RBA St. Paul Island May 24th-30: Grey-tailed Tatt, Yellow Wagt, Dark-eyed Junco
- 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.
Greater White-fronted Goose
Cackling Goose (B. h. leucopareia and minima)
Pacific Golden Plover
Whimbrel (N. variegatus)
Barn Swallow (H. r. erythrogaster)
Eastern Yellow Wagtail (M. simillima)
Fox Sparrow (P. i. unalaschcensis)
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).
SEABIRDS and GULLS
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.
LANDBIRDS and PASSERINES
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.
Green-winged Teal (A. crecca and A. carolinensis)
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@...).