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Jake Mohlmann reports from Alaska

July 01: Jake Mohlmann reports from Alaska

We recently wrapped up a successful WINGS tour through some of the most scenic parts of Alaska.

A new area was explored for the first time on this tour as the group searched the shorelines and bays around Homer, a scenic coastal town replete with its famous spit.

In Nome we searched the other-worldly rocky tundra near Woolly Lagoon for a couple of hours and eventually were rewarded with what some voted the bird of the trip when Greg spotted a Rock Ptarmigan trying its best to blend in to the surrounding landscape.

Along the Denali Highway several highlights were tallied, including a perched Northern Hawk Owl that was being harassed by a mob of American Robins and Varied Thrushes that were obviously upset this raptor was perched nearby.

We strolled through the hummocky tundra a mile or so from the road to an area where after some searching tracked down a dapper male Smith’s Longspur newly arrived on its breeding grounds.

In Utquiagvik the ice was packed for a mile up to the beach which limited our seawatching, but this gave us extra time to get a more intimate experience with the waterfowl staging for breeding grounds including a very confiding pair of Spectacled Eiders.

Posted: July 01, 2022