Three photographers got down to the edge of a living-room sized pond to photograph a pair of Phalaropes who were so comfortable with us that they came closer than the 12.5 foot close focus distance of our trusty 500mm lenses.
Our first mental readjustment was seeing Jaegers nesting on the tundra hillocks, probably 30 individuals seen in just a half day drive. Most dramatic sighting of the day was two Long-tailed Jaegers attempting to chase a female Northern Harrier away from their nesting area.
Lapland Longspurs are colorful, fearless and easily attracted to a recorded call, making them a great photo subject. We strategized about luring them to colorful perches that complemented their red/brown backs.
Driving out of Nome along Council Road, we spooked several groups of redpolls near snow patches. By the third or fourth repeat of this behavior, we decided to creep up slowly to the next snow patch, and were rewarded with the sight of two Hoary Redpolls. Having read Sibley's notes online about distinguishing Redpolls, we were alive to the paler facial pattern, silvery back, lack of distinct streaking, and faint or absent red wash in the chest that distinguish Hoary from Common Redpoll.
Our second new Godwit of the trip. One pair was seen at a bridge just outside of Nome fairly far away. Field marks included the even red tone across the breast and belly, contrasting dark areas in the wing, and no lightness in the face of the male.