Day 284 – “Here’s to Alaska, here’s to the people…here’s to the wild and here’s to the free.”

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I grew up watching nature shows. Sunday nights I was glued to the TV, watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. I loved them all but nobody could transport me to another world like Jacques Cousteau. I wanted more than anything to be on his crew. This was a child’s dream. Life, marriage, family and work, put those dreams to rest.

Now I’m in the autumn of my life and I get to live the life of adventure I always craved. I’ve been to Alaska 5 times this year. 47 days and counting. Gambell, Nome, Barrow, Adak, Attu. Places I’d never dreamed of, are now part of my daily lexicon.

I’m in Kodiak, Alaska birding with my friend, Rich McIntosh. I met Rich in Gambell, Alaska last month. We formed the kind of quick friendship that happens when you spend 10 days together in close proximity. I like birding with Rich.

The purpose of my trip was to see an Emperor Goose, one of the few remaining Code 2 birds that I still needed. We saw 200 Geese in less than five minutes. This opened up the whole day to bird with no pressure.

The weather was spectacular. Sunny, 52 degrees with a slight wind. We decided to take Rich’s Boston Whaler out for the day and bird around the coastline. We thought about doing some fishing but there was just so much to see on the water. Our best birds were an adult Yellow-billed Loon sitting on the water, several Short-tailed Shearwaters, Ancient and Marbled Murrelets, and 5 Rock Sandpipers.

After dinner, we went to follow-up on a Boreal Owl report. Although we never got our eyes on it, it was calling loudly and we could tell it was very close by. We are trying again tonight for pictures!

This morning I woke up with a cold. I’m going to have to rest soon.


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  1. James says:

    Emperor Geese look so cool! Good luck with the Boreal Owl pics. I have my third ever bird walk coming up tomorrow, so I’m super excited. Hope I can add to the list of 117 I have now.

    1. James says:

      Edit: I can no longer go on the walk. yippee

      1. The Dancing Birder says:

        Sorry! Don’t worry James. You have many adventures ahead of you.

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