RE: Advice for Birding Denali Alaska
Was wondering if anyone had suggestions for birding Denali? I have never been and am wondering what the best strategies are. We (wife and daughter, and I ) will be there three days. We will spend one day on some sort of tour bus arranged through Holland America and the other two days are unplanned as yet. After our three days in Denali we head down to Anchorage and then catch the boat near Seward for the inside passage cruise to Vancouver BC. Many birds will be new to me as I have not birded Alaska or the West Coast. I expect I will find some birds fairly easily like Mew Gull, Artic Warlber but others will be more of a challenge. I guess my top dream birds for the trip are Gyr, Northern Hawk Owl and Black-footed or Stellars/Short-tailed Albatross. I expect my chances are not great for any of these but would like to know the best places/strategies for seeing these. I have received input from a birder in AZ, Richard Carlson, who recently took the same trip and he gave some excellent pointers on when and where to look for Pelagic birds on the Cruise boat. I will also be doing a day trip with Captain's Choice out of Seward. The latter trip is apparently good for Alcids but not Pelagics.
Anyway is there any chance of seeing a Gyr Falcon somewhere near the road or within hiking distance along the road in Denali? I have heard from a VA birder that the Gyr near Marmot Rock was not present this Summer. Can anyone suggest another spot with some chance of seeing a Gyr?
Other target birds include:
Willow, Rock, White-tailed Ptarmigan
Any suggestions for Owls? Northern Hawk Owl, Boreal, Great Grey Owl?
I am thinking Poison Ivy, Ticks, and Snakes are not an issue but Bears and Mosquitoes are.
What are the best strategies for Mosquitoes? We all have bug suit shirts
but no pants. I am hoping that these shirts paired with deet spray will
I am hoping Fall migration will be in full swing the first week of August or is this a week too soon?
Thanks for any advice or tips you can send my way.
William Leigh leightern@...
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