Monday, May 20, 2013


I've been Alaska for 2 days now and my year list has increased by exactly zero birds.

I'm stuck in Anchorage waiting for a flight to St. Paul in the Pribilofs. All the flights to the Aleutians and South Bering Sea were cancelled yesterday due to fog, which is fairly common, and volcano ash - which isn't. Pavlof Volcano, in the eastern Aleutians, has erupted with incredibly poor timing and started spewing lava and ash and creating a nasty flight path for anything flying below 30,000 feet - i.e. the small regional planes going to St. Paul.

I have no idea how long I'll be here, and whether I'll even get to my destination. Even without a volcano there's only 3 flights a week to St. Paul, with none scheduled for today. And of course - while I'm sitting here, there's a Common Ringed Plover on Plum Island in MA - which is a joint ABA life / year / state bird.

What have I been doing while I've been waiting? Well - I've seen the sights of Anchorage. And now, after those first 15 minutes, I've run out of options. Once I finish reading Wolf Hall I think I'll slowly go mad. Anchorage is beautiful to fly into...

But the architecture is a little uninspiring - it reminds me a lot of Swindon, near which I had the unenviable task of growing up.

Downtown Anchorage. (Imagine wasteland on either side.)

Hey - at least I have a new animal species...

My first ever Moose. I think it was sleeping...

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