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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Alaska: Fall Migration at Gambell and the Pribilofs

Fall in Alaska is a beautiful time, with the colors turning on the tundra… …and juvenile shorebirds like this Pacific Golden gearing up for their first fall migration. The weather can be downright comfortable,… …and the local wildlife downright curious. Around Nome we can always dig up a surprise or two  - here a female Spectacled Eider - before we…. …head out to Saint Lawrence Island… …and the town of Gambell. The boneyards are lush compared to the spring… …and sometimes contain gems from Asia like Little Bunting… …Siberian Accentor or… …even a Brown Shrike! Some birds from ‘our’ side of the pond occur too like this Golden-crowned Sparrow. Some years we find young Snowy Owls nearby, feasting on the numerous Tundra Voles. Although basic, the lodge at Gambell is comfortable… …and sea watches are much warmer in the fall! Young Auklets are frequently spotted, sometimes land bound… …and beautifully plumaged shorebirds and gulls, like this Black-legged Kittiwakes, are a striking and regular sight… …while Emperor Geese are more retiring. Then we’ll continue on to the Pribilof Islands… …and the very scenic Saint Paul… …where seaside cliffs provide a great backdrop.. Shorebirds can be abundant in fall, with Red-necked Stint, here a juvenile,… …Ruff… …Sharp-tailed Sandpiper… …and Gray-tailed Tattler all regular sights. Passerines can bring excitement too, like this Brambling… …Gray-streaked Flycatcher,… …or Eyebrowed Thrush appearing almost annually. Vagrants can appear from either continent; it’s odd to watch birds like Red-breasted Nuthatch… …Wilson’s Warblers,… …or even birds from farther afield like Purple Finch clearly outside their element. And one has to mention the colonies of Northern Fur Seals complete with hundreds of pups that call Saint Paul Island home.