Alaska 2010 Day Three

Monday, June 07, 2010, Led by Ashok Khosla

Photos by Bill Walker

27 Species at Council Road, AK

Bar-tailed Godwit [2]
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.
Red-necked Phalarope
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.
Long-tailed Jaeger [30]
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 Longspur
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.
Hoary Redpoll
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.

27 Species at Council Road, AK

Bar-tailed Godwit [2]
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.
Red-necked Phalarope
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.
Long-tailed Jaeger [30]
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 Longspur
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.
Hoary Redpoll
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.

27 Species at Council Road, AK

Council Road
Red-necked Phalarope
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.
Long-tailed Jaeger [30]
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 Longspur
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.
Hoary Redpoll
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.
Bar-tailed Godwit [2]
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.

Trip Map

Trip Notes

This was our travel day to Nome. We arrived around lunchtime and took a half day drive along Council Road up to the western end of Safety Sound, roughly milepost (MP) 20.