Bering Sea islands trip, June 30-July 7

We are now finalizing the schedule of the Bering Sea Islands trip. It will include St Paul, St Matthew, and Unalaska Islands. In addition to island endemics such as Unalaska Collared Lemming, Insular Vole, Pribilof Island Shrew, McKay’s Bunting and Red-legged Kittiwake, it will include the world’s largest Northern Fur Seal rookeries, tame Arctic Foxes, and possibly a Walrus haulout. We’ll also look for marine mammals and birds, such as Steineger’s Beaked Whale, North Pacific Right Whale and all more common species of North Pacific cetaceans, as well as Ribbon Seal, Whiskered Auklet, Short-tailed Albatross, and Mottled Petrel. In order to make the detailed schedule, we need to know how many people are interested in participating, so if you are, please send me an email to dinets at gmail. The preliminary description is at http://zbirdtours.com/stmatthew/stmatthew2015.htm, but if there’s enough people, we can separate them into a more mammal-oriented subgroup with mammal-optimized schedule.

Vladimir Dinets

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4 Comments on “Bering Sea islands trip, June 30-July 7”

  1. mojomort Says:

    Hi Vlad.

    Still interested!

    Please could you elaborate what specific efforts will be made to find
    Steineger’s BW, NP Right W and Ribbon Seal?

    The tour description on zbirdtours seems very birding oriented, which is fine (Mckay’s bunting!), but are we going to prioritize these rare mammals or not?

    Please keep me updated also regarding no of participants = likelihood of the voyage happening.

    Thanks, Morten

    • vdinets Says:

      Morten,
      The only thing you can do to maximize the chances of finding these three is keeping a constant seawatch during inter-island crossings.
      It looks like I’ll not take part in 2015 trip (there weren’t enough people interested in mammals), but I will in 2016. So you have the choice of going in 2015 on the mostly-birding tour (in which case you can contact zbirdtours directly) or waiting until 2016.
      Vladimir

      • mojomort Says:

        Hi Vladimir. I was thinking maybe some research had disclosed some hot-spots, or the itinerary might include some sea-mounts for beaked whales, etc. Thanks for the tip, I will probably not do the trip in 2015 if there is no particular mammal focus.

        Cheers, Morten

  2. vdinets Says:

    AFAIK, there is only one hotspot for Steneger’s, and it’s the Commander Islands. But it is regularly seen all along the Aleutians.


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