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5265RBA St. Paul Island May 24th-30: Grey-tailed Tatt, Yellow Wagt, Dark-eyed Junco

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  • stephanlorenz60
    Jun 1, 2010
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      Howdy birders, this is the St. Paul Rare Bird Alert for the week of May 24th through May 30th sponsored by St. Paul Island Tours. The following sequence of sightings is in taxonomic order; asterisks denote a species of less than annual occurrence or one of particular note.

      Birds Mentioned:

      Greater White-fronted Goose
      *Snow Goose
      Cackling Goose (B. h. leucopareia and minima)
      *Steller's Eider
      White-winged Scoter
      Common Goldeneye
      Yellow-billed Loon
      Sandhill Crane
      Pacific Golden Plover
      Greater Yellowlegs
      Gray-tailed Tattler
      Whimbrel (N. variegatus)
      Bar-tailed Godwit
      Ruddy Turnstone
      Semipalmated Sandpiper
      Pectoral Sandpiper
      Long-billed Dowitcher
      Wilson's Snipe
      Common Snipe
      Sabine's Gull
      Long-tailed Jaeger
      *Black Guillemot
      Barn Swallow (H. r. erythrogaster)
      *Cliff Swallow
      Hermit Thrush
      Eastern Yellow Wagtail (M. simillima)
      American Pipit
      Savannah Sparrow
      Fox Sparrow (P. i. unalaschcensis)
      Dark-eyed Junco
      Common Redpoll
      Hoary Redpoll

      The first day of the week had a weak west wind followed by light variable and for the rest of the period strong east to north winds predominated. The beginning of the week had overcast days followed by scattered clouds and sun.


      Four species of geese were seen on and off throughout the week with the single Snow Goose continuing from the previous week along with up to five Greater White-fronted Geese. Cackling Geese (ssp. leucopareia) continued in good numbers and on the (05/30) three Cackling Geese (ssp. minima) were found near Lake Dune. A single Brant has been frequenting Polovina Wetlands since the (05/28). Dabbling ducks numbers have decreased with only two Eurasian and two American Wigeons noted. Several Greater Scaup, Bufflehead and three Common Goldeneye rounded out the diving ducks. A few lucky birders were able to see eight Steller's Eiders that were re-found in the harbor on the (05/29) a very late date for the species on St. Paul. Other sea ducks included continuing King Eiders with 250 (05/28), low numbers of Black Scoters, and a small flock of White-winged Scoters (05/30).


      The first Yellow-billed Loon of the season flew past southwest point on (05/27). Three Horned Grebes were seen off Webster (05/25) and Red-necked Grebes were seen in singles on several days along with the first Short-tailed Shearwater of the season (05/26). Only a single Long-tailed Jaeger was seen (05/27).


      Overall numbers remained low, but diversity increased slightly. The last Pacific Golden Plovers were seen the first day of the week (04/24). The Greater Yellowleg remained until (05/26) and three Gray-tailed Tattlers were found along Polovina Lake (05/26). Wandering Tattlers have becomes a permanent fixture in low numbers throughout. A Whimbrel (ssp. variegates) was the only other Asiatic shorebird (05/26). Migrant shorebirds from the North American side included Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, two Sanderling (05/26), Semipalmated Sandpiper (05/29), Pectoral Sandpiper (05/28), Dunlin (05/27, 05/30), Long-billed Dowitcher (05/29), Wilson's Snipe and the first Red Phalarope of the spring was an injured bird found along northeast.


      Seven Sandhill Cranes put in a brief appearance (05/24). Strong east winds brought a Cliff (05/27) and Barn Swallow (05/30) and other North American passerines included Hermit Thrush (05/30) and several American Pipits. The general theme of North American sparrows also continued with Savannah Sparrow (05/28), Fox Sparrow (05/30), and Dark-eyed Junco (05/26). Four Bramblings at the beginning of the week were followed by a single Eastern Yellow Wagtail (ssp. simillima) (05/28, 05/29). Hoary Redpolls continue in the crab pots with at least two males singing.

      Regular occurring species currently on the island.

      Eurasian Wigeon
      American Wigeon
      Northern Pintail
      Green-winged Teal (A. crecca and A. carolinensis)
      Greater Scaup
      King Eider
      Harlequin Duck
      Black Scoter
      Long-tailed Duck
      Red-breasted Merganser
      Horned Grebe
      Red-necked Grebe
      Northern Fulmar
      Short-tailed Shearwater
      Red-faced Cormorant
      Pelagic Cormorant
      Semipalmated Plover
      Wandering Tattler
      Least Sandpiper
      Rock Sandpiper
      Red-necked Phalarope
      Red Phalarope
      Glaucous Gull
      Glaucous-winged Gull
      Black-legged Kittiwake
      Red-legged Kittiwake
      Common Murre
      Thick-billed Murre
      Pigeon Guillemot
      Ancient Murrelet
      Parakeet Auklet
      Crested Auklet
      Least Auklet
      Horned Puffin
      Tufted Puffin
      Common Raven
      Winter Wren
      Lapland Longspur
      Snow Bunting
      Gray-crowned Rosyfinch

      Gray Whales and Killer Whales have also been seen consistently throughout the week.

      The St. Paul Island Tour Guides are wishing you good birding. Fall tours will run from September 1st through 30th, for more information on fall tours please contact Stephan Lorenz (slorenz@...).