Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A New Painting and Southbound Shorebirds

It shames me to say that this is the first painting that I have done all year. Hopefully I am emerging from the worst creative funk of my life. It is partly the result of ongoing health issues. My kidneys are about shot. I have not been feeling very creative.
Anyway I finished this small 10x8" painting titled, 'Tern Lake'. I have also been busy illustrating a coloring book about Alaska birds.
Tern Lake is a beautiful spot on the Kenai Peninsula. where the highway splits between Seward and Homer.
The northbound shorebird migration was a real bust. I only saw Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs in the Spring. Part of that has to do with the fact that I only went birding three times. 
That does not mean that shorebird numbers are down. It has more to do with weather patterns. If the weather is good, shorebirds tend to overfly the Anchorage area. The weather this whole summer has been wonderful.
These are Short-billed Dowitchers.
The coast was devoid of shorebirds yesterday but Westchester Lagoon had plenty of birds.
Local shorebird diversity is not what it used to be. Yesterday I only saw yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwits, and lots of Short-billed Dowitchers.
Near Westchester Lagoon I found a fallen log in the shade, sat down and photographed these cooperative dowitchers.
I was not fast enough on the shutter button to get any flight shots with my 600mm lens. This is the closest I could come.
I photographed birds both in the shade and full sun to see which looked better. I like the shade photos better.
The tip of the beak of dowitchers is very flexible. You can see the upturned tip of the bird's beak in this photo.
I got many fine photos of dowitchers yesterday but I'll limit the number of photos in this post.
This Greater Yellowlegs does not fear its close proximity to this metallic eagle.
There were lots of baby ducks, gulls, and grebes on Westchester. These are Greater Scaup.

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