After an anniversary party with friends, we went over to Potter Marsh, not far away. We got there around ten and stayed an hour. I'm still learning how to do things on the new camera - which I usually leave home and stuff my old one in my pocket. Let's say, I have mastered almost nothing in terms of how to control my camera. Yet despite that, I got far better pictures than I could have with my little Powershot. But given it was cloudy and late, I really messed up the lighting with the terns and had to revive the images after the fact in photoshop.
|Green winged teal|
"Teal is a deep blue color; a dark cyan.These birds are pretty common throughout the US and Canada according to All About Birds.
Teal gets its name from the fact that it surrounds the eyes of the common teal, a member of the duck family.
The first written use of Teal as a color name in English was in 1917. "
Potter Marsh is just south of Anchorage (the city part - Anchorage boundary goes on another 50 miles or so) and was formed when they built the Seward Highway and blocked the water from just flowing out into the inlet. I was trying to find a link to confirm this history but most google links go to tourist posts on Potter Marsh, but I did find this post about a contractor who was fined for destroying a stream and wetlands that feed into Potter Marsh.
Beginning in 2005, D'Amato used heavy equipment at the Hunter Heights subdivision to illegally excavate 1,300 feet of streams, then filled nearly an acre of wetlands on a 29-acre property with the stream material, according to the EPA. D'Amato performed this work without obtaining needed permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, a violation of the Clean Water Act, the EPA said.
The excavation caused erosion in the streams and sediment flowed into nearby Little Rabbit Creek, which is used by salmon to spawn. The sediment flows on through the creek to Potter Marsh, where it threatens salmon and bird populations, said Heather Dean, environmental scientist at the EPA.
The EPA sent D'Amato warnings over the years but he never fixed the problem, Dean said. In 2007, the EPA issued D'Amato a compliance order requiring him to restore the damaged wetlands and streams. He hasn't yet taken care of it and continued to dredge and fill the streams and wetlands on his property until at least July 2008, the EPA said.
I found this story covered in several places but didn't find any stories that followed up on what happened.
Arctic Terns are one of my favorite Alaska birds, but they've always been a little tricky to photograph because the move so fast. I'm posting these shots so when I get better ones, I can go back and remember how bad these were. These are photoshop enhanced - made much brighter because when I set it at a speed to get these very fast birds in focus, the aperture didn't go along. These terns fly from the Antarctic to Alaska and then back each year. And they fly and hover and dive for fish. Very sleek and beautiful to watch.
The Arctic Tern Migration Project website this Bird of the Sun:
"Bird of the sun
The Arctic tern is known to make the longest annual migration in the animal kingdom. During its breeding season, it is found far to the north where summer days are long, and it winters far south in the southern hemisphere, where the days are longest during November to February. This means that the Arctic tern probably experiences more sun light during a calendar year than any other creature on Earth. The long-distance travel of the Arctic tern is well-known both amongst researchers and in the broader public. Now, for the first time, technological advances allow us to follow the Arctic tern on its immense journey, practically from pole to pole.