Nome lies on the Seward Peninsula and juts into the Bering Sea. It’s a frontier town in a world where few such curiosities remain. Bordered on the west and south by the Bering Sea, the north and east by miles of trackless wilderness. Nome is a fascinating and challenging destination, accessible only by boat and aeroplane. During June, the midnight sun is at its brightest, the tundra is in full bloom, and the birds and mammals are breeding and therefore very active. Our tour will cover the prime birding areas along the coast, the tundra and the only boreal forest on the Seward Peninsula. Most of the birds are in their resplendent breeding plumage, rarely if ever seen in the ‘lower 48’. We’ll also make an extra effort to locate some of the Asian species that regularly occur around Nome. The road system here provides the very best access to the Alaska wilderness without an aeroplane. This is typically the best trip for Asian vagrants, and we expect to see around 90+ bird species, including Black-throated (Arctic) and Yellow-billed Loons, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Sabine’s Gull, Gyrfalcon, Bluethroat, Eastern Yellow and White Wagtails. Mammal possibilities include the huge Grizzly (Brown) Bear, Moose, Caribou (some years), and Muskox. Sometimes, with great luck, a Beluga or Wolverine is spotted! Our lodging overlooks the Bering Sea, and being only a few years old offers the most comfortable accommodations in the area.
Our trip to magnificent Denali National Park and the wilderness surrounding it is as much about large mammals, and a big (!) mountain, as it is about birds. With the blessing of the weather gods, the scenery can be beyond marvellous, and we expect to see such stellar species as Trumpeter Swan, Willow Ptarmigan, Gyrfalcon, Long-tailed Jaeger, and perhaps even Northern Hawk-Owl and Smith’s Longspur. And typically we also see a number of Grizzly Bears (often sows with cubs) as well as Caribou scattered about, some Dall Sheep, Moose and, if we are lucky, perhaps even Wolf. We’ll also travel the gravel Denali Highway that parallels the stunning Alaska Range for 135 miles in our quest to see as many of the region’s special birds as possible.