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Late October in Unalaska

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  • suzigolodoff
    October 24-30, 2012 During this last week of October increasing numbers of Emperor Geese and seaducks are arriving in Unalaska Bay, and the lakes are holding
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1 12:19 PM
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      October 24-30, 2012

      During this last week of October increasing numbers of Emperor Geese and seaducks are arriving in Unalaska Bay, and the lakes are holding larger flocks of wintering freshwater ducks. There must be 500 to 600 Emperor Geese in the area now with more flocks arriving on these northerlies. While birding with Andy Bankert on October 26th, we estimated roughly one in twelve juveniles among the adult geese we counted.

      During the past week of birding along the road system ( excluding Captain's Bay) and hiking out past No Name Cove, an estimated count of what's in the area follows:

      Emperor Goose 500-600
      American Wigeon 1
      Mallard 8
      Northern Pintail 6
      Green-winged Teal 60
      Greater Scaup 90
      Harlequin Duck 400
      Black Scoter 200
      Bufflehead 21
      Common Goldeneye 6
      Common Merganser 9
      Red-breasted Merganser 40
      Common Loon 3
      Horned Grebe 1
      Double-crested Cormorant 30
      Pelagic Cormorant 100
      Herring Gull 1
      Black-legged Kittiwake 1,000+
      Glaucous-winged Gull 1,000+
      Mew Gull 20
      Pigeon Guillemot 50
      Pacfic Wren 4
      Redpoll 15
      Song Sparrow 8
      Gray-crowned Rosy Finch 50

      On October 27th, Roberta Lekanoff reported a single Merlin on Amaknak ( Dutch Harbor side) and on October 28th, Lynda Lybeck Robinson reported a single Cackling Goose among a flock of Emperor Geese in Captain's Bay past OSI. The American Wigeon was my first fall record of this bird; previously only seen during the winter. The Eurasian Wigeon is our more frequent visitor.

      Snowing and blowing NW with gusts to fifty. Perfect weather for birding Captain's Bay!

      I'll keep you posted!

    • Suzi Golodoff
      Dear friends and birders, October 31, 2013 This spell of good weather had me scaring up birds today ( Happy Halloween ). Took a look at all the lakes, drove
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 31, 2013
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        Dear friends and birders,

        October 31, 2013

        This spell of good weather had me scaring up birds today ( Happy Halloween ).  Took a look at all the lakes, drove over the back pass road ( snow at the top now) and scouted the coast lines around Unalaska Bay.

        Some first arrivals!  

        First of winter Buffleheads, on both Unalaska and Summer Bay Lake.  Greater Scaup numbers are rapidly increasing, so its time to watch for Tufted Ducks again.  The bays are finally filling with seaducks, Black Scoters and White-winged Scoters and more Emperors every day, most of them along the reef in front of town.  Among the Harlequins last week a single Northern Shoveler.

        Increasing numbers of Common Loons, and this afternoon three Pacific Loons, the first to come through this fall.  Seeing more Horned and Red-necked Grebes now, too.  Good cormorant watching lately, seeing Red-faced, Pelagic and Double-crested just offshore along the Summer Bay road and on the big rocks.  I watched a Double-crested and a Pelagic squabble over a big sculpin until their ruckus caught the attention of a Bald Eagle.  Then they both had to let it go. 

        Bobbie Lekanoff photographed what looked like a single Dunlin at the head of Captain's Bay, which caused us excitement after a very slow fall for shorebirds.  We had so much rain last week a Wilson's Snipe was seen pulling worms in a downtown yard, hanging out with Gray-crowned Rosy Finches.  This week I saw two Peregrine Falcons and had a report of a Short-eared Owl at Nateekin Bay.

        Just for the heck of it, here's a list of what's been seen in the area this week, including all the 'regulars':

        Emperor Goose
        Northern Shoveler
        Green-winged Teal
        Greater Scaup
        White-winged Scoter
        Black Scoter
        Common Merganser
        Red-breasted Merganser
        Rock Ptarmigan
        Pacific Loon
        Common Loon
        Horned Grebe
        Red-necked Grebe
        Double-crested Cormorant
        Red-faced Cormorant
        Pelagic Cormorant
        Bald Eagle
        Peregrine Falcon
        Black Oystercatcher
        Rock Sandpiper
        Wilson's Snipe
        Mew Gull
        Glaucous-winged Gull
        Herring Gull
        Black-legged Kittiwake
        Common Murre
        Pigeon Guillemot
        Belted Kingfisher
        Northern Shrike
        Common Raven
        Pacific Wren
        American Dipper
        Song Sparrow
        Dark-eyed Junco
        Snow Bunting
        Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
        Common Redpoll


        Suzi Golodoff
        Aleutian Birding and Natural History
        P.O. Box 11
        Unalaska, Alaska 99685
        (907) 581-1359
        (907) 391-2345

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