Skip to navigation, or go to main content.

Gavin Bieber on his and Jake Mohlmann's tour, Alaska: Majesty of the North

July 05: Gavin Bieber on his and Jake Mohlmann's tour, Alaska: Majesty of the North

A very mild winter coupled with the apparent failure of many Arctic breeders made a few species hard or impossible to find but, as if in compensation, above average sunshine and temperatures virtually everywhere made for a gloriously comfortable tour.  We started with a drive to Denali National Park, finding both Black-backed and American Three-toed Woodpeckers feeding in a recent burn. The Park itself was as always extraordinary with stunning landscapes at every turn and a wilderness that seems to stretch on forever.  Here we found mammals of the north such as Grizzly Bear, Reindeer and Moose, and as well several cooperative Spruce Grouse. Nome combined the best of Alaska with riveting scenery and great birds. We had close Long-tailed Jaegers, point blank views of Willow Ptarmigan, an unusually high number of range-restricted Aleutian Terns, lots of Arctic Warblers...and very few mosquitoes.  Resurrection Bay, this year with ample sun, was almost impossibly beautiful with Humpback Whales, Orcas and Bald Eagles really putting on a show, and close sightings of Kittlitz’s Murrelets. The towering forests around Seward were filled with the song of Townsend’s Warblers, Varied Thrushes and pugnacious little Golden-crowned Kinglets.

The variety and abundance of birds and other wildlife on this tour is staggering, and contribute to what must be one of the most spectacular birding tours in the world.

The Denali Highway offers endless and spectacular scenery

A herd of Reindeer stroll through Denali National Park

Moose are common and often hard to see...but not in this case

Spruce Grouse, once you find them, are not shy

Elegant Long-tailed Jaegers dot the tundra at Nome

This year, Nome's Aleutian Terns gave particularly good views

Our day on Resurrection Bay is always a highlight

A Kittlitz's Murrelet at close range

Townsend's Warblers are common in the Sitka Spruce around Seward

It's not every day one sees the full crown on Golden-crowned Kinglet

Posted: July 05, 2017