Thursday, December 6, 2012

AN EAGLE DISCOVERY

This has been a tough week for me.  The teeth extraction thing is having it's complications and I'm not happy at all how things are turning out.   First I have that split, sharp jaw bone that won't heal because the dentist is grinding the bone smooth every week and now my tongue is getting sore in a spot on the right side.  I discovered the sharp tip of a bone sliver just barely protruding up out of the tooth socket that is irritating my tongue when it moves over it.  Now, its affecting my speech because I'm making a mental effort not to let my sore tongue touch that area and some words are distorted because of it.  If that isn't bad enough - there's a lump behind my lip on the gum that really hurt a couple days ago when I put the lower dentures in.  Yeow!  That bump has two tiny bone sliver tips sticking straight  out of it too.  And tonight I discovered two tiny, tiny bumps on the left jaw at the base of the gum line where the molars used to be which I assume are bone slivers also.  These slivers don't work themselves straight up but out to the side of the gum.  This is nuts!  I'm beginning to question the ability of the dentist who performed this extraction. It looks like he fractured the bones in my jaw.  I know about the bone between the tooth roots working they're way up and out.   I believe I'll go have an "oral surgeon" inspect the job and get an opinion on the work.  If the experience I went through is an example of how far dentistry has progressed through the years then it isn't very far.  I'm going back on Saturday morning to have all these slivers pulled out.  That ought to be good for about 5 shots of Novocain.
I was headed upstream from the Dandridge boat ramp on Douglas Lake when I saw an eagle in a tree.  Wow - he had a wing tag.  It was an adult eagle so that means he's about 4 years old.  That tag is really hanging on.  I started shooting pictures before I got close just in case he would fly and I'd miss the chance to get the tag on a photo.  I shot ten pictures and looked at him through the binoculars.  The tag said B 9.  This was an eagle that was released from The American Eagle Foundation's (AEF) hacking station which is only about an eighth mile from this point on the lake.



This is a great find.  The photo and grid coordinates will be helpful to AEF in tracking this eagle.  Below is an exaggerated enlargement to verify the wing tag information.  I embedded the GPS and other information on the photo I sent to AEF.
How nice to make a find like that.  Incidentally, the wing tag will be shrugged off when the bird molts once or twice and he will be free of it.  I just discovered from the AEF that B 9 was released from the eagle hack tower on this lake on August 3, 2009 as a youngster.  That's amazing news.






I continued slowly up the lake looking for fishermen - and boy did I find them.  It seems an armada of about 50 boats was hovering over one spot on the water.  It looks like I'll be very busy shortly.











Look at all those boats out there.  They are fishing for crappies, pronounced (croppy).  I wouldn't mind having one other person on board to run the trolling motor from boat to boat while I did my thing with the fishermen.  I'll make it work.
 I pulled in between four boats and started interviewing anglers as to what species of fish they had on board, how many they kept and threw back and then I weighed them. This was too cumbersome.  I'd never get through all these guys at this rate.  Some boats were slowly moving away and I'd lose them.  I stopped weighing fish and kept to the oral interviews and species identification.  I did all four of those boats without starting the motor.  I slowly moved through the fleet of fishing boats until I got just about all of them.  My tongue was hurting from dragging over that darned sharp bone sliver sticking up.  Being so close to that many boats has it's draw backs.  There's always someone with a "quick question".  In this case someone in each of the four boats had a question for the TWRA guy.  Why are the crappie so small?  When will TWRA stock more bass?  Why doesn't TWRA put a slot limit on sauger?  On and on it went until I simply said, "gotta go."  
I was almost at the end of the first leg of my shift when I just happened to glance up into the trees on the side of a hill and saw a nest.  It was an eagle's nest.  I had not seen it prior this date.  How could I miss that big nest?  I guess the leaves would hide it but, the leaves have been off the trees for a month.  Oh well - guess i just never scanned that particular spot.
I documented the GPS location for this nest in case it isn't already known and recorded.
It's a bald eagle nest for sure.  Look at the size of the sticks that it's built with.  I couldn't tell if it was a newly built structure or an older nest.  I'll keep my eye on it.

I crossed the lake and returned back to the boat ramp and truck.  This was a really nice afternoon.  Lots of fishermen, eagles and I found a eagle nest.  I also documented six bald eagles on my eagle survey count.  Nice!  

One more day on the lake and I'm off for three in a row.  Saturday morning is a scheduled "hell" time at the dentist.  I can't wait.