• Is this our most beautiful goose? Emperor Geese on Kodiak Island. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • Emperor Geese stretch in the morning light at Kodiak. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • Large flocks of Emperor Geese winter on Kodiak Island. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • Over 1,000 Emperor Geese winter on Kodiak Island. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • Steller's Eiders display to each other at Kodiak. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • Kodiak is one of Alaska's best locations for getting excellent views of Steller's Eiders. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A highlight of the Kodiak tour was watching Northern Hawk Owls at length. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • The insignis race of Song Sparrow is a common year-round resident on Kodiak Island. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A pair of Gyrfalcons just outside of Nome was a very nice surprise on this short trip. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A pair of Gyrfalcons just outside of Nome was a very nice surprise on this short trip. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • McKay's Buntings at Nome, where they winter and outnumber Snow Buntings. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A McKay's Bunting outside Nome. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A McKay's Bunting outside Nome. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A McKay's Bunting outside Nome. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • McKay's Buntings outside Nome. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • McKay's Buntings outside Nome. Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • Finally, a Snow Bunting in the small flocks of McKay's Buntings! What a problem to have! Photo Lucas DeCicco.
  • A McKay's Bunting outside Nome. Photo Lucas DeCicco.

Our first early spring trip to Kodiak and Nome was a fantastic success. Our goals of this trip were to cash in on the spectacle of wintering waterfowl in Kodiak, including Emperor Geese, and to find the elusive McKay’s Buntings still on their wintering grounds in Nome. In between, the group enjoyed Steller’s Eider, Gyrfalcon, Northern Hawk Owl, Red-faced Cormorant, Slaty-backed Gull, and Hawfinch!

Photos by Lucas DeCicco.

A full trip report is here.