Friday, April 22, 2011


I felt great after the physical therapy this morning.  Now, I'm getting somewhere.  Be good as new in no time.  I was really concerned about the eaglets since my last visit to them on the 17th when I only could see one baby in the nest.  I thought the worse.  Well;  look below:

I was delighted to see brother and sister together at last.
That nest is enormous and she was huddled down on the bottom and behind the tree when I visited last week.  What a relief to see them both healthy and lively!
This is little sister hanging out of the nest on the left side all alone.

This may be a better shot of her.  Don't forget to click on the photos

I took many, many photos of these birds as this is an opportunity that may not repeat itself.  Yes, this nest has produced offspring for the past six years, as far as I know.  But, anything can happen.  A parent can meet her or his demise; the nest could be destroyed or the tree fall.  There are many possibilities.  I want to have a lasting remembrance of these young Bald Eagles forever.
He stands alone.

Little sister pulled a disappearing act.   I wonder just how deep that nest is?

I may be wearing out my welcome.  I'll just snap a few more and drift away.

The second eaglet sure can make herself scarce.  Something I've noticed different this year at the nest is that there are never two adults present at the same time.  Both adults would show at the nest together in previous years.  I've been to this nest twice now and I've only seen one adult present.

Little Sister
I've actually spent too much time hanging around the tree.  I don't like to stress them out.  However, I doubt I am stressing them in any way as fishing boats loiter in this area daily and it doesn't seem to bother them in the slightest.  I'll leave anyway.

There are Sandpipers everywhere.  I have lots of photos of them but there is one little fellow who is posing quite nicely on the shoreline.  May as well get his picture.
There are a pair of Mallard Ducks clinging tightly to the underbrush.  They won't flush at the passing of the boat.  There is a nest back under the overhanging cliff behind the brush.  Hey;  its Spring!

I no sooner finished with the Mallards than two birds flushed from the bushes along the shore.  I couldn't make them out at first.  It's amazing the photo came out at all.  This was all hip shooting with a 500mm lens.  Whew!
Yep;  Wood Ducks.  Saw it right off.
I wanted to check on the mother goose who had her nest back in the crags on a rock ledge.  I photographed her last week.  She was indeed there still.  Good.  I know she will be successful with her future offspring.  I floated past her with the motor off and took her by surprise.  When she saw me she flattened herself out on the rock trying to make herself as small and inconspicuous as possible.  It was funny to watch but in reality, she must know her color is close to that of the rock and a chance exists for her to blend into her natural surroundings and go unseen.  I pretended not to see her.  She moved not one feather.
Next week when I float by there will be little baby ducklings (gosling's) paddling all around the shoreline.
She was not alone.  Her mate was paddling back and forth just ahead ready to create a disturbance and lead me after him. 
A flurry of wings and I swung the camera to the right for another quick snap shot.  Another Wood Duck takes flight.  They are touchy down here on the Little Tennessee.  I guess they are touchy just about anywhere they're found.
Here's an old friend.  Yes;  I know;  every post on this blog has a Great Blue Heron picture.  I can't help it.  I like these birds. 
An Osprey circled around and dove for and missed a fish.  His route would take him right past my boat.  I gave him a try with the camera but couldn't get myself in shape for the shot in time.  What follows is the best I could do:

How bout another Heron?  Just kidding.
It's time to swing back past the eagle tree.  The river is filthy with mud and floating logs and I wanted to have time to wash the boat off when I got home before taking the dogs out.  I was delighted with what I saw when I got to the nest tree.  Well;  look for yourself.  A family portrait:
Note that there is only one adult present.

The adult is getting concerned and nervous so it's time to move on back to the dock.  I'm delighted with the entire river trip.  There were lots of birds to photograph and above all there is a little sister who will fledge with her brother in a short period of time.  I hope you enjoyed the eagles  and I will try my best to be there when they leave the nest to seek their own adventures.  Until next time;  slow down for that little grey squirrels crossing the road.