Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Puffin Stalking

My afternoon of puffin stalking paid off.  No, not with puffin stew!  It paid off with exactly the kinds of wildlife pictures I've been trying to capture over the last two years.

I spent the entire afternoon last Saturday bobbing along in my kayak on Anton Larsen Bay, patiently waiting for my beloved puffins to make an appearance.  And then I spotted a nesting area.  Which I immediately took a beeline towards.

As I was floating along, four puffin came shooting out of the trees by the cliffside.  They were so close to me - it was awesome.  I actually laughed out loud after they sped by.  They're fast little mothers.  They can fly up to 55 miles per hour, so getting an in air picture is challenging.  This was the best I could do for an action shot:

Not too bad

I thought it was pretty cool that the splashes from his wings came out too.  After gawking at  them as they whizzed past, I watched them circle around and around before they decided to land.  And then my afternoon of puffin creeping began.

I've decided that the quality that has to be paramount for professional wildlife photographers is patience. You just have to wait for nature to show itself to you and hope you get the shot you want.  I think I did pretty good for an amateur.

How damn cute are these birds?  I totally see why they're called the clown of the sea.  Between that colorful beak and their dopey behavior, they're my favorite northern bird.  I caught them making their way toward the hubby while he fished from his kayak.

They're comin' for him!

He didn't catch anything, but the whole time we were out, the salmon were mocking him by vaulting out of the water all around us.  They wanted nothing to do with what he was selling that day.  He did end up catching a little rockfish, but he threw it back.  So, I spent the day tracking puffin, while he hunted salmon.  I won.

I also captured a few decent pictures of other shore birds.  Two black oystercatchers & some terns.  Let me tell you, they let you know when you get too close.  This one was downright obnoxious when I entered his comfort zone:

Can't you hear him?  He's telling me to get the hell out of his space.  And not very subtly!

Such vibrant beaks & beautiful coloring

I don't even know how I captured this black oystercatcher action shot.  It was a complete accident:

And these two were nice enough to pose for me on the rocks.  Of course they also warned me with little cheeps when I got too close.  Not nearly as obnoxious as the tern.

This was a perfect kayaking day.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if the hubby caught a salmon or two.  It was another gorgeous, Kodiak at its best summer day.  I love Kodiak on days like this.

I took quite a few puffin misses picture-wise, but I took so many that there were a handful of keepers.  This next one is my favorite.  It was as crisp and clear as I was hoping, even though the colors of the water are a little washed out & on the dull side.  It's still my favorite:

Kodiak really is one of a kind. It was one of those days when the sunshine, temperate weather, nature, and wildlife all coincided beautifully & can only be described one way.  Synergy!

Ta-ta for now.

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