Hectic Action With Steller’s Sea Eagles …

Ben’s Update from Rausu in Hokkaido on the Tusk Japan Wildlife Photo Tour:

(Photos from back of Ben’s Camera)

So this morning, as planned we left really early to take the short trip to the harbour to board our chartered boat. We wanted to reach the pack ice close to Rausu before sunrise, and wow! – what a sight greeted our eyes as we sailed towards our destination. A few minutes on the sea took us to where hundreds of Steller’s Sea Eagles could be seen on the ice floes that almost surround the town.

There was so much non-stop action! Eagles chased one another, asserting their dominance, and some amazing tussles broke out when a bird caught a fish and competitors tried to grab the tasty prize.

We did portrait shots, action shots, chasing shots, flying shots, fighting shots, and hardly a moment passed without something to capture. Everyone collected a really awesome array of images. Sometimes it became a bit difficult when there were just so many Eagles that it was difficult to focus and to track a dramatic moment. But it was exhilarating!

Only our group was on the boat as we chartered it exclusively for our use for a full six hours, unlike other groups who went out for one hour at a time or sometimes even less – and boats were shared. It makes such a difference to have a private boat!

Tomorrow we are planning to start with a sunrise cruise as the weather report predicts clear skies. We would like to photograph the Eagles against the rising sun …