Saturday, November 27, 2010

June 1st - Teller

June 1st. Our target destination today after leaving at 6:00 AM was the small community of Teller. Along the way we had great looks at Rock and Willow Ptarmigan and I actually counted them on the way back giving us 32 Willow and 8 Rock.

The landscape was not as mountainous on this drive, but a very rocky landscape, similar to the countryside of England. We managed to find a Northern Wheatear also, but the highlight was seeing a distant Wolf as it walked along the ridge line.

Not long afterwards we watched a herd of Reindeer run across a ridge, across the road and over to another ridge. We wondered if there may be other wolves around. Herds of Musk Ox also were seen after spotting an adult with one young one at the town dump. The town itself looked like a very rundown fishing village. There were a couple of dead seals on the shore and also some blubber that the gulls were picking at. The weather had gotten progressively colder. Birds we often see along the road include Hoary Redpolls, Golden Crowned Sparrows, Wilsons, Yellow and Orange Crowned Warblers, Tree and Fox Sparrow and Grey Cheeked Thrush. When we returned to Nome we took a short drive to check out the mouth of the Nome River and had scope views of three Aleutian Terns found by the Wilderness Birding Group. Dinner was at Airport Pizza. Paul had a very large burrito and I had a very good gyro with salad. It was another long day of birding as we finished at 8:00 PM. The sun seems to be strongest and brightest here at night and makes it hard to realize we need to go to sleep.

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