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Gambell: COMMON HOUSE-MARTIN, Barrow's, Tufted, eider bonanza

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  • Paul Lehman
    On Friday here at Gambell a swallow was seen briefly by three separate sub-parties and variably identified as a Tree Swallow or as a Common House-Martin. The
    Message 1 of 157 , May 31, 2010
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      On Friday here at Gambell a swallow was seen briefly by three separate
      sub-parties and variably identified as a Tree Swallow or as a Common
      House-Martin. The bird was seen briefly again on Saturday--definitely as
      a House-Martin--and then also briefly by me, but only as a Tree
      Swallow/House-Martin (could not see the rump area!). And that was that!
      Frustrating for most birders present. The male Rustic Bunting was seen
      well by all on Monday (today), or should I say "a" male Rustic, as it
      had been a number of days since it had been seen previously, so not
      positive if a new or continuing bird. The rarest bird here lately was
      actually the female Barrow's Goldeneye seen by just a few folks on two
      occasions today below "the culvert" (and missed by yours truly--boo
      hoo!), but well photographed, establishing the FIRST island record and
      first for the offshore northern/central Bering Sea! Almost as a rare was
      the male Tufted Duck which flew by the seawatch on Sunday; this species
      is surprisingly casual in the northern Bering Sea region. A spectacular
      concentration of eiders in an embayment just south of town on Sunday
      totaled almost 2000 King and 150+ Spectacled Eiders--by far record high
      one-day counts for both species here in spring. The first couple Arctic
      Loons of the season have now passed the point; Dovekies have returned to
      the mountainside, with up to 7 birds present so far; the number of Ruffs
      increased to three on Sunday; a pair of Common Ringed Plovers were
      courting today; a couple Eurasian Wigeon, three more Bluethoats, and
      eight more Wheatears have appeared; and there are now three pairs of
      White Wagtails. Weather has been clear with continuing north and
      northeast winds.....we are hoping for a positive change on that score on
      Thursday and Friday....

      --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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