Alaska – 1st June (Day 5)

Alaska – 1st June (Day 5)



The day started fairly still and overcast but gradually brightened to give a gloriously warm and sunny day, not at all what was expected on St.Paul. We spent the entire morning at Reef Cliffs mainly trying to get views of Crested Auklet on the cliff – we had seem them at sea but wanted to enjoy them at closer range.

We also simply wanted to enjoy the seabirds that nest on the cliffs here. Although now familiar, the close range views and general comings and goings of Tufted Puffin, Horned Puffin, Least Auklet, Parakeet Auklet, Brunnich’s Guillemot, Common Guillemot and Black-leggedKittiwake made for an extremely enjoyable few hours.

But the Crested Auklet’s absolutely stole the show, these are amazing looking birds with a wacky crest, piercing white-eyes and a bright fluorescent bill with a ridiculous Bat Man – The Joker grin. We were reluctant to tear ourselves away for lunch.

Alaska – 1st June (Day 5)

Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Crested Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Parakeet Auklet – St Paul Island

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Horned Puffin – St Paul Island

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Horned Puffin – St Paul Island

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Horned Puffin – St Paul Island

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Tufted Puffin – St Paul Island

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island. Most of the birds we saw were pale or intermediate

morph birds but this is a dark morph.

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island

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Brunnich’s Guillemot – St Paul Island

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Brunnich’s Guillemot and Black-legged Kittiwake – St Paul Island

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Northern Wren – St Paul Island

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Northern Wren – St Paul Island

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Red-faced Cormorant – St Paul Island

After lunch we headed back to the accommodation, packed our bags and checked them into our flight before heading back into the field.

We headed to our now familiar Least Auklet colony to the west of the town where we sat amongst the rocks and enjoyed the comings and goings of these fantastic birds.

We were about to leave all these fantastic auks behind and all too soon it was time to head off to our flight which eventually left at 16:30 to Anchorage. A brief stop over on the remote St. George Island produced

Red-legged Kittiwake, Grey-crowned Rosy-finch, Rock Sandpiper and a white Arctic Fox. We eventually landed in Anchorage at around 19:30, checked into Motel 6 and headed out for dinner at the Moose’s Tooth, American style massive pizza with a bustling atmosphere.

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island

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Least Auklet – St Paul Island

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Grey-crowned Rosy-finch, a male in display – St Paul Island

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Grey-crowned Rosy-finch, a male in display – St Paul Island

 

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Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

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Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

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