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Report from a Moving Island in the Bering Sea

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  • Aaron Lang
    A few notes on fall migration from a ship in the eastern Bering Sea. In addition to the expected alcids, tubenoses, and larids out here, since leaving Dutch
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2010
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      A few notes on fall migration from a ship in the eastern Bering Sea. In
      addition to the expected alcids, tubenoses, and larids out here, since
      leaving Dutch Harbor on 16 August we've had several notable shorebird and
      passerine migrants flyby or land on board.

      Shorebirds on the move this week include: PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, WANDERING
      TATTLER, Tattler sp., RUDDY TURNSTONE, and a lone BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEW
      that flew by the ship yesterday (8/30) while we were ~90 miles west of Cape
      Newenham. Most shorebirds have come in to check out the ship, done a few
      laps and then left. Several flocks of turnstones have spent over an hour
      with the ship´┐Żdoing laps, but never landing.

      On 30 August good numbers of geese were on the move while we were 90-100
      miles west of Cape Newenham. I estimated that 600-800 in small flocks flew
      by the ship in the morning hours, heading south. Most that came close enough
      to be identify were BRANT. One flock was a group of CACKLING GEESE. A few
      NORTHERN PINTAILS were on the move as well.

      This morning (8/31) a HORNED LARK (ssp*. flava*, the breeding race from
      eastern Russia) landed on board. (We were about half way between Cape
      Newenham and St. Paul Island.) Before the Horned Lark chose its perch I
      watched it fly around the ship for a few minutes with a smaller mystery
      passerine. It was a small sparrow-like jobby, about the size of a Savannah,
      but with a longer tail. That's all I could get on it and unfortunately after
      a few laps around the ship it flew off without landing.

      Another interesting hitchhiker was a GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW which spent two
      days on board (29-30 August). During its two days on board it dabbled in
      piscivory, dining on juvenile Pacific sandlance on the back deck. It was
      gone this morning.

      An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER spent about an hour on the ship on 25 August. I've
      posted a few photos of these birds on
      www.birdingAK.com<http://www.birdingak.com/>.


      Good birding,
      Aaron Lang
      Homer


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