Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eagle Encounter

Bald Eagle
Haliaeetus leucocephlus

It was the day before Hurricane Bill, August 18th of last year.
The calm before the storm.
I was battening down the hatches, preparing to slip my kayak
down the cellar stairs.
But the harbor was so calm and inviting, 
I decided to go for a quick paddle first.

I paddled around for about an hour, enjoying the serenity
that comes with being out on the water, so small
amid such a vast environment.

When returning across the harbor, I noticed some eagle activity
just around the bend from my house,
so thought I should paddle over to check it out.

There were 5 eagles.  FIVE!  Feeding on this large boulder.

Two juvies and 3 adults.  Upon my approach, one adult flew across
to the old causeway out to yet another island.

I often see him sitting out there in the early mornings.  
Even at a distance, his profile is pretty unmistakable.

Anyone watching me would have thought they were watching
an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos
because I was trying not to spook them,
but the tide was rushing in and directing my kayak the wrong way.
There I was, trying to manipulate the paddle as a rudder 
to keep to the left, my binoculars and camera around my neck,
and all tangled up as I was shooting one picture after another.
In all my excitement, I kept pushing buttons on the camera, so
I'd turn it off and on again and keep shooting.

They were flying in and out.  Once I thought one was 
going to fly right at me!

I didn't want any buildings in the background, no telephone wires,
only a natural background, but it was difficult to swing that boat around.

One by one they all flew away

Leaving that lone adult.  And he/she just sat there for the longest time
as I floated nearer and nearer,
shooting photo after photo,
until I didn't need to use my zoom at all.

I was so pumped!

Bill hit with a vengeance, but it wasn't quite as devastating as predicted,
and all was well.

I made some cards from that first photo. 

There are more Camera Critters HERE!


Crafty Gardener said...

More great photos of the bald eagle. I'm thrilled with one, but seeing 5 at once would be spectacular.

KaHolly said...

CG, I didn't want to be anymore wordy than I was, but going out on a limb, I believe this is a family, and the one that lingered is a young adult. I know eagles will remain in the nest until they are kicked out to make room. I believe this family lost one brood, so we have here 2 1-3 year juvies, and a 4 year juvie (young adult), plus the parents. They are residents. I see one or two of them every day. And it's always just as exciting as the first time I ever saw one! ~karen

Rambling Woods said...

Wonderful series Karen.....I have never seen one in person...

Just Ramblin' said...

What an awesome experience to have been part of.
Just glad you didn't "tip" over trying to get those pictures! Nola

It's Time to Live said...

Great day out!

Anonymous said...

Some great shots Karen, I know what you mean about getting flustered and exited when you see something different that you really want to take a photo of. I usually have a Canon SLR, a Canon G10 and a pair of binoculars around my neck when that happens. I take a shot only to find I had previously switched to manual focus or landscape mode by accident.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I think the buildings add to the photographs rather than detract. They prove how close these magnificent creatures were to habitation.