Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 1: The Iowa Bald Eagles

I am here! I left Cleveland at 5:34 am EST this morning and arrived at my Iowa location at 12:15 pm CST. It was a 488 mile very easy drive from Cleveland. It was cloudy/grey when I arrived and remained cloudy the rest of the day so the weather was not the greatest (of course) but the excitement was there as I saw a bald eagle in a tree as I drove into the Lock and Dam area.

As I drove into the parking lot, 6 eagles were in the trees around me, chatting with each other. There were 2-3 other eagles in other trees for a total of 6-10 eagles, both adults and juveniles, at any one time.

The activity of the eagles , flying over, fishing, trying to steal the other's fish (I have a great pic of two juvis mid-air sparring for one fish!). Some time there were 2-4 eagles fishing at one time, and it was difficult to decide which eagle to follow and photograph. I used my 500 f4 and had the Canon 50/100-400mm on my hip... many times the eagles were so close, I used 300-400 mm. Kirby arrived about a 1/2 hr after I did. We shot until 4pm CST as the light was getting dismal.  I shot 40GB of RAW images today... downloading them to my Vosonic now and then will be ready to go again tomorrow....

I am very happy with this location... the eagles are very close and very active! These truly are amazing birds... and to watch them fly over the water..looking for a fish.. and then they SUDDENLY drop their legs/talons and snatch the fish with precision.... one of nature's truly outstanding events to witness!

Tomorrow is suppose to be partly cloudy so hopefully we will have some blue skies /decent light? Please check back for Day 2.

Here is a pic of one of the eagles in a parking lot tree... very easy to photograph with 300mm or so!

1 comment:

  1. It looks like you got some good shots Mark. Were you near Lock 14?

    Bill Snyder