Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sparrows, Eagles, and a Glacier

On Friday, Mark Hill called me and invited me to accompany him, his wife Cindy, and Cindy's sister Amy to go with them to Seward for a few days. I had a lot of things on my plate and I tried to back out, but Mark twisted my arm. I was pleased to go to one of my favorite places.
On the way there we stopped at Turnagain Pass, where I photographed this Golden-crowned Sparrow. It was exceptionally cooperative.
As you can see from the willow catkins, Spring is very late in arriving to the high pass. I was pleased to get photos of the sparrow singing  his loud, three note call.
Further down in elevation I photographed this dark sparrow. Some of you reading this may be familiar with this widespread bird, but have likely never seen one that looked quite like this. It is the dark, Northwestern race of the Song Sparrow. These do not occur in Anchorage.
On the outskirts of Seward is this old, Bald Eagle nest right beside the highway.
Seward has an immense number of Bald Eagles, and Glaucous-winged Gulls, amoung others.
This Bald Eagle watches nearby Salmon fishermen, hoping for scraps when they clean their catch.
The salmon are just starting to run up the local streams. The town of Seward can be seen in the background.
The Glaucous-winged Gulls are very excited to see all these fishermen. They know that easy pickins are soon to be found.
A sub-adult Bald Eagle also waits in eagar anticipation of fish guts.
To me, the mottled look of immature Bald Eagles is much more interesting than the clean colors of the adult.
This particular eagle allowed me to approach it from all sides. I came to within about 15 feet, and it never flew.
Exit Glacier lies about 14 miles outside of Seward. I last visited the place 15 years ago. It has receded drastically in that amount of time. It is shocking to see how fast it is disappearing. In another 15 years, it may be gone altogether.
Up close, it still is an impressive, and cold sight.


Marc Calvo said...

Is incredible, that you can take potographs to this inmature bald eagle, at only to 15 foots of distance!!.In my country i need a camouflage net or hide for taking photos to these raptors!.I note these eagles enjoy the protection of your society and lost the affraid to the people,i suppose.

Jeremy Pearse said...

Wonderful photos, love the baldies! Hopefully these pics will find their way into one or more of you beautiful paintings soon!