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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Yellowlegs and yellowthroats

As I walked out into the wetlands I heard the distinct call of a Greater Yellowlegs. It was coming from beyond the mud puddles left by the off-road riders. It rained the night before and the ruts and "donut holes" made by their spinning and wheeling had filled with water. I crept up to an opening where I could get a better view and just then the yellowlegs came flying towards me, calling loudly. Although I was not prepared for flight shots I focused on the incoming bird and fired three shots. Remarkably, all came out looking fairly sharp, so I used the "composting" tool in the Canon DPP software and created a composite image.

Greater Yellowlegs in flight comp 2-20141111

The bird settled down only about 20 yards away. It was wary and did not stay very long, but I captured some views as it stepped gracefully through the mud puddles. It was an unlikely place to see such beauty.

Greater Yellowlegs 04-20141111

Greater Yellowlegs 03-20141111

Greater Yellowlegs 02-20141111

Greater Yellowlegs 01-20141111

Down the gravel road, a Great Egret, bathed in the morning light, took flight as I approached the lake.

Great Egret 20141102

Great Egret 2-20141102

Great Egret in flight 20141102

A second-year immature Bald Eagle glided over the lake. It is a bit less than two years old, judging from the wing and tail molt, as the shorter and more rounded adult feathers are replacing the longer but worn juvenile ones, and its bill is only beginning to show some yellow at its base. Younger birds would have a darker belly and wing linings, and older would probably show much more white on the head and body and not show such a contrast between the chest and underparts. The wings of a third year bird have all adult feathers and look slimmer and less ragged. This bird may have fledged in the spring of 2012, possibly from the nest only about a mile to the northwest. 

Bald Eagle 2nd year 20141102

At the other size extreme, a House Wren scolded from the roadside:

House Wren 20141106

The wren was joined by a chattering male Common Yellowthroat:

Common Yellowthroat male 2-20141106

A female yellowthroat was nearby:

Common Yellowthroat female 20141107

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Crops & Clips: Alaska!

My weekly potpourri gathered from the archives features... Alaska!

CRITTERS: No lack of interesting furry, feathery and finny creatures, all seen in the wild* during various trips to Alaska:

Horned Puffin in Resurrection Bay, out of Seward (June, 2011):

Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) 3-20110625

Sea Otter in Ketchimak Bay, out of Homer (June, 2011):

Sea Otter head crop 20110622

Harbor Seals out of Ketchikan (June, 2014):

Harbor Seals 3-20140615

A Common Redpoll in Talkeetna (June 2011):

Common Redpoll 2-20110618

Black Bear eating grass, out of Ketchikan (June 2014):

Black Bear eating grass 20140615

Had to dig deeply in the archives to find this scanned photo of a Grizzly (Alaskan Brown Bear) in Denali National Park that I took with my little 35 mm film camera before I even knew about DSLR (August, 1996). Note that the poor bear has had an encounter with a Porcupine and its face is full of quills. I wonder whether it survived:


*OK, I lied about only including photos from the wild. This bear was in Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois (August, 2009). I had to show my picture to SOMEONE!

Bear 20090822

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,


FENCES: Look closely-- there is a railing, it should qualify.

My photo "oil painting" of an old boat in Hoonah, June, 2014 (click on photo for enlarged images):

Hoonah Alaska painting 20140616

There just aren't many fences in wide-open Alaska, but this one is keeping our granddaughters safe, so maybe this will do (June 2014):

Graci and Cari at Hoonah 20140616

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 


SKYWATCH: Departing Ketchikan on a gray day (June 2014):

Departing Ketchikan 20140615

Much nicer sky view from the moving train (June 2014):

View from Denale-Anchorage train 03-20140623

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


REFLECTION: View from the Alaska Railroad train from Denali to Anchorage-- pardon the blur in the foreground as the train wouldn't stop for me! (June 2014)

View from Denale-Anchorage train 02-20140623