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Gambell fall summary, 22 Aug - 1 Oct 2013

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  • Paul Lehman
    Here s a relatively brief summary of the Fall of 2013 at Gambell, mostly 22 Aug - 1 Oct, when I was there. ASIAN RARITIES Baikal Teal: 1 (31 Aug-2 Sep;
    Message 1 of 157 , Oct 6, 2013
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      Here's a relatively brief summary of the Fall of 2013 at Gambell, mostly
      22 Aug - 1 Oct, when I was there.

      ASIAN RARITIES
      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
      American record)
      Willow Warbler: 2 (28 Aug, 29 Aug; brings fall total at Gambell to
      14 birds)
      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....

      SHOREBIRDS
      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.

      SEABIRDS/WATERBIRDS
      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).

      MISCELLANEA
      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.

      --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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