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Tag Archives: arctic

Barrow, Alaska – Top of the World

And our Alaska trip is concluded with Barrow. Target species? Spectacled Eider, King Eider and Steller’s Eider of course!!

Spectacled Eider
Spectacled Eider

King Eider
King Eider

Steller's Eider
Steller’s Eider

Of course, this also the best place in the world to photograph breeding plumage Red Phalaropes.

Red Phalarope
Red Phalarope

What would a trip to Barrow be without Snowy Owls?

Barrow, Alaska
Barrow, Alaska

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Crippling adult Glaucous Gulls! Snow Buntings! Dunlin! Long-billed Dowitcher!

Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull

Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting

Dunlin
Dunlin

Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher

Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan

Sanderling
Sanderling

Pectoral Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

Sara on the edge of the Arctic ice shelf. Yep, still completely frozen in June!

Sara in Barrow
Sara in Barrow

 

Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Photography Adventures

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Snowy Owls

There has been an irruption of Snowy Owls this winter. There have already been over 200 different sightings of Snowy Owls across the northern Lower 48 states. Snowy Owls rarely venture south of the Canadian border but every 6-7 years they come farther south. Some speculate it is due to food shortages in it’s normal Arctic range.

Snowy Owl Sightings
Snowy Owl – Recent Observations

While visiting friends in Portland recently, a Snowy Owl was discovered in a field in a small Mennonite retirement community. I rushed down there that afternoon to photograph the extremely cooperative bird. It was quite amusing watching the sheep in the field walk up to the Owl trying to figure out what the heck he was doing there. There were a couple of stand-off situations with the curious sheep but the Snowy Owl did not look amused at all.

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

 

Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Photography Adventures

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Ivory Gull UPDATE: Monday, Nov 8 (NOT SEEN)

As of 09:30 this morning, the Ivory Gull still hasn’t been relocated. It has been almost 24 hours since it was last seen flying north after feeding at the Pinniped carcass in Grover Beach. Wes Fritz and others have been scouring the beach as far north as Morro Bay with no success. I will be continuing to update the Ivory Gull RBA page at http://kiwifoto.com/rba/ivgu.html as well as posting updates on Twitter and my blog.

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

 

Posted by on November 8, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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Ivory Gull UPDATE: Sunday, Nov 7

I’ve received word that the Ivory Gull is still being seen this Sunday morning. Apparently there is not much meat left on the seal/pinniped carcass so chances are this may be the last day anyone sees the Ivory Gull before it moves on. Get out there and see it today folks!!


Ivory Gull
Curious beach-goers observe the Ivory Gull

UPDATE: Brad Schram reports that Wes Fritz just told him that this morning the adult IVORY GULL is cycling back and forth between the original seal carcass on the beach at the end of Grand Avenue (Pismo Beach) and a second seal carcass beneath the Kon Tiki Hotel in north Pismo Beach, near the wooden steps down to the beach. A Google map request will pinpoint the Kon Tiki.

The new carcass is good news, maybe predicting a longer stay–the original carcass is past its sell-by date.


Ivory Gull
Close up fly by the Ivory Gull

 

Posted by on November 7, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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Ivory Gull UPDATE: Saturday, Nov 6

Ivory Gull
Curious beach-goers watch Ivory Gull flying in

Arrived at Grover/Pismo Beach, CA just before sunrise this morning as birders began combing the beach in all directions and it didn’t take long for someone to locate the Ivory Gull just past 7:15AM. We all enjoyed great looks of the IVGU as it fed on the carcass of a pinniped that had washed up on the beach.

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

We could tell the bird was becoming increasingly agitated as more and more people showed up to walk their dogs along the beach. Eventually the bird flew off north toward the pier. No one was able to relocate the bird until it showed up again an hour later at the same feasting spot.

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

Again, it stayed in the same spot feeding until more and more people, including two people on horseback that were completely oblivious to the throng of birders, walked through the crowd toward the bird again scaring it up. We were able to relocate the Ivory Gull 10 minutes later at the Lagoon just north of the original location.

Ivory Gull
Ivory Gull

The Gull seems to be in good health and didn’t seem to mind the multitudes of birders with large lenses sneaking closer and closer to the bird. In fact, some of us were able to get within 15 feet of the bird!

Wes Fritz
Wes Fritz getting down and dirty

Larry Sansone
Larry Sansone, Todd McGrath and others

Pinniped Carcass
Pinniped Carcass – Ivory Gull Lunch

 

Posted by on November 6, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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