• This Common Chiffchaff was the passerine highlight of the spring. It showed very well for our second group and is only the 7th North American record (six of them are from Gambell)!
  • It was a great year for Red-necked Stints at Gambell. At least five were present during our stay!
  • This Asian Barn Swallow was spent several days playing hide-and-seek in Old Town.
  • This Eye-browed Thrush spent several days along the mountainside and showed well for both of our groups.
  • This White-tailed Eagle flew right over our group, landed in sight, and stayed long enough for great scope views for everyone!
  • Three different Common Sandpipers were present during our two tours.
  • This Eye-browed Thrush spent several days along the mountainside and showed well for both of our groups.
  • This Common Ringed-Plover is identified by it's bold white supercillium, lack of eye-ring, and blackish rear auriculars. It's also slightly larger than a Semipalmated Plover and has a more prominent wing stripe.
  • Semipalmated Plovers nest at Gambell, providing a great comparison if Common Ringed Plovers are around. Note the bold eyering, brownish rear auriculars, and lack of a white supercillium.
  • Long-billed Dowitchers are common migrants at Gambell.
  • An accommodating Terek Sandpiper made up the welcoming party for our first group.
  • This Townsend's Solitaire was perhaps the rarest bird of the spring at Gambell. Our group found this vagrant from mainland Alaska along the side of Sivuqaq Mountain. It is just the second ever for the island!
  • White Wagtails nest at Gambell. While generally flighty, with patience and a bit of luck you can manage excellent views of this classy bird.
  • Wood Sandpiper in the Corner Marsh, near town.
  • Wood Sandpipers are somewhat regular migrants at Gambell, but are not seen every year. Our first Gambell group saw several.
  • This Lesser Sand Plover dropped in just a few hours before our group arrived, but unfortunately didn't stay long enough to show for our group. Such is birding.

Birders head to Gambell, Alaska during migration with dreams of hitting the migration jackpot. At just 45 miles from the Russian coast those dreams almost always include visions of migrants and strays from Asia. This year, both of our spring birding tours to Gambell on St. Lawrence Island were rich in rarities, good weather, and great birding! Birding highlights included: Spectacled Eider and Steller’s Eider, Arctic Loon, White-tailed Eagle, Common Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Common Ringed Plover, Slaty-backed Gull, Dovekie, Eye-browed Thrush, and Common Chiffchaff!

Photos by Aaron Lang, tour leader. Click on any photo for captions. Information on our 2017 tours to St. Lawrence Island can be found here.