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.
The port of Dutch Harbor and Unalaska Island offer some of the best birding in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Lying on the far eastern end of the island chain, Unalaska and nearby Amaknak Island have a well-developed infrastructure supporting one of the busiest harbors in the United States. This allows for relatively easy access and a comfortable stay in the otherwise wild and rugged Aleutian Islands. While the Whiskered Auklet is the top target species of the tour there is a lot more to see. In fact, we record more species of alcids and seabirds during our Dutch Harbor Tour than on any other Alaska tour, and during our pelagic boat tour, we can see Common and Thick-billed Murres, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled, Kittlitz’s and Ancient Murrelets, Cassin’s, Crested, Parakeet and Least (rare) Auklets, Horned and Tufted Puffins, Layson and Black-footed Albatross, Short-tailed Shearwater, Northern Fumar, Black-legged Kittiwake, Pelagic and Red-faced Cormorants, scoters, loons, and Common Eider. In recent years, Red-legged Kittiwake has been frequently seen in small numbers and we have also recorded the endangered Short-tailed Albatross several times. The time we spend on land, exploring the wetlands, tundra, bays, and coastline, will also be filled with birds and Unalaska harbors such notable species as Harlequin Duck, Rock Ptarmigan (nelsoni ssp.), Black Oystercatcher, Rock Sandpiper, Pacific Wren, American Dipper, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Common Redpoll, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting, and the unalaschcensis subspecies of “Sooty” Fox Sparrow. The islands and surrounding pelagic waters are home to many mammals with Sea Otters abundant and Humpback and Minke Whales, Harbor Porpoises, Harbor Seals, and Steller’s Sea Lion all frequent. Back on land Red Foxes prowl the tundra and Arctic Ground Squirrels are common. The quaint town of Unalaska also offers two museums, and a historic Russian Orthodox church all with a backdrop of dramatic volcanic mountains clad in verdant maritime tundra vegetation – let’s not forget the abundant wildflowers. This diversity of birds, the potential for rarities, and unique scenery make this an ideal tour for first-time visitors or seasoned Alaska birders.
Whiskered Auklet; Laysan & Black-footed Albatross, Short-tailed Albatross (seen rarely on a couple of our trips); Short-tailed & Sooty Shearwater; Red-faced Cormorant; Horned & Tufted Puffin; Kittlitz’s, Ancient & Marbled Murrelet; Rock Ptarmigan; American Dipper; Aleutian Song Sparrow; Pacific Wren; Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch; Lapland Longspur; Snow Bunting
Sea Otter; Steller’s Sea Lion; Harbor Seal; several species of whales
high tundra, pelagic
cool and sometimes wet; 40 to 60°F (5 - 16°C)
12 with 2 HL Tour Leaders
easy; minimal walking per day, most birding by vehicle or boat.
very comfortable hotels with excellent restaurants
good to excellent
Stephen Lorenz and Dave Krueper were terrific guides. Complemented each other beautifully. Thanks so much for an incredible experience.
This was a great trip – way better than could even be expected. Yes, we saw Ross’s Gulls streaking across the distant horizon, but we also saw a polar bear mom and two cubs and our time in Barrow coincided with the Inupiat whale harvest. While the death of whales is always a bit sad, the opportunity to see subsistence hunters is rare these days. Stephan Lorenz has proved to be one of my favorite guides – his combination of ‘bionic eyes’ (Claudia’s report), great hearing, real understanding of bird behavior and incredible patience means he is my go-to guide for difficult species that I’ve missed on other tours (or not tried to see before because it seemed too difficult). With Stephan, I have ‘ticked’ Bachman’s Sparrow, Swainson’s Warbler, Buff-collared Nightjar, Short-tailed Albatross, Whiskered Auklet, Spectacled Eider, Emperor Goose, Bar-tailed Godwit (in Alaska), among many other much-sought after species. But Stephan and Claudia also keep every trip enjoyable. Claudia is a great birder in her own right and can set up a scope on the target bird as fast as Stephan. It is great to have two scopes set up immediately. What could be very discouraging to an older birder with poor eyesight and poor hearing like me turns out to be a delightful trip. Imagine spending hours and hours in a freezing wind staring out to an empty sea and still calling it fun. I am looking forward to traveling with Stephan and Claudia again as soon as possible.
Stephan Lorenz was great. He knew every bird and plant and was helpful to me in getting the photos that I wanted.
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.
The weather adversely affected the Gambell visit such that hoped for vagrants were minimal during our stay. The Siberian Express mostly failed to stop there. That was beyond anyone’s control and, thanks to the efforts of the guides, the birding experience was still very good. Stephan Lorenz did an exceptional job. Between Covid and the weather his job seemed unusually difficult but he handled things extremely well. I would definitely go on another tour with Mr. Lorenz as guide.
20 Jun 2024 - 23 Jun 2024 (4 days)
USD4,750 - No Spaces Available
19 Jun 2025 - 22 Jun 2025 (4 days)
USD0 - Spaces Available
Tour Leader: Local Leader
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