Hot Springs and Birding on Iturup Island

7 June, 2019

Iturup Island, Hot Springs, D.Brown

Image (c) D.Brown

It was a perfect day in the Kuril Islands as we explored Iturup Island, one of the area's largest at more than 200-kilometres long and studded with more than 20 volcanoes, under clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. With packed lunches we headed ashore where 4WDs were lined up ready to take us up into the hills then to town. Our birders 'went bush' sighting both the Japanese Robin and Siberian Accentor while the rest of the group made some stops along the road at viewpoints and geothermal areas before enjoying lunch and a soak in the hot springs.

Heading into the town of Kurilsk, expeditioners spent the afternoon checking out the museum and local sights, shopping and sampling the local beers. Back onboard Spirit of Enderby, most headed for the outer decks to bask in the warm sun as we pulled anchor and set course for Kunashir Island. After dinner the call from the bridge that a flock of thousands of Short-tailed Shearwaters were next to the ship saw everyone head out to take in the thrilling finale of another magical day in the southern Kuril Islands.


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