Sunday, July 14, 2013

Alaska has a population of about 800,000 people. One third of those live in the greater Anchorage metropolitan area. Anchorage is surrounded by mountains that make a stunning backdrop to the city’s skyline. The Chugach, Kenai, Tordrillo, Talkeetna, Aleutian and Alaska Range Mountains (which includes Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America climbing at 20,320 feet) can all be seen from Anchorage. The city is also home to 1,500 Moose, dozens of nesting Bald Eagles, 2,400 Dall Sheep, Brown and Black Bear, Beluga Whales, Beavers and hundreds of bird species.

My favorite spot is Potter’s Marsh. Located south of Anchorage, off the Seward Highway it has stunning views Turnagain Arm. And it’s not just a Mecca for birds. Moose are regularly seen here. Often feeding just below the viewing platforms where you can get amazing photos of the huge animals. Rabbit Creek flows through the marsh and provides a good spot to see spawning Chinook, Coho, or Humpback Salmon. And of course in Alaska where there are salmon there are bears. Black and Brown Bears fish here for yummy salmon. Additionally, Muskrat, Least Weasels, Mink, Snowshoe Hares, Red Squirrels, Voles, Shrews, Lynx, Coyotes, River Otters, Beavers, Red Foxes, and Porcupines are also visitors to the refuge.

So we picked up Sherry and Jimmy at the airport on the 8th.  They will be with us for the next two weeks. Our first sightseeing trip was to Potter’s Marsh. This cow and her twins spent several hours grazing so close to us I wanted to reach out and pet her really cute babies! We also saw a huge Bull Moose out in the grass. It was pretty amazing.

The birding at Potter's Marsh was great. Lots of sea birds like this Arctic Tern and Mew Gull (Mom has just regurgitated dinner for the chick.) YUM!

In Anchorage we saw a Moose crossing a 4 lane road and a Black Bear by our campground. Sherry chased the bear trying to get a photo. One shoe on, one shoe off running across the gravel trying to catch up to the bear. She thought because it had a collar on it was a nice bear (NOT.) In the end all she got was a couple of very blurry pictures of a bear with a bright yellow Fish and Game collar on.


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