Into the Wild fans might recognize the name Stampede Trail. We started our Alaska day there yesterday. This site was made famous by the book, and later movie, and indeed, the school bus the protagonist lived (and died) in is still out there, well beyond where vehicles, and we, could go yesterday. The area indeed is wild, with sweeping landscapes of taiga and tundra. And with birds - Orange-crowned Warbler singing a funky up-and-down-and-up-and-down-again song, and taiga birds in these Denali foothills like “Red” Fox Sparrows, American Tree Sparrow, and wonderfully singing Gray-cheeked Thrush.
An aside - I always read the front matter in any new field guide, and way back when I took the time with the Big Sibley. Check it out - among other things you'll learn a lot about what influences bird distribution and speciation in North America. Sibley calls the Fox Sparrows we've been seeing and hearing in interior Alaska "Red" or Taiga Fox Sparrows, because that's the biome they inhabit. Tomorrow or the next day we'll encounter "Sooty" or Pacific Fox Sparrows in coastal Alaska. Bird distribution falls along biogeographical lines.
In the afternoon we entered Denali National Park. Somehow I managed not to execute on a single bird photo yesterday, despite the 11 (!) Golden Eagles we saw, so let's call this the Freiday Mountain and Mammal Blog. Of Mountain and Mammals there were plenty: