Subsistence Kayaking VI

 Fredrik Norrsell
This squirrel was busy dropping cones on our tent all night, and caching them for the coming winter.
 Fredrik Norrsell
One of the squirrels many food caches.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy with a nice Chanterelle harvest.
 Fredrik Norrsell
All the wildlife were fattening up for the winter, including this Brown Bear sow and her 2 cubs.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A big plate with pan-fried Silver Salmon, Chanterelles and Beach Asparagus. A great late summer treat.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Found amazing tide pools full of anemones, sponges, and limpets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Sunset in Chatham Strait.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We got winded in and camped a few miles short of Angoon on our last night. Awoke during the night to this spectacular Aurora and the sound of a breaching Humpback Whale.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Leaving Angoon on the ferry.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A spectacular last sunset, as we were heading north towards Haines on the ferry.

Subsistence Kayaking V

Finally back for the last entries about last summer. Held off publish some images since some publications wanted to buy first time rights. More to come.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A stack of rock fish fillets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy cleaning rockfish. Rock fish was a stable in our diet, and our favorite meal.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Weather turned wonderful for the last 10 days of our trip with many stunning sunrises and sunsets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Shorebirds were abundant at the end of the summer, as the fall migration had begun.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The small town of Baranof. Hotsprings and a great friendly community. What else can you wish for.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A sleeping Stellar Sealion.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We watched this bubble-net feeding Humpback whale for well over 1 hour.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The humpback whale coming up close for a breath.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Anemone in a tidepool.
 Fredrik Norrsell
As we crossed Chatham Straight the weather detoriated and heavy rain started.

Subsistence Kayaking – II

The he trip is going well after 45 days and over 300 nautical miles we have reached Sitka. Here we are re-supplying on spices, oil and sugar. After several weeks of fantastic weather we now have a pretty good storm moving through. Hopefully we can continue towards Goddard Hot Springs tomorrow.

Good weather allowed us to paddle the open coast on the west side of Yakobi island.
Brekers along the outer coast of Chichagof Island.
Deer are abundant along the coast and can be amazingly approachable when approached slowly.
Nancy proudly showing off her catch. The first salmon Of the season for us.
Nearly 40 pounds of fresh salmon that will feed us for many days.
Smoking salmon is working well as a way to preserve fish, and it is delicious. The evening before we caught 7 large Keta salmon.
This dinner was a highlight. Pan fried rock fish, with rock fish ceviche, shrimp and fresh picked berries.

Ruffed Grouse

A male ruffed grouse kept me entertained in early May, as he called for females by beating his wings together. He had several favorite logs to stand on in my backyard. I like the pictures but they have busy backgrounds. For next year I will have to do some selective trimming in my yard to clean up the background as I now know where his favorite spot are.

 Fredrik Norrsell

 Fredrik Norrsell

Endemic New Zealand Birds

I was recently in New Zealand teaching a month long Sea Kayaking course.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Paddling in Pelorus Sound. © Fredrik Norrsell

We had an amazing opportunity to stop at Motuara Island, were we got to see several endemic and endangered birds.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A charismatic South Island Robin. © Fredrik Norrsell

New Zealand Robins are tame and charismatic birds, often chasing insects in the duff by your feet.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Bellbird coming down to drink. © Fredrik Norrsell

Bellbirds are known for their beautiful song, and on the predator free Motuara Island the bird song was almost deafening. It really highlighted how human impact and introduced predators have decimated birdlife on the mainland of New Zealand.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Yellow-crownd Parakeet. © Fredrik Norrsell

It was delightful to see the Kakariki (Yellow-crowned parakeet) again. A few years ago I caught a glimpse of it on Stewart Island. To watch numerous of them coming to drink and bathe was an amazing experience.

 Fredrik Norrsell
South Island Saddleback taking a bath. © Fredrik Norrsell

We even got to see the critically endangered South Island Saddleback. Pretty sure I even saw a few juveniles. Thanks to hard work by DOC and volunteers it is slowly making a comeback. The population is estimated at 700 individuals up from the original 36 birds that was rescued in 1964.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

I was all ready to go out to photograph the aurora again, but got distracted by this little fellow, sitting on a branch outside the front door. I have known for years that Saw-whet Owls live in the neighborhood, but this was the first time I actually saw one.

Porcupine Caribou Herd

I’m back from guiding a trip in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, for Arctic Wild which provided incredible support for the clients and me so that we could find the Porcupine Caribou Herd out on the coastal plain. But first we found an incredible rich birdlife. Next to our tents we had this amazing Ruddy Turnstone.FNO_052431

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It had a nest with two eggs, out in the middle of the coastal plain. This photograph with a wide-angle lens captures the space that surrounds it.

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Finding a large herd of Caribou wasn’t an easy task as they roamed across the plain. But one evening at about midnight we found a group with several thousand Caribou. Yes -they are out there as tiny dots.

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The next day we found them again after a challenging river crossing and 2 mile walk across the wet tundra of sedge grasses.

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There group spread out for over a mile grazing on the sedge grass, I estimate that there were 20-thousand Caribou, but who knows. I couldn’t count that far, among the constantly moving herd of Caribou.

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A curious calf came up to inspect us with its mom in tow. Only a few weeks old they were running across the tundra at amazing speeds.

Cordova Shorebirds 2015

Cordova Shorebird festival was once again a great flurry of life after a long Alaska winter. Heavy rain, grey sky and strong wind didn’t dampen the spirits of birds, bird watchers and photographers, which all braved the elements with enthusiasm.

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As the storm subsided I flew out to Hitchinbrook Island to explore what was out there. With me was my wife Nancy and my dad Olof an avid birder which came over from Sweden to experience the shorebird migration. We found a lot less people and shorebirds but much else such as Harlequin Ducks, Oyster Catchers, Stellar Sea Lion, breaching Humpback whales, Brown Bears, and a beautiful Sitka Spruce forest

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I still came away with many great photographs of Semipalmated Plover which preferred to feed at the edge of the surf on the beach.

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The Least Sandpipers had established nesting territories along a small estuary, and was patrolling the edge of it for food.

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Brown Bears were also patrolling the estuary feeding on sedge.

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When we returned to Cordova the shorebirds were gathered in tight clusters and seemed ready to head north again after fattening up on the rich estuary of the Copper River.

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