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Gambell: Rhino, Warbling, misc.

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  • Paul Lehman
    The last couple days here at Gambell have had rain, drizzle, and fog and mostly ENE winds. Supposed to go back NE/N over the next few days... Best bird here
    Message 1 of 157 , Aug 31, 2008
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      The last couple days here at Gambell have had rain, drizzle, and fog and
      mostly ENE winds. Supposed to go back NE/N over the next few days...

      Best bird here the past several days was certainly the Rhinoceros Auklet
      flying by the point with murres on 8/28. This establishes the first
      record for the northern Bering Sea. The species nests north only to the
      Aleutians and is a very rare but annual visitor to the Pribilofs in the
      southern Bering Sea. There is one record for St. Matthew Island in the
      central Bering. Also well out of range was the Warbling Vireo here on
      8/29, the surprising fifth fall record at Gambell for this species which
      nests no closer than southeast Alaska. Also casual (surprsingly so) in
      the offshore Bering Sea region was the juv. Red Knot on 8/30, only the
      third one I've ever seen here in autumn.

      Other miscellanea the past several days includes a total of 4 Snowy Owls
      (rare this early in the season), 19 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers arriving in
      (being "knocked down" by) yesterday's rain, 2 Ancient Murrelets (a rare
      but annual visitor from the south) right along the beach, 18 more
      Steller's Eiders, 5 Slaty-backed and 2 Sabine's Gulls, and 5 more
      Red-throated Pipits.

      Recent news I've heard from other islands includes a Ruff and
      Buff-breasted Sandpiper at St Paul, and 2 Ruffs at Shemya.

      --Paul Lehman
    • Paul Lehman
      After I departed Gambell on 01 October, Georgia birder Chris Feeney remained for one more week, departing on 08 October. Certainly the best Asian bird he saw
      Message 157 of 157 , Oct 13, 2014
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        After I departed Gambell on 01 October, Georgia birder Chris Feeney
        remained for one more week, departing on 08 October. Certainly the best
        Asian bird he saw during that time was a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER in the
        far boneyard on 07 October. He obtained one photo, which I have posted a
        cropped version to Surfbirds.com (N. American Stop Press section). This
        is the second Yellow-browed at Gambell this fall and 6th overall (all in
        autumn), representing about half the North American records. The
        previously reported RUSTIC BUNTING remained a full week and was last
        seen on 06 Oct; and there was the 'final' BRAMBLING of the season on 07
        Oct. Other highlights of Chris's included an AMERICAN ROBIN (8th fall
        record) on 03 Oct, another YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, the latest-ever
        GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, and a total of about 10 more MCKAY'S BUNTINGS,
        including a single group of 7 birds on 06 Oct associated with a migrant
        'hit' of Snow Buntings (typical at end of Sep or in early Oct). Pomarine
        Jaegers, Short-tailed Shearwaters (up to 200,000), and various late
        groupings of auklets continued to parade by the point, as did many
        hundreds but not thousands of Spectacled Eiders. A couple more
        Red-necked Grebes, a few lingering Pacific Golden-Plovers, and a white
        Gyrfalcon.

        --Paul Lehman
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