Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Shishmaref Report

Expand Messages
  • Ken Stenek
    Weather has been an issue lately here for birding and subsistence hunting. It s been warm enough for the most part for the sea ice to be slowly melting but
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 8, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Weather has been an issue lately here for birding and subsistence
      hunting. It's been warm enough for the most part for the sea ice to
      be slowly melting but north winds have kept the ice from breaking up.
      Snow all night last night accumulated this morning but I still decided
      to go out this morning in hopes of finding a flock of snow geese my
      wife reported as well as to look around for Ruffs as well.

      I ended up finding four new species. I first came across a EASTERN
      WAGTAIL in an area I call the Sparrow Neighborhood where I also found
      a White-crowned and Savannah Sparrow, Gray-cheek Thrush, and Common
      Redpolls this morning. At the southern end of the old airport, I
      flushed a shorebird that had a very distinct deep alarmed call that
      went something like urr, urr, urr...Not sure what it might have been.

      Found quite a few more Eastern Wagtails around the USDA water
      collection pond in a grassy area on the outskirts of a small tundra
      pond. There was also an ARCTIC WARBLER hopping about probing in the
      grass and mud.

      Also a first for me on the island was a MALLARD, I wasn't able to get
      a photo but did have a good look at it through my binoculars. This is
      the first Mallard I have seen in this area in the 9 years I have been
      here. There were also some Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintails, and
      Northern Shovelers. And another first flew over a single CACKLING
      GOOSE with that higher pitched call than the Canada Goose.

      A few Pacific Golden-Plovers, peeps, Pectoral Sandpipers, Long-billed
      Dowitchers, and Lapland Longspurs rounded out my morning.

      Ken Stenek
      Shishmaref

      Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
      http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
    • Ken Stenek
      Had an interesting find this evening riding along the beach, there were quite a few DUNLINs but just a bit further there was a RED KNOT. I was able to
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 16, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Had an interesting find this evening riding along the beach, there
        were quite a few DUNLINs but just a bit further there was a RED KNOT.
        I was able to photograph and confirm its identity and was pretty
        excited. There may have been another in the opposite direction, which
        I didn't photo and cannot say whether or not it was a plover or knot
        as I didn't have a great look but didn't look golden enough to me.
        Hopefully it will be there tomorrow and can confirm multiple
        individuals or something else.

        Had some young COMMON EIDERs (10) washed up dead as well as a TUNDRA
        SWAN. I saw a bunch of young eiders in the same location last night
        in the same area but in much better condition.

        Also seen were GLAUCOUS GULLS, HERRING GULL (juv), NORTHERN WHEATEARs
        (quite a few after only one seen last night), SNOWY OWL (first I have
        seen actually on the island), LONG-TAILED JAEGAR, LAPLAND LONGSPURs,
        GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and SAVANNAH SPARROWS.


        ----------


        Ken Stenek
        Shishmaref

        Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
        http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ken Stenek
        Took the family and another teacher and her daughter boating up the Serpentine River to pick salmon berries (aka cloud berries) Sunday and found many birds but
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 19, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Took the family and another teacher and her daughter boating up the
          Serpentine River to pick salmon berries (aka cloud berries) Sunday and
          found many birds but one with some interest. We stopped by a large
          pond and found 2 WHIMBRELS. These were a first for me so pretty
          exciting. Not new to the area as there is an Inupiaq name for them
          Siituak.

          Also present were GLAUCOUS GULLs, HERRING GULL, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
          GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GREATER SCAUP, LONG-TAILED DUCK, SANDHILL CRANES
          (as many as I have ever seen before), PACIFIC LOON, RED-THROATED LOON,
          20 LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, etc. The ducks were in great numbers in
          many ponds.

          I also took my first birding walk in some time on the island and found
          SNOW BUNTING, SAVANNAH SPARROW, DUNLIN, SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, SLATY-
          BACKED GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, HERRING GULL, many NORTHERN WHEATEAR,
          BRANT, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, PARASITIC JAEGAR, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS,
          PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, etc. A bit of a slow day for shore birds for
          some reason but nice to get out on a late summer day (nice to finally
          have some sun).

          Time to get back in the classroom as we start school today with
          students.

          Ken Stenek
          Shishmaref

          Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
          http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
        • Ken Stenek
          My son and I went for a walk on the beach this afternoon and found this Short-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris) swimming along the shoreline. It was
          Message 4 of 12 , Sep 5, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            My son and I went for a walk on the beach this afternoon and found
            this Short-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris) swimming along
            the shoreline. It was nice to see one alive and I hope we don't soon
            find it washed up dead like many others of its species lately. There
            were also about 15 Sanderlings chasing the waves, a few Glaucous
            Gulls, and somewhat of a surprise two Arctic Terns (an adult and
            juvenile) loafing at the west end of the island. There were also some
            Lapland Longspurs near the airport and some Pacific Golden-Plovers and
            Pectoral Sandpipers, Green-winged Teal, and Northern Pintail near the
            old airport.

