Jack Snipe has proved to be regular, possibly even annual at St. Paul Island in the fall. Photo Aaron Lang.
For years the Pribilofs have been known for high Asian vagrant potential during spring migration, but more recently the island’s autumn potential for producing rarities has been explored and the results are exciting. In 2015 we offered our first trip to the island in fall and the results were nearly staggering! You can read about that trip here. We returned in 2016 for another great trip. That adventure is written up here. Many of the resident species will still be around the island in September, including Red-legged Kittiwake and Red-faced Cormorant, however, on this tour we’ll focus much of our energy on searching for wayward migrants. The island is rich with habitat and we’ll spend most of our time beating the bushes (or walking the wild celery as the case may be) attempting to tease out a rarity or two. In addition, sea watching in the fall can be quite productive and we’ll likely spend many hours with our scopes trained on the horizon hoping for Mottled Petrel and other rarities.
Fall migration is much more protracted than in the spring, and like most places where we’re focused on finding migrants and vagrants, weather and just plain luck play major roles in our success. While the list of possibilities is a long one, any one trip to the island may only produce one to a few ‘rarities.’ A few highlights from recent fall seasons on St. Paul include: White-tailed Eagle, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Fork-tailed Swift, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Middendorf’s Grasshopper-Warbler, Taiga, Gray-streaked, Asian Brown, and Dark-sided Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Rufous-tailed Robin, Red-flanked Bluetail, Eyebrowed Thrush, Siberian Accentor, Pine Bunting, Rustic Bunting, Brambling, Eurasian Bullfinch, and Hawfinch.
The price includes round trip flight from Anchorage to St. Paul Island; lodging and meals on the island; and guiding and transportation on the island. Price is based on double occupancy. Single supplements may be available for $75 per night (plus tax). You are responsible for your Anchorage lodging, meals and other Anchorage arrangements. The trip begins and ends at the Anchorage airport. The flight on Day 1 departs Anchorage approximately noon, and the return flight arrives back in Anchorage approximately 8:15 PM on the last day.