I have two spaces remaining for my third and likely final trip to Alaska.
We will visit Gambell on St. Lawrence Island within visible distance of the
Kamchatka peninsula in Russia to experience the amazing seabird spectacular
in which we will see a couple million alcids of a dozen species flying to
and from their feeding grounds. All five loon species, a long list of
shorebirds, all four species of eider, scoters, and a good variety of gulls
and terns are present. We will scan the nearby cliffs fora few dovekie
nesting among the hordes of calling auklets. The potential for Asian strays
among the regular arctic warbler, bluethroat, northern wheatear, both
yellow and white wagtail, and red-throated pipit include cuckoos, pipits,
thrushes, old world warblers and flycatchers, and finches is large. Rustic
Bunting, Brambling, Common Rosefinch, and Hawfinch is just a small sample
of possible species. Some other regular visitors are Emperor Goose, Common
Ringed Plover, Common Teal (split by the IOU from our green-winged teal),
Red-necked Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, and Common Greenshank.
Not to be outdone, we will encounter up to a hundred or so gray whales,
with the chance of a walrus on the drift ice.
We will visit Nome with targets of Willow and Rock Ptarmigan, Bar-tailed
Godwit, nesting American and Pacific Golden-Plover, Arctic Tern, good
numbers of breeding plumage Long-tailed Jaeger soaring along ridges, and of
course Bristle-thighed Curlew.
Prior to our time at these locations, a visit to the Pribiloffs is planned.
The goals there are breeding red-legged kittiwake and red-faced cormorant.
There is a great opportunity for close photos of nesting alcids and other
species. Asian strays are always a strong possibility. We will be there at
the best time for McKay’s Bunting.
Returning from Nome, we will fly to Dutch Harbor. This is the most reliable
location for Whiskered Auklet. A boat trip to the Baby Islands will produce
good numbers along with Laysan and Black-footed Albatross, Short-tailed
Shearwater, and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. There is a chance also for
The cost of this trip is a large savings over that of regular tours.
I would suggest a visit to Ebird for more detail on the species possible.