ALASKA Birding Tour: There’s no place like NOME! (High Lonesome)

Bluethroat, Nome, Alaska Photo- Carl Sheely

Sponsored by High Lonesome BirdTours
Western Alaska is a birder’s paradise!

Breeding birds, many of which have flown thousands of miles to get here, abound. High Lonesome offers numerous Alaska tours. The Gambell and Nome combination is particularly popular and can be combined with a number of other Alaska trips.

Map Bering SeaSt. Lawrence Island (see red flag on map) lies in the Bering Sea just off the Siberian coast. Gambell is a small, timeless Eskimo village subsisting much as it has for thousands of years. On clear days, Siberia can be seen 35 miles in the distance. Whale, walrus, seal, polar bear and birds account for most of the native diet. High Arctic and Asian vagrants are the draw at Gambell. Most of the Asian species recorded in North America have been seen in Gambell and its environs.

On this tour, we will spend much of our time within a couple of miles of the village. There are huge colonies of Parakeet, Least and Crested Auklets on the cliffs within walking distance. Northwest Point provides a “super-highway” for seabirds passing very close by the island in migration and usually yield Arctic Loon, Yellow-billed Loon, Dovekie, Emperor Goose and Ivory Gull as well as many other seabirds and ducks. The centuries old bone yards often hide vagrant passerines, e.,g, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, and Common Cuckoo. The marsh about two miles from town is superb for shorebirds and typically yields several of the Asiatic shorebirds.

Gambell, Alaska. Native whaling boat with Siberian Mountains in the background Photo- F. Davis

Whaling boat at Gambell, with Siberian mountains (Russia!!) in the background

Nome lies on the Seward Peninsula, just a bit to the northeast of St. Lawrence, and juts into the Bering Sea. It’s a frontier town in a world where few such curiosities remain. Accessible only by boat and airplane, bordered on the West and South by the Bering Sea, and the North and East by miles of trackless wilderness, Nome is a fascinating and challenging destination. During June, the midnight sun is at its brightest, the tundra is in full bloom, and the birds and mammals are breeding.

Our tours will cover the prime birding areas along the seacoast, the tundra and the only boreal forest on the Seward Peninsula. Most of the birds are in their resplendent breeding plumages—rarely if ever seen in the “lower 48.” We’ll make an extra effort to locate some of the Asian species that regularly occur at Nome. The road system of Nome provides the best access to the Alaska bush without an airplane, and we will drive it extensively.

For further information:

High Lonesome BirdTours
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.highlonesometours.com

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