DENALI HIGHWAY BIRDS

wilson's warbler (1 of 1)WILSON’S WARBLER

 

WHITE CROWNED SPARROW (1 of 1)WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW

WILLOW PTARMIGAN (1 of 1)MALE WILLOW PTARGMIGAN

 

WILLOW PTARMIGAN (1 of 1)-2FEMALE WILLOW PTARGMIGAN

 

WHITE WINGED SCOTER (1 of 1)WHITE-WINGED SCOTER

 

BONAPARTE'S GULL (1 of 1)BONAPARTE’S GULL

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (1 of 1)RED-NECKED PHALAROPE

 

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (1 of 1)BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER

GREY CHEEKED THRUSH (1 of 1)GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH

 

ARCTIC WARBLER (1 of 1)ARCTIC WARBLER

 

BLACKPOLL (1 of 1)BLACKPOLL WARBLER

REDPOLL (1 of 1)REDPOLL 

 

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DENALI HIGHWAY

Denali Highway is a lightly traveled, mostly gravel highway. It leads from Paxson on the Richardson Highway to Cantwell on the Parks Highway. Opened in 1957, it was the first road access to Denali National Park. Traveling the Denali Highway today is truly a path through awesome wilderness that links travelers to both Alaska’s prehistoric past and gold rush history.

Denali Highway SignSTART OF THE DENALI HIGHWAY IN PAXSON, ALASKA 

Denali Highway Panorama THE WIDE OPEN ROAD  BECKONS

Not for the faint of heart. The Denali Highway demands a good set of tires, a full tank of gas and a good suspension system.

Denali Highway Panorama 3 (1 of 1)PANORAMA VIEW OF THE EPONYMOUS DENALI …. “THE GREAT ONE”

              

DENALI HIGHWAY CAMPERCAMPER VAN NAVIGATES AN S BEND

DENALI BREAKDOWNTRANSPORT HAULING A BREAKDOWN 

Waves of dust consume us with each passing truck on the gravel road.

BILL REIDON THE HUNT FOR THE SMITH’S LONGSPUR 

Hiking at midnight up a remote alpine trail for the elusive Smith’s Longspur which has been known to nest along the Denali Highway.  

grizzily trackFRESH GRIZZLY TRACK

We’re two miles from the car and a good 15 miles from any other human being when we notice the disturbing sign of a fresh Grizzly track. Having neither a weapon or bear spray (and well beyond cell coverage to boot), we decide that discretion is the better part of valour and beat a hasty retreat off the mountain. 

TANGLE RIVER INNTANGLE RIVER INN

Hungry, tired, and greatly disappointed with our Smith’s Longspur fail, we contemplate a night in the car. Pushing on down the road however we happen upon the first accommodation we have seen on the Denali. Despite being past midnight, they take us in and give us a delicious ham and cheese sandwich for a late night/early morning snack. It was delicious! Talk about luck!!

tangle lake pano (1 of 1)TANGLE LAKE PANORAMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STELLER’S EIDER

 The Steller’s eider is the smallest eider and breeds along the Arctic coasts of eastern Siberia and Alaska.  The lined nest is built on tundra close to the sea. The following images were captured on the open tundra around Barrow,  Alaska.

STELLER'S EIDER STELLER’S EIDER MALE

steller's eider (1 of 1)STELLER’S EIDER IN TYPICAL HABITAT 

STELLER'S FLIGHT (1 of 1)STELLER’S EIDER IN FLIGHT

 

BROODING PAIR (1 of 1)BROODING PAIR ON TUNDRA POND 

 

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AMERICAN DIPPER

AMERICAN DIPPER POSEAMERICAN DIPPER, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

The American Dipper is North America’s only truly aquatic songbird. It catches all of its food underwater in swiftly flowing streams by swimming and walking on the stream bottom.

AMERICAN DIPPER WITH FISH AMERICAN DIPPER WITH FISH FRY

AMERICAN DIPPER CLOSED EYES

 American Dipper displaying famous feathered white eyelid during a blink. 

AMERICAN DIPPER FEEDING YOUNGAMERICAN DIPPER FEEDING YOUNG

SALMON HATCHERYSALMON STATUE, WILLIAM JACK HERNANDEZ SPORT FISH HATCHERY

The William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery is located in Anchorage next door to the USAF Elmendorf airbase. This spectacular and ultra modern facility is open to the public for free self-guided tours and well worth the visit. Fry is released into the nearby Ship Creek where all of the above photographs were taken. I hate to think of the cost to the taxpayer of Dipper’s fry feast!!

WILLIIAM JACK HERNANDEZ SPORT FISH HATCHERY

 

 

 

 

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SPECTACLED EIDER

The Spectacled Eider is a large sea duck  that tends to occur mainly in areas where travel is difficult for humans — boggy tundra in summer, at sea around pack ice at other times; its winter range far out in the Bering Sea was unconfirmed until recently. Its remote habitat and bizarre, ghostly appearance contribute to its aura of mystery. Spectacled eiders nest within a narrow coastal strip of Alaska and in northeastern Siberia. Female spectacled eiders prefer to nest in sedge meadows and on peninsulas and islands adjacent to tundra ponds such as found around Barrow, Alaska where the following images were obtained.

SPECTACLED EIDER PAIR

SPECTACLED EIDER PAIR FLIGHT

 

SPECTACLED EIDER FLIGHT

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ARCTIC TERN

 A small, slender white bird, the Arctic Tern is well known for its long yearly migration. Its travel from its Arctic breeding grounds to its wintering grounds off of Antarctica may cover perhaps 40,000 km (25,000 mi), and is the farthest yearly journey of any bird.

arctic tern poseARCTIC TERN

ARCTIC TERN HOVER POSE

ARCTIC TERN BALANCING ACT BALANCING ACT

arctic tern nestARCTIC TERN ON NEST

ARCTIC TERN CHICKARCTIC TERN SWALLOWING FISH

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KING EIDER

One of the primary purposes of my recent trip to Alaska was to photograph the King Eider in spectacular breeding plumage.

KING EIDER HEADMALE KING EIDER 

KING EIDER RESTINGKING EIDER AT REST 

 

KING EIDER PAIRKING EIDER PAIR ON NESTING GROUNDS, BARROW, ALASKA 

FEMALE KING EIDERFEMALE KING EIDER 

KING EIDER FLIGHTKING EIDER TAKES FLIGHT, BARROW, ALASKA 

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NORTH TO ALASKA!

denaliDENALI PARK

I’ve just returned from a remarkable two week trip to Alaska. Stay tuned for more images.

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MANCHESTER

LONDON (1 of 1)NOT NOW!  NOT EVER!!

 

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WEASEL ON THE HUNT

WEASEL PROFILE (1 of 1)

 

WEASEL 1 (1 of 1)

 

WEASEL 2 (1 of 1)

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