So as dicussed with Andrea last night I headed out to the mountains with Andrea, Elanor (his wife) & Dimitri (his youngest son) mid morning. We had 2 quads between the 4 of us. We set of from the village past the morane hills and the lakes and on route we noticed these fish (photo above) all in the small channel between the lake and a small stream which were trying to head upstream to spawn.
Once we got past the first set of mountains and headed out over the open tundra and marshes to visit one of the rivers in order for Elanor to carry out some Salmon survey work we saw this sandhill crane chick (photo above). After taking a few photos we continued going north when the next chick of the day followed shortly but this time a ruff (photo below). I was pleased with this as I have never seen a ruff chick before. At first I wasn't exactly sure what it was as there was no adult visible closeby and it took a few minute to realise it's identity.
Again after a few photos we coninued going northwards and then the 3rd chick of the day appeared and this time in the form of this white fronted goose chick (photo below)
As wearrived to the river (photo below) and as we looked down from the the bank above we could see that there was a lot of red salmon present as they splashed and jumped out of the water all heading upstream to spawn.
We walked for near on a mile and a half along the edge of the river allowing Elanor to conduct her survey work. Photo below gives you an idea of the number of red salmon there actually are here in these waters but the peak numbers are still yet to arrive. It is difficult getting a photo of the salmon when in the water due to the sun reflecting off of the water. So I took this photo with my small compact digi-scoping camera but through my sunglasses in order to cancel out the glare. Having polarised sun-glasses really does help and I purchased these prior to this trip to help with the glare of the sun reflecting back off of the snow. I also like them when I am island hopping on boats or out sea for long periods as they really do help out a lot and make viewing much more easier on the eye. This is the second pair of polarised oakley's I have had as I lost the first pair and said I would not pay £180 for a pair of sun-glasses again but I did and at the moment I am glad I did.
Whilst at the river and after returning from the survey we had lunch at this spot and the sun was out at the sky went cloud free for a while. It also got warm and it was nice just sitting there having a brew, some food and enjoying the surroundings. It was a picnic and we even had a tartan typle cloth where all the food was placed. "very nice indeed" during the survey there were at least 2 pairs of wood sandpipers, 1 common sandpiper, 2 rb merg's and a few siberian rubythroats flitted from bush to bush. Then we headed out over the tundra valley and towards the next mountain range when these 2 below appeared just laying in the grass on the other side of a small river.
As you can see from the photo above that this is a rather large cub and an average sized female. Brown bears don't have particuarly good vision nor hearing but their sense of smell is amazing and I have been advised that they can pick up on a scent from 15 miles away. We were down wind of these 2 today but it was the sound of the 2 quads that alerted them to our presence. The female just stared in our direction not taking her eyes off of us at the start.
The cub seemed to be more interested in foraging before walking slowly towards our direction before heading off to the west (photo below). Then after returning to it's mother both started to walk fast before running off to the east (photo 2nd below)
After this we continued on our way driving past the bears at a safe distance and then reached another part of the salmon packed river where the salmon actually go to spawn. It was just a huge long line of salmon almost as if each one was waiting for its turn. As we all stood on the rivers edge I noticed a wader fly and land closeby on the same side of the river that I was on and raised my bins I couldn't believe but there in my view was a breeding plumaged wandering tattler! It posed side on briefly allowing clear visible views of the heavy barring throughout and continuing right through to the undertail coverts. "yes I was in" and I went for my camera and just at this poing it flew further down the river and out of view! "Gutted" even though I was disapointed not to get a record shot at least I was still pleased with actually seeing this specialsed breeding wader in it's breeding habbitat in breeding plumage. This is only the second wandering tattler I have seen after the first one only back in March this year (which was my 50th species of wader for the year, that reminds me I must work it out and update it at some point soon) when I was in Australia with Stuart. After this we continued on our way driving through the rivers when they were shallow enough and whilst doing this we flushed another 2 tattlers but they flew up and out of sight so fast that i could not get anything on them other than they were tattlers even if they had gave their diagnostic call I wouldn't have heard it over the sound of the engines of the quads. At around 18:00hrs we decided to head back to the village and upon arrival Andrea worked it out that we we had done near on 60 miles today. It was a really good day and I enjoyed it but getting good views of the bears in these photos and finally nailing wandering tattler on the breeding grounds was just "su- bloody-perb". I know it sounds greedy but I think I have to try and get back in to the mountains if possible just to have one last throw of the dice to try and get some more wandering tattler action. The days just keep throwing up surprises. I doubt it can last any longer, can it ? (what do you reckon ?)