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Shishmaref Meanderings

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  • Ken Stenek
    Took my family towards the mouth of the Serpentine River for a sliding trip along the coast line. Saw two SANDHILL CRANES as we arrived at the little creek
    Message 1 of 27 , May 5 11:37 PM
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      Took my family towards the mouth of the Serpentine River for a sliding trip along the coast line. Saw two SANDHILL CRANES as we arrived at the little creek valley that we always go into. Saw plenty of sign of ptarmigan (or as my 3 year old calls them ptargiman) but personally didn't see any but my brother-in-law said he saw one.

      Saw there foxes and on the way home saw two cranes on the ground and a flock of 9, later on saw a flock of 8. So at least 11 cranes quite probably many more.

      Ken Stenek
      Shishmaref Science Teacher
      Site Activities Director
      (907) 649-3021 Phone
      (907) 649-3031 Fax

      Shishmaref School
      "Where Northern Lights Shine Bright"
    • Ken Stenek
      Went to pick up my brother-in-law yesterday along the coastline. Saw WILLOW PTARMIGAN on the way up. When we turned around there was a flock of 8 SANDHILL
      Message 2 of 27 , May 15 12:29 AM
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        Went to pick up my brother-in-law yesterday along the coastline. Saw WILLOW PTARMIGAN on the way up. When we turned around there was a flock of 8 SANDHILL CRANES and 3 others following shortly after. There was a GLAUCOUS GULL flying back towards Shishmaref and on the way home a pair flying back to the mouth of Serpentine River. When I picked up my wife's brother there was a passerine flying around in the willows. A lone female NORTHERN WHEATEAR. It had dropped whatever it had picked up in the willows on the snow and it was almost comical as it chased its query as it rolled back into the willows. A former student reported shooting at a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE usually one of the first water fowl to arrive.

        Saw another NORTHERN WHEATEAR in town later last night and tonight I saw three flying around near the cemetary.

        I am sure migratory birds are out of sorts this year. There is so much snow still on the ground. Normally I would have 15 or more different species but this year only 7 species.

        Ken Stenek
        Shishmaref Science Teacher
        Site Activities Director
        (907) 649-3021 Phone
        (907) 649-3031 Fax

        Shishmaref School
        "Where Northern Lights Shine Bright"
      • Ken Stenek
        Yesterday morning brought warmer southerly winds and a number of passerines that blew in with the wind. All FOS yesterday were: 20 NORTHERN PINTAIL 2 BLACK
        Message 3 of 27 , May 17 9:18 AM
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          Yesterday morning brought warmer southerly winds and a number of passerines that blew in with the wind. All FOS yesterday were:
          20 NORTHERN PINTAIL
          2 BLACK TURNSTONE
          2 VARIED THRUSH
          WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
          AMERICAN TREE SPARROW
          DARK-EYED JUNCO
          SAVANNAH SPARROW (many)
          FOX SPARROW
          COMMON REDPOLL

          Continued sightings of about 300 GLAUCOUS GULLs, COMMON RAVENS, NORTHERN WHEATEAR, SNOW BUNTINGS. My wife and I found an active Common Raven nest at the "light house" a Coast Guard beacon on the East end of the island. Ravens have used this site in the past but its been a few years. They did not stray far from the nest as we neared with our snow machine.

          Ken Stenek
          Shishmaref Science Teacher
          Site Activities Director
          (907) 649-3021 Phone
          (907) 649-3031 Fax

          Shishmaref School
          "Where Northern Lights Shine Bright"
        • Ken Stenek
          I have been moving into a new house here in Shishmaref so my opportunities to bird have been fewer, although my new house allows me a great view of birding
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 5, 2012
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            I have been moving into a new house here in Shishmaref so my opportunities to bird have been fewer, although my new house allows me a great view of birding habitat great for observing shorebirds and waterfowl.  Here is a list of birds I have documented in the past week.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

            Pacific Loon
            Red-throated Loon
            Sandhill Crane
            Canada Goose
            Brant
            Snow Goose (a flock of about 70 flew over town while installing my satellite dish)
            Mallard
            Northern Pintail
            Green-winged Teal
            Common Eider
            Long-tailed Duck
            Red-breasted Merganser
            Semipalmated Plover
            Black-bellied Plover
            Pacific Golden Plover
            Red-necked Phalarope
            Red Phalarope (several pairs have been observed, saw none last year)
            Long-billed Dowitcher
            Wilson's Snipe
            Rudy Turnstone
            Dunlin
            Semipalmated Sandpiper
            Western Sandpiper
            Pectoral Sandpiper (decreasing numbers)
            Parasitic Jaeger
            Herring Gull
            Glaucous Gull
            Black-legged Kittiwake
            Arctic Tern
            Common Raven
            Northern Wheatear (after quite a few around May 14-20th one last one was seen Friday)
            Eastern Yellow Wagtail
            Wilson's Warbler (seen and photographed by a local resident Sharon Nayokpuk, this is about the 4th or 5th I have documented here)
            Savannah Sparrow
            White-crowned Sparrow (many males singing in town, one constantly outside my door)
            Lapland Longspur
            Snow Bunting
            Common Redpoll
            Hoary Redpoll

            Also a large drooping-billed shorebird which I couldn't positively ID as a Whimbrel or Bristle-thigh), and a raptor that had the shorebirds in a frenzy along the lagoon edge south of my new house.

            My goal once again is at least 80 species, I am currently up to 49.

            Ken Stenek
            Shishmaref

            Check out my new Facebook page
            "Birds of Shishmaref"
            Just hit "like" to receive postings on what I am seeing in and around Shishmaref.



          • Ken Stenek
            Today (Sunday) I spotted a pair of Bar-tailed Godwits on the island. I don t often see them on this island in general but fairly common up and down the coast.
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 11, 2012
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              Today (Sunday) I spotted a pair of Bar-tailed Godwits on the island. I don't often see them on this island in general but fairly common up and down the coast. Shorebirds have diminished to the main breeders Dunlin, Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers as well as the usual passerines a few White-crowned Sparrows, many Savannah Sparrows, Eastern Yellow Wagtails, Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspur, and both species of Redpolls. Many sightings of Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, Common Eiders, Brant, and Greater White-fronted Geese.

              This evening my brother-in-law and I went to Egg Island just to the Southeast of the main island (about a mile) crossing over ice on foot and scow. Many Black Turnstones, Glaucous Gulls, Arctic Terns and other various shorebirds. It got hard to identify birds as the fog rolled in.

              Ken Stenek
              Shishmaref Science Teacher
              Site Activities Director
              (907) 649-3021 Phone
              (907) 649-3031 Fax

              Shishmaref School
              "Where Northern Lights Shine Bright"
            • Ken Stenek
              This afternoon I took a quick break from washing my dishes and noticed a passerine under our neighbor’s house. I grabbed my binoculars and saw a light eyed,
              Message 6 of 27 , Apr 27
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                This afternoon I took a quick break from washing my dishes and noticed a passerine under our neighbor’s house.  I grabbed my binoculars and saw a light eyed, streaked breast of a female RUSTY BLACKBIRD.  I have seen several males over the years here but this was the first female I have seen.  Still very early for even the early migrants, which I expect two weeks from now.

                While ice fishing there were a few GLAUCOUS GULLS and ever-present COMMON RAVENS flying around.  Also seen were some SNOW BUNTINGS.

                Ken Stenek
                Shishmaref School
                Site Activities Coordinator
                (907) 649-3021

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