There are few places in North America as storied to birders as Attu, that speck of land closer to Asia than mainland Alaska that has been the first point of contact for an incredible number of Asian strays, many of which are first records for the ABA Area.
In recent years Attu has been increasingly difficult to access, but #ABArare guru John Puschock has been leading trips there – accessing the island by boat – for awhile. And even though there are fewer birders visiting, the birds are still coming in bunches.
John has been writing dispatches for Lister’s Corner, the blog arm of Listing Central, over the last few days chronicling the birds he’s found. We already mentioned the White-throated Needletail here, but on May 31st he hit a bonanza of classic Attuvian magnitude.
At this point, we were starting to get giddy, and we were about to get even more giddy. Moving down onto Alexei, Isaac flushed a Wood Sandpiper from a pond. It flew to the other side, just out of view from the rest of the group. The plan was to walk around to the other side for a view, but there was a distraction we had to deal with first – a neighboring pond held two Smew. As we were admiring them, Isaac radioed that he just flushed another male Siberian Rubythroat. To give you some idea of how things were going, everyone ignored that bird.
It’s an epic read, and a fascinating series that allows those of us who love to live vicariously through birders in amazing places seeing amazing things.