We took a charter flight from Anadyr, Russia to Nome, Alaska. At the Anadyr airport we were met by very serious officials taking at least 5 minute to review our documents and about 15 for Debbi Shearwater. We made it out of Russian air space and within 2 hours we landed in Nome. As we went through customs, we met the director of the Nome Visitor's Center and he mentioned that there was a rare bird seen at Point Nome, which was about 15 minute south of town. We first stopped at our B&B, Angel Camp By The Sea, and even before we go into our rooms I asked the owner where to rent a car and she said the one I was standing next to me was for rent. So that was easy. We dropped off our gear and we were off to find the rare bird. We got to Point Nome and within 10 minutes the bird hopped onto the road within 10m of us: a Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka). This bird was first seen on July 4th 2017 and this was the first sighting of this species in the western hemisphere. Unfortunately, I took the battery out of my camera for the flight and forgot to put it back in but Nick was able to get a shot (ebird cklist).
The next day Nick and I traveled north along Teller Hwy can came across Blackpoll Warbler, Common Redpoll, Semipalmated Plover, Willow Ptarmigan, Bar-tailed Godwit, and Arctic Tern. The little guy below was a juvenile Arctic Tern and with the overcast sky and mixed light rain made for nice soft light. I was set up to shoot fast (1/1600s) so I had to stop down to f/4 (wide open of the 500mm lens) and upped the ISO to 1250. I was able to get very close to the young tern and capture the downy feather details nicely.
The others in my group flew out the next morning but my flight left around 8pm so I headed east along the cost where I found many Lapland Longspurs many wild flowers and a Red Fox. The Fox walked right by me then laid down close me and I really wanted to pet the guy. The trip was very rewarding and I would like to thank Debi Shearwater for coordinating the tour. I added 137 species to my bird life list but the adventure I will have forever.
Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about these photos or any other leave me a message.