Photo: Magnus Martinsson
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN Snowy Owl
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Grey Phalarope
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Pomarine Skua
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Homer
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Least Sandpiper
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Tundra Swan
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Aleutian Tern
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Muskox
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Barrow
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Steller's Eider
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Spruce Grouse
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Saloon in Nome
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Arctic Warbler
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Pacific Diver
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Cliff Swallow
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Moose
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Bristle-thighed Curlew
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Gray Jay
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
American Golden Plover
Photo: Magnus Martinsson



Alaska Grand Tour with extension days on St Paul Island (Pribiloffs)



29 May 17 June 2020

Extension days St Paul island 18-21 June 2020,
click here to read more about the extension




A bird & nature journey to Alaska is a dream for many a birder and photographer. We will visit legendary bird spots like Barrow, Nome, Seward and Denali. We aim to experience a variety of Alaska´s wide range of habitats, from coastal rainforest, forested mountains, crystal lakes mirroring snow clad mountain peaks to rocky coasts.
We will do boat excursions in rocky fiords where sea mammals and seabirds entertain us and walk on the flat tundra in the midnight sun and overview the Arctic Sea. Landscapes are breath-taking, nature untouched and the birds are fascinating.
We will have the chance to see Spectacled Eiders on breeding grounds, burning red Grey Phalaropes in summer plumage, listen to the Owl-like display call of Pectoral Sandpipers, and enjoy hunting Pomarine Skuas and Snowy Owls over the tundra. Quantities of Pacific Auks , local specialities like Bristle-thighed Curlew, Aleutian Tern, taiga birds like Spruce Grouse, Gray Jays and north american ”classical birds” like Bald Eagle, Great Northern Diver, american Warblers, Thrushes, Chickadees, etc. Add to that good chances on seeing mammals like Muskox, Grizzly, Black Bear, Arctic Fox, Walrus, Sea Otters, Fur seals, Orcas and other Cetaceans.


Read more about the areas we´ll visit:

Barrow
Barrow is the northernmost outpost of the Alaska peninsula. An arctic outpost where no mass tourism have reached, where hunting and fishing have been the traditional and dominating economical activities up till today. Here inuits still are permitted to hunt Greenland whales.
Barrow is right on the coastline of the Arctic Sea, out on the tundra, a flat permafrost landscape with thousands of water pools creating excellent breeding habitats for a variety of attractive birds. The breeding fauna offers one of the avifauna´s most striking birds, the Spectacled Eider. Also the other Eider species King-, and Steller´s Eider breed here. Common Eider of the pacific subspecies too. We will also get acquainted with the Pacific Diver. The area also hold some attractive shorebird species - all in summer plumage of course - Long-billed Dowitcher, Grey Phalarope, Pectoral Sandpipers, Pacific Golden Plover, Semipalmated- and Sandpiper. The puddles also attract dabbling ducks. Some rarer species appear from time to time, sometimes even breeding, for instance Baird´s Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Sabine´s Gull, White-billed Diver, Surf Scoter, Emperor Goose. Three species of Skuas or Jaegers (in american) hunt over the tundra and obviously Pomarine will be the most ”exotic” to us.
Arctic Fox also appear in the area, but - just like the Snowy Owls - depend highly on the lemming season. During not so good lemming years, Snowy Owls are often seen on the cemetery just behind our hotel. Here we have 3 full days to explore the landscape and look for the best birds and mammals. We will be out during the night to get the best light for photography and have some more rest during the days. Weather can - as often in the Arctics - be grey, cold and hard - but we hope to get some still, clear days with that excellent northern sheen on the birds. We will travel in 4x4 vehicles on the tracks that lead out on the tundra, but also move by foot to get close to the birds.


Denali National Park with Wonder Lake
One of North Americas scenic wonders. Glaciers, forest and mountains with snow-clad peaks mirrors in clear and beautiful lakes. Mount McKinley - the highest peak in the North Americas (6.900 meters) is constantly present as a distant backdrop. Here one cannot but spend some time for landscape photography, or get the native Divers reflecting in the surfaces. In the forest we look for curious Gray Jays, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Boreal- and Black-capped Chickadee and the tame but hard-to-find Spruce Grouse. Other species around here are Cliff Swallow, American Dipper, Wilson´s- and Tennessee Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, Lesser- and Greater Yellowlegs, Black-billed Magpie. From Europe we will be more familiar with the Golden Eagles and Merlins. The harder challenges are Say´s Phoebe and the declining Smith´s Longspur. Some years Waxwing, Hawk Owl and Two-barred Crossbill also breed.
Since private vehicles are prohibited in the park, we go by shuttle bus to different viewpoints. The drivers are very dedicated to find and show and even make sure that everybody gets to see the birds and mammals. The latter being a major part of the attraction here with Moose, Grizzly, Black Bear, Snow-shoe Hare, Caribou and Dall Sheep. One of the days we leave Denali to drive east on the famous Old Denali Highway, a gravel road that leads out 130 miles straight out in wilderness from taiga to tundra. Here we have the chance to see Upland Sandpiper, Arctic Warbler and Trumpeter Swan. Naturally we try for the rare Smith´s Longspur as well.


