For enquiries & bookings, please following this link:  Birding Direct - United States

This tour is operated by High Lonesome BirdTours in partnership with BirdingDirect.
These are large group tours (up to 16 guests with multiple tour leaders), and will have guests from both Highlonesome as well as BirdingDirect.

Gambell is a remote Yupik village on the northwestern tip of St. Lawrence Island, lying roughly 40 miles southeast of the Russian mainland which is visible on the horizon on a clear day. The small and welcoming community here still practices a traditional lifestyle that is rare in other parts of the country. It remains one of the most far-flung and fascinating birding locations in all of Alaska, offering the chance to observe millions of nesting seabirds, migrating waterfowl and loons, plus an excellent chance to find several Eurasian migrants and vagrants that are very rare in other regions of the ABA area and North America. The seawatch here is incredibly productive, especially during the spring when millions of birds are rushing north from the Bering Sea and points further south to reach their Arctic breeding grounds. Four species of eiders pass by in considerable numbers, including the rare Steller’s and Spectacled, small numbers of Emperor Geese are possible, four species of scoters and five species of loons, including good numbers of Arctic and Yellow-billed – often flying right past the point. All three jaegers move through while Black-legged Kittiwakes are abundant and Sabine’s Gulls frequent, even Red-legged Kittiwake, Ross’s and Ivory Gulls are possible but are extremely rare. The number of alcids here is truly astounding and counting in the millions. The evening flights include Common and Thick-billed Murres, Black and Pigeon Guillemots, Parakeet, Least and Crested Auklets, and Horned and Tufted Puffins. Northern Fulmars and Pelagic Cormorants are common from the seawatch. The alcid species can also be observed closely on the talus slopes they use for nesting near the village and during most years at least one or two Dovekies are present, a very rare nesting species in Alaska. Other regular spring visitors to Gambell include Brant, Tundra Swan, Harlequin Duck, Pacific Golden-Plover, Rock Sandpiper, Red and Red-necked Phalaropes, Rough-legged Hawk, Short-eared Owl, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, and the range-restricted McKay’s Bunting. Several species with largely Eurasian distribution occur regularly as passage migrants on Gambell during the spring with a handful remaining to nest, including Common Ringed Plover, Red-necked Stint, Slaty-backed Gull, Arctic Warbler, Bluethroat, Northern Wheatear, Eastern Yellow and White Wagtails, and Red-throated Pipit. Eurasian vagrants and rarities we have observed during spring tours over the past five years include Tundra Bean-Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Lesser Sand-Plover, Pin-tailed Snipe, Terek, Common, Wood and Green Sandpipers, Gray-tailed Tattler, Common Greenshank, White-tailed Eagle, Common Chiffchaff, Eyebrowed Thrush, Red-flanked Bluetail, Siberian Stonechat, Brambling, Hawfinch, Eurasian Bullfinch, and Pallas’s Bunting (many others are possible). Of course, the number and diversity of Eurasian species and rarities are highly weather and wind-dependent, as such it is unpredictable, making each day on Gambell very exciting. The seawatch can also prove exciting for mammals with Gray Whales often observed closely and depending on the amount of sea ice, Walrus, Bearded and Ribbon Seals are possible, while Arctic Foxes occasionally wander about the tundra close to the village.

Our accommodations will be simple but comfortable in Gambell (basic rooms and shared bathrooms). Walking on Gambell is very strenuous because of the loose gravel. In order to make Gambell more accessible, we provide ATVs for our customers, usually two per ATV. Our primary leader will be Stephan Lorenz. We will have additional leaders as needed.


Top Birds

Common or annual species - Emperor Goose, Least, Parakeet & Crested Auklets, Little Auk, Yellow-billed, Black-throated & Pacific Loons, Steller’s, Spectacled, King & Common Eiders, Ivory & Slaty-backed Gulls, Common Ringed Plover, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Gray-tailed Tattler, Red-necked Stint, Red Phalarope, White Wagtail, Brambling. Less common Asian vagrants - Green, Terek, Common Sandpipers, Long-toed & Temminck’s Stints, Common Greenshank, Great Knot, Little, Temminck’s & Long-toed Stints, Common Snipe, Common Cuckoo, Sky Lark, Dusky Warbler, Taiga Flycatcher, Siberian Rubythroat, Dusky & Eyebrowed Thrushes, Olive-backed Pipit, Rustic Bunting, Brambling, Common Rosefinch, Eurasian Bullfinch and Hawfinch.

Top Mammals

Walrus, Harbour Seal, Arctic Fox, Grey & Killer Whales

Habitats Covered

boreal & taiga forest; tundra; mountain ranges; lakes & shorelines; Pacific Rainforest; islands

Expected Climate

mild to colder on the water.

Max Group Size

16 with 3 HL Tour Leaders

Tour Pace & Walking

intense; some hiking through marsh and rough ground every day but ATV’s available


very comfortable hotels & lodges.

Ease of Birding


Other Attractions

Local culture; scenery (you can see Russia on a clear day!)

Photographic Opportunities


What our clients say about us

Stephan Lorenz
RJ - Alaska 2021

Stephan was an outstanding guide, as usual, and Claudia was a great spotter and helper. The lodging in Barrow was better than expected, as was the food there.

Stephan Lorenz
ML, Alaska 2018

Stephen Lorenz and Dave Krueper were terrific guides. Complemented each other beautifully. Thanks so much for an incredible experience.

Stephan Lorenz
CM & JM, Alaska 2018

The tour was very well organised and run. The guides, Stephan Lorenz and Dave Krueper, were excellent. They went out of their way to ensure that all the group members had a chance to see and identify the birds, especially concentrating on those they knew were life birds. Having two guides for 10 tour members was great and being in two vans for travel ensured that we all had sufficient space and window area to spread out and see everything. Even the weather was pretty good. Great tour!

Stephan Lorenz
EL, Alaska 2018

Stephan Lorenz is an exceptional guide, being both a wizard at finding and identifying birds and also dealing with people. He has a kind and funny manner that puts everyone at ease. I am glad that Rockjumper has hired him and look forward to being on some of his trips in the future.

Forrest Rowland
AG, Alaska

Forrest Rowland was a wonderful guide. He is extremely knowledgeable about birds and always takes the time to consider the wants, needs and priorities of the group. He works with his group to form a common goal. He was extremely professional and he had a remarkably positive attitude. His enthusiasm was infectious and admirable, as was his perseverance in finding us any species that we wanted and which was possible to see. Forrest is personable, humorous, and extremely generous and kind-hearted. I am so grateful to have met him.

Alaska - Gambell: The Siberian Express 2024

26 May 2024 - 03 Jun 2024 (9 days)

USD6,900 - Spaces Available


Tour Leader: Local Leader


Tour Leader: Stephan Lorenz

Tour price (Per person): USD6,900 * GBP5,683 * EUR6,533 * AUD10,812

Single Supplement: USD525 * GBP432 * EUR497 * AUD823

Alaska - Gambell: The Siberian Express 2025

25 May 2025 - 02 Jun 2025 (9 days)

USD0 - No Spaces Available


Tour Leader: Local Leader

Pricing notes : Please see BirdingDirect link for spaces and pricing.

Tour price (Per person): Price to be announced

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