My visit to Cattle Point in search of foxes had me trekking along the cliff tops hoping to spot some creatures on the prowl. I met a local couple that suggested they normally saw foxes further along the coast and so I headed that way. As I kept moving, I did get some wildlife encounters but it was with bald eagles rather than foxes. They were soaring along the cliff tops using the updrafts. At one point, one popped up over the edge close to me and stared at me briefly before gliding on. I was too slow to pick up the camera and instead watched it fly by. I did catch some of its compatriots later in my walk, though. If I’m not getting foxes, eagles are okay but I can get them at home!
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The repainting of the Salmon Thirty Salmon jet caught a lot of attention and was the subject of a previous post. The jet was not destined to be in standard Alaska Airliners colors, though. Instead, it went to be painted in a special livery that has a salmon connection. This time it is adopting a native theme to the painting. The name is Xáat Kwáani which means Salmon People. It was unveiled in an event in Anchorage and made a couple of flights within Alaska before coming home to Seattle. It arrived on a Friday evening so plenty of people were out after work to catch it landing. I’m sure I’ll see it again plenty of times but it was nice to get it on a lovely evening.
Different Angles on Sentimental Journey
A jump back to the visit of Sentimental Journey last year. Because she was here for a while, I was able to shoot from a variety of locations to try and get some different shots of her. The weather played ball while she was in Seattle unlike the conditions at Arlington the following week. It was fun to try some different angles on the same plane since I had got the initial shots I wanted.
How Many Coots Do You Need to Stay Safe?
We went through a phase at Juanita Bay when the number of coots really rocketed. They were a popular source of food for the local eagles, but they had to work for it. The coots were gathered in large groups on the water and the eagles would do their best to get one isolated so that they could pick it off. As they got close, the flocks of coots would get startled and would start flying around to evade the eagles. Watching this action from a distance was fascinating as this large number of birds tried to move as one to protect themselves. Not a time for being independent!
Better Timing With This Ex-LATAM Delta A350
The movement of the ex-LATAM Airbus A350s that Delta has picked up on their way to Singapore via Seattle got me out once before. The jet was arriving after dark but I gave it a go anyway. The next one to make the move from California to Singapore came through at a more convenient time for me being both daylight and also when I wasn’t at work! The weather was not perfect but the sun did pop out which made for some reasonable lighting and it was a chance to catch a jet in LATAM colors which I probably won’t get very often.
Breeze Comes to Town (But Not With the A220 Yet)
Breeze is an airline that was recently formed by the guy that started up JetBlue. It has an initial east coast focus but is supposed to gradually expand west. We do not have scheduled service yet but they seem to also undertake charter operations. When the airline was announced, it was supposed to use Airbus A220s. I guess the pandemic made aircraft availability better and they picked up a bunch of Embraer E190s. The A220s have started to come online but the Embraers are currently the big part of the fleet.
One of them was making a trip to Boeing Field. Not sure why it was coming but I figured this was worth a look. I tracked the jet as it lined up for the approach but I hadn’t heard it call in. At some point, I heard the tower call to ask if they were on frequency and no response. At this point, it was pretty close in. I guess, without a clearance, they decided to go around. They climbed out over the field. A side effect of this was to cause a Delta 737 that was on approach to SEA to have to also go missed as the Embraer was conflicting with its flight path. I suspect they were a touch annoyed.
The Embraer then was vectored around for a second approach. On this one, everything seemed to be a lot more normal. I heard them call up a decent distance out and they were cleared to land which they did without incident. The sky blue livery is quite catching and I would like to see one of the A220s at some point soon. I wonder whether we will get service out here at some point?
I have seen deer in the grounds at Fort Casey before. When I was there recently, they were feeding on the grass near the gun emplacements. At first, I was disappointed because they were in the shadow of the emplacements as the sun got lower. This made for shots that were just not as interesting. Then, they gradually made their way out into the sun and the shots got a lot better.
What amazed me was how they really didn’t seem to give a crap about the humans wandering around near them. I was trying to get into a position where I could get a good shot but was moving very cautiously to achieve this. Then a bunch of people would walk by on the trail and the deer might look up briefly but would then return to munching. I imagine that they see people so often and are never threatened by them so are not worried at all. I could probably have walked a lot closer to them without them flinching!
Cattle Point and the Forecast Wasn’t Even Good!
We took a day trip to San Juan Island. I was interested in trying to get some pictures of the foxes that live in that area. The forecast for the day was not that great but, with nothing else planned, a trip to the Islands seemed like it would be fun even if it proved to be damp. However, it didn’t prove to be damp. Instead, the weather was gorgeous. It really couldn’t have been nicer for a Sunday out.
I was wandering along the edge of the bluffs on the lookout for foxes. The results of my wildlife photography efforts will be in other posts. For these, I shall just show the views I got of the coastline. Some of these are long range shots taken with the 500mm I was carrying for the wildlife. Others are wider shots taken with the phone. Cattle Point is a really lovely part of the island and I would struggle to be bored with being in this place.
Four Seasons Traveling in Style
A few years ago, I was doing a photo flight over LAX and, on the south side of the airfield at one of the FBOs, a black 757 was parked with marking of the Four Seasons hotel group. This jet was used for some pretty high end tour operations. Not the sort of thing I am likely to be on! The 757 was aging and, in discussion with some friends online, I heard that they had switched to an Airbus A321neo. Lo and behold, a few days later, it came to Seattle.
I wasn’t able to get it arriving (although it came back again another time and I did then) but the departure was on a day that I was free. The jet is in a similar livery to the 757 looking black from a distance. I am not sure whether it is actually black or a deep purple color but, when the sun glints off it, there is a colorful tinge to it. Departures were to the north so it crossed the runway to taxi by me and then turned for the take off roll. They were heading to Hawaii so I imagine the guests were looking forward to some fun in the islands. The aircraft is actually operated by Titan out of the UK. I wonder whether the crews like this gig or whether it is a bit of a drag?
An EMB-135 Can Look Good
One Saturday afternoon, I was out shooting some planes approaching SEA with my buddy David. We were thinking of calling it a day but I was curious about an EMB-135 that was due in to Boeing Field. The weather was looking like it would get worse and these regional jets are hardly exciting. However, a quick search online showed some older shots of it painted white but a more recent shot of it painted gloss black. I wondered whether this was still how it looked. I told David I would give it a go as we parted.
As I waited for the jet to arrive, I really hoped it was painted black. Waiting a while in gradually degrading weather for a regional jet seemed like it might be a poor use of a Saturday afternoon. When it came in to view, I was very relieved. It was, indeed, gloss black with a hint of color on the tail. The fact that the cloud had come in actually made it easier to get a good exposure on the black finish. Once I got home, I checked out its ownership a little further and, while it was listed to a company matching the Aero on the fuselage, I think it is used by ConocoPhillips. Maybe, if you are an oil company, you paint your planes to look like crude oil?