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10158St. Paul Island bird report: June 2-8, 2014

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  • Scott Schuette
    Jun 9, 2014
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      Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of June 2nd-8th, 2014, sponsored by St. Paul Island Tour. The following sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; an asterisk denotes a species of less than annual occurrence or one of particular note.


      2014 Species count: 105

      Weekly Species Count: 85


      Birds Mentioned:


      Greater White-fronted Goose

      Emperor Goose

      Brant (ssp. nigricans)

      Cackling Goose (ssp. leucopareia)

      TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. bewickii and columbianus)


      American Wigeon


      Northern Shoveler

      Greater Scaup

      King Eider

      White-winged Scoter

      Black Scoter


      Common Goldeneye

      Red-breasted Merganser


      Pacific Loon


      Yellow-billed Loon

      Red-necked Grebe




      Pacific Golden-Plover


      Wandering Tattler


      Bar-tailed Godwit

      Ruddy Turnstone






      Pectoral Sandpiper


      Western Sandpiper

      Short-billed Dowitcher

      Wilson’s Snipe


      Red Phalarope

      Pomarine Jaeger

      Parasitic Jaeger

      Long-tailed Jaeger


      Herring Gull (ssp. vegae)


      Glaucous Gull



      *SKY LARK

      Bank Swallow


      Northern Wheatear

      American Pipit

      Wilson’s Warbler

      Savannah Sparrow





      Light-moderate southwest wind continued through the 2nd when it shifted sharply overnight to east/northeast and remained there through the 7th.  Winds were generally moderate with speeds between 20 and 30 MPH much of the week.  By the 8th the winds had shifted back to the west/northwest but slowed considerably.  Fog was almost non-existent this week with light rain/mist on several mornings and evenings though much of the week was partly cloudy with well-above temperatures on the 5th and 6th (mid-50s) while the rest of the week was in the mid-40s.  The high pressure system from late last week passed by on the 2nd and 3rd with a low pressure passed south of the island’s mid-wek producing the strong E/NE/N winds for much of the rest of the week.




      The continuing TUNDRA SWANS (three Bewick’s and one Whistling) were present through the 8th while a male EURASIAN WIGEON was seen on the 4th and 5th.  ON the goose front a newly arrived Greater White-fronted was seen on the 6th while the Emperor Goose was last seen on the 5th.  A Brant was present each day of the week and between one and 12 Cackling Geese were also seen daily.  A few migrant dabbling ducks were noted this week with two American Wigeons from the 4th-6th, a Mallard from the 2nd-5th, and two Northern Shovelers on the 5th.  The last Greater Scaup were seen on the 5th while at least one King Eider remained through the 8th.  White-winged Scoter was noted on the 2nd and 8th with a single Black Scoter seen on the 8th.  The last Bufflehead were three on the 4th while a Common Goldeneye were seen from the 3rd-5th and 7th-8th and small groups of Red-breasted Mergansers were recorded on the 2nd and 5th.




      A DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT was found on the 4th while two were present on the 5th and 6th providing a rare record of that species for the Pribilofs.  Four loons were seen this week with single RED-THROATEDS on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, Pacifics on the 2nd and 8th, a COMMON on the 2nd, and Yellow-billeds on the 2nd and 8th.  A few Red-necked Grebes were seen on the 2nd and 3rd while two Rhinoceros Auklets were found on the 2nd.  A pair of “Vega” Herring Gulls were seen from the 2nd-4th with a single SLATY-BACKED GULL noted on the 2nd.  Single Glaucous Gulls were seen on the 2nd and 5th with Pomarine Jaeger sightings on the 7th and 8th, Parasitic Jaeger sightings from the 2nd and 7th, and Long-tailed Jaeger sightings from the most days this week.




      A LONG-TOED STINT was found on the 2nd and remained through the 4th while last week’s COMMON SANDPIPER was last seen on the 2nd with an additional individual seen on the 4th.  Other Asian shorebirds recorded this week included a RUFF on the 2nd and 3rd, a RED-NECKED STINT on the 5th-8th, a COMMON SNIPE on the 2nd and 3rd, and two WOOD SANDPIPERS on the 2nd to 4th.  A few rare American species were also recorded this week with a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER on the 2nd and a STILT SANDPIPER on the 5th and 6th being chief among them.  One or two Bar-tailed Godwits were seen daily this week while a Pacific Golden-Plover was seen on the 8th, two Western Sandpipers on the 5th, a Dunlin was seen from the 7th-8th, a Pectoral Sandpiper on the 4th, and one to seven Short-billed Dowitchers from the 2nd to 7th.  Other shorebirds seen this week included a few Ruddy Turnstones through the 6th, small numbers of Wandering Tattlers daily, one or two Wilson’s Snipes daily through the 7th, and large numbers of Red Phalaropes on the 2nd (5000+) with just a few seen daily after that date.




      The highlight of the week was the arrival of two cuckoos on June 2nd, of which one was a COMMON that was seen on the 2nd and 3rd, and the other was an ORIENTAL which was seen from the 2nd-8th.  This is only the 4th Oriental record for the Pribilofs and the first Common record since 2008.  Also found this week was an OSPREY which is the 9th Pribilof record and first since 1995.  In other news a SKY LARK was seen briefly on the 7th, two BRAMBLING were seen on the 2nd and one was found on the 5th, an influx of swallows starting on the 4th included up to 18 Banks and 1-2 CLIFFS on the 6th, and a Northern Wheatear on the 2nd.  Scattered other sightings included American Pipits on the 4th and 6th, a Wilson’s Warbler on the 5th, a Savannah Sparrow on the 4th, and the continuing BALD EAGLE through the 8th.


      Breeding or resident species currently present on the island:


      Northern Pintail

      Green-winged (and Common) Teal

      Harlequin Duck

      Long-tailed Duck

      Northern Fulmar

      Red-faced Cormorant
      Pelagic Cormorant

      Semipalmated Plover

      Least Sandpiper
      Rock Sandpiper (ssp. ptilocnemis)

      Red-necked Phalarope
      Black-legged Kittiwake
      Red-legged Kittiwake
      Glaucous-winged Gull

      Common Murre
      Thick-billed Murre
      Pigeon Guillemot

      Ancient Murrelet

      Parakeet Auklet

      Least Auklet

      Crested Auklet

      Horned Puffin

      Tufted Puffin

      Pacific Wren (ssp. alascensis)
      Lapland Longspur
      Snow Bunting
      Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (ssp. umbrina)

      This is Scott Schuette, Cory Gregory, and Glen Davis, the 2014 St. Paul Island Tour guides, wishing you good birding. For tour information or to make travel arrangements visit our website http://www.alaskabirding.com or call 1-877-424-5637.