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10299St. Paul Island bird report: August 4-10, 2014

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  • Scott Schuette
    Aug 11, 2014
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      Hello Birders, this is the St. Paul Island bird report for the week of August 4th-10th, 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: 123

      Weekly Species Count: 52


      Birds Mentioned:


      TUNDRA SWAN (ssp. bewickii and columbianus)


      Greater Scaup

      King Eider


      Pacific Loon

      Yellow-billed Loon


      Short-tailed Shearwater

      Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel


      Pacific Golden-Plover


      Wandering Tattler

      Ruddy Turnstone



      Pectoral Sandpiper


      Western Sandpiper

      Wilson’s Snipe

      Red Phalarope

      Parasitic Jaeger

      Long-tailed Jaeger

      Herring Gull


      Glaucous Gull





      The first major low pressure system of the year passed the island this week passing by on the 6th-8th.  Along with the system were strong southern and southwesterly winds on the 6th and 7th while the rest of the week saw more light-moderate northerly winds.  While the week’s temperatures remained above average this week the fog and rain returned with approx. an inch and half of rain and at least patchy fog each day of the week.




      The continuing TUNDRA SWANS were still seen through the 10th while last week’s Mallard was last noted on the 7th.  The long-staying Bufflehead and Greater Scaup were last seen on the 7th and 8th respectively, while King Eiders were seen through the week.




      The year’s first incursion of MOTTLED PETRELS occurred this week with individuals seen on the 6th-9th and in the largest numbers on the 6th (20+) and 7th (50+).  Also seen this week were Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels on the 6th and 9th and numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters all week with a peak count of 1180 on the 9th.  A Yellow-billed Loon was noted on the 4th while three were seen on the 10th along with a Pacific Loon that day.  Small numbers of jaegers were also seen with single Parasitics on the 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th, and single Long-taileds on the 6th and 7th.  SLATY-BACKED GULLS were seen daily with two or three present this week while a couple Herring Gulls were noted mid-week and Glaucous Gulls were seen on the 4th.




      Migrant shorebirds continued to trickle in this week with a SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER seen from the 5th-7th being the rarest arrival of the week.  Also seen were a juvenile RED-NECKED STINT on the 10th, daily GRAY-TAILED TATTLERS (up to four) through the 8th, and an adult SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER on the 5th, 6th, and 7th.  A Wilson’s Snipe was seen on the 8th while an adult Western Sandpiper was seen on the 8th and three juveniles were noted on the 10th.  A few Pectoral Sandpipers were seen daily with counts of one to eight Pacific Golden-Plovers each day this week.  Wandering Tattlers were seen in average numbers this week (five to ten daily) with low hundreds of Ruddy Turnstones seen daily as well.  Most days saw small numbers of Red Phalaropes though upwards of 10,000 were seen rafting on the 5th and hundreds were passing by during the storm on the 6th.




      The only landbird migrant seen this week was a PEREGRINE FALCON noted on the 10th while the BALD EAGLE was seen again this week.


      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.