Gambell fall summary, 22 Aug - 1 Oct 2013
- Here's a relatively brief summary of the Fall of 2013 at Gambell, mostly
22 Aug - 1 Oct, when I was there.
Baikal Teal: 1 (31 Aug-2 Sep; first Gambell record)
Common Snipe: 1 (14 Sep)
Horned Lark: 4 (flava; 8-9 Sep)
Lanceolated Warbler: 1 (24 Sep; first Gambell record; first record of
a fall migrant in AK)
Siberian Chiffchaff: 1 (22-23 Sep; second or third Gambell and North
Willow Warbler: 2 (28 Aug, 29 Aug; brings fall total at Gambell to
Dusky Warbler: 1 (22 Aug; brings fall total at Gambell to 22 birds)
Yellow-browed Warbler: 1 (8-10 Sep; fourth Gambell record, all in fall)
Red-flanked Bluetail: 23 Sep (second Gambell record, both in fall)
Siberian Stonechat: 1 (10 Sep; fourth or fifth fall record at
Gambell; slightly more spring records)
Siberian Accentor: 3 (8 Sep, 8-9 Sep, 26 Sep; brings fall total at
Gambell to 19 birds)
Pechora Pipit: 1 (20 Sep; brings fall total at Gambell to 18 birds)
Little Bunting: 1 (16 Aug; record early bird anywhere in AK; brings
fall total at Gambell to 24 birds; only one spring record)
NORTH AMERICAN MAINLAND STRAYS
Definitely well below average for this group, with just two species of
wood-warblers (3 Orange-crowned, 1 Yellow) and average to below-average
numbers of various sparrows (with best being 1 Lincoln's [11th fall
record], 5 more Chippings [brings fall total to surprising 29 birds],
and 1 Dark-eyed Junco). Best bird was 'only' a Warbling Vireo (1 Oct;
6th Gambell record, all in fall); otherwise 1 Hermit Thrush....
Overall average to slightly below average for a number of species, but a
good year for Sharp-tailed (98) and Pectoral (485) Sandpipers. Rare
species included single Common Ringed Plover, Lesser Sand-Plover,
Red-necked Stint, Gray-tailed Tattler (low), and hudsonicus Whimbrel.
A good year for Emperor Goose, Kittlitz's Murrelet; but below average to
poor for Steller's Eider, Harlequin Duck, puddle ducks, all three
jaegers, Yellow-billed and Arctic Loons, Ancient Murrelet, and probably
Black-legged Kittiwake. I departed too early to say anything definitive
about eiders. Best seabirds/waterbirds were an early juvenile Ross's
Gull (29 Sep), Cackling Goose (first autumn record), Black Guillemot,
smithsonianus Herring Gull, and 2 Thayer's Gulls. Average number of
Slaty-backed Gulls (15). Nesting late-season alcid numbers seemed about
on par with recent years.
TRANS-BERINGIAN LANDBIRD MIGRANTS
Average to above-average year for White Wagtail (9), Red-throated Pipit
(24), Northern Wheatear (93), and Arctic Warbler (48); far above average
for japonicus [Siberian] American Pipit (38); but below average for
Bluethroat (8), Gray-cheeked Thrush (7), and Eastern Yellow Wagtail (38).
Six McKay's Buntings were pretty good, it was a record local season for
Snowy Owls, and the three Gyrfalcons included two returning white birds.
Thanks to all the other observers this year, including especially
Clarence Irrigoo, Aaron Lang, and James Huntington.
- Following my departure on the 12th, Gambell resident photographers
Clarence Irrigoo and Sue Bryer have been scoring big-time. Sue photo'd a
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER on the 14th, the 8th and by far the latest fall
record (also 1 spring record). On the 15th, Clarence saw and photo'd the
continuing first North American RED-BACKED SHRIKE (and which continues
on the 16th), as well as a casual RUSTY BLACKBIRD (4th fall record),
rare and late RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, a late PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER, and a
casual-in-fall (and likely quite late) CACKLING GOOSE; and Sue photo'd a
new, scarce-and-late GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW. And on the 16th, Clarence
photo'd a casual WOOD WARBLER, the third Gambell record, and second this
fall; there are only about a dozen records for AK and the U.S., and this
is likely the latest (though not by much). He also photo'd an
OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT, very rare to casual, and late. Not a bad haul!
Photos of all these species have been included in the appropriate e-Bird
lists for the three days.