Alaska – 9th June (Day 13)

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Another day spent birding the Council Road which runs east from Nome, thats not a negative comment, its a fantastic birding road as it extends along the length of Safety Sound with the sound to the north and the open sea of Norton Sound to the south. Today we birded as far as the summit at Mile Post 53 Council Road, the summit had a true mountain feel to it with short tundra like habitat and bare rocky slopes dominating, here the highlights were , , American and Semipalmated Plover.

We spent the rest of the day, after birding the summit, along the shores of Safety Lagoon scanning intently for but with no luck. We enjoyed great views of many of the species we had seen previously and spent some time with the fantastic breeding on the tundra and had good views ofYellow Wagtail of the racetschutschensis,sometimes split as Eastern .

Other species that were unusual for the day included four (three male and a female) , a rare bird in Nome, a summer plumage and seven Sabine’s Gull.A fantastic site was a pair of Bristle-thighed Curlew coming in off the sea in the evening and giving their distinctive penny-whistle like call.

, fairly abundant around Nome due to a good vole year

Short-eared Owl – Nome

Short-eared Owl – Nome

Cackling Goose of race minima – Nome

Long-tailed on chimney of one of the houses. The Alaskan birds are of the race pallescens which is paler than the race seen in the UK – Nome

Pacific Golden Plover – Nome

Yellow Wagtail of race tschutschensis, sometimes split as Eastern Yellow Wagtail – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua, note that this individual is eating Cranberries (or similar) from the tundra – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

of the race articola – Nome

Western Sandpiper – Nome

Western Sandpiper – Nome

Western Sandpiper – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Long-tailed Skua – Nome

Redhead – A scarce bird in Nome

Redhead and Greater Scaup – Nome

Arctic Skua – Nome

Arctic Skua – Nome

Arctic Skua – Nome

Arctic Skua – Nome

Arctic Skua – Nome

Sabine’s Gull – Nome

 

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Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

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