On a fabulous tour to the Sea of Okhotsk we had very close encounters with the largest eagle in the world. As also non-breeders visits the islands of Umara and Talan to feed, we had the oppotunity to study most plumages that these majestic birds are going through to adulthood. On one occasion 19 birds were seen. I am not myself an expert on molt patterns in raptors, and the age labels may be subject to change. Many thanks to Anders Jihmanner who helped me out on these photos.
This male King Eider is likely to become the most photographed duck in Sweden 2010! For more than three weeks it showed nicely in the sound at Marstrand, in Bohuslän. I and Mattias drow over to see it one cloudy Monday in March. After some searching in the fishing port we found the Eider at the Yacht Club. Some Common Eiders showed very well too.
I live by the small lake Södergårdsviken, wich is well known for its rich birdlife. During 17 days this autumn (2010) a Great Egret stayed here to feed on the abundance of small fish. Great Egrets used to be more scarce in Sweden, but in the last decades their numbers has been increasing rapidly. Some people predict this species to become a breeding bird in Sweden in a near future. I could often see this bird from my house, and a photo hide by the water helped me to get closer. The shots I like most was taken on an early grey thursday morning.
The Red-throated Loon is red listed in Sweden and concidered as "Near threatened". Human disturbance is probably one of the major threats in the south where I live. These birds has been around for a long time, and they have been alternating between various small lakes for breeding over the years. Sometimes I can see or hear them as they fly over my house towards their fishing waters.
Occasionally one run into these crazy males, full of hormones and no fear of man. It's certainly no big challenge to get close to them and get photos. One morning in February I found this lunatic while lekking on a busy road. I lured him out on the nearby fields and into the forest, a more proper habitat for the bird. Maybe I saved his life, at least for the day. And he gave me some wonderful photo opportunities and saved my day!
Purchasing a new camera made me inspired, so I decided to have a go at one of my nearby streams for some Dipper photography. Actually, I had five sessions there in various light conditions during a week, struggling to get my head around different settings on my gear. Sitting still by the water in minus 7 for a couple of hours was no problem. I forgot about the cold while these fantastic birds were around. Their unique foraging behaviors are so entertaining to study. At least three birds have their feeding territories there. Capturing them in flight turned out to be challenging, but eventually I grew into it.