Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fellowship Reflections (week 17)

Alaska Planning

Diagram - polartrec

A fair amount of time over recent weeks has been spent planning the forthcoming trip to Alaska. It has been hard to avoid some horrendous flights to get to where we are going (I have something like 36 hours worth of travel to get to Nome - Nome is home for 3 weeks), but it's going to be worth it. We are heading up to Nome because the Seward Peninsula is a good breeding ground for Bar-tailed Godwits, though they are notoriously hard to find on their nests.

A Nome Godwit - Ralph Poanessa

They have fanastic cryptic plumage and sit tight on their nests, apparently you can get 1-2m away before they fly off! So the trick will be finding them. A current expedition in Alaska, finding Bristle-thighed curlews, is taking about 40 person-hours per nest. Here's a great photo to give a sense of what the challenge will be...

Photo USGS

Nome is also the ending point of the the famous Iditarod, the trail dog sled race. Not quite the season for it when we are there, given we will have 22 or so hours of daylight, but I'm sure we'll find some of the history of the race around the streets of Nome. Bring it on!


MrWoody said...

What a tremendous treat for you, my friend - and well deserved :-)

Suzie Vesper said...

I am trying not to be jealous! Sounds like an amazing experience. I'm sure you'll make the most of it. I've been learning a lot about stuff I've never heard about before by reading this blog so I'm sure you'll keep educating me on your travels as well :)

Craig Steed said...

Hey MrWoody & Suzie, thanks for the comments. It's going to be amazing - just one week to go. Apparently these is wireless internet in the cabin I am staying at, so hopefully I can keep up the entries while I'm away!

thanks for reading.