Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nome - IV

It was a bit later start today, but we were underway by 7:00. We headed west along the Teller Road. We were looking for Rock Ptarmigan which we had missed yesterday. We saw over 30 Willow Ptarmigan at the edges of the road before it began to fog up, making seeing anything at a distance difficult. But finally during a period of clearing, Sean spotted a Rock Ptarmigan sitting on a rock (what else!). We crept up on the bird taking a series of closer and closer photos (photo), finally flushing the bird off his rock. But he returned a short time after we left. Generally the male Rock Ptarmigan retains his white feathers longer than does a male Willow Ptarmigan, and the bill is smaller, something you can see rather easily. With the major target bird out of the way we enjoyed a fine day on the tundra walking on rocky hillsides where Surfbirds, Red Knots, and Wandering Tattlers nest. At the end of the road is the village of Teller where the fog parted enough to let us scan the harbor where we saw all three scoters. On the way back to Nome, we stopped at a location where Black-bellied Plovers nest. This is very near the southernmost breeding location in North America, the more characteristic locations being on the tundra of the north slope. Nearby were nesting Ruddy Turnstones. Back in Nome we repacked our stuff and drove to the airport where we checked our baggage and went to dinner where many people had halibut tempura , while some had kimchi, and others had sushi rolls. The flight to Anchorage was on time. After we arrived, John picked up the rental car and we went to the Puffin Inn to catch up on our sleep. I used the opportunity to update the blog. But it's now 1:40am and I'm going to bed. Tomorrow we drive to Denali NP. The Rock Ptarmigan brought the year's list total to 619.
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  1. Joyce & Bob, wow, what a great time in alaska, paula

  2. My legs are tired just reading about all the walking!!!