            I had another interesting find while boating on the Serpentine River
            last weekend as we saw some hawks flying around. Our school's
            principal photographed one of the raptors and after zooming and
            cropping the photos, I was able to send a Peter Bente some pixilated
            photos. He was able to identify the bird by color and shape as a
            Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus). I had suspected that there were
            some around the Serpentine River but could not substantiate it until
            now. These two new species bring me ever closer to my goal of 80
            species. I hope next year with some help to reach 100.

            Ken Stenek
            Shishmaref

            Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
            http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ken Stenek
            I took s pair of photographers that came and worked with our students out on the water tonight and found a few birds that were a bit interesting. There are
            Message 5 of 12 , Sep 28, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              I took s pair of photographers that came and worked with our students
              out on the water tonight and found a few birds that were a bit
              interesting. There are quite a few Glaucous Gulls flying around but I
              also found some Black-legged Kittiwakes loafing on a sandbar in the
              west channel. There were several small groups of Brant, a group of
              three small black birds that appeared to be either murres or
              guillemots but I did not get a good look as well as a flock of Dunlin
              and one larger shorebird that must have been a golden plover. There
              were also a herd of 30 musk oxen on the mainland near the west "5-
              mile" point.

              Of interest were numerous student reports of a Wilson's Warbler.
              Students asked what the little green and yellow bird was near their
              home, I showed them a photo of a juv. that I took last fall, and
              "That's it!" It has been frustrating hearing reports of species that
              would have put me over my goal but it appears that I will be stalled
              at 79 species for the area this year.

              I am still waiting for our McKay's Buntings to arrive and rejoin their
              kissing cousins Snow Buntings that are here in decent numbers.

              Students have reported large numbers of Greater Scaup, Northern
              Pintails, Brant, Canada Geese, Tundra Swans, etc. congregating in the
              Serpentine River estuary. I hope to maybe take a trip to the river
              tomorrow and go see for myself.

              I look forward to anyone who may join me next year in the spring or
              fall.

              Ken Stenek
              Shishmaref

              Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
              http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
            • Ken Stenek
              The Seward trip sounds like a lot of fun and great to hear some of the great species reported. In Shishmaref, I wish we had near the abundance of species, so I
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 23, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                The Seward trip sounds like a lot of fun and great to hear some of the
                great species reported.

                In Shishmaref, I wish we had near the abundance of species, so I guess
                I will take quality over quantity. Can report the male HOUSE SPARROW
                is still flying around. I did see him yesterday, ran inside to grab
                my camera and came back out and he was gone. Very shy this year.
                Went behind the Nayokpuk General Store and I estimated about 100
                MCKAY'S BUNTINGS as well as 50 SNOW BUNTINGS. And to round things
                off, I went out to the dump for a trash run and ran into about 100
                COMMON RAVENS. I have observed these birds flying to the SE just as
                the sun is setting, some day maybe I will follow them and find their
                roost, which will be somewhere along the western shoreline of
                Shishmaref Lagoon.

                Ken Stenek
                Shishmaref

                Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
              • Ken Stenek
                What an incredible morning. After a drought of new birds for a couple weeks, southerly winds brought in a plethora of birds. I started while watching ESPN
                Message 7 of 12 , May 17, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  What an incredible morning. After a drought of new birds for a couple
                  weeks, southerly winds brought in a plethora of birds.

                  I started while watching ESPN this morning and heard a bird that
                  wasn't a Snow Bunting. I turned down the TV to make sure that it
                  wasn't a bird in the background captured by a microphone. Sure enough
                  it was something outside and close to my front door. Along the school
                  building I found a GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. Why I didn't take my
                  camera I don't know as it let me get within 10 feet as it foraged
                  through some rubbish.

                  I quickly went inside grabbed my camera and took a little walk I found
                  two RED (TAIGA) FOX SPARROWs, 3 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, a BLACK
                  TURNSTONE, a SHORT-EARED OWL which the moth-like flight pattern caught
                  my attention right away, and a couple WESTERN SANDPIPERS.

                  I went back to the house to check on the family and get my break-up
                  boots and went back out and found a huge number of LAPLAND LONGSPURs
                  (I estimated about 200), a few COMMON REDPOLLS (I had seen some last
                  night as well), 8 GREEN-WINGED TEAL, a COMMON LOON (first I have
                  documented here, identified through a few photos I was able to take),
                  4 DUNLIN with some Western Sandpipers, a CANADA GOOSE, and an
                  unsubstantiated larger thrush species, which I believe was a Varied
                  Thrush.

