#549 Attu, birding over the edge.

I have been to the holy of holies, the mecca that is Attu, and I experienced without a doubt, the best day of nude birding ever experienced.  That was May 31, 2013.  I saw five code three rarities, rustic bunting, brambling, common cuckoo, smew, siberian rubythroat, three code four rarities, far-eastern curlew, dusky-sided flycatcher, gray-sided flycatcher and a code 5..grey wagtail.  ..I added 50 birds to the list, birds I will probably never see again.

More on the subject:


attu birds 2 004

Red-legged kittiwake

bar-tailed godwitBar-tailed godwit

fulmar lightphaseNorthern fulmar, light-phase

layson's albatross 2Layson’s albatross

rock sondpiper runwayRock sandpiper

short tailed albatross mature 2short-tailed albatross

tufted puffin 3Tufted puffin

whiskered aukletwhiskered auklet

eyebrowed thrush kiskaeyebrowed thrush, seen on Kiska

attu birds 2 005

mottled petrel

attu birds 2 007

siberian rubythroat

attu birds 2 009

smew, imature male with female

attu birds 2 010

And odd combination of a brambling left, a code three rarity, plus a grey streaked flycatcher on the left, a code four rarity

attu birds 2 015a second siberian rubythroat

attu birds 2 013

common cuckooo

attu birds 2 011female rustic bunting

ancient murrelet 4

ancient murrelets

bald eagle kiska

bald eagle, western most pair of the species on Kiska

black legged kittiwake 3

black-legged kittiwake

common eider 2

common eider

glaucous winged gull 3

glaucous-winged gull

common murre 2

common murre

harlequin better

harlequin duck

lots of auklets

Millions of Least auklets, coming off Kiska Volcano at evening

attu birds 2 003whiskered auklet

june 2 attu 196 (2)landing on Attu

kiska volcanoMount Kiska, with steaming vent and sulfur staining on the snow

olaf list

Olaf by his ceremonial list on the walls of the old LORANs station in the Roger Tory Peterson suite, in the abandoned building

puk-uk 2The Puk-uk, our 72 foot transportation from Adak to Attu and back

10 thoughts on “#549 Attu, birding over the edge.

  1. Olaf, what an exciting adventure it must have been. The photos are superb, so much so that I am now planning to spend time with my bird books and coffee, educating myself and living vicariously. Cobwebs and dog hair can wait. One important question….was it cold???

    • Well, I free hiked most of the time 4-10 miles per day and almost always naked, some biking naked too, 45-55 degrees, the day of the 55-70 mph winds, I remained clothed. It was a record warm snap and they average only three non raining days for June and we had five, you get used to hiking naked at 50

  2. This trip has to be at the top of your list! Can’t imagine how you can tell some of them apart as I find sea birds tend to look a lot alike — looking at the photos seems like the nude birding part could have been a challenge. Fantastic as always!

  3. Looks like a great adventure. Coffee table book photography. Very nice work.

    Looks like you were part of a group. Raise any eyebrows? I expect that the cool air temperature was also a challenge to your goal, or were you too busy to notice?

    • well when we slowed down for the first time to look for whiskered auklets, the guide who I had warned and said it should work asked me if I was going to get naked so I did and a guy from British Columbia tunred and said “my God man!” ended up sharing a room with him, nothing a little Glenfiddich didnt solve

Leave a Reply to storolaf Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>