Leg 8. KODIAK ISLAND and the
ALEUTIAN ISLANDS to DUTCH HARBOR
Turning a splendid green during the summer months, Kodiak is called Alaska’s Emerald Isle. It has one of the world’s largest commercial fishing ports and boasts a population of nearly 14 000. We will park our RV’s in Anchorage and fly to Kodiak Island where we will stay three days (two nights). You will have plenty to do here and can choose from visiting the historic Russian Orthodox Church, the Native Alutiiq museum, the WWII Military History Museum, or just take a walking tour of the historic city. We can also drive to the top of 1400-ft. Pillar Mountain or visit Fort Abercromie State Historical Park. We will also be birding the island by rental vehicle.
The highlight of our trip just may not be the history, nor the birds, but the bears. We have hired a float plane to take us to the protected area of the famous Kodiak bears where we will observe them for 1.5 to 2 hours in their natural habitat. On our previous trip, this day was clearly the highlight of the year and probably ranks among the best nature events of a lifetime. From hiking to wildlife viewing, Kodiak’s natural setting will certainly be an experience to remember.
George West, author of A Birder’s Guide to Alaska, writes “The trip from Homer to Dutch Harbor/Unalaska on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry M/V Tustumena is a once-in-a-lifetime birding experience."
Starting from Dutch Harbor, we will cruise southwest along the Aleutian chain to Kodiak Island as our destination. On the ferry most of our birding will be by watching the sea, passing islands along the Aleutian chain. This is an opportunity to see hundreds of thousands of seabirds. Ancient Murrelets and Cassin’s Auklets nest in vast numbers between Chignik and Dutch Harbor. We will stop briefly at Akutan, Cold Bay, King Cove, Sand Point, Chignik and finally a two-night stop at Kodiak Island before we fly back to Anchorage. This ferry trip is on the wish list for many birders, but few get the chance. Now, you have yours!
Harbor Seal, Grizzly Bear, Sea Otter, Red Fox, Dall’s Porpoise, Harbor Porpoise, Humpback Whale, Fin Whale, Gray Whale, Dall’s Sheep, Mule Deer. Common Eider, Harlequin Duck, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Laysan Albatross, Black-footed Albatross, Northern Fulmar, Mottled Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, Short-tailed Shearwater, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Red-faced Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Bald Eagle, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Wilson’s Snipe, Red-necked Phalarope, Red Phalarope, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sabine’s Gull, Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Arctic Tern, Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Pomarine Jaeger, Common Murre, Thick-billed Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet, Cassin’s Auklets, Parakeet Auklet, Crested Auklet, Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin, Northwestern Crow, Pacific Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Lapland Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Pine Grosbeak, Pine Siskin.
$4,490 one person (assumes second person is staying in RV
in Anchorage during Barrow trip)
$6,490 two people (double occupancy)