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Join NaturesLens for their Bald Eagles of Alaska Photography Holiday which is to be conducted in & around the Chilkat Valley. Every portion of the preserve is used by eagles at some time during the year but from October to February, more than 3000 eagles congregate here to feed on spawning chum salmon.
The bald eagles ﬂock to the valley because an upwelling of warm water prevents the Chilkat, Klehini & Tsirku rivers from freezing, thus encouraging the late salmon run. It’s a remarkable sight hundreds of birds sitting in the bare trees lining the river, often six or more birds to a branch.
The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was created by the State of Alaska in June of 1982. The preserve was established to protect and perpetuate the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles & their critical habitat. It also sustains & protects the natural salmon runs & allows for traditional uses; provided such uses do not adversely affect preserve resources. The Preserve consists of 48,000 acres of river bottom land of the Chilkat, Kleheni, & Tsirku Rivers. The boundaries were designated to include only areas important to eagle habitation. Virtually every portion of the preserve is used by eagles at some time during the year.
The natural phenomena responsible for ﬁve miles of open water on the Chilkat River during freezing months is called an “alluvial fan reservoir”. The Tsirku fan, which is a fan-shaped accumulation of gravel, rock, sand, & glacial debris, at the conﬂuence of the Tsirku, Kleheni, & Chilkat Rivers acts as a large water reservoir.
The Chilkat Valley is year-round home for between 200 & 400 eagles. Over 80 eagle nests have been observed in the Eagle Preserve. By the time of the Fall Congregations, the resident eagles are through raising their young, although immature eagles may stay near their parents for a year or more. Over 3,000 bald eagles have been counted within the preserve during the Fall Congregation (October to February).
The trip will run between November 20th, 2016 & November 27th, 2016 & costs £2250, which works out to £325 per day including photography trips, transportation & accommodation.
The NaturesLens Bald Eagles of Alaska Photography Workshop does not include domestic or international ﬂights, dinners, lunches, alcohol & sundry items.
The 2016 trip is being run at a discounted rate as it is the initial year of NaturesLens ofﬁcially running the trip – in subsequent years, the cost will be at least £500 more.
Bald Eagles of Alaska Photography Holiday Highlights
- 6 days ﬁlled with Bald Eagle photography opportunities.
- Photograph Bald Eagles perched in the trees, diving & ﬁghting for ﬁsh or sitting within the landscape.
- We hope to photograph a wide selection of images; both portraits & closeup shots of perched eagles, eagles calling, ﬂying, diving & ﬁghting for ﬁsh; plus wider bird in the landscape images to show the habitat that the birds live within.
- The timing of the workshop is deliberate so that we can observe the bald eagles who gather for the late salmon run.
- Bed & breakfast accommodation & transportation within Alaska included.
- Accommodation is in a comfortable hotel in the Haines area of Alaska
- Based on Twin shared rooms – single supplement is available.
- Extension available to photograph Alaskan Mammals for two days at Kroschel Wildlife Centre – price on application. Species will include grizzly bear, wolf, moose, lynx, fox, reindeer, porcupine, snowy owl, wolverine & more.
Group numbers are strictly limited to allow everyone to get a great position for the photography of the eagles, general advice will be given before the commencement of each element of the trip.
This Bald Eagle photography workshop is suitable for mid-level & experienced photographers.
The Bald Eagle is found only on the North American continent. Adult eagles generally weigh between nine and twelve pounds and have a wing span of seven feet. Females are slightly larger than males.
NaturesLens guides will, if necessary, take you through camera control, ISO requirements & other settings prior to each element of the Bald Eagles of Alaska trip.
If interested, please reserve a place on this workshop using the booking form below.
Single supplement – waived if we can pair you up with another single traveller – £250.00
Bald Eagles of Alaska Photography Holiday Availability
Maximum 6 clients – Full
This list is a guide on what to take on the tour. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the items listed as it wouldn’t all fit in your luggage /camera bag anyway! Items in BOLD are classed as essentials.
- Digital Camera Body.
- Spare digital camera body.
- Telephoto lens – no shorter than 200mm, but 300mm or longer is advisable. If you have a 400, 500 or 600mm lens, bring it!
- 1.4x Teleconverter/Extender. If you have to buy one for this for the trip, please make sure you get one that works with your telephoto lens. If the longest lens you have is 200mm, a teleconverter/extender is essential.
- 2.0x teleconverter /extender. Again, if you have to buy one for this trip, please make sure you get one that works with your telephoto lens.
- 24-105mm or another wide angle lens.
- Sturdy tripod with a gimbal type tripod head is advised.
- Right angled viewfinder.
- Spare memory cards.
- Spare batteries.
- Battery charger.
- Lens cleaning cloth.
- Small lightweight towel for drying wet gear and handsCamera and lens waterproof cover (clear thin plastic bags also work well to protect lenses and camera from snow).
- Card reader.
- Laptop or another type of storage device.
Camera & Lens Recommendations:
In general, a 500mm lens can prove too much. The ideal lens would be 300mm + 1.4x converter or/and 100-400mm f5.6 Canon or 200-400mm f4 Nikon, Nikon 80-400mm f5,6.
Full frame sensor:
In general 500mm, but optimal would be 400mm plus 1.4x converter or 300mm with 1.4x and 2x converter. Very good lens for full frame would also be a 70-200mm f2.8 plus 1.4x converter.
- Good thermal underwear, long-johns and long sleeved thermal under-shirts
- Warm quilted trousers, like the ones used for skiing, but not loud colors that could alarm the wildlife
- Waterproof over-trousers
- A down jacket or waterproof jacket with a thick warm fleece under it
- Snow/Thermal Boots* with a sole that is good for walking on snow and ice
- Snow studs/spikes – nothing too elaborate. Just something to give you extra grip on icy paths
- Thick warm socks
- Warm hat or hood on your jacket
- Balaclava or snood
- Silk gloves/Thin pair of thermal gloves, with rubber grip on the fingers and palm, or the fingers cut away, so that you can operate your camera with them on
- A second, larger pair of over-gloves are sometimes useful, especially if your under-gloves are fingerless
- Polar Fleeces, three or four if possible, as there are few hotels with facilities to wash your clothes
- Thin fleeces or mid-shirts, to make adjusting to various conditions easier
- Hand Warmers and Foot Warmers (that go inside your boots)
Additional NotesNaturesLens photography holidays include only the travel stated on the event page, flights of any nature are not included. Flight details, where applicable, are made available to clients in plenty of time to allow for booking at the best prices available.
The photography holiday itinerary is subject to change & is to be considered provisional.
NaturesLens photography holidays require a minimum number of participants, if sufficient photography holiday places are not sold the photography holiday may not be run, this photography holiday has a minimum participant level of 3 plus NaturesLens guide(s).
Not all mentioned wildlife can be observed & photographed at all times of the year, thus some activities may be considered seasonal & not available.
Unless stated otherwise, all NaturesLens wildlife photography holidays are suitable for single travellers, we design our holidays so that each participant gets their own room, there is no sharing & no single supplement.