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Gambell: Dusky Warbler, Ringed and Sand- plovers, storm

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  • Paul Lehman
    Today, 1 September, a DUSKY WARBLER was first spotted by Aaron Lang et al. and then seen (or at least glimpsed) by all assembled in Gambell s far boneyard.
    Message 1 of 159 , Sep 1, 2009
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      Today, 1 September, a DUSKY WARBLER was first spotted by Aaron Lang et
      al. and then seen (or at least glimpsed) by all assembled in Gambell's
      far boneyard. This is the EIGHTEENTH fall record of Dusky here since
      1997. The COMMON ROSEFINCH present also in the far boneyard has now been
      here five days, a record for the species. Also a push of Gray-cheeked
      Thrushes, more Bluethroats, and still 8+ White Wagtails. Shorebirds have
      definitely picked up the past several days, helped by a strong storm
      with south winds and rain that grounded a good number of shorebirds (but
      was basically a bust for landbirds) a couple days ago. Just before the
      storm there was a brief, calling COMMON RINGED PLOVER, my eighth here in
      fall, and the latest by about five days. (A Semipalmated Plover still
      here today is also my latest ever.) Yesterday we had our second juv.
      LESSER SAND-PLOVER of the season, and the storm dropped a fair number of
      SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPERS, with about 20 individuals here the past two
      days; a juv Sanderling (rare, but essentially annual); plus a major
      uptick in the numbers of Pectorals (80+), L-b Dowitchers, and Pacific
      Golden-Plovers. Just before the storm arrived there was a FORK-TAILED
      STORM-PETREL (casual visitor to the northern Bering Sea from the south)
      off the Point. During the storm we had another 7 Sabine's Gulls, Arctic
      Tern, and many hundreds of Red Phalaropes right along the shore.

      Every year at some time during the last few days of August or the first
      few days of September, when the wind shifts to the north after being out
      of some other direction for at least several days, there is always a
      substantial push of Emperor Geese. This year that day was today, and
      within just a couple hours of the wind shift, flocks of geese starting
      flying by, with some 400+ passing during this afternoon. Other
      miscellanea includes another Ancient Murrelet and another "Sooty" Fox
      Sparrow. And the numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters are finally on the
      rise, with some 100,000+ off the Point this afternoon.

      --Paul Lehman
    • Paul Lehman
      After sending out my previous post from Gambell a few days ago, I did manage to find the single juvenile WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL present here the previous
      Message 159 of 159 , Aug 28 7:20 PM
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        After sending out my previous post from Gambell a few days ago, I did
        manage to find the single juvenile WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL present here
        the previous couple weeks, and it was accompanied by a PINE SISKIN (very
        rare visitor from southern mainland AK). More regular (rare but annual
        in small numbers) mainland strays have included at least 3 Sooty Fox
        Sparrows, 1 Golden-crowned Sparrow, and several continuing Savannah
        Sparrows. A wind shift to the north a couple days ago resulted--as
        expected--with the passage of Emperor Geese, with 130 noted; also
        Yellow-billed Loon, and a quick one-morning surge of 80 northbound
        ANCIENT MURRELETS--which are all presumably northbound dispersers from
        the Aleutians. Locally nesting Crested Auklets have exceeded 300,000 per
        day the past several days passing the point, with much smaller numbers
        of Leasts and Parakeets, plus thousands of murres in daily-changing
        ratios. An additional hudsonicus Whimbrel (rare but annual), 3 Sandhill
        Cranes (inexplicably very rare in fall, despite being fairly common here
        in spring), and at least 3 more Slaty-backed Gulls. The first week's
        totals of trans-Beringian landbird migrants are running between average
        and somewhat below average, as follows: 32 Arctic Warblers, 5
        Bluethroats, 39 N. Wheatears, 2 Gray-cheeked Thrushes, 30 Eastern Yellow
        Wagtails, 13 White Wagtails, 7 Red-throated Pipits, and 5 American
        Pipits (including 1 japonicus).

        Temperatures here the first several days sat at a fairly pleasant 52
        degrees (with southerly winds and fog), then dropped to the mid-to-upper
        40s.

        --Paul Lehman
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