June 13 – Nome Bluethroats

My main reason for returning to Nome in late May/early June this year was to see Bluethroats again, and of course, to photograph them. So, on my first full day there, May 30, I drove slowly down Kougarok Road where I’d had the most luck seeing them last year. I recalled that about mile 21-24 or so was the best but I listened intently wherever there was brush. I heard my first singing Bluethroat at about mile 14, followed by another 0.2 mile later and others at miles 23 (after the baby moose adventure reported in my previous blog post), 32 (at twigs protruding from a snowy expanse), 41 (just after Salmon Lake), 49 and 50.5. Two days later I drove Teller Road and had sightings about at miles 14, 22 and 48.

The sound of a Bluethroat is both unlike any other bird sound and also similar sometimes as the singing bird periodically imitates other birds. Sounds just pour forth, musical, staccato, hurried, all over the place, even when the bird is flying up, fluttering in the sky, and coming back down (usually to the same perch as before). Unfortunately, for now I am unable to put videos on my blog, so cannot illustrate this further.

Below are samples of Bluethroat photographs from Nome.

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