Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AK - Gyrfalcons - 06/16 & 06/21

Gyrfalcon - images 1 & 2 detail the same bird, probably a male. Denali National Park, Alaska, June 16th, 2010.

Gyrfalcon - female, Nome, Alaska. June 21st, 2010.

Gyrfalcon - female at nest (different to the bird above), Nome, Alaska. June 21st, 2010.

Gyrfalcon - presumed male in flight, Nome, Alaska. June 21st, 2010.

Gyrfalcon - nestlings, Nome, Alaska. June 21st, 2010.

Further highlights from the Birdfinders Alaska tour included no less than three Gyrfalcon nests, one in Denali National Park and two in Nome. Although distant for the most part, the birds offered prolonged views and provided a welcome opportunity to get to know this brutish falcon a little better.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AK - Hoary Redpoll - 06/20

Hoary Redpoll - male, Nome, Alaska, June 20th, 2010.

We saw few Hoary Redpolls during our time in Nome, certainly far fewer than on our previous tour in 2008, but this dazzling male more than made up for it and was one of my personal highlights of the tour.


AK - Great Gray Owls - 06/18

Great Gray Owls - near Glennallen, Alaska, June 18th, 2010.

Seeing nesting Great Gray Owls in Alaska was a unique privilege. But if that wasn't enough, only minutes (quite literally) after this image was taken the owlet fledged, plunging with a loud thump into a brush pile below the nest whilst the adult looked on seemingly unconcerned. Apparently the owlets spend about two weeks on the ground being fed by the adults before they reach the flying stage. As a group we were totally taken aback that our short afternoon visit would coincide with the owlet's fledging!


AK - Arctic Loons - 06/21

Arctic Loons - Nome, Alaska, June 21st, 2010. Most birds, like these, were 200-300 meters offshore.

Just back from another fantastic Alaska trip with Birdfinders, June 10th - 26th . Amongst the many highlights, an exceptional showing of Arctic Loons Gavia arctica viridigularis in Nome with perhaps as many as nine at three different locations on June 21st. At point we had five birds in view at the same time.