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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. We’ll have a day in Nome to look for mainland species such as Willow Ptarmigan… …and breeding plumaged Red-throated (and Arctic) Loons. Some years the local colony of Aleutian Terns are still active during our visit… …and Whimbrel generally are flocking in large numbers along the coast. Perhaps we’ll find a surprise or two around Nome like Spectacled Eider… …or see head-locking Musk Ox or… …sprightly Short-tailed Weasels along the Nome roads. After our Nome day we will fly out to Saint Lawrence Island… …and the town of Gambell. The boneyards are lush compared to the spring… …and harbor a wider array of passerines like this Northern Wheatear, heading off to Sub Saharan Africa… …or stray species  like this Little Bunting… …Siberian Accentor or… …even a Brown Shrike! Some birds from ‘our’ side of the pond occur too like this Golden-crowned Sparrow… …and in some years we find young Snowy Owls nearby, feasting on the numerous Tundra Voles. Although never numerous a wide array of shorebirds can occur here too, this Buff-breasted Sandpiper was a 2016 treat for us. 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 we can usually spot some Least Auklets… …and Crested Auklets still on their breeding cliffs above town. Juvenile Black-legged Kittiwakes are a striking and regular sight at the sea watch… …and we’ll keep an eye out for migrating Yellow-billed Loons… …or Emperor Geese. All too soon we’ll head back to Nome, watching as we taxi out…  just in case…