Go West, Young Travis

Travis has been on a big year for only 92 days and Saturday he picked up his 400th life bird, BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, on St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands. Travis is birding with hotshot birders Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette, Cameron Cox, and Tom Johnson, the last of whom ferried Travis out to the island over the weekend (Thanks Tom!).

Doug Gochfeld (left), Scott Schuette (center) and Cameron Cox (right) in front of the town of St. Paul, Pribilof Island (© Tom Johnson)

Doug Gochfeld (left), Scott Schuette (center) and Cameron Cox (right) in front of the town of St. Paul, Pribilof Island (© Tom Johnson)

St. Paul Island is a special place for birders as it represents one of the westernmost birding destinations in the ABA area (500 miles east of Siberia; 300 miles west of the coast of Alaska) and is therefore an excellent place to pick up seabirds and Asiatic strays for an ABA life list.

Tom reports that this ARCTIC LOON (Travis’s life bird #394) has been causing a bit of excitement among the Pribilof birders…

Arctic Loon

Arctic Loon (© Tom Johnson)

…and the Alcid show has been spectacular as expected: THICK-BILLED MURRES (#404) along with PARAKEET (#405), LEAST (#406), and CRESTED (#407) AUKLETS and both HORNED (#408) and TUFTED (#409) PUFFINS. Travis enjoyed great views of 2 SLATY-BACKED GULLS (#415) yesterday and finished off his day of lifers with a continuing, and very beautiful, adult male SNOWY OWL (#416).

Crested Auklet photo

Crested Auklet – one of the stars of the mid-Summer show in the Pribilof islands (© Tom Johnson)

Travis will continue birding with the Pribilof crew until Wednesday when he either heads back to the Lower 48 with Tom, or takes a detour into the Alaskan interior. Follow us on Twitter for updates on Travis’s movements (http://twitter.com/LeicaBirding).  In the meantime, Tom shared some photos with us from Travis’s recent exploits. Expect to hear more from the entire Pribilof crew over the next few days; here’s hoping for a storm to bring in some real MEGAS!!

Doug Gochfeld getting Travis the Traveling Trinovid his 416th lifer, Snowy Owl, on St. Paul Island (© Tom Johnson)

Doug Gochfeld getting Travis the Traveling Trinovid his 416th lifer, Snowy Owl, on St. Paul Island (© Tom Johnson)

Want to know what Travis has seen on this trip? All eBird checklists are accessible from the link on the sidebar. Here are the links to his eBird checklists from this trip:
Anchorage, July 6, 2013 with Tom Johnson, Richard Crossley and Tiffany Kersten
St Paul Island, July 6, 2013 with Tom Johnson, Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette and Cameron Cox
St Paul Island, July 7, 2013 with Tom Johnson, Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette and Cameron Cox