New from St. Paul, and worth a standalone post of its own, is an ABA Code 5 Wood Warbler found and photographed on the island by the St. Paul Tours/TDX group. The species was mentioned in an earlier post as one was found only a couple days ago on Adak, in the central Aleautians. This St. Paul bird was seen by all birders on the island, it’s the 5th ABA record for the species and the 2nd for the Pribilofs.
As mentioned yesterday, Wood Warbler only breeds no closer to North America than central Russia, a full 2500 miles west of even Attu. It’s been recorded on the continent only 4 times previously, twice on Shemya Island (1978, 2010), once before in the Pribilofs (2004), and just a couple days ago on Adak.
This has been nothing short of an epic fall for Phylloscopus leaf warblers in western Alaska, with 6 of the 8 Phylloscopus species on the ABA checklist already accounted for in the last month. The only remaining holdouts are Pallas’s Leaf Warbler, with only one record (from St. Lawrence), and Kamchatka Leaf Warbler, recently split from Arctic Warbler, potentially very difficult if not impossible to identify in the field, and whose status in North America is still unclear. But hey, with this kind of run, why not?
I’ll warn you right off the bat, there will be a number of Alaska posts coming one right after another. It’s just that things have been really hot there in the last few days, and the late September push looks to be in full effect all across the western part of the state, from the Aleutians all the way up to Gambell, and in between.
It’s been an exceptional year for Phylloscopus leaf warblers in western Alaska, and we’ll cover three notable records in this post.
We’ll start in the Pribilofs, where the birding has been very good on St Paul Island of late. We’ve recently highlighted the Red-flanked Bluetail and the Taiga Flycatcher (and there looks to be a second one, as well), both of which are still hanging around, not to mention high numbers of expected Asian strays like Brambling and Olive-backed Pipit. The most recent big find was a ABA Code 4 Dusky Warbler, discovered and well-photographed by the St. Paul Tours/TDX crew yesterday evening.
Dusky Warbler is another of the Eurasian Phylloscopus warblers, breeding primarily in east Asia and wintering in southeast Asia. There are a number of records from western Alaska, including one on Middleton Island on the southeast Alaskan coast, and this is the 3rd for the Pribilofs. In addition to the Alaska records there are 9 records from California, the most recent in 2008.
Next up, we move to the Aleutians, where we’ve heard little from this fall, but where the rarest of the Phylloscopus warblers turned up. Frank and Barb Haas on Adak Island found and photographed an ABA Code 5 Wood Warbler yesterday (9/19).
Photo by Frank Haas, used with permission
Wood Warbler only breeds no closer to North America than central Russia, a full 2500 miles west of even Attu. It’s been recorded on the continent only 3 times previously, twice on Shemya Island (1978, 2010), and once in the Pribilofs (2004).
The third notable Phylloscopus is most notable in that it wasn’t in western Alaska. Middleton Island is in the Gulf of Alaska, 80 miles off the coast from Cordova and southeast of Anchorage. A researcher collected a Code 4 Yellow-browed Warbler, the second in Alaska this fall and the first in the state away from the western Alaskan islands. Notably, the only other Yellow-browed Warbler in the ABA Area away from the Bering Sea or the Aleutians, was one seen in Wisconsin in 2006.
Quickly leaping towards the top of incredible ABA Area records this year comes the truly bizarre and amazing report of a Code 3 Berylline Hummingbird, not from Arizona where they are generally encountered, but from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, first seen on September 17. Pending acceptance, this is a first state record for Michigan [read more...]
Scarcely 24 hours after the discovery of a Red-flanked Bluetail (which continues today), the guys on St. Paul Island, Alaska, struck again. This time the bird is a Code 4 Taiga Flycatcher, photographed here by Doug Gochfeld on the side of the entrance road.
Photo by Doug Gochfeld, as usual more photos are available [read more...]
We’ve been spoiled for great birds in the ABA Area of late, but most of them have come from the less accessible parts of the ABA Area. There’s has been some excellent birding in Alaska, and this week is no different, but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned big twitch in the ABA Area, and [read more...]
Birding on Alaska’s Bering Sea Islands continues to be productive, highlighted recently by an ABA Code 4 Red-flanked Bluetail discovered by Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette, and Olaf Danielson at Hutchinson Hill on St. Paul Island.
Photo by Doug Gochfeld, used with permission. Additional photos available on his flickr page
Red-flanked Bluetail is an Old [read more...]
At the Mic: Denis Lepage
Imagine that you are birding along in your favorite patch, like you always do, and suddenly come across one of the most mysterious and sought after bird in the history of North American birding? And what if it was a bird a bird so rare that you didn’t even know [read more...]
For the most part, there isn’t a ton of overlap between professional football and birds, except perhaps those Sundays in fall with the football fan birder has to make a difficult decision on what to focus their energies. That has changed of late, however, with the construction of a massive new stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, [read more...]
There’s no better time to be a birder than fall. The weather is fine, there are good birds all over the place, and the season of festivals and events is right around the corner. We think there’s no better time to be a member of the ABA, too. We’re excited to move into our new [read more...]
Migrating birds have it tough. Not only do that have to traverse thousands of miles in difficult conditions, they also occasionally have gulls picking them off like flies on a window when they cross the Great Lakes, as Amar Ayyash at Anything Larus documented recently.
The assumption here is that the passerines migrate over the [read more...]