Monday, October 10, 2016

A Fine Ending on the River, with Eagles

Day 12 Sept 23, 2016

We woke to another glorious sun-filled day in Kamchatka. We embarked on our last zodiac trip along the Zhupanova River. The landscape is quite lush with many trees such as willows, alders, and birch. At the mouth of the river was a salmon processing plant, as this river is full of salmon during the spawning season. It looked to be a modern plant, and probably the fish go out frozen, rather than canned. The most important wildlife are the Steller's Sea Eagles. We started to see them as we wound down the river. They are huge magnificent birds with bright yellow beaks. They sat in trees and soared overhead. We may have seen as many as 8 of them. Apparently they feed on salmon, but this was not spawning season so we didn't know what they were feeding on. There was a huge nest in a tree along the river bank. The scenery was magnificent with several perfectly cone shaped ones, one with a huge caldera, and others covered in snow. One without snow was slowly spewing smoke. After this we returned to the ship and prepared for disembarkation tomorrow morning.

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