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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Alaska: Majesty of the North

Our trip begins with an optional extension to the Pribilof Islands.
Modern Saab turboprop planes will take us from Anchorage…
…to the windswept cliffs of Saint Paul Island.
Nesting seabirds are abundant and photogenic - Least Auklets…
…Parakeet Auklets…
…and Crested Auklets by the thousands…
…and hundreds of the beautiful and rare Red-legged Kittiwakes…
…and Horned Puffins…
…and Tufted Puffins. The shorelines of Saint Paul Island host as well…
…the world’s largest colony of Northern Fur Seals.

The main tour commences with a trip to the fabulously scenic Denali National Park… Credit: Skyler Streich …where we sometimes have spectacular views of the mountain itself.
On the way north from Anchorage, we’ll look for Northern Hawk Owl… …Bohemian Waxwing… …American Three-toed Woodpecker… …and the range-restricted (in North America) Arctic Warbler.
The area is excellent for mammals and we may see Moose… …and almost certainly will see Grizzly Bear. Our next stop is Nome, a land of open tundra…
Nome’s birdlife includes the incomparable Bluethroat… the ptarmigan - Rock… …and  Willow… …the enigmatic Aleutian Tern…
…and a host of breeding shorebirds such as Bar-tailed Godwit We’ll take an optional walk up a hillside…
…to look for the very local Bristle-thighed Curlew.
Mammals abound here as well, from shaggy Muskox… …to attractive and frequently seen Red Fox.
We’ll have picnic lunches in the tundra… …sometimes in the company of breeding Red-throated Loons… Credit: Skyler Streich …and often with an inquisitive Arctic Tern or two.
The weather can be warm in June; here locals are swimming in the Bering Sea!
The last leg of our journey takes us through the spectacular Kenai Peninsula… Credit: Skyler Streich …to the small fishing town of Seward.
Sitka spruce trees dominate the lower mountain slopes… …and provide a new suite of birds such as Varied Thrush… …and Spruce Grouse.
A boat trip to the Kenai fjords is always great for birds….
…some uncommon and some unbelievably abundant like these Common Murres. Credit: Skyler Streich We might encounter Orcas…
…or breaching Humpback Whales… Credit: Skyler Streich …and we should see the charismatic Sea Otter… …and perhaps a Kittlitz’s Murrelet. Calving and eerily blue glaciers are another feature… Credit: Skyler Streich …as are Steller’s Sea Lions lounging on the Chiswell Islands… …waterfalls cascading down to the sea… …and perhaps a mother and pup Harbor Seal floating on a glacial ice floe.
A post-tour extension to the high Arctic in Barrow… Credit: Skyler Streich …will reveal a host of breeding shorebirds, like this American Golden-Plover… …and bring us in range of the most northerly breeding birds such as these vigorously displaying Pectoral Sandpipers… …and dapper Red Phalarope. We’ll look too for all four species of Eider, with a special focus on the endangered Spectacled… Credit: Skyler Streich …and the dapper Stellers. …and we’ll always be alert for Snowy Owls… …or perhaps a vagrant from Russia, such as this gorgeous white Ruff. We’ll even have a chance at one of North America’s most coveted mammals, the Polar Bear!