Anchorage is easy to like.

Getting from Gambell to St Paul is a process. Getting Gambell to Nome yesterday was a critical step – I haven’t checked but would guess that flights will have been cancelled today due to (predicted) high easterly winds. Then Nome to Anchorage, which was today; tomorrow – Thursday, with luck (flights only run on Thursdays and Sundays), I’ll get to St Paul for a tick-fest. I had a few extra hours here in Anchorage, so tried for the second time for the oft-reported Black-backed Woodpecker at a nearby park. This time, the bird was just about right where it was supposed to be – as reported just two days ago on eBird, and the experience was exhilarating. This bird is butt tame! All I had to do was make clicking sounds with my mouth, and it followed me from tree to tree – seemingly trying to look nonchalant by continuously chiselling while my camera whirred with happy sound. Hopefully the attached video, shot from my iPhone works. Below that, images of the friendliest woodpecker in Alaska, plus a couple of additional local patch birds. I’ll get a quick snooze, then head off at sunset (8:30pm) for an attempt to at least hear a boreal owl, now that I have some secret-handshake intel. Fingers crossed.

Short video:     IMG_3313


Much needed Black-backed Woodpecker for my photo-list shot from point blank. This bird followed me around in response to clicking sounds – either from my mouth or camera.


Black-billed Magpie – maybe America’s most under-rated bird.


American Three-toed Woodpecker


Hairy Woodpecker