Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 1 - June 2, 2009

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!

3 comments:

Kim Kaufman said...

HEY EK!!!!!!! So glad to know that you arrived safe and sound. Absolutely can't wait to hear about this mad adventure! Please be safe, and keep us posted!

~kimmer

Dave Lewis said...

Hi Ethan,
Looks like a real happening town. I guess you won't have a problem staying out of trouble.
Where's the McDonald's?

Anonymous said...

Dave Lewis:
Best to limit your comments about what Barrow appears to be to you. Assuming you are old enough to be sensitive to cross-cultural issues and the fact that much of the lower 48 looks pretty bad to many of us who live in Alaska, I ask that you realize that people two generations from a hunting gathering existence and living next to the Arctic Ocean may well not see the world the same way you do.