Your blogger, standing at the summit of cliffs 200 feet above the Bering Sea. Our crew spent three days out here, on the largest of the four islands that make up the Pribilofs, St. Paul Island. About 438 people live here, and the place is best known as a port of call for crabbing boats featured on the TV show Deadliest Catch.
Birders know St. Paul as a fabulous place to catch Siberian and Eurasian vagrants. Some years are better than others for that, and this has been a very lean spring for rarities. I could care less - the island is packed with incredible birds, and I'll share a few that were breeding on the cliffs behind me.
Visiting St. Paul Island wouldn't be for everyone. The weather, even in mid-June, is raw and blustery, and drizzle can be a near constant. Temperatures stayed in the 30's-low 40's, and the sun almost never showed in the three days I was there. Fog was nearly perpetual, and caused the the next two airplane flights to the island after ours to be canceled, as the pilots couldn't see well enough to land. That was especially unfortunate to us, as our luggage had been bumped from our flight due to weight limitations, and was to arrive the next day. We never got it - just picked it up back at the Anchorage airport when we returned.
But any hardships are small potatoes in exchange for the opportunity to see the explosion of life during the all too brief Bering Sea summer.