Saturday, 20 October 2012

#331 In the field: Noatak River, Alaska, con't . . .

 Gary McGuffin photographing a muskox 
Over the years, I've been on many wilderness field and hunting expeditions.  My most profound outdoor experience was the Noatak River canoe trip this summer.  See blog post #330, Oct. 16.  Having been to Alaska over 20 times, this was my first undertaking in the Arctic.

The Noatak River basin is a spectacular, untouched region, containing no roads or trails, and is protected in it's wild and natural state.  Many species of mammals were encountered on the adventure; including caribou, grizzly bear, Dall sheep, wolf, fox, muskox, and more.

Approximately 100 species of birds are arctic breeders:  They are migrants rather than permanent residents and we saw many of them.  Only 11 species are capable of living in the Arctic all the year round: gyrfalcon, raven, black guitlemot, redpole, rock and willow ptarmigans, Ross's and ivory gulls, dovekie, thick-billed murre, and snowy owl.

Below, is a field study of a Snowy Owl from my sketchbook journal.

A nice day along the Noatak

For additional information about this exciting wilderness expedition, read Gary McGuffin's reports via satellite phone during the trip: 

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