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3282Gambell spring arrival

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  • Paul Lehman
    May 23, 2008
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      Greetings everyone,

      The spring arrival at Gambell is ME, the first birder to get here for
      the "peak" spring season (although it looks a bit wintry around here!).
      Got in today (5/23) between bouts of fog, so feel lucky to have gotten
      in. While Nome has thawed, with no snow in the lowlands and many of the
      ponds partly thawed, and Tree Swallows flying around, here at Gambell I
      have stepped back in time a couple weeks or more: snow still covers
      about 80 percent of the ground and the marshes and ponds are almost all
      still frozen and snow-covered. Temperature in the high 20s and low 30s;
      winds were SW yesterday but back to NE today, alas. (There have been
      excessive north winds so far this spring throughout much of the Bering
      Sea and Aleutians, with a mediocre showing of migrants and rarities to
      date at the various islands.)

      I walked out to point after arriving this morning and within just a
      minute had a pair of Spectacled Eiders fly by, followed soon by
      Steller's Eiders and Black Guillemot. A bit surprised to see already a
      one-year-old kittiwake pass by with the many flocks of adults, as I
      would have thought it wouldn't be in a rush to get here so quickly. Lots
      of murres, smaller numbers of the other alcids (except still no Horned
      Puffins or Parakeet Auklets in evidence). A couple Long-tailed Jaegers
      already around, but only a few shorebirds (bunch of Dunlins, Pacific
      Golden- and Semi Plovers), and a good number of Hoary Redpolls (35+).

      I'm here for two weeks this spring, the first week mostly on my own, the
      second co-leading the annual Gambell Wings tour.

      --Paul Lehman
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