Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Diary Update #7 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 2017

🌦  Saturday 20th May 2017 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ  ~ Before heading off from Homer back north to Anchorage Dee and I spent the morning trying to catch up on a few species which had thus far eluded us. We decided on a final drive back to Lands End, the furthest point along the 4 mile Homer Spit, stopping off at various vantage points along the route. The previously mentioned Loons and Scoters were all to be found but a few additions I haven't mentioned thus far included: Long-tailed Duck, Common Murre, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot and Red-breasted Merganser.

Aleutian Tern ~ Photo from Wilderness Birding 
Our final option was to enjoy our breakfast while sea-watching from the Ocean Loop Road, a perfect spot for some serious scoping! Three Black Terns, such a rarity here, were still to be found along with Bonaparte's Gull and the many Black-legged Kittiwake but a few birds on the reasonably calm water took the eye, one in particular a Tufted Puffin! As for the elusive Aleutian Terns? Well there were certainly Terns out at distance and by all accounts the Aleutians seldom plunge dive and these certainly weren't during a good hours watching, instead skim feeding but did I have enough information to add this lifer to my list? Sadly I think not πŸ€”  too distant and never coming close enough to clinch that white forehead but you know what, they may just have been!!

The sheer variation of aircraft at Ted Steven's Airport Anchorage!
🌨  Tuesday 23rd May 2017 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ  ~ Since arriving in Anchorage on Saturday evening birding has taken a short break and Dee and I have been city dwellers, exploring the sights the sounds of this amazing municipality. Well nearly, as birds can literally be found anywhere in the downtown areas, as per my latest tweet!

Douglas DC3C 
Being an aviation enthusiast too one bonus for me has been the Ted Stevens International Airport, literally just across the road from our hotel! Due to its location on the globe, being almost equidistant from New York City and Tokyo, Anchorage lies within 9 ½ hours by air to nearly 90% of the industrialised world. For this reason, the Anchorage International Airport is a common refueling stop for many international cargo flights and aircraft such as the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 and Boeing 727 are a regular feature here! Just wandering around the outskirts of this huge airport (6th busiest in the world) you can come across some amazing aircraft still in service. I should also mention that Lake Hood, on the opposite side of our hotel from the airport is the busiest seaplane base in the world, so I hope you bare with me if I hand over this particular post to my aviation enthusiasm!

Northern Air Cargo Boeing 727

Everts Air Cargo DC6

Ravn Air De Havilland Dash 8~100

Douglas DC6 ~ Northern Air Cargo

Asiana


Atlas 747F

Boeing 747F

Everts Air Cargo DC9

FedEx MD11 on approach!