Friday, November 26, 2010

Alaska - May 30 Kougarok Rd Nome

May 30: 5:45 AM departure for our first drive out the Kougarok Rd. The scenery at Salmon Lake was stupendous with the snow-capped mountains reflecting on the lake. We had incredible looks at lots of Willow Ptarmigans, both male and female. The male was even doing a very cute strut and croak as he walked across the road.

We had fleeting looks at a female Bluethroat at Salmon Lake who was carrying nesting material. We got a quick look at her orange throat and although we watched her fly back and forth from her nest she never perched in a spot where we could get good looks. Paul also spotted a Rock Ptarmigan, another target and life bird up on a rock on a hill along with road! We walked onto the tundra a bit and spotted a beautiful American Golden Plover whose back was sparkling in the sun. We also watched a few Long Tailed Jaegars sitting on nests!

On the return trip we tried for the Bluethroat again for a very short time and the group split up, some wanted to stay for hopefully better looks at the Bluethroat while others including us started back to look for Gyrfalcon (which we didn’t find), Wandering Tattler and Golden Eagle. We spotted the Tattler in the river but it flew deeper away from the road so we bushwhacked a bit and got great looks. We also spotted a White Wagtail fly over and had some nice looks at Yellow Wagtails. Dinner was at the Vietnamese restaurant in Nome. 4:45 AM departure tomorrow morning for the Bristle Thighed Curlew.

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