Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Monday, May 31, 2010

At Last an Asian Vagrant

 Today was our last day on St. Paul so we vowed to make the best of it.  We started at a cliff where the views of Red-faced Cormorants are very good (photo).  But there were also nearby Crested Auklets (photo, with a Parakeet Auklet looking on).  A Northern Fulmar sailed by and I captured it (photo).  We took a break from the birds to visit the Russian Orthodox church in the town as well as the museum with interesting artifacts.  After lunch we repacked our stuff and vacated our rooms.  Since there would be a couple of hours before our plane arrived, we went out again with Brian and Stefan to see some Steller's Sea Lions which had just arrived today.  While we were there we decided to look for the Yellow Wagtail which we had briefly encountered on our first day.  We were in an area which would be closed to entry starting tomorrow because of the presence of the Northern Fur Seals.  We had combed the area well when a shout went up that they had the bird.  John and I raced over, but to our surprise it wasn't the wagtail, it was an Eye-browed Thrush (photo), our first Asian vagrant since we had been on St. Paul.  The strong easterly winds had kept any Asian birds from easily reaching the island.  But here it was.  The last bird of the Pribiloffs.  It certainly made our flight back to Anchorage easier to take.  By the way on the plane which arrived to take us away was our old friend Kurt Gaskill, who was doing a little birding while attending a conference in Anchorage.  The thrush raised the list total to 595.  Tomorrow we head to Gambell to try for more Asian strays.

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  1. . . . and another 5 makes SIX HUNDRED!! Wow! Pretty doggone impressive. Have you reset your goal? Your numbers are looking mighty fine! Renee

  2. Crested auklets look like little maniacs.

  3. checking each day . . . you must be past 600 by now! Renee

  4. We're all reading Paul Lehman's posts from Gambell and hoping you're enjoying the same birds. Keep up the great work!