Alaska 2023: Adak. Aleutian Specialties & Asian Vagrants

Aleutian Specialties & Asian Vagrants

May 16 – 20, 2023

Tour Length: 5 days
Est. Spaces Left: Available

Birding in the far Aleutian Islands amidst stunning volcanoes where we might find Asian vagrants along with Whiskered Auklets, Kittlitz’s Murrelets and Laysan Albatrosses.

Tour Leaders

Stephan Lorenz
Claudia Cavazos


Birds, Pelagic, Marine Mammals


Double Accommodation: $4,300/person
Single Supplement: + $350
Deposit: $1,250

Max Group Size

12 (2 leaders)


Easy to Moderate ; Some hiking through marshes every day

Future Departures


Tour Description

Adak Island offers the farthest western air access to potential Asiatic species since Attu closed down in 2000. The old 1987 checklist from Adak lists 34 Asiatic species, but birding coverage in Adak has always been very sparse.

In recent years, we have found Taiga Bean Goose, Tundra Bean Goose, Tufted Duck, Smew, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Lesser Sand-Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Long-toed Stint, Bar-tailed & Black-tailed Godwit, Hawfinch, Brambling and many thousands of Whiskered Auklets, and a dozen or more Laysan Albatross among other seabirds.

Resident birds include Cackling Goose; Red-faced and Pelagic Cormorant; Northern Fulmar, Short-tailed Shearwater; Black Oystercatcher; Common Snipe (species split); Black-footed and Laysan Albatross; Rock Ptarmigan; Ancient and Marbled Murrelet; Whiskered, Crested, Parakeet, Least and Rhinoceros Auklet; Horned and Tufted Puffin; and an outside chance for Mottled Petrel and Short-tailed Albatross.



More Details

Trip Highlights

Top Birds

Bean Goose (uncommon); Smew (uncommon); Laysan Albatross; Northern Fulmar; Short-tailed Shearwater; Whiskered Auklet; Kittlitz’s, Ancient, Marbled Murrelet; Pigeon Guillemot; Rock Sandpiper; Gyrfalcon; Arctic & Pacific Loon; Red-faced & Pelagic Cormorant; Black Oystercatcher; Aleutain Tern; Parasitic Jaeger; Rock Ptarmigan; Gray-crowned Rosy-finch; Hawfinch (usually annual); Brambling; many other possible Asian vagrants


Top Mammals

Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Steller’s Sea Lions, Reindeer

Other Attractions

Aleutian Museum, WW-II Museum. Excellent 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.

Above birding books can be obtained from Madison Audubon Shoppe, (888) 505-9056, with a 10% discount by mentioning High Lonesome BirdTours. ABA Sales and the various web book dealers are also sources.

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Coast International Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska


Nice townhouses.


From Anchorage, 5 nights lodging, all meals from first night dinner through final day’s lunch, transport, guides, taxes, most tips.


alcohol, personal calls, laundry, pelagic boat trip, if available; other personal expenses.

Habitats Covered

Tundra, possible pelagic

Expected Climate

Cool, sometimes wet, temps 35 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

Credit cards / cash
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
Lip screen/balm
Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
Hair Dryer
Small alarm clock
Cleaning fluids/cloths/drying cloths
Field guides
Note pads/pens (we provide trip checklists)
Hiking Boots/Shoes
Warm hat with visor
Rain hat
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
Foot powder for drying

Recommended Reading

  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan (1982), Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia Bharat Bhushan, et al. (1993), 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 Rare Birds of Britain & Europe Ian Lewington, et al. (1991), Domino Books, Ltd.
  • Birds of Europe with North Africa & the Middle East Lars Jonsson (1992), Princeton University Press
  • Birds of Russia & Adjacent Territories V. E. Flint, et al. (1984), Princeton University Press
  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 6th Edition Jon Dunn, et al. (2011), National Geographic Society
  • Seabirds of the World Peter Harrison (1997), Princeton University Press
  • 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
  • New Generation to the Guide Birds of Britain & Europe Christopher Perrins (1987), University of Texas Press
  • Birds of Europe Killian Mullarney, et al. (1999), Princeton University Press
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds David A. Sibley (2000), Knopf
  • The Shorebird Guide (North America) Miichael O’Brien, et. al. 2006, Houghton & Mifflin Books
  • The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe & the Western Palearctic Mark Beaman and Steve Madge (1998), Princeton University Press