Wandering in the Last Frontier

We fell in love with Alaska nine years ago when we traveled from Georgia to Alaska and back towing our fifth wheel trailer. We’ve been wanting to return to the Last Frontier ever since.

Our wish finally came true at the end of August this year. This time we flew to Anchorage, took a tour bus to Seward and boarded the Viking Orion for a 10 day cruise ending in Vancouver. We returned to a few places we had visited by RV and saw some amazing new places. The scenery was stunning and there were many wildlife sightings.

These are just a few highlights of our journey.

Turnagain Arm between Seward and Anchorage
Brown Bear at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center on the Seward Highway in Portage, Alaska

Seward, Alaska
Leaving Valdez
Hubbard Glacier, Yakatat Bay
Humpback Whales bubble net feeding – Icy Strait Point, Alaska
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau
Coastal Brown Bear, Haines
Sea Otter Cub on Mama’s stomach – Sitka, Alaska
Bald Eagle – Sitka, Alaska
Black Bear in Eagle Creek – Ketchikan
Inside Passage somewhere between Ketchikan, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia

Bird Weekly Challenge #27: Birds with Long Wingspans

The wingspan of the American White Pelican can be as much as nine feet wide. A single pelican is shown in the image above and the next image is a trio flying over the water.

American White Pelican

These are some more of of my favorite captures of birds with long wingspans.

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly Challenge: Birds with Long Wingspans

Bird Weekly Challenge #17: Macros or Close Ups

For me, getting a closeup of a bird is usually a real challenge. Most of the time, the bird is too far away or it flies away if I get too close. Occasionally, I’ll luck out and come across a bird who is not interested in me and I can get the shot I want.

The Bald Eagle in the above photo was sitting in a low branch of a tree in Chilcoot Lake State Park in Haines, Alaska. As I set up my tripod and aimed the camera at him I kept my fingers crossed that he wouldn’t fly off. He ignored me and I was a happy photographer.

Great Blue Heron, Florida

Most Great Blue Herons I have seen are spooked by humans and will not let me get too near them. This one was hanging around the fishing pier at Ft. Pickens National Seashore in Florida. He was much more interested in getting an easy meal than he was in me.

Nice catch!

This Anhinga was right beside the path in Shark Valley in Everglades National Park. We watched for a while as he struggled to swallow his fish. We didn’t stay around long enough to see if he succeeded in eating it.

Cormorant, Everglades National Park, Florida

This Cormorant was next the trail and didn’t move when I stopped to take his picture.

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #17: Macro/Close Ups.

Bird weekly Challenge #9: Birds of Prey

Of all the birds of prey I’ve seen in the wild, the Bald Eagle is by far my favorite. These magnificent birds mate for life and return to the same nest year after year. Alaska is a Bald Eagle lovers paradise.

Bale Eagle at Ninilchik Beach
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Mama and baby eagles across from the Homer Post Office
Eagle soaring overhead in Homer

There are Bald Eagles on some of the Georgia barrier islands near our home but it isn’t every day that one decides to perch on top of our neighbor’s dock house. I was able to get a photo of this Bald Eagle on a foggy December afternoon.

Bald Eagle

Sometimes I can hear the owls in the trees in our neighborhood but they are hard to see. One morning this juvenile horned owl perched on our dock for a while.

Juvenile Horned Owl

Hawks are birds of prey I’ve often seen in Georgia and Florida.

Red Shouldered Hawk, Everglades National Park, Florida

An occasional hawk will fly over our back yard in search of a tasty morsel. One day one stopped for a break on a fence post.

Hawk in coastal Georgia

I often see ospreys soaring overhead as they search for food. I have managed to capture some on their nests.

Osprey on nest, Everglades National Park, Florida
Pair of Ospreys on the nature trail, Gulf Islands National Seashore at Ft. Pickens, Florida

Thanks you Lisa. for this challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #9 – Birds of Prey

Bald Eagles of Alaska

Five years ago we were wandering around Alaska in our RV. As we traveled I was always on the lookout for wildlife and we saw plenty of it.

Along with the many land and sea animals, I enjoyed seeing the birds. The Bald Eagles were my favorite and there were more Bald Eagles than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. We saw them perched in trees, soaring overhead, and even in a nest in front of the Homer Post office.  The most unusual sighting was seeing one fly right beside the truck as we drove along the Homer Spit. I was so busy watching him keep up with us that I didn’t get a chance to take his picture!

He was looking at me
Bald Eagle on Ninilchik Beach

Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK

Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK
Bald Eagle at Chilcoot Lake State Park, Haines, AK

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Bald Eagle in the Lynn Canal between Haines and Juneau

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Bald Eagle in tree beside Eldred Rock Lighthouse in the Lynn Canal

Mama and Baby Eagles across from Homer Post Office
Mama and Baby Eagles in Homer

Eagle soaring over bluff at Russian Orthadox Church
Eagle soaring over bluff at Russian Orthadox Church in Ninilchik

Pair of Eagles
We spotted this pair of Bald Eagles as we cruised by on a wildlife and glacier cruise from Valdez

Inspired by Ingrid’s Wandering Wednesday photo prompt – birds