This very special tour takes in three different areas—exquisite high Arctic tundra above the Arctic Circle and far north of the treeline on the south shore of Victoria Island at Cambridge Bay (Ikaluktutiak), where the sun never actually sets; boreal forest and lakes around Yellowknife, NT, on the north arm of Great Slave Lake; and aspen parkland and potholes of Central Alberta where Beaverhill Lake and Elk Island National Park lie, and where we may find northern owls such as northern hawk-owl and great grey owl.
We encounter a diverse array of birds and other wildlife on our tour; nesting king eiders, Sabine’s gulls, greater white-fronted geese, Pacific and yellow-billed loons and long-tailed ducks in arctic pools, breeding shorebirds such as red and red-necked phalaropes, semipalmated, Baird’s and stilt sandpipers, ruddy turnstones, and American golden-plovers on the tundra, and long-tailed and pomarine jaegers and snowy owls may be nesting, provided that lemmings are in good numbers. The sight of several herds of musk oxen out on the open tundra will not be soon forgotten! The area is steeped in history and culture, from explorers searching for the Northwest Passage, Amundsen’s Maud, to the Inuit of the western Arctic. The high quality and exciting wildlife viewing make for a long-remembered tour!
The tour begins in the evening in Leduc, just south of Edmonton, Alberta, and close to the airport. We meet for dinner at 6:30PM for a meet-and-greet and for a brief introduction and orientation. We will spend the night in Leduc.
Because Victoria Island has a relatively small road network, meals will be slotted in around bird activity and weather patterns. We are never more than an hour’s drive from the Hotel. There will be no need for early morning risings as we will witness twenty-four hours of daylight! Bird activity often peaks at mid-day! Polar Bears are unlikely to be encountered; however we should see musk ox, Arctic fox, ringed seal, Arctic hare and lemmings. We can expect a high diversity of land and water birds during our visit to central Alberta and the Yellowknife area.
Our daily itinerary will be responsive to weather conditions. Driving will be limited to either small or moderate stretches. Lunch will be variable in time and location depending on the day and the level of birding. The weather can vary from a sweltering 25°C to around freezing in the day, with frequent night-time frosts. It may snow, and participants should layer their clothing as conditions can change quickly while we are in the field. Participants should include bug repellent and perhaps a head net in their luggage, as there will be some mosquitoes, especially in Yellowknife. Sturdy footwear that will keep your feet dry is recommended, as we will be doing some tundra hiking. Each evening a recap follows the evening meal. We review the day’s events, birds, mammals, and other observations and look forward to the next day’s activity.
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All prices are per person, in Canadian Dollars (CAD) unless specified otherwise, and are cash or cheque discounted.
- - Great breeding bird and flower photography opportunities
- - Amazing wildlife, amid fascinating tundra and taiga habitats
What's Not Included
- Great breeding bird and flower photography opportunities
- Amazing wildlife, amid fascinating tundra and taiga habitats