Alaska 2022: Pribilofs

St. Paul Island I

June 04 – 07, 2022

Tour Length: 7 days
Est. Spaces Left: 4

Birding the “Galapagos of the North” with huge colonies of Horned & Tufted Puffins, Least, Crested & Parakeet Auklets, Red-faced Cormorants and the rare Red-legged Kittiwake as well as opportunities for Asian vagrants migrating along the “Siberian Express”

Tour Leaders

Stephan Lorenz
Dave Krueper

 

Focus

Birds, Photography, Marine Mammals

Price

Double Accommodation: $4,200/person
Single Supplement: + $450
Deposit: $500

 

Max Group Size

16 +2 leaders & local guides

Pace

Easy ; 1 – 2 miles hiking a day

Future Departures

May 21, 2023

Tour Descriptions

The Pribilof Islands lie in the middle of the Bering Sea about 600 miles from landfall. St. Paul Island, where we stay, hosts many of the largest colonies of alcids (auklets & other seabirds) in the world as well as the largest Northern Fur Seal colony in the world. St. Paul is an isolated and charming island with a small Aleut population. Asian vagrants regularly visit St. Paul in late May, and we expect to see a number of them along with the resident species. We spend the first night in Anchorage.

The Pribilofs record many Asiatic vagrants and accidentals every year during late May including regular occurrences of Bean Goose, Smew, Tufted Duck, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Great Knot, Black-tailed Godwit, Siberian Rubythroat, Eye-browed Thrush, and Brambling. Other rarities, e.g., Chinese Pond-Heron, Little Stint, Far Eastern Curlew, Brown Shrike, McKay’s Bunting, Dusky Thrush, Olive-backed Pipit, Hawfinch and many others are recorded less frequently. We will also see large colonies of seabirds, such as the Parakeet, Least and Crested Auklets; Horned and Tufted Puffins; Common and Thick-billed Murres; Red-legged and Black-legged Kittiwakes; Northern Fulmar and many others.

Locations

Gallery

More Details

Trip Highlights

Top Birds

King & Steller’s Eider (uncommon); Red-faced & Pelagic Cormorants; Red-legged Kittiwake & Sabine’s Gull (uncommon); Tufted & Horned Puffin;Least, Crested, Parakeet Auklets; Ancient Murrelet; Short-eared & Snowy Owl; Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch; Snow Bunting & MacKay’s Bunting (rare); Asian rarities possible: Bean Goose, Common Pochard, Smew, Tufted Duck, Common Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Great Knot, Black-tailed Godwit, Siberian Rubythroat, Eye-browed Thrush, and Brambling. Other rarities, e.g., Chinese Pond-Heron, Little Stint, Far Eastern Curlew, Brown Shrike, Dusky Thrush, Olive-backed Pipit, Hawfinch all recorded, mostly in May & early June.

Top Mammals

Northern Fur Seal; Sea Otter; Harbor Seal; Steller’s Sea Lion; Arctic Fox; Reindeer

Other Attractions

Aleut community; great scenery. Exceptional photographic opportunities.

During your free time in Anchorage, don’t miss going to Wave Bookstores on Northern Lights or downtown on 5th Avenue. They have a great selection of Alaska fiction and non-fiction! In addition, there are some excellent restaurants downtown, including Orso, Glacier Brew House, Simon & Seafort’s, and Marx Brothers.

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Meet in Anchorage at the Coast International Hotel at 6:30 PM for dinner.

Accommodations

First night with en-suite bathrooms. Basic, but comfortable, hotel with shared baths at St. Paul Island.

Included

From Anchorage, 4 nights lodging, all meals from 1st night dinner through final day’s lunch, transport, guides, taxes, tips.

Excluded

Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, other personal expenses.

Habitats Covered

Tundra, seaside

Expected Climate

Cool maritime climate with temps 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

  • Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
  • Visa (if required)
  • Credit cards / cash
  • Binoculars
  • Scope and tripod (optional)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Water bottle
  • Small umbrella
  • Small day pack / fanny pack
  • Small flashlight
  • Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
  • Itch relief cream
  • Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
  • OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
  • Toiletries
  • Small alarm clock
  • Field guides
  • Note pads/pens (we provide trip checklists)
  • Hiking Boots/Shoes
  • Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat
  • Rain jacket/wind breaker
  • Waterproof winter jacket (Gore-tex or equivalent)
  • Warm winter jacket
  • Balaclava or full facial ski mask
  • Warm, waterproof gloves (and backup pair)
  • Glove liners
  • Long sleeve shirts (various weights)
  • 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

Recommended Reading

  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 6th Edition Jon Dunn, et al. (2011); National Geographic Society
  • Shorebirds of North America, Europe, & Asia: A Guide to Field Identification Don Taylor; illustrated by Stephen Message (2006) Princeton University Press
  • Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide Dennis Paulson (2005); Princeton University Press
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds David A. Sibley (2000); Knopf
  • Seabirds of the World Peter Harrison (1997); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan (1982); Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of China John MacKinnon & Karen Phillipps (2000); Oxford University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia Bharat Bhushan, et al. (1993); Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • Birds of Russia & Adjacent Territories V. E. Flint, et al. (1984); Princeton University Press
  • Birds of Europe Killian Mullarney, et al. (1999); Princeton University Press
  • Birds of Europe with North Africa & the Middle East Lars Jonsson (1992); Princeton University Press
  • The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe & the Western Palearctic Mark Beaman and Steve Madge (1998); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Rare Birds of Britain & Europe Ian Lewington, et al. (1991); Domino Books, Ltd.
  • New Generation to the Guide Birds of Britain & Europe Christopher Perrins (1987); University of Texas Press