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#ABArare – Middendorff’s Grasshopper-Warbler – Alaska

The crew at St. Paul — Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette, Gavin Bieber, plus two visiting birders — has another contribution for #ABArare. This time it’s a Middendorff’s Grasshopper-Warbler (Code 4), found on Sep 17. They were walking through a patch of wild celery when the bird flushed close to Gochfeld. He and Bieber saw it well in flight. All of them eventually saw it for several minutes from point-blank range while it was on the ground. Gochfeld was able to get some great photos, especially considering this species’s reputation as a skulker. 

Video still by Doug Gochfeld

Video still by Doug Gochfeld

ABArare Middendorff's skulking 01

ABArare Middendorff's flight away 01

ABArare Middendorff's flight 02photos by Doug Gochfeld

This is the second record for Middendorff’s Grasshopper-Warbler for the Pribilofs. The first was seen on July 11, 1984. There are fewer than 20 records for the entire ABA Area.

The warbler wasn’t the only bird of interest on the island. Also present were the following Code 3 species: Lesser Sand-Plover, Red-necked Stint, Common Snipe, and several Slaty-backed Gulls, Red-throated Pipits and Bramblings. Of great interest to those who keep a St. Paul list, there was also a Warbling Vireo (fourth record for the Pribilofs) and American Tree Sparrow (eighth record for the Pribilofs).