30-September 05: JACK SNIPE, SAY’S PHOEBE, Long-toed Stint


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Welcome birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of August 30
through September 05 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 � 162
67 species this week
Cackling Goose
Mallard
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup
King Eider
Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Red-necked Grebe
Northern Fulmar
Short-tailed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
Red-faced Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Pacific Golden-Plover
*Lesser Sand-Plover*
Semipalmated Plover
Gray-tailed Tattler
Wandering Tattler
Whimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Western Sandpiper
*Red-necked Stint*
LONG-TOED STINT
Least Sandpiper
Baird's Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Rock Sandpiper
Dunlin
*Stilt Sandpiper*
RUFF
Long-billed Dowitcher
***JACK SNIPE***
COMMON SNIPE
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope
Black-legged Kittiwake
Red-legged Kittiwake
Sabine's Gull
Herring Gull
Slaty-backed Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Glaucous Gull
Parasitic Jaeger
Common Murre
Thick-billed Murre
Parakeet Auklet
Least Auklet
Horned Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Short-eared Owl
SAY'S PHOEBE
Pacific Wren
Northern Wheatear
Eastern Yellow Wagtail
Red-throated Pipit
American Pipit
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
Fox Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
Common Redpoll

WEATHER
This week we had mostly variable west winds, with a strong Low passing early in
the week bringing 50+ MPH winds. The week ended with strong 35-45 MPH winds out
of the north. Rain fell heavily for 

a day, and fog conditions were variable, with at least one day, and most
evenings of relatively thick fog. 

WATERFOWL
Nothing of note, save for a single arriving Aleutian Cackling Goose at Crater
Lakes on September 1, and 39 more seen migrating by northeast point on
September 5. 

SEABIRDS and GULLS
A single passage-count of Short-tailed Shearwaters moving by NE Point on
September 5 tallied 1,248 in 25 minutes. Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels are
occasionally being seen from East Landing. 

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 (of both species) 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,
and neither has been seen in the last 6 days. 

SHOREBIRDS
Overall shorebird numbers remain staggering, and the diversity continues to
impress. Sharp-tailed, and Western Sandpipers, were recorded in good numbers
every day this week, and Sanderling was seen on two days. The Sharp-tailed
Sandpiper number reached an impressive 72 (at least) on September 5, this count
possibly aided by the strong north winds which concentrated them in several
places, notably Town Marsh. 1 LESSER SAND-PLOVER continued in Salt Lagoon
through September 1. Both types of Tattlers are seen every day, with 4
Gray-tailed Tattlers on September 4. 2 juvenile Bar-tailed Godwits continued
through the week on the Salt Lagoon, even turning up briefly at Town Marsh
once. Up to 3 LONG-TOED STINT have been around the island this week, one each
at Town Marsh, Novastorshna, and Little Polovina Wetland. All 3 were seen on
September 4. Baird's Sandpiper flew over Webster Lake in a Red Phalarope flock.
The Stilt Sandpiper and Ruff, both juveniles, continue in Town Marsh. COMMON
SNIPE was seen every day of the week at Town Marsh, with at least 2 there on
September 4. The obvious highlight, however, was a JACK SNIPE seen at Maurunik
on September 1, but not subsequently re-found. 

LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES
It was a relatively slow week for Passerines when compared to the week before.
The most unusual passerine, by far, was the SAY'S PHOEBE at Polovina Quarry on
September 2. Red-throated Pipit and Eastern Yellow Wagtails were noted a few
times each, and even a couple of times on the ground at Hutchinson Hill
(Red-throated Pipit), and Town Marsh and Maurunik (Eastern Yellow Wagtail). 3
Northern Wheatears were together at Polovina on September 1, and a single
individual at Webster Cut on September 3. All of the resident passerines are
still here, in force. 

This is Doug Gochfeld, your Fall 2011 St. Paul Island Guide, wishing you
productive, exciting birding wherever you may be. Until next week!!! 

St. Paul Island Tours
www.alaskabirding.com
(877) 424 - 5637

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