                  As well a our usual Glaucous Gulls, Common Ravens, and Snow Buntings.

                  Ken Stenek
                  Shishmaref

                  Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                  http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
                • Ken Stenek
                  What an incredible day, 7 new species, 3 of which were the first I have documented here. The weather was warm although it looked like it wanted to rain, but
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 6, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    What an incredible day, 7 new species, 3 of which were the first I
                    have documented here. The weather was warm although it looked like it
                    wanted to rain, but it didn't. I took my 2 month old son out for a
                    walk thinking to look if the Grey-cheek thrushes had arrived. Before
                    I could get to where I wanted to look I found a WILSON'S WARBLER. I
                    quickly ran back to the house and dropped my son off and was able to
                    get some very nice photos of it and a few others (at least 4, which is
                    the most I have ever seen).

                    The GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHes were there as well, at least a pair maybe as
                    many as three. There was also another bird that I am almost positive
                    was a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and am awaiting confirmation as this would
                    be a first that I have ever seen here.

                    Not too long later I found another I am trying to confirm as a OLIVE-
                    SIDED FLYCATCHER sitting on a telephone wire. This is another species
                    I have never documented here.

                    I went towards the beach and chased around another warbler that I
                    thought was an Arctic Warbler but am now convinced that it was an
                    ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, which is another first for me here.

                    My wife picked me up and we went down to the end of the runway so that
                    she could show me a "yellow-bellied" bird (Eastern Yellow Wagtail) and
                    at the same time we were egg hunting. There had been a large hatch of
                    insects. Flying along a creek beside the runway were two BANK
                    SWALLOWS sporting their banker's vests.

                    A hunter also reported an EMPEROR GOOSE as well.

                    Anyone willing on weighing in on confirming the photos are more than
                    welcome, see below.

                    Ken Stenek
                    Shishmaref

                    Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                    http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/

                    Northern Waterthrush


                    Orange-crowned Warbler


                    Olive-sided Flycatcher






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Ken Stenek
                    My wife and I took some of our kids down to the Serpentine River today and didn t see the number of birds that I thought I would see but did confirm a few
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 17, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      My wife and I took some of our kids down to the Serpentine River today
                      and didn't see the number of birds that I thought I would see but did
                      confirm a few female NORTHERN HARRIERs along the river. Pretty breezy
                      today but calmed down later in the evening.

                      One interesting thing we observed was a small shorebird being chased
                      by a pair of Parasitic Jaegers. A few times it used the boat for cover.

                      We saw a few bank swallows but like many people around Anchorage has
                      observed is that I am not seeing the numbers that I saw last year and
                      in some areas where there were colonies of swallows, there are none.

                      Species to report:
                      Yellow-billed Loon
                      Pacific Loon
                      Red-throated Loon
                      Red-necked Grebe
                      Sandhill Crane
                      Tundra Swan
                      Greater White-fronted Goose
                      Greater Scaup
                      Common Eider
                      Black Scoter
                      Long-tailed Duck
                      Bar-tailed Godwit
                      Red-necked Phalarope
                      Western Sandpiper
                      Pomarine Jaeger
                      Parasitic Jaeger
                      Long-tailed Jaeger
                      Glaucous Gull
                      Black-legged Kittiwake
                      Sabine's Gull
                      Arctic Tern
                      NORTHERN HARRIER
                      Short-eared Owl
                      Bank Swallow
                      Common Raven
                      Eastern Yellow Wagtail
                      American Tree Sparrow
                      Lapland Longspur
                      Redpoll sp.

                      Ken Stenek
                      Shishmaref

                      Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                      http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
                    • Ken Stenek
                      Thanks to all who sent me many species to look out for. The majority were for Bristle-thighed Curlew and Upland Sandpiper both would be awesome species to
                      Message 10 of 12 , Aug 19, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Thanks to all who sent me many species to look out for. The majority
                        were for Bristle-thighed Curlew and Upland Sandpiper both would be
                        awesome species to document here. Jason Rogers sent me a recording
                        that is just about what I heard of a Bristle-thigh that he recorded
                        showing loud and clear the tee-oo-weet (Jason's mnemonic that I like
                        better than the one I presented).

                        On further note my family made a dump run last night. There were
                        quite a few Northern Wheatear, Glaucous Gulls a young Herring Gull
                        (maybe 2cy or 3cy) and two Slaty-backed Gulls (one subadult and one
                        adult). I also heard the call of some Eastern Yellow Wagtails and saw
                        some Lapland Longspurs, Western Sandpipers, Dunlin, Red-necked
                        Phalarope, Common Raven, and a nostalgic sighting of a juvenile
                        Pacific Golden Plover.

