May 30 – June 03, 2022
Tour Length: 5 days
Est. Spaces Left: Sold out!
Birds, Mammals, Photography
Double Accommodation: $2,900/person
Single Supplement: + $525
Max Group Size
14 (+2 leaders & vans)
Easy to Moderate; one optional moderate to difficult hike for Bristle-thighed Curlew
The days of the gold rush have faded, although a few small mining operations remain active, and Nome now offers unparalleled access to the Alaskan wilderness. In addition to comfortable accommodations, plenty of restaurants and stores, more than 200 miles of maintained gravel roads offer relatively easy access to all habitats, including far-flung tundra locations. Several species with limited nesting ranges in Alaska and North America can be readily found in Nome, most notably Arctic Loon, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Red-necked Stint, Bar-tailed Godwit, Slaty-backed Gull, Bluethroat, Eastern Yellow and White Wagtails, Northern Wheatear, and Arctic Warbler. Nome also supports vast numbers of migrating and nesting shorebirds with highlights including American and Pacific Golden-Plovers, Black-bellied Plover, Rock Sandpiper, Wandering Tattler, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Red Knot, Whimbrel, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper. In recent years our tours have recorded a fine selection of Eurasian shorebird rarities including Great Knot, Gray-tailed Tattler, Lesser Sand-Plover, Ruff, and Wood and Common Sandpipers. The offshore waters, bays, and lagoons also offer great chances for waterfowl and all four species of eiders are possible alongside Harlequin and Long-tailed Ducks, and four species of scoter, including the rare Stejneger’s Scoter. Nome is also one of the best places for loons with all five species possible: Red-throated and Pacific are common while Yellow-billed and Arctic Loons occur in small numbers. In the interior, cliffs and rugged mountains support excellent raptor populations with Golden Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, Short-eared Owl, Gyrfalcon, and Peregrine Falcon all nesting. Lower lying tundra holds plenty of Willow Ptarmigans, while upland areas hold the scarcer Rock Ptarmigan. Away from the coastline, alder thickets are filled with warblers, sparrows, finches, and thrushes including Varied and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, Northern Waterthrush, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Blackpoll, Yellow-rumped and Wilson’s Warblers, American Tree, Fox, White-crowned, Golden-crowned and Savannah Sparrows, and Common and Hoary Redpolls. Add to that Lapland Longspur and Snow Bunting plus chances for Pine Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Bohemian Waxwing, and even Spruce Grouse for a full Alaskan birding experience. Of course, this vast wilderness supports good numbers of large mammals with Muskox, Moose, Reindeer, Brown “Grizzly” Bear all regularly seen (even Wolf and Lynx are possible) while some of the smaller mammals include American Beaver, North American Otter, and more.
Bluethroat; Bristle-thighed Curlew; Eastern Yellow & White Wagtails; Northern Wheatear; Arctic Warbler; Arctic, Pacific, Red-throated & Yellow-billed Loons; Eurasian Wigeon; Bar-tailed Godwit; Rock & Willow Ptarmigan; American & Pacific Golden-Plover; Black-bellied Plover; Surfbird; Red-necked Stint; Sabine’s Gull; Aleutian Tern; Gyrfalcon; Merlin; Peregrine Falcon; many others including several Eurasian vagrants over the years.
Brown (Grizzly) Bear, Muskox, Wolf (rare), Lynx (rare), Moose, Reindeer, River Otter
mountains, tundra, wetlands, lagoons, rivers, alder thickets, and small areas of boreal forest
subarctic landscapes; historic mining town; wildflowers; wilderness
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Nome Airport, Nome, Alaska
Relatively new, comfortable hotel.
From Anchorage, 4 nights lodging, all meals from lunch on the first day through breakfast on the final day; airfare to Nome, transport, guides, taxes.
Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, other personal expenses.
Cold to moderate, sometimes wet; 30 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Suggested Clothing and Gear
Credit cards/cash; Binoculars; Scope and tripod (optional); Sunglasses and sunscreen; Small day pack/fanny pack; Small flashlight; Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater); Itch relief cream; Lip screen/balm; Toiletries; Hair Dryer; Small alarm clock; Cleaning fluids/cloths/drying cloths; Field guides; Hiking Boots/Shoes; Hat with brim/visor; Rain jacket/windbreaker; Warm hat with visor; Waterproof winter jacket (Gore-tex or equivalent); Balaclava or full facial ski mask; Warm, waterproof gloves (and backup pair); Glove liners; T-shirts or undershirts (Capilene or polypropylene); Pants (fleece or wool; jeans NOT recommended); Long Underwear (Capilene or polypropylene); PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping; Wool socks (various weights) and liners; GORE-TEX socks/liners for water protection and warmth; Sturdy, waterproof boots; NEOS are lightweight waterproof overboots; Moleskin for blisters; Foot powder for drying
- Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition Jon Dunn, et al. (2017), National Geographic Society
- Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide Dennis Paulson (2005), Princeton University Press
- The Sibley Guide to Birds David A. Sibley (2000), Knopf
- The Shorebird Guide (North America) Michael O’Brien, et. al. 2006, Houghton & Mifflin Books
- Rare Birds of North America. Steve N. G. Howell et. al. 2014.