Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Wild Coast

The coast around here is wild only if you share the perspective of an ant. The waves along the shore average about 4 inches high. Many lakes have bigger waves. It is wild because instead of beachgoers, there are lots of birds. At least in the summertime.
The midsummer coast. Most of it is closed to people because it is so dangerous to walk across the mudflats. Many people have been lured to their deaths by the harmless looking ground. On my first visit to the coastal trail I took one step from a boulder beside the trail onto the mud. My foot sank to my knee. It took all my strength to pull it back out. If I did'nt have that boulder for an anchor, I would have been trapped.
Today the mountains across the inlet were very visible. The snow never melts on those high peaks.

The mudflats are full of southbound shorebirds right now. There were thousands of them widely scattered across the mudflats. Most of them were Short-billed Dowitchers and Hudsonian Godwits, also yellowlegs. I also saw some Black Turnstones and lots of peeps too far away for my sorry eyes to make out.

Alaska has really great wild roses. These were growing beside the trail. They may be a domestic variety gone wild, I dont know too much about plants.
I tried my hand at photographing hovering, Arctic Terns.
I got better results than I usually get.

These photos may have been even better if there was brighter light, and if the terns had been a little closer. I am happy with the results that I got anyway.

There were a number of nearly independent baby, Mew Gulls.
I like the look of them so I shot many photos.
A protective parent warns me to keep a respectful distance. For a Mew Gull that means about an arm's length or so away.

I could'nt get quite so close to this mama Greater Scaup on Westchester Lagoon.
I did get pretty close to this Red-necked Grebe fishing just offshore. I like the water droplets.
When a subject is this cooperative, I just keep on taking photos. I'll probably post more photos of this bird later.
Another bird that could'nt be more cooperative, this Greater Yellowlegs. I got so many great photos today that I'll have to post more of them soon. I'm also going to try to visit the mudflats again this week, hopefully during high tide. That way I can get closer to more shorebirds.

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