Friday, November 26, 2010
Alaska May 28-May 29 2010
May 28th: 6:30 AM flight connecting in SLC where we had a 5.5 hour layover before departing to Anchorage with a scheduled arrival time of 6 PM. We took advantage of the time in SLC to watch some of the instructional video for our camera that we never seemed to get a chance to watch at home and to write up our Ohio trip report.
Arrived in Anchorage at 6:00 PM. It took awhile to get our luggage and then we noticed Delta broke the strap right off our brand new duffle bag! Now they say they are not responsible for handles – even though there is a hole in the cloth, ugh! I had called the Quality Inn Airport shuttle before getting our luggage, but they did not show up for 45 minutes because they said he was stuck in traffic! Another great start to a trip. But we decided to walk a bit near the hotel over to Lake Hood and had a large group of both Scaups, Wigeon, Red Necked Grebes doing a display and then when we walked back closer to the hotel ran into another trip participant David and as we talked got a look at a Common Redpoll, White Crowned Sparrow singing, Yellow Rump Warbler, Hairy Woodpecker and a pair of BC chickadees as the Tree Swallows flew overhead chattering. At about 9 PM Alaska time we split a sub at subway and headed back to the hotel since we had now been up over 24 hours. Time for sleep!
Prior to departing Anchorage on our 11:00 AM flight to Nome both Paul and I walked by Lake Hood, separately, as he got up as some crazy hour and after he got back I went. He mentioned how the guy came to the lake and shot a cap gun to get all the ducks to move before all the seaplanes landed… Our flight to Nome went over well on Alaska Airlines and Bill was at the airport to meet us. He rented 2 vans and a small SUV. By the time everyone checked in to the Aurora Inn, went to Subway for lunch, it was about 2 PM when we started out on our first official birding trip with the group out to Safety Sound. We had some distant looks at Bar Tailed Godwit, great and plentiful looks at Arctic Tern and Mew and Glaucous Gull, but the biggest surprise was the pair of Emperor Geese along the ocean shore. Dinner was at Milano’s where Paul and I split the Alaskan Halibut.