Today started cold and windy with a wind chill of -25˚F. It was quite cold if you had to stand out in the wind. I dressed warmly and had hand and toe warmers. Today I borrowed a balaklava from our hostess, and really appreciated the extra layer around the head and neck area.
Luckily the morning was spent driving to a number of places to view the eagles, and photographing mostly from the car. The birds are used to cars but are skittish if people are close by. Lin had stayed at home this morning to try to get a better handle on her cold and did get some more rest. Jay, our host, and Stan, a local nature photographer extraordinaire, took me out and lined up the car for good photo opportunities. They were very helpful with suggestions, and getting the car in good positions. I got some nice images of the birds in sunlight. We also saw a couple of trumpeter swans, a mess of mallards, several types of gulls including a Franklin gull, which is smaller than most gulls and has a black head with a very distinctive red beak.
|A Tree full of Eagles|
In the afternoon we were off to Lock and Dam 15 as we had been encouraged by what we had seen in the morning. About six of us went there, and the birds were not coming close to the "crowd"! After about 30 minutes we all headed back to Lock 14 where there were a number of birds and they are used to a crowd of photographers. (Good thing as there were about 45 photographers lined up to photograph them this afternoon.) I got a couple of photos of Canadian geese in flight as well. Regrettably the weather was changing and clouds moved in the early afternoon and the lighting became quite poor. We called it a day about 1545, about an hour before sunset as a result.
|A Regal Pose|
|Eagle with Dinner|
|This is Mine!|
Once we were done for the day we returned to "home", and started the downloading of images, and sharing a few tips for processing the raw images for viewing, printing, etc. Jay is very willing to share his expertise, and we really appreciate his suggestions.
Tomorrow there will be no photography as it is the day that The QuadCity Camera Club is having a Wildlife Seminar. My friend Lin Craft will be putting on two of the programs, on photographing in Antarctica, and the Galapagos Islands. Wanda and Keith Davenport, a couple we met while photographing polar bears, will put on a program on wildlife photography in North America, and then the above mentioned Stan Bousson will be giving a presentation on how to capture the eagles and other birds in flight. It will be a full day.
|Backlit Trumpeter Swan|
|Canadian Geese Formation|
|Bald Eagle Fishing|
Hopefully the forecast will be true for Sunday and we will have some sunshine for
a last afternoon of photography of the eagles. We will keep our fingers crossed.