Fall Gambell Trip Now Available
September 1 – 8, 2012
St. Lawrence Island lies in the Bering Sea just off the Siberian coast. Gambell is a small, timeless Eskimo village subsisting much as it has for thousands of years. On clear days, Siberia can be seen 35 miles in the distance. Whale, walrus, seal, polar bear and birds account for most of the native diet. High Arctic and Asian vagrants are the draw at Gambell. Most of the Asian species recorded in North America have been seen in Gambell and its environs. We will spend much of our time within a couple of miles of the village. There are huge colonies of Parakeet, Least and Crested Auklets on the cliffs within walking distance. Northwest Point provides a “super-highway” for seabirds passing very close by the island in migration and usually yield Arctic Loon, Yellow-billed Loon , Dovekie, Emperor Goose and Ivory Gull as well as many other seabirds and ducks. The centuries old bone yards often hide vagrant passerines, e.,g, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, and Common Cuckoo. The marsh about two miles from town is superb for shorebirds and typically yields several of the Asiatic shorebirds.
Fall trips afford the opportunity to discover first North American records, as has happened for the past several years during the period from about August 20 – October 30. Wryneck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Stonechat, Middendorf’s, Grasshopper-Warbler, Rosefinch, Pechora Pipit, Reed Warbler, Pallas’ Reed-Bunting are only a few of the many extraordinary species found in Gambell during the fall migration. The photo below, taken by Phil Davis on a historic High Lonesome Gambell tour, shows the bird that represented the first US record of Eurasian Wryneck. On our Fall trip, we should also have time on our return to Nome on our last day and go out to Safety Sound to see the spectacular waterfowl migration.
Our accommodations will be simple but comfortable. Walking on Gambell is very strenuous because of loose gravel, so to make the best sites more accessible, we provide ATVs for our customers, usually two people per ATV.
Our primary leader will be David MacKay; his wife Jen MacKay, a professional chef in Mexico and cook extraordinaire, will provide our cooking. Other groups are especially envious of Jen’s fine cooking. We will have additional leaders as needed.
Use this link to find out more.