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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 232 , Oct 6 5:16 PM
      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
      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
      Message 232 of 232 , Oct 16 10:04 PM
        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.

        --Paul Lehman
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