Enjoy guide George Armistead's slideshow of images from our second June 2010 Alaska tour.
One's first glimmer of the immensity of Alaska comes as the airplane drops in for a landing at Anchorage. There are towering, snow-capped peaks and icy waters practically beside the runway. And the northern sky is indescribably wide and high, the air crisp and pure. Heading for the hotel, one gets the distinct urge to jump out and start birding immediately as breeding-plumaged Mew Gulls course over ponds beckoningly dotted with phalaropes and waterfowl. Red-necked Grebes? Barrow's Goldeneyes? And those scaup were probably a mix of Lessers and Greaters. A tight flock of crossbill-like birds whizzes over and plummets into the spruces--probably your lifer White-wingeds. Calming yourself, you realize this is just the beginning of one of the greatest of birding trips, in one of the wildest, most beautiful places on Earth.
Our grand birding tour includes the Pribilofs, where thousands of breeding seabirds pack the cliffs, and magnificent Denali, with its scenic and wildlife spectacles. Then it's on to Nome and the Seward Peninsula, where we'll witness the merging of two major avifaunas; the icy waters and rugged peaks of Kenai Fjords NP with its Black Oystercatchers, Kittlitz's and Ancient murrelets, and Humpback Whales; and far to the north, in Barrow, four eiders and Snowy Owl among hundreds of displaying shorebirds.
June is the time to be in Alaska, when the birds are in courtship and full breeding regalia. This summer head to the Arctic, to Alaska!
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