Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Juvenile Bald Eagle

The wind was up and a chill was in the air when I jumped into the truck before sun-up this morning.  I would be running the boat on the bay areas in the center of Douglas Lake.  There is a three mile section of lake shore where there aren't any houses and I can usually see eagles and ospreys soaring or perched in favorite trees along the shoreline watching the water for a careless fish.
There weren't many fishermen on the water today due to muddy water conditions and this high wind that has persisted now for over a week.  I can't believe the less than desirable weather we've had this spring.  I headed down the lake and found the first eagle of the day.  

This eagle resides at Point 18 on Douglas Lake and has a nest high up on the mountain near that mark.  I've not seen the female but I know she's near.  His two offspring have been collected in my camera previous to this occasion and will again be captured digitally today.
The eagles and ospreys are jumpy on Douglas Lake and I think its due to all the bass and crappie fishermen.  This lake is fished very hard and the boats are noisy and fast.  I notice the eagles are less tolerable of my passing in the spring than they are in the winter.  An osprey was tucked back in a tree behind the foliage, but not far enough behind to fool me.  This water and wind makes focusing the camera challenging and rapid camera adjustments are more difficult to make.  
 He had no patience with me and instantly took to the air.

The wind was growing stronger and I thought about just putting the camera in the box and forgetting about picture taking.  That all changed when I saw the second eagle.

 He is majestic and beautiful as he flew over the boat. The shoreline was his target and the future king landed and perched in a tree just ahead of me.

 I complained out loud about the rough water and high winds that were keeping me from handling the camera as I like to do.  Even with stabilized lenses its necessary to honor all the basic camera etiquette.  Press the shutter and do not punch it.  Hold the camera steady.  Select a shutter speed in accordance with the requirements of the subject. White balance and light metering set.  Its all out the window on a boat that rocks like a hammock in the wind.
Did the best I could.  The young eagle came to rest high in the V formed by the juncture of two branches.

 He granted me the privilege of looking at him and then he abruptly left me.

So far its been a really good wildlife morning.  Eagles, ospreys and more.  Even a couple of mallard ducks.

And then we have the hungry great blue heron

I was very happy to see a great egret down the shoreline and I took the time to set up the camera before the boat approached close.  They are white and the metering on the camera usually over exposes white birds.  So I set the camera 1/3rd stop open to adjust for the over exposure.  The harsh white is subdued and is portrayed as a soft, soft white - almost cream.  Love it.  Great bird too!

And, what kind of an entry would it be without the circling red tail hawk?

 And another osprey.  
He has a fish and has already started breakfast.  Interesting to note that ospreys always start eating at the head of the fish.  I wonder if bald eagles do the same.

That's my day in pictures.  I hope you saw something you liked.  Until next time, help a dog if you see one that is lost or distressed.  It won't hurt at all and he'll lick your hand.