Sunday, January 16, 2011

Great Eagles and Fine Folks

 What a wonderful day to take advantage of the sights that the Dam in Guntersville has to offer! The sun was out and the snow beginning to melt, so I grabbed my camera and bins and headed down the mountain.
As I came to the parking lane I saw the groups of folks with their binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras all trained toward the eagle nest or landing spot.

These ladies were over by the water looking for birds in flight no doubt.

 The main focus is this old dead tree. A perfect landing spot for the Eagles as they change duties from sitter to hunter...or for Bluebirds who sneak in when no one is looking!

 After some time we noticed Mrs. Eagle getting antsy and sure enough here came Mr. Eagle to take her place and give her a break. You can just see him behind the trees coming in for a landing.

 Making the turn to the nest. Can you see Momma below waiting somewhat patiently.

 After a few minutes of debate on which way to go she headed toward us...

 ...made a turn...

 ...and was gone.

 Leaving Papa to try to figure out how he got himself into this mess.

 I've met some wonderful fine folks in my group and some that I'm seeing each time I head down the mountain to visit the Eagles. I even made some new friends today AND met (finally) in person, someone who's pictures I've admired quite a bit for some time!

 While we were mostly focused on the Eagles we did see and hear a number of birds in the trees including Brown-headed Nuthatches and this Yellow-rumped Warbler.

 One of the other groups in the distance.

 A young feller keeping up with his dad in the truck! Just for fun!

 AH! Here's my group! I'm liking this bunch and hope I can run into them more often! You can see the landing tree in the distance.

 I bid my farewell, hoping that I wasn't the jinx that was keeping the Eagles from showing up more often, but I'm pretty sure it was me! Down the way there is another spot I know and I snuck in to see what I could see.
Not too much, but this sweet Yellow-rump or Butter Butt as some call them.

 A lone House Finch...

 And one of just a few Cedar Waxwings.

 What I was really hoping for was a Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a post, but there was none to be had.

 With the moon on the rise I decided to head home.

All in all it was a very good day!


Rocket Man said...

Beautiful shots, especially the eagles. There are several nesting pairs at a nearby state park but I don't have enough glass and can't get close enough for decent shots but I can still enjoy watching them with binoculars or my spotting scope.....and dream of that 700MM lens my wife won't let me buy......unless I sell my truck.

motoroz said...

Great photo of the eagle. It is so awesome to see that great bird live in the wild. I have seen 2 down here in Texas. Thanks for posting the pics.

Roy said...

That's a great spot to go birding Evie.
Glad you found it.

Eve said...

Hey Rocket Man!! Aren't we all dreaming of that lens!! Just getting to see the eagles is really a wonderful treat!

Thanks Motoroz! I'm planning on ways to carefully take my camera and monopod on the bike!

Thanks Roy! Yes me too!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

What a lovely outing, Eve! I'm thrilled that you were there for the eagle "changing of the guard," and shared your fantastic photos. Wow! That must'a really been something to see! I'll be back in that direction soon - the babies should be ready sometime early to mid-February, according to the rangers. We'll see! GREAT birding shots!

...but hey, that's just me! said...

AMAZING photos! Thanks for sharing!

bluekat said...

Very nice
Aren't they beautiful, especially in flight!
Butter Butt - I love that! He's a cutie too! :)

Missouri Gal Nicole said...

Wonderful photos. I enjoyed them very much. But the Eastern Bluebird is my favorite little guy! That last photo sure does look like central Missouri!

Toni said...

That shot of the eagle as it flew away with the tip of its wings spread out like fingers is GORGEOUS!! Takes your breath away in a photo...can't imagine seeing it in person.

Mary said...

Wonderful photos! Getting to watch an eagle pair at their nest is so special and exciting. I hope we see some this year.

Chris Luhman said...

Great shots Eve! I'm glad you got to capture it. I saw a bald eagle on the side of the road on Sunday. He was munching on something and didn't seem to mind me riding past him. I wish I could have gotten a photo or something.

-Chris @ - year round riding in Minnnesota