I arrived in Barrow, Alaska around 7:30pm (Alaska Time). After grabbing our luggage we were picked up on 4-wheelers and taken to the Polar Bear Theater where we will be staying the next couple months. On the short drive over, it was evident that Snow Buntings are one of the most abundant passerines. They are all over town in full breeding plumage and as I type, I hear one outside the kitchen window...now two just flew by. Other birds around town include Lapland Longspurs, Glaucous Gulls, Hoary Redpolls, Wilson’s Snipes and my first unusual bird – a Bank Swallow cruising along the Arctic Ocean. It was only a short walk so we didn’t see many shorebirds and other tundra nesting species.
This is the Polar Bear Theater, which isn’t a theater. I still haven’t figured out why it’s called that. It’s pretty rough looking but so are the majority of the other houses in Barrow.
The Arctic Ocean is still frozen over for the most part. Soon it will be open and birds will be migrating.
And last – looking down Stevenson’s Road near the Polar Bear Theater. This is what most of Barrow looks like.
Today we will be heading out onto the tundra to start collecting snow measurements. More to come!