Overview

This tour is offered in partnership with High Lonesome Birdtours.

The Pribilof Islands are a storied archipelago, smack in the middle of the Bering Sea and anchored 600 miles from mainland Alaska. Well known as a key part of the Alaska Purchase in 1867, and rich in history and as the largest Aleut community today, Saint Paul Island has long been famous among birders as well, in particular for hosting some of the largest colonies of alcids (auks and other seabirds) in the world, as well as the largest Northern Fur Seal colony on Earth. An isolated and charming island, the natives have long had a mind for wildlife and ecotourism, and in addition to the stunning breeding seabirds, Asian vagrants also visit St. Paul in May and June. We shall hope for a few of the long list of possible vagrants, along with the amazing resident species. The undoubted highlights of this adventure are the huge colonies of seabirds nesting on the cliffs and in the rocks on the island, including Parakeet, Least and Crested Auklets, Horned and Tufted Puffins, Thick-billed and Common Murre, Northern Fulmar and both Black-legged and Red-legged Kittiwakes.

Single Rooming is highly improbable on this tour.

Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.

Tour Facts Top Birds
King & Steller’s Eider (uncommon), Red-faced & Pelagic Cormorants, Red-legged Kittiwake & Sabine’s Gull (uncommon), Tufted & Horned Puffin, Least, Crested & Parakeet Auklet, Ancient Murrelet, Short-eared & Snowy Owl, Grey-crowned Rosy Finch, Snow & MacKay’s Bunting (rare). Asian rarities possible: Bean Goose, Common Pochard, Smew, Tufted Duck, Common & Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Great Knot, Black-tailed Godwit, Siberian Rubythroat, Eye-browed Thrush & Brambling. Other rarities, e.g., Chinese Pond Heron, Little Stint, Far Eastern Curlew, Brown Shrike, Dusky Thrush, Olive-backed Pipit, Hawfinch have all been recorded, mostly in May & early June.
Top Mammals
Arctic Fox, Grizzly Bear, Gray Wolf, Caribou, Moose, Dall Sheep, Sea Otter, Humpback Whale, Musk Ox, a chance for Polar Bear.
Habitats Covered
barren tundra, pelagic waters, rocky shorelines.
Expected Climate
cold with high winds possible.
Max Group Size
12 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
Our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we tend to spend a single night at most sites and travel large distances. There is very little down time aside from that spent driving from one site to the next. These tours are not suitable for dedicated or avid photographers; inexperienced or new birders; as well as anyone with serious mobility or health challenges.
Accommodation
comfortable Anchorage hotel; on St. Paul Island: basic but comfortable, with shared baths (only lodging on the island).
Ease of Birding
easy
Number of Species Expected
170 -180
Other Attractions
pribilof Islands, Mt McKinley views, Aleut and Eskimo cultures.
Photographic Opportunities
excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Itinerary Voice Note Client Testimonials

Stephan Lorenz is an outstanding guide. His knowledge of birds - including their identification, behaviours and biology - is exceptional. He and his partner Claudia provided excellent service to the clients. They made sure all our interests and needs were attended to, and they actively engaged in making the trip both educational and fun.

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 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.

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!

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
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