June 3 – Amazing First Day in Nome

I really meant to concentrate on showing pictures from my recent trip to Gambell today, but we saw so many birds in Nome today, that may take up all my time before I need to go to bed so I get enough sleep before my second day in Nome. It was a great day thanks to Scott Hauser and Aaron Bowman, our leaders from Wilderness Birding Adventures, and of course thanks to the birds.

Today’s main goal was Bristle-thighed Curlew on a hill some 70 miles away from the town of Nome on Kougarok Road. On the drive we saw and heard GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, ARCTIC WARBLER, BLUETHROAT (gorgeous birds but no pictures yet), BLACKPOLL WARBLER and  CLIFF SWALLOW Some of these birds were seen again with much better views later in the day. We also saw a Willow Ptarmigan and later a Rock Ptarmigan.

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At just before 9:30 we arrived at our goal destination. After seeing one Whimbrel, we heard and the saw in the air and on the ground multiple BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEWS, similar to but distinct in call and appearance from the Whimbrel. At the same hill we saw LONG-TAILED JAEGERS, an AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER and three BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS.

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On our drive back to town, we stopped for a picnic lunch at a bridge where we saw Northern Waterthrushes, Yellow Warblers, an American Tree Sparrow, an EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL and BANK SWALLOWS. We also saw Northern Wheatears, Musk Ox and Moose.

238 species so far

PS. I really will try to post some Gambell pictures tomorrow.

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