Photo tour Alaskan tundra – amazing birds under the midnight sun2018-06-14T14:35:53+00:00

Project Description

Alaskan tundra – amazing birds under the midnight sun

11th – 19th June 2019

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Some of the tour highlights:

  • All the arctic Eiders, including the Spectacled Eider
  • Many species of waders
  • Beautiful tundra birds that are not timid
  • Opportunity to photograph the Snowy Owl
  • A magic arctic light, perfect for photography
  • Alaskas’ best tundra area, at Barrow
  • You will be given photographic advice in a small group that share the same interests

If you are interested in nature or enjoy wildlife photography, then visiting Alaska is almost a must. As the largest state in the U.S. it offers grand, varied nature. During this tour we will concentrate on Alaskas’ arctic tundra, which offers great photography, especially of the tundras’ birds. The open, treeless landscape also provides excellent lighting conditions, especially during the softly lit early summer nights.

The tour is planned in order to coincide with early summer of the arctic, before the tundra becomes completely ice and snow free, and before the birds disperse out across the vast tundra. Instead, the birds will be concentrated to the open areas, and will be easier to locate. Early summer is a hectic time in the arctic, as all the birds commence mating and nesting as soon as they arrive. We will be met by a chorus of bird calls, not least from all the waders. Many of the tundra birds are not afraid of humans and are so engrossed in their display behaviour that it is easy to get in good photographic range without disturbing them.

In the small isolated village of Barrow, the best sites are always close by. We will spend a minimum of time on transportation and can thus maximize our time in the field. As the weather is changeable, we will have to be flexible and adapt according to the lighting. If the nights are clear, we will spend them out on the tundra, and then rest by day. The best photographic light is namely during the summer nights, when the birds are also most active.

Barrow
Barrow really is a special place. The small village is completely isolated, as though thrown out onto the flat tundra, near the pack ice of the Chukchi Sea. Point Barrow, the northernmost mainland point of the U.S. is close by. Apart from this small inuit village, there are only a few roads out onto the tundra, each only a few kilometers long. Our photo sites are thus always close by, and easy to reach when the lighting is at its best.

Great bird photography
Barrow provides world-class bird photography! The birds are not afraid and the tundra is bustling with waders in their beautiful breeding colours, e.g. Red Phalarope, Long-billed Dowitcher, American Golden Plover and Pectoral Sandpiper. We will also encounter Pomarine Skuas, Pacific Loons and ducks. The arctic Eiders will be the main attractions and we can count on good photo opportunities for Stellers Eider, King Eider and Spectacled Eider. Other species we have a good chance of photographing are Long-Tailed Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Sabine’s Gull, Lapland Bunting and Snow Bunting.

Snowy Owls occur almost always in the area, and the inuit name for Barrow is Ukpiagvik, which means ”the place where we hunted Snowy Owls”! The number of Owls varies depending on Lemming cycles, but there is normally at least one pair breeding in the area. Creeping up on nesting owls is strictly prohibited. With a bit of luck, we can photograph them whilst they hunt. Sometimes an Owl might be seen in the village (which of course cannot be guaranteed).

There is a chance that we will see Arctic Foxes, and there is a reasonable chance of seeing Polar Bears. The hotel room is the best viewing site for Bears, as it is right next to the pack ice!

During the tour you will always be able to get photographic advice. We will hold small workshops, and discuss topics that will help you improve your nature photography.

Tour facts

Dates
11th – 19th June 2019

Price  
3 780 € (Euro)
(Registration fee 756 €)*

Tour leader
Anders Blomdahl

Number of participants

Min 6
Max 8

Last date to register
31st March 2019

Price includes
Share in twin room. All photo workshops, local transports, transfer to and from Barrow airport.

Single room fee
Limited availability of single rooms. Please contact us for more information.

Price does not include
Flights in and out of Anchorage airport, domestic flight Anchorage to Barrow (return trips), meals and beverages (the prices for meals in Barrow varies a lot and therefore we think it is better for everyone to decide their own food budget), visa, special permit to visit the tundra, insurance, cancellation insurance, phone and internet charges, personal items.

Any additional costs for hotels, meals and other expenses that might be cause due to weather delays or other cause that Wild Nature Photo Adventures can´t help.

Airport
Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport, Barrow. The tour starts and ends here.

Fotoutrustning
The main focus on this tour is to photograph birdlife on the tundra. Even though the tundra is open and the birds are timid it is best to bring telephoto lenses. Most useful lenses will be 300 mm, 400 mm and 500 mm lenses. Zoom lenses like 70-200mm and 80-400mm gives you great possibilities to take different images of the birds.
To increase focal length you can use a teleconverter.
If you have two camera bodies, bring both in order not to have to change lenses as much. Tripods will be useful so do bring one.

Clothing
Weather in Alaska can and most likely will change rapidly, you can experience all four seasons in one day. On sunny days the temperature can rise to approx. +20 degrees C. On cloudy and/or rainy days the temperature can drop to 0-+5 degrees C. The best option is to bring clothing in layers which makes it easy to dress according to the weather. Proper rain clothes and a hat and gloves are good to bring. Bring a pair of water proof boots and some trainers or sandals to wear while not on the tundra and during transports. Waders can be an important part to get out as much as possible of the photography since you can move easier even in wetter areas.

Group and language
Our tours are open to all nationalities, so the group may be international. Our tour leaders speak Swedish and English.

*Terms of payment
Registration fee to be paid on registration. Remaining fees to be paid latest 60 days before the tour starts.

Additional information
Contact your insurance company about insurance, including cancellation insurance. Contact your doctor about vaccination requirements.

Terms and conditions

Itinerary

Day 1 (11th June)
Arrive by morning flight from Anchorage to Barrow, where the group will assemble for the first time. After we get our rental cars, check in at the hotel and fill up with food supplies, we will head out onto the tundra for photography.

Day 2 – 8 (12th – 18th June) 
We spend our days in and around Barrow, concentrating on photographing the inhabitants of the tundra. We are flexible, and adapt according to the weather and lighting, in order to get the most out of our photography. Count on photographing by night, if weather and lighting are suitable. However, we will always make sure there is time for rest between photo sessions.

Day 9 (19th June) 
Photography in the morning, concentrating on subjects we want more images of. The tour ends in Barrow in the morning, in good time to catch a flight back to Anchorage.

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Alaskan tundra - amazing birds under the midnight sun 11th - 19th June 2019

NOTE! When you have made your booking you will immediately get a confirmation e-mail. If you don´t get the confirmation e-mail please check your spam e-mails or contact us by telephone, +46730 662 007.

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All correspondence will by via e-mail if nothing else is specified by customer.