Alaskan Adventure 2015

Brown Bear, Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, AlaskaThe second leg of my trip to the US was to Alaska. Alaska offers unique opportunities to capture some amazing wildlife images. As well as visiting the Anchorage area we spent four days photographing Brown Bears at Brooks River, Katmai National Park.

 

A gallery containing 50 photos from my Alaskan trip is located here

Katmai lies some two hundred and fifty miles southwest of Anchorage, in Alaska’s Bristol Bay area. Each year millions of salmon burst from the Bering Sea into the lakes and streams of the area. These fish provide a food source for the world’s largest population of brown bears. As many as fifty bears can be seen fishing along the mile and a half long Brooks River during the peak of the salmon season. The bears fish for salmon as they negotiate the rapids and falls of the Brooks River.

Brown Bears at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Brown Bears at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Along the river is a series of high level platforms that offer great views of where the Coastal Brown Bears come to feed on the salmon as they head upstream to spawn. The bears are adept at fishing with the more dominant bears selecting locations where the salmon attempt to leap the falls.

Brown Bear, Brooks River Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Brown Bear Fishing, Brooks River Falls

Some of the fish succeed while others fail as they find themselves leaping straight into the  jaws of a waiting bear.

Into the jaws of a Brown Bear, Brooks River Falls

Into the jaws of a Brown Bear, Brooks River Falls

While adult bears are quite adept at catching the fish the subadults are less skilled. This lack of skill provided some fun moments as the young bears raced across the river trying to chase down a fish that was almost certainly long gone.

Subadult Brown Bear Chasing Fish, Brooks River

Subadult Brown Bear Chasing Fish, Brooks River

Having completed the Brooks Lodge aspect of the trip we travelled to Homer for a few days in search of the majestic Bald Eagle, the iconic symbol of the United States of America. Homer is perhaps the best location in North America to find and photograph these majestic birds.

Bald Eagle in Flight, Deep Creek Beach, Kenai Peninsula,

Bald Eagle in Flight, Deep Creek Beach, Kenai Peninsula

In addition to adult birds we came across large numbers of juveniles. Photographing these  was lots of fun as they practised various flight manoeuvres.

Juvinile Bald Eagles in Flight, Deep Creek Beach, Kenai Peninsula

Juvenile Bald Eagles in Flight, Deep Creek Beach, Kenai Peninsula

Homer is on the shore of Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. Its distinguishing feature is the Homer Spit, a narrow 4.5 mile long gravel bar that extends into the bay, on which is located the Homer Harbour. While in Homer we took the opportunity to photograph abandoned boats, cars, buses, etc at sunset.

Abandoned Bus, Homer Spit, Kenai Peninsula

Abandoned Bus, Homer Spit, Kenai Peninsula

Sunset at Halibut Cove, Kachemak Bay

Sunset at Halibut Cove, Kachemak Bay

Images were GPS tagged and edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC 2015

A gallery containing 50 photos from my Alaskan trip is located here

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