New Years Eve

New Years Eve also found me volunteering at Reifel. The sun was out and there was a good crowd. Today turned out to be raptor day at the tower.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

From the top of the tower this Bald Eagle was roosting nicely in an evergreen. While watching it,

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

… this Red-tailed Hawk landed in an adjacent tree. Not often you end up shooting down on a hawk like this. While continuing to watch the eagle,

Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier

… this Northern Harrier did a fly by. To provide a nice end to this episode,

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

… the Bald Eagle eventually took off passing close by the tower as it headed out to the marsh. On my way back as the sun was starting to go down,

Moonrise
Moonrise

…the moon was rising.

Happy New Year!

 

Eagles + Sparrows

This afternoon I headed out to Brunswick Point to see what may be around. Not far from the beginning of the trail,

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

… was a pair of Bald Eagles. While watching them I also spotted a Northern Shrike, but it did not stick around for photos.

Spotted Towhee
Spotted Towhee

Further along was this Spotted Towhee,

Golden-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow

… and Golden-crowned Sparrow. I also got a brief glimpse of what looked like a Hermit Thrush. On the way back a Western Meadowlark flew across the trail landing in the farm field, but was too far off for a photo.

Brunswick Point
Brunswick Point

Back at the beginning of the trail with the sun just starting to go down I paused to shoot this lone Willow tree in the farm field.

Bald Eagle

With a change in the weather forecasted for tomorrow, figured I should get out for a short walk in the sunshine this afternoon. I headed out to Reifel and on checking near the entrance,

White-throated Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

… the White-throated Sparrow did pop out into the open a couple of times. I then made my way out the east and north dyke trails. On approaching the tower I noted an immature Bald Eagle in a tree across from it. So up I went with the hopes of getting some take off/landing or flight shots.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

While I was on the camera photographing this bird I heard quite the commotion below me with ducks scattering. On looking up from the camera a different immature Bald Eagle had landed on the railing next to me with what was left of a duck and proceeded to finish off. At this point it way too close for my 400mm lens, so I resorted to my cell phone (Lumia 950XL) for this video.

After several minutes of video I chanced retrieving my camera and moving to the far side of the tower to get beyond my minimum focussing distance.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle just kept on munching away unperturbed with my (and another couple that came up after seeing what happened) being there.

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

 This was a first for me being this close to a wild Bald Eagle (other than one time I stood by with an injured one waiting or O.W.L.)

I finished off with this close up video taken with the camera. Definitely not something that happens every day.