The trip was a blast. Dad, Mom and me came back with probably close to 50,000 images amongst the three of us. Amazing how well the wildlife and weather cooperated for us during these past 16 days. Even all the flights were on time. Of course all trips have to end at some point, including ours. We didn’t fly out on a turbo 207 like the one above, but since i didn’t take any shoots of the jets we were on, i figured that this would be appropriate to end on.
Part of our trip was out on Kodiak Island. Some of the largest bears in Alaska can be found there, and we wanted to see them. This one particular bear, a sow probably around 4 or 5, was a complete butterball. When she stood you could see nothing but a round ball of fluff. Very good looking bear but a little heavy for the age. Considering how cautious she was fishing when other bears around, she would run a good distance whenever a male was in the river, we concluded that the weight must have been from grasses.
The salmon run really hadn’t come in on the river in the days before we arrived, but when we got out there the salmon were in the thousands. Lucky break again for us. First, great weather the whole trip and now fish for the bears. Unfortunately due to the lateness of fish arriving, which is common all over the state right now, most of the larger bears weren’t around fishing. However some of the younger bears, mostly around 3 yrs old and up, were out entertaining us.
Of course bears aren’t the only creatures at the river that we are photographing. Gold Crown Sparrows are busy flying around grabbing the insects off the Cow Parsnip or Angelica, that accumulate on the top of the white flowers.
Another visitor to the fish frenzy is the Bald Eagle. You can always count on at least one around when the bears are fishing.
When the bears go fishing, everyone is invited. There are always Glacous Gulls around to pick up those scraps they leave. When the salmon run is slow they eat the whole fish not leaving much, but when the run is going well they tend to eat just the skin and roe, leaving most of the fish for others to cleanup, and it always is.
Bears were not the only thing that we were photographing. There was a Red Fox den at the site where we were staying. The den had 6 pups that we saw for sure, probably a few weeks old. Here are 2 of them trying to get mom to feed them. They are difficult to shoot, they keep making me laugh.