Having finally gone through all of my photos from my recent trip to Alaska studying Ptarmigan, I thought I would share some highlights with everyone. This trip was the first real opportunity I had to put my new camera to the test. While still being a novice photographer, I feel like I learned a lot during my short time in Alaska, and certainly got plenty of practice with the new camera! Below are some of the bird photographic highlights from the trip (and a few of my personal favorites). We’ll start early on where I was able to get fairly close to a pair of Long-billed Dowitchers on the shore of a small pond along the North Slope.
During my last morning on the North Slope, the skies cleared and I was able to get some nice shots of a Red-necked Phalarope foraging in a small pool along the Sag River that was smooth as glass.
This post would be remiss without my favorite Ptarmigan photo, as these birds were the reason I travelled to Alaska. It turned out to actually be a photo of a female Willow Ptarmigan looking sleek and attractive walking through some shrubs.
Coming off the slope, I travelled along the Denali Highway, and my second day out spent almost an hour with a pair of American Dippers who were nesting beneath a bridge near a fish hatchery.
That same morning I spent a lot of time downriver of the fish hatchery where several species of gulls, and LOTS of Arctic Terns were enjoying the bounty of the river.
The following day along the Denali Highway may have been my best, photographically, of the entire trip. These two photos of a Fox Sparrow and Wilson’s Warbler, respectively, were highlights of the day. The Wilson’s Warbler shot may be my best songbird capture of the trip.
Finally, my personal favorite photograph of the trip were actually several shots I obtained of a male Blackpoll Warbler along the Denali Highway. I have a soft spot for this species as they were the focus of my first ornithological job ever in the White Mountains of New Hampshire back in the summer of 2007. I spent several hours following this one male in particular and was finally rewarded with some nice looks.