Friday, May 12, 2017

Diary Update #2 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 2017

✈️  Friday 12th May 2017 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ   ~ The 3 1/2 hour flight from Vancouver up to Anchorage was relatively uneventful! That is until we were on approach and completing a steep right turn, hitting what the pilot later described as 'Wake Turbulence'. I swear we were seconds away from a complete barrel roll, gasps in the cabin before a sudden jerk corrected us immediately onto level flight! I've flown many hours but that will go down as my "Seconds From Disaster" encounter! However, what I can tell you is that the scenery as we approached Anchorage is some of the most stunning I've ever encountered on a flight anywhere in the world!

First image of the visit this recently arrived Tree Swallow!
After picking up the hire car we made our way out of Anchorage to drive the 30 or so miles to our hotel for the next four days in Girdwood. We did make a short stop at the Potters Marsh Wildlife Viewing Area, which is on route and in fact ended up with quite a good starter list during our 30 minute stay. Species of note included; Tree Swallow, Green-winged Teal, Greater Yellowlegs, Long-billed Dowitcher, Mew Gull and Several Arctic Terns! Just prior to leaving our first Bald Eagle of the trip, which was being harassed by a Raven. Even more exciting was a Douglas DC6, which I haven't seen flying for many years and came practically overhead, sadly Dee was off somewhere else with camera!!

One of a pair of Barrows Goldeneye on the hotel lake.
After checking in a pre dinner walk around one of the small lakes in the hotel grounds produced Barrows Goldeneye, Richardson's Canada Geese and the whole pine forest area seemed alive with Pine Siskin, Redpoll and White-winged Crossbill, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle), Dark-eyed Junco and several Violet-green Swallow also during the walk.

Record shot of White-winged Crossbill
With sunset not until 10.35pm tonight an after dinner walk at 10pm was as surreal as it gets, with at least three Varied Thrush, one of my favourite birds, singing there one pitched whistling call and a distant Hermit Thrush in full song, I'm already beginning to fall in love with Alaska!!