Kachemak Bay is a 40 mile long arm of Alaska’s Cook Inlet on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula. My fourth trip to Homer took me there for a three-hour birding cruise with Bay Excursions Water Taxi and Tours. This is in fact just a local naturalist, Karl Stolfzus, his cell phone, and his boat. But Karl was a great guide.
When I left Wayne and Marveen’s home, the weather was sunny in line with the prediction for the day’s forecast. But soon after I set forth, clouds rolled in and totally obscured the sky. More than once I considered opting out of the tour, for which I hadn’t paid in advance, but when I took another look at the weather forecasts, no day in the immediate future promised to be any sunnier. So I proceeded.
Glad that I did. While the dim light made me boost the ISO to 3200 for almost all of my photos, my software removed the noise.
Karl’s boat was docked at Homer’s small boat harbor along with hundreds of other vessels, mostly fishing boats. Long known as the “halibut fishing capital of the world,” Homer is home to many fisherfolk.
With Karl steering and spotting, I went out into the bay with two couples, all dedicated birders. We saw a huge number and variety of birds and sea mammals, but the bird that I most wanted to see was a black oystercatcher, which I had never seen before.
Click on the picture above to enlarge
I had seen surf scoters before. But I had never captured them in flight, and now I know why we call them surf scoters.