19 Jul 2019

Penkingney Bay and Gil'mimyl Hot Springs

Fireweed of Chukotka

For this morning's excursion we cruised into Penkingney Bay in the Bering Sea. The long walkers hiked up the mountainside to the nearest summit, while the botanists and birders set out to explore the tundra along the river. A variety of birds were spotted, including the Red-throated pipit, Arctic Warbler, Apollo butterfly, Willow Grouse/ptarmigan, Arctic Redpoll as well as the pellet from a Snowy Owl. Whistles of the Pika were heard several times; but it wasn't until we sat quietly and patiently for 10 to 15 minutes that we actually saw one emerge from the rocks. Combing through the tundra flora, we came across plenty of Dwarf Firewood, some Kamchatka Rhododendron, Arctic Poppy, Crow Berries, Cloud Berries, Sew Wort, Monk's Hood and Licorice Root, and were briefly joined by an energetic Ground Squirrel with both cheeks filled with seeds

Following lunch we sailed to nearby Gil'mimyl for a relaxing soak in the hot springs, complete with exquisite views, or a nature walk through the surrounding landscape. Those who opted for some birdwatching came across Sandhill Cranes, Pacific Divers, King Eiders, Red-breasted Mergansers, Ringed Plover, Red-necked Stint, Red-throated Pipit, and Snow Buntings.

Images (c) A.Tockston

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