Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gambell - I

Up at 3:50am for our early morning flight to Nome and Gambell. Grabbed a Danish and a cup of coffee on the way out the door to the airport courtesy van. At the airport met Lisa, Aaron, and David who gave us the lowdown on our flying arrangements. Our Alaska Airlines flight was on time and we arrived in Nome ahead of schedule. After reshuffling the baggage between what went on to Gambell and what stayed in Nome, we boarded our Bering Airlines flight and forty minutes later we were in Gambell. Bob and James met us and we exchanged places with the earlier tour group which was leaving the island. We walked back to our house/home for the next five days and got situated in our “room” a space which Joyce and I will share with John and Nancy Spahr. Our spaces are separated by a blanket a la “It Happened One Night.” We had lunch and headed out into the field where we almost immediately found two White Wagtails. A bit later we stumbled onto a Pacific Golden Plover (photo). Then a message came in over the two-way radio that the male Rustic Bunting was being seen nearby in the boneyard. We rushed over but no one was there who could have sent the message, a mystery to this moment. The strangeness gave way to elation as the bunting popped into view for everyone. Then news of a Red-necked Stint at the south end of Troutman Lake came in. That generated a discussion of what to do, how to get there if we went, the lateness of the hour, etc. On top of that additional news came that there was a Lesser Sand-Plover. That clinched it! We asked Bob to find an ATV that could get those that wanted to go to the bird’s location. He arranged to have Gloria bring an ATV with a cart that could take six. Off we went. When we arrived, the WINGs group was looking at the sand-plover and we too got to study it. Jon Dunn mentioned that there was a pair of Common Ringed-Plovers that hung out in the area. Shortly after briefly watching a Rock Sandpiper, Paul Lehman called that the birds were in sight. We raced over and got great looks at the birds (photo). That bird was bird #600 for the year. We rode back to the house in high spirits where we enjoyed an enchilada supper with cheesecake dessert. Several local ivory carvers brought their wares by the house for viewing and sold a couple of pieces. After a seawatch, I decided it had been a long enough day and hit the hay. The five new birds brings the count to an even 600.


  1. Good to have you back on the web! We Bob stalkers were getting antsy. Congrats on 600. What an incredible year you are having. Am enjoying the ride vicariously!! Renee

  2. WOW, what a day, I'm saving my $$ for a trip! It's June 8th and I can't wait to see all the other birds you found--get with it!!! Hey to Joyce, John and Nancy over & out, Audrey

  3. Hey Bob,

    Congrates on 600! Very impressive! Big milestone.

    Tim Barry

  4. Congrats on 600. Wish I were there as well.

  5. Hey 600! And it is only June. Enjoy the rest of the trip. And stay upright.