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3287Gambell: Brambling, seabird passage

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  • Paul Lehman
    May 24, 2008
      Today (Saturday) there was a male Brambling in the Near Boneyard for
      much of the day (in spite of the 15 mph EAST winds), but of more
      interest were the numbers of several seabirds, which I seem to have hit
      a spike in their out-/through- migration. Today's total of 24 Black
      Guillemots is by far the most that I've ever seen in a day here; I am
      not sure what the all-time record is. The 22 Yellow-billed Loons was
      also a large number (this species trickles by here on many days in
      spring, but the large single-day counts come mostly from late Sept.).
      Also 350 King Eiders, 500 Long-tailed Ducks, and 100 Vega Gulls (the
      latter about double my usual one-day max). Also 6+ Gray Whales feeding
      around the Point.

      For those of you who have birded Gambell, you might be interested to
      hear how "limited" the birding access is at the moment due to all the
      current ice and snow. The Near Boneyard and seawatching are fine. But
      the Far and Circular Boneyards still have too much snow, the fine marsh
      at the northeast corner of the lake is still largely covered in ice and
      snow but showing early signs of thawing, "Old Town" ("the boatyard") has
      a few drifts up to three feet high, the mountainside is still largely
      snow-covered as are parts of the road down the side of the mountain,
      there is a bit of open water at the culvert and near the raised white
      tank below Troutman Lake, but most everything else south of the lake is
      still frozen. I suppose the good news is that whatever shows up will be
      even more concentrated in the few thawed places compared to normal, but
      it would be nice to see some serious additional thawing very soon!

      --Paul Lehman
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