Nome
Situated on the middle of the Alaskan west coast, on a peninsula reaching out into Bering´s sound at it´s most narrow part.
Here we stay in the heart of the village that looks like a wild west town and where adventurers, gold-diggers and bird-watchers mingle together in the saloon with revolving doors. Allegedly where the gold fever started and some say you can still swipe grit from the streets and extract gold. Still hundreds of kilos of gold are collected every year in this area. Nome is situated on the tundra by the shores of the north Pacific Ocean. The surroundings consist of rolling hills, rivers and mires. Just a bit south of Nome there´s an estuary with a rich birdlife and possibilities like Barrow´s Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck, Red-necked Stint (some years). We will head up in the hills, but also enjoy the shoreline that starts just a few steps from the hotel.
Safety Sound south of Nome is a big delta landscape. Here Semipalmated Sandpiper is the most numerous of the breeding shorebirds. Lapland Bunting is locally common. Western Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Shorelark, Red-necked Phalarope, Short-eared Owl, Buff-bellied Pipit and Pacific Diver. Two of the main attractions around Nome are the Bristle-thighed Curlew and the Aleutian Terns, the latter breeding in a couple of colonies nearby. Muskox is rather common here and we will also look for the rare Rock Sandpiper - seemingly a mix of Purple Sandpiper and Dunlin.

Anchorage with Seward and Kenai Fjord
Anchorage is the base for many birding trips in Alaska, ours being no exception. Here we arrive and from here we depart on domestic flights to the more distant destinations Nome, Barrow and St Paul. But there´s also a number of good birding sites within driving distance.
We start with visiting Lake Spenard and Lake Hood. A good introduction to the birds of Alaska with Pacific Divers, Bald Eagle, Lesser Canada Goose, Bonaparte´s Gull, Violet Green- and Tree Swallows, American Robin, Pine Siskin, Savannah- and White-crowned Sparrow and more. Westchester Lagoon can offer Hudsonian Godwit and Short-billed Dowitcher. On the way to Seward we bird in Potter´s Marsh where we should see species like Ring-necked Ducks, Redhead, Belted Kingfisher, Alder Flycatcher, Wilson´s Warbler, Cliff Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Song Sparrow, Lincoln Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Black-billed Magpie and others. From Seward we do a boat excursion in the Kenai fjord National park with mighty glaciers in the backdrop. Here we have the chance to see many birds as well as Sea Mammals, or what about for instance Horned- and Crested Puffin, Pigeon Guillemot, Ancient-, Marbled- and Kittlitz Murrelet, Parakeet- and Rhinoceros Auklet, American Black Oystercatcher, Pelagic- and Double-crested Cormorant and Short-tailed Shearwater. Sea mammals being represented by Fur Seals, Sea Otters, Humpback Whales and Orcas.

Seward also have a temperate rainforest. Here we do some light trail-hikes to look for Varied Thrush, Red-tailed Hawk, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Golden-crowned- and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Chestnut-backed- and Boreal Chickadees, Gray Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Townsends Warbler, Blackpoll- and Orange-crowned Warbler. Black bears are not uncommon here but can still be hard to see.



Our tour leader is Magnus Martinsson who have done this trip before and is a very skilled photographer. Appreciated for his optimistic attitude and will to share his photographic know-how.



Dates 2020: 29 May - 17 June


Price: 70.875 SEK/ person (flight excluded, approx 14.000 SEK to Anchorage via Reykjavik, most likely with Iceland Air)
We offer to book your tickets. It´s important for us and our ground operator that we arrive together or around the same time.

Max number of participants : 9 persons + tour leader

Included:
Accommodation in double room at all hotels, 2 boat trips in the Kenai fjord, 2 domestic flights from Anchorage (Nome and Barrow). Tundra permit in Barrow, transport with 4x4 vehicles on all destinations. English spoken tour leader with experience from the destination.

Not included:
Air ticket, transfer to your airport, food (approx 200-300 SEK/day) insurance (Note that EU-insurance card does not apply here), alcohol, souvenirs or other personal expenses, tips, etc.

Vaccinations: Hepatitis A&B (Twinrix).

Tour leader: Magnus Martinsson

Application fee: When you´ve applied we send you an invoice on 3.500 SEK when that is paid you are guaranteed a seat on the tour.

Other: This is a "mixed group" trip where Swedish- and English-speaking travelers are welcome.

NOTE! The price is based on 2018 prices in Alaska and can be raised up till 6 months before departure.

Luggage allowed: 23 kg, also on domestic flights.

Recommended equipment:
Lenses: For landscapes wide angle or zoom. Tripod very useful. For birds/mammals 300-500 mm very useful.
Wellingtons/muck boots necessary on the tundra, hiking boots enough in other areas. Mosquito repellant, water proofs, warm clothes like windproof jacket/ trousers, hat, gloves, scarf, fleece, long johns, etc.








booking form / interest!

BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Delta landscape, Nome
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Western Sandpiper
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Caribou
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


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Willow Grouse
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Denali
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Snowy Owl
Photo: Magnus Martinsson

BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Arctic Ground Squirrel
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Lesser Yellowlegs
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Bald Eagle
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Sunrise, Nome
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Spectacled Eider
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Long-billed Dowitcher
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Dall sheep
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
White-crowned Sparrow
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Aerial view
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Baird's Sandpiper
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Pectoral Sandpiper
Photo: Magnus Martinsson


BIRDSAFARISWEDEN
Mount McKinley
Photo: Magnus Martinsson