Day 6 - Bukta Russkaya, Kamchatka
In this deep fjord on the Kamchatka peninsula we will look for the critically endangered Kittlitz’s murrelet as well as Long-billed murrelet. We plan a short excursion at the head of the fjord where there is a chance of seeing Brown bears. We go by zodiac to the entrance of the fjord, there are almost always sightings of Orcas and Steller sea lions.
Day 7 - Second Kuril Strait, Atlasova and Onekotan Islands
Very early in the morning we will pass through Second Kuril Strait which has one of the highest densities of Sea otters in the Kuril islands. Our landing on Atlasova island is great for birders and non birders alike. There are the remains of a Gulag to explore and numerous species to see. This evening on Onekotan island we can stretch our legs through an amazing field of wild flowers as we walk to Black lake.
Day 8 - Ekarma and Toporkovy Islands
During an early morning zodiac cruise at Ekarma island we should see various alcids, with a close look at the Tufted puffin and Whiskered auklet. This afternoon at Toporkovy island in the shadow of the active Matua island volcano we can expect to find Harlequin ducks, Red-faced cormorants, Tufted puffins and Brunnich’s guillemots. Ashore we could encounter Grey-tailed tattler, Middendorff’s Grasshopper warbler and Black-faced bunting.
Day 9 - Simushir and Yankicha Islands
We will enter a flooded caldera at the northern end of Simushir island where a once top secret Soviet submarine base lies abandoned. In the surrounding area look for the Siberian Rubythroat, Eurasian Nutcracker, Pine Grosbeak and Japanese Grey bunting. Our visit to Yankicha island is likely to be one of the highlights of the voyage as the number of alcids which breed here is incredible, with spectacular concentrations of Crested and Whiskered auklets.