More Details on the 2016 Alaska Bears and Birds Photography Workshop

October 25th, 2015

Here is all the info on the June Alaska Bears ‘n Birds trip.

It’s 5 days, 4 nights, based at the Silver Salmon Lodge on the border of Lake Clark National Park (in the general vicinity of Kodiak Island). Participants need be in Anchorage ready to depart for the lodge via bush plane by 9:00 AM on June 10. We’ll arrive at the lodge around 10, get settled, orientation and head into the field before lunch at 1.

All meals and lodging are included; does not include tips for guides or staff, or for alchoholic beverages. Lodging will be bedrooms in the main lodge or private cabins. All cabins have bathrooms with running water and electricity; some have kitchens. Space for 4 people. They drive us around in ATVs with carts so six can fit in one cart.

Days are spent shooting before breakfast; breakfast is at 8, sunrise is about 4:30 a.m. – we usually meet at 6:30 based on regulations from the park to give the bears some time to have on their own without gawking tourists. Then back out to find bears before lunch at 1. Afternoon light gets bright so there is some downtime for editing, napping, instruction, relaxing, etc. Group heads back out between 3 & 4 until dinner at 7. Then back out to shoot after dinner until about 9 or 10 to catch that nice evening light. Sunset is about midnight. We depart for Anchorage on the 14th. Departure time depends on the tide schedule.

Other options for activities include boat ride to Duck/Puffin Island where I have seen puffins, common muerres, oyster catchers, sea otter, and lots of waterfalls on the boat ride. Fishing is popular if there are fish but we might be a little early for that. Relaxing on the deck is always popular. There is a short hike up to a lake.

Every time Dawn has been there it seems like there isn’t enough time to photograph the bears. This may feel different for a landscape photographer. She usually sees about a dozen bears at various times but it is a big place and can take some time to find where they are. In June we would see them mating, clamming, eating in the sedge meadows and maybe strutting their new cubs of the year. She has also seen eagles on the beach, and there are some beautiful scenics with Mt Iliamna and Mt Redoubt (volcanos).

The cost is $4900 per person. 50% non-refundable deposit required at time of registration. We suggest you consider purchasing trip insurance through Allianz. Deadline for registration is December 1.

Regarding Bird photography (from the NPS Lake Clark website): The wide variety of habitats found in the park allows for an abundance of bird species. One hundred and ninety species have been confirmed sighted in the area, and six others have unconfirmed sightings. The once endangered Peregrine falcon nests along the Tuxedni Bay coastline. The foothill/lakes region to the west of the Chigmit Range, and the Chulitna Flats adjacent to Lake Clark are important feeding and nesting grounds which host a varied array of migratory and native birds. Among the types of birds a visitor might see are waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, falcons, owls, songbirds, grouse, and ptarmigan.


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