                        Ken Stenek
                        Shishmaref

                        Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                        http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
                      • Chris Maack
                        Ken, can you explain the 2cy and 3cy abbreviations, please. Chris Maack Anchorage ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        Message 11 of 12 , Aug 19, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Ken, can you explain the 2cy and 3cy abbreviations, please.

                          Chris Maack
                          Anchorage

                          On Aug 19, 2009, at 9:32 AM, Ken Stenek wrote:

                          > Thanks to all who sent me many species to look out for. The majority
                          > were for Bristle-thighed Curlew and Upland Sandpiper both would be
                          > awesome species to document here. Jason Rogers sent me a recording
                          > that is just about what I heard of a Bristle-thigh that he recorded
                          > showing loud and clear the tee-oo-weet (Jason's mnemonic that I like
                          > better than the one I presented).
                          >
                          > On further note my family made a dump run last night. There were
                          > quite a few Northern Wheatear, Glaucous Gulls a young Herring Gull
                          > (maybe 2cy or 3cy) and two Slaty-backed Gulls (one subadult and one
                          > adult). I also heard the call of some Eastern Yellow Wagtails and saw
                          > some Lapland Longspurs, Western Sandpipers, Dunlin, Red-necked
                          > Phalarope, Common Raven, and a nostalgic sighting of a juvenile
                          > Pacific Golden Plover.
                          >
                          > Ken Stenek
                          > Shishmaref
                          >
                          > Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                          > http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
                          >
                          >
                          >



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Chris Maack
                          Thanks to all who responded to the gull cycle question. It s challenging to stay - get - up-to-date with gulls. Chris Maack Anchorage ... [Non-text portions
                          Message 12 of 12 , Aug 19, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Thanks to all who responded to the gull cycle question. It's
                            challenging to stay - get - up-to-date with gulls.

                            Chris Maack
                            Anchorage

                            On Aug 19, 2009, at 3:18 PM, tsuru8@... wrote:

                            > Year - like in second year bird, I believe you could call it second
                            > year molt in lieu of cycle however current convention is cycle. I
                            > grew up just calling them second year birds for the last 40 years
                            > but recently the lingo has seemed to have changed with some feeling
                            > the term cycle would be more descriptive.
                            >
                            > Monte
                            > Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
                            >
                            >
                            > From: Chris Maack
                            > Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 14:13:18 -0700
                            > To: <tsuru8@...>
                            > Subject: Re: [AK Birding] Shishmaref Report
                            >
                            > Thanks, Monte. Now - what's a cycle? A molt?
                            >
                            > Chris Maack
                            > Anchorage
                            >
                            > On Aug 19, 2009, at 2:54 PM, tsuru8@... wrote:
                            >
                            >> Second cycle and third cycle respectively
                            >>
                            >> For aging gulls
                            >>
                            >> Monte Taylor
                            >> Orange Cty, CA
                            >> Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> From: Chris Maack
                            >> Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:51:30 -0700
                            >> To: Ken Stenek<kstenek@...>
                            >> Subject: Re: [AK Birding] Shishmaref Report
                            >>
                            >> Ken, can you explain the 2cy and 3cy abbreviations, please.
                            >>
                            >> Chris Maack
                            >> Anchorage
                            >>
                            >> On Aug 19, 2009, at 9:32 AM, Ken Stenek wrote:
                            >>
                            >> > Thanks to all who sent me many species to look out for. The
                            >> majority
                            >> > were for Bristle-thighed Curlew and Upland Sandpiper both would be
                            >> > awesome species to document here. Jason Rogers sent me a recording
                            >> > that is just about what I heard of a Bristle-thigh that he recorded
                            >> > showing loud and clear the tee-oo-weet (Jason's mnemonic that I
                            >> like
                            >> > better than the one I presented).
                            >> >
                            >> > On further note my family made a dump run last night. There were
                            >> > quite a few Northern Wheatear, Glaucous Gulls a young Herring Gull
                            >> > (maybe 2cy or 3cy) and two Slaty-backed Gulls (one subadult and one
                            >> > adult). I also heard the call of some Eastern Yellow Wagtails and
                            >> saw
                            >> > some Lapland Longspurs, Western Sandpipers, Dunlin, Red-necked
                            >> > Phalarope, Common Raven, and a nostalgic sighting of a juvenile
                            >> > Pacific Golden Plover.
                            >> >
                            >> > Ken Stenek
                            >> > Shishmaref
                            >> >
                            >> > Check out my new "Birds of Shishmaref" page at:
                            >> > http://shishmaref.bssd.org/birdsofshishmaref/
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >> >
                            >>
                            >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.