Day 2 we hit JUNEAU, the capital of Alaska and home of Mrs. Palin. In case you didn't know, there are NO roads that go to Juneau, so you must fly or boat in (unless you are in possession of a teleporter). It was a rainy day, so that was a bit of a downer, but didn't stop us from going at it full force anyway. I didn't take the camera out with me as our plans got a little switched around and once I decided I wanted it, we were off the boat already. We spent the morning climbing up Mount Roberts (elevation 3819 ft - there's a tram that goes up too, but that's just too easy isn't it?).
In the afternoon we headed to Mendenhall Glacier. These falls are just beside it.
But wouldn't you know what we did see!
I may have mentioned once or twice how terrified I am of bears, but for some reason I wasn't scared at all seeing these guys. And yes I was as close as it looks. There are 17 actively feeding bears in the area (we saw 2). But they were too busy stuffing their bellies with salmon to be interested in me. After my trip to Alaska, I determined that I'm not all that scared of black bears but I am that much more terrified of grizzlies.
In the town of Juneau outside the Red Dog Saloon, I got a great shot of a raven in the street. The ravens there are kind of like crows here; I've never really seen them this close, and they are absolutely stunning birds. Check out the blue on the back, and the schnoz on that thing!
After our ride we sort of wandered around. There was a little path that ran behind the houses away from the main drag where all the tourists were. We saw this beautiful little juvenile thrush. The spots around its head ans shoulders are just lovely.
We see some chickadees..."hey now, that doesn't sound quite right...hey now, they don't look quite right."
#174: Chestnut-sided Chickadee; Skagway, AK; August 2011
And then a Steller's Jay (you know, Steller, also of Steller sea lion fame--no, I didn't either until I went to Alaska), gets in the frame too. Holy bigeeessis! Then, wouldn't you know, the resident opens her door, gets a peanut, and that jay hops ONTO HER HAND to eat it. Well, why the heck haven't I tried to hand train blue jays?
#175: Steller's Jay; Skagway, AK; August 2011
In the same area there were some little yellow birds. I had also seen them in Seward and thought immediately, black-throated green warblers, NBD. Woops, then I started seeing this "Townsend's Warblers" mentioned everywhere and wondering a) what the heck are they and b) why haven't I seen one? I look in the book--black-throated greens aren't even in Alaska, they have a similar looking counterpart in Alaska. The markings on the face are quite different once you get down to looking!
#176: Townsend's Warbler; Skagway, Alaska; August 2011
#177: Pine Siskin; Skagway, AK; August 2011