Still There

Christmas Pelican

My Christmas pelican is still at Watson Lake. Last week, I received a certificate from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game thanking me for reporting his tag and giving me some information about him/her (they don’t know the gender). Basically, they informed me that the pelican was too young to fly when banded in 2020 near Minidoka, Idaho. I’ve always seen pelicans in groups, but this one seems to be alone; I’m hoping friends fly in soon!

Christmas Day Outing

Christmas Day was quiet at our house with just the two of us, but around noon we took a walk at Watson Lake. There were many ducks, a very few cormorants, one heron, and one pelican. We were hoping to see some sandhill cranes, because we had spotted some flying over Willow Lake a few days before, but did not see any at the lake. We suspect they kept flying, heading south.

Almost immediately after we spotted the pelican, it took off, and I was able to see the tags on his wings (there is a band on his leg as well). I took the time today to report the tag number to the North American Bird Banding Program, which I think will let me know where the bird was tagged.

The Swoop

The Swoop

Today’s image is yet another in my series of gulls captured with intentional camera movement. This gull was photographed “mid-swoop” as it flew over Katsitsna Bay in the early evening. The unpredictability of the result is a big part of the fun of doing this type of photography.

Night Wings

Night Wings

I just finished reading the deep, dark, soulful Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy for our book group. There is beautiful, evocative writing, an intriguing plot, some romance and tragedy- all within the framework of the last migration of arctic terns in a time when climate change has wreaked havoc on the animal kingdom. I didn’t set out to create this image in response to what I read, but the subconscious is an amazing thing. And I highly recommend the book!

Mirrored Flight

Mirrored Flight

This was taken during our stay at Between Beaches on the MacDonald Spit on Kachemak Bay in Alaska. We had beaches in front of and behind our cabin- Kachemak Bay in front, Kasitsna Bay behind. Watching the gulls fly low over the dark waters of Kasitsna Bay in the mornings and evenings gave me a perfect opportunity to practice intentional camera movement techniques to create impressionistic images.

I was happy to hear at my camera club’s online meeting last night that this image won second place in this month’s Open Subject competition. It’s always nice to hear when other people like your art.

Classic

Vacation photos from Alaska aren’t complete without an eagle photo! They were everywhere- especially where we stayed on a beach on Kachemak Bay. This photo was taken on one of our excursions to Gull Island.

Wings

I have been doing intentional camera movement (ICM) for many years off and on, but I have never enjoyed it as much as I have when photographing birds this summer. The image below is gulls over Alaska’s Kasitsna Bay near the cabin on the MacDonald Spit where we stayed for our fiftieth anniversary.

Gull Island

One of the highlights of our Alaska trip was a two hour boat trip to Gull Island in Kachemak Bay. We enjoyed it so much that we actually returned the next day!

Gull Island is the breeding ground for several types of sea birds who return every year to make (and reuse) their nests and lay their eggs. There seemed to be many more kittiwakes (the white gulls) than the other species, and you can see them flying around and dotting the cliff in their nests. There were also many common murres and some puffins. A few eagles were sitting on the tops of the cliffs. Otters played in the waters below.