Alaska 2022: Nome & The Seward Peninsula I

Nome & The Seward Peninsula I

May 30 – June 03, 2022

Tour Length: 5 days
Est. Spaces Left: Available

Experience a breeding extravaganza like you’ve never seen with thousands of migrants moving in during the Spring to nest along the shores and in the high tundra of the Seward Peninsula. Access these birds over 300 miles of dirt road.

Tour Leaders

Kip Miller

Focus

Birds, Mammals, Photography

Price

Double Accommodation: $2,900/person
Single Supplement: + $525
Deposit: $500

Max Group Size

14 (+2 leaders & vans)

Pace

Easy to Moderate ; one optional moderate to difficult hike for Bristle-thighed Curlew.

Future Departures

May 30, 2023

Tour Descriptions

Nome lies on the Seward Peninsula, jutting into the Bering Sea. It’s a frontier town in a world where few such curiosities remain. Accessible only by boat and airplane, bordered on the West and South by the Bering Sea, and the North and East by miles of trackless wilderness, Nome is a fascinating and challenging destination. During June, the midnight sun is at its brightest, the tundra is in full bloom, and the birds and mammals are breeding.

Our tours will cover the prime birding areas along the seacoast, the tundra and the only boreal forest on the Seward Peninsula. Most of the birds are in their resplendent breeding plumages—rarely if ever seen in the “lower 48”. We’ll make an extra effort to locate some of the Asian species that regularly occur at Nome. The road system of Nome provides the best access to the Alaska bush without an airplane, and we will drive it extensively.

Nome I is typically the best trip for Asian vagrants, although some are usually found in the second week of June as well. Expected species in Nome: 90+ species, including Arctic and Yellow-billed Loon; Bristle-thighed Curlew; Slaty-backed Gull; Gyrfalcon; Yellow and White Wagtail; Hoary Redpoll and Bluethroat. Species we usually see annually or almost annually, especially in early June: Emperor Goose, Steller’s Eider, Spectacled Eider, Mongolian Plover, Red-necked Stint. Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Ruff, Terek Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Siberian Ruby-throat among others have all been seen over the years. We’re always on the lookout for other casual and accidental Asian species as well. Mammals: Grizzly Bear, Moose, Reindeer, Arctic Wolf, Arctic Fox, Muskox, Wolverine and others.

Locations

Gallery

More Details

Trip Highlights

Top Birds

Bluethroat; Bristle-thighed Curlew; Eastern Yellow Wagtail; Northern Wheatear Arctic, Pacific, Red-throated & Yellow-billed Loon; Eurasian Wigeon; Bar-tailed Godwit; Rock & Willow Ptarmigan;American & Pacific Golden-Plover;Black-bellied Plover; Surfbird; Red-necked Stint;Sabine’s Gull; Aleutian Tern; many others including many Asian vagrants over the years.

Top Mammals

Brown (Grizzly) Bear, Muskox, Wolf, Lynx, Moose, Reindeer

Other Attractions

During your free time in Anchorage, don’t miss going to Wave Bookstores on Northern Lights or downtown on 5th Avenue. They have a great selection of Alaska fiction and non-fiction! In addition, there are some excellent restaurants downtown, including Orso, Glacier Brew House, Simon & Seafort’s, and Marx Brothers.

Extensions

  • Alaska 2021: Adak. Aleutian Specialties & Asian Vagrants
  • Alaska 2021: Spring Migration in Gambell. “The Siberian Express”
  • Alaska 2021: Pribilofs II (St. Paul Island)
  • Alaska 2021. Denali & Kenai: Spectacular Vistas, Mammals, & Seabirds!
  • Alaska 2022 Classic Birding I. Nome & Denali: Alaska Gold Rush
  • Alaska 2021. Classic Birding II. Kenai & Barrow: The Fjords & the Arctic Circle
  • Alaska 2021: Barrow. The High Arctic
  • Alaska 2021: Dutch Harbor & The Whiskered Auklet #2

Planning for the Trip

Meeting Location

Nome Airport; Nome, Alaska

Accommodations

Relatively new, comfortable hotel on Bering Sea.

Included

From Anchorage, 4 nights lodging, all meals from lunch on the first day through breakfast on the final day; air to Nome, transport, guides, taxes, tips.

Excluded

Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, other personal expenses.

Habitats Covered

High tundra, seaside

Expected Climate

Cold to moderate, sometimes wet; 30 – 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Suggested Clothing and Gear

Credit cards / cash
Binoculars
Scope and tripod (optional)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Small day pack / fanny pack
Small flashlight
Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
Itch relief cream
Lip screen/balm
Toiletries
Hair Dryer
Small alarm clock
Cleaning fluids/cloths/drying cloths
Field guides
Hiking Boots/Shoes
Hat with brim/visor
Rain jacket/wind breaker
Warm hat with visor
Waterproof winter jacket (Gore-tex or equivalent)
Balaclava or full facial ski mask
Warm, waterproof gloves (and backup pair)
Glove liners
T-shirts or undershirts (capilene or polypropylene)
Pants (fleece or wool; jeans NOT recommended)
Long Underwear (capilene or polypropylene)
PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping
Wool socks (various weights) and liners.
GORE-TEX socks/liners for water protection and warmth
Sturdy, waterproof boots; NEOS are lightweight waterproof overboots
Moleskin for blisters
Foot powder for drying

Recommended Reading

  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 6th Edition Jon Dunn, et al. (2011); National Geographic Society
  • Shorebirds of North America, Europe, & Asia: A Guide to Field Identification Don Taylor; illustrated by Stephen Message (2006); Princeton University Press
  • Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide Dennis Paulson (2005); Princeton University Press
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds David A. Sibley (2000); Knopf
  • Seabirds of the World Peter Harrison (1997); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan (1982); Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • A Field Guide to the Waterbirds of Asia Bharat Bhushan, et al. (1993); Wild Bird Society of Japan
  • Birds of Russia & Adjacent Territories V. E. Flint, et al. (1984); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Birds of China John MacKinnon & Karen Phillipps (2000); Oxford University Press
  • Birds of Europe Killian Mullarney, et al. (1999); Princeton University Press
  • Birds of Europe with North Africa & the Middle East Lars Jonsson (1992); Princeton University Press
  • The Handbook of Bird Identification for Europe & the Western Palearctic Mark Beaman and Steve Madge (1998); Princeton University Press
  • A Field Guide to the Rare Birds of Britain & Europe Ian Lewington, et al. (1991); Domino Books, Ltd.
  • New Generation to the Guide Birds of Britain & Europe Christopher Perrins (1987); University of Texas Press