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Old June 16th, 2003, 12:24 PM
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Default First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

My wife and I are first timers both with cruising and Alaska. Any good places for sighting birds that are not common to Michigan? We will be in Denali for several days 6/27 to 6/29 and sailing south from Seward to Vancouver 6/29 Statendam. Also what is good to see in Anchorage and Seward? Any tips? Thanks... Looking forward to it all. don

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Old June 16th, 2003, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

You'll most likely see bald eagles from the ship. Look for the golfballs in the trees in the inside passage. Then train your binoc's on them. We did have a couple fly by while were were docked in Ketchikan.
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Old June 16th, 2003, 11:14 PM
Mark B
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Default Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

I am on NCL Sky 6/21. Can expect good seabirds from the boat on your way to Vancouver. Probably Tufted Puffin, Black-footed Albatross, Rhinocerous Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Kittlitz Murrelet, Pacific Loon, Fork-tailed Storm Petrel, Common Murre. Check your field guide range maps for other possible seabirds. I expect landbirds to be sparse on shore excursions however. Passerines would not be much different than those in Washington State. Sorry I cannot help with Denali, Seward or Anchorage.
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Old June 17th, 2003, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

Actually sea bird viewing from the cruise ships are sparce at best. It requires a great deal of time invested with a good pair of wide angle binoculars out on a front open deck. The larger the ship- the more distant the views. Potters Marsh south of Anchorage- is a big birder's area. Out of Seward- a 6+ hour boat trip will offer many more bird sightings, than a cruise ship. Puffin rookery on route. Sitka also has a puffin rookery great for a boat trip to St. Lazaria Island. Plenty to see and do in both Anchorage and Seward, review their visitor guides on line- you don't have time for a mailing.
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Old June 17th, 2003, 02:19 PM
John Q
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Default Re: Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

Donald,
As BQ says, try to get on the websites for each port and Anc to view birdwatching opportunities. I'm not a knowledgable bird watcher although we do try from time to time on large flyover spots. In Seward, on the 6hr Kenai Fjords tour, we saw puffins in cliff nest, fairly close as well as tons of artic terns, mew gulls, and other shorebirds.

In Ketchican, down by Island Wings floatplane dock, we saw at least a half dozen eagles close up just sitting on the pilings, 25 feet away. I shot a whole roll of film right there! Best close up eagles we saw on our cruise, same as yours on Statendam last June 2nd. We also saw lots of eagles in Sitka down near the canneries, perched in the trees waiting for the fish grinding of the leftovers. There was no grinding while we walked down there in lieu of having lunch, and the pictures were not as good because of all the power lines, etc, but there were a bunch.

In Juneau, on Capt Larry's whalewatching, we saw several flying eagles and several of the birds that look like they can't take off from the water, oystercatchers? We were concentrating on bigger game, but there were times when we were trying to shoot pictures of eagles and whales at same time.
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Old June 17th, 2003, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

Thanks for the birding tips.We re pretty excited and looking forward to the cruise and and shore trips.
Just found out today we are assigned to cabin 317 which appears to under the main show room. Would this be noisy?Don
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Old June 18th, 2003, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

They don't run shows all night. you may have noise from rehearsals during the day and during the shows. But usually the sound proofing is very good. I'll assume you got a bargain with a guarantee. Enjoy the savings on some great tours.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Re: First Alaskan Cruise and Birdwatching

Thanks Karen. you are right guarantee- upgraded ( it seems). In fact I am just understanding what the travel agent may have told me when we signed up. Like most new things I'm needing to learn the language to understand what to do and not to do. Has been an experience. Look like fun. don
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