Good luck charm?

Today I took my friend Carol and her Mom out to Ridgefield.  It was Mom’s first time to the place and I always enjoy introducing a person to the variety and wonders of the refuge.  We saw that the sky was clearing and felt fortunate – it’s been awhile since I’ve seen sun at Ridgefield.  My spirits picked up almost immediately.

We headed around our first loop and I was surprised when we saw some hooded mergansers in the slough just before the remote “comfort station”.  They were being elusive and I hoped that other cars in the area would spook them into reversing their path and coming back into a clearing where we were set up.  It worked.  A female came by first and it was the first time I’ve ever been able to photograph a hooded merganser.  Bingo.  Then the male and another female swam past.  I’ve looked at the images and will find a couple to post in another blog entry but they need some work.  The white breast of the male is blown out and probably will not be recoverable… did I say it was sunny?  Anyway, those will come (probably) soon.

We went almost an entire loop before we saw a heron.  Mom sure enjoyed seeing the bigger birds.  A red tail hawk, a harrier, a couple of buffle heads, lots of geese, swans, a distant kestrel and a few red-winged blackbirds entertained us as we drove slowly around and enjoyed the day.

As we approached the blind/bathroom area on our second lap I saw what I thought was another hawk in the trees on the right side of the road.  It was low in the tree and I was trying to figure out if it was worth trying to get positioned to get a shot.  I knew it would be against a blue sky or maybe against some light clouds to the north.  There were a few cars behind us to think about as well.  Then I saw that it wasn’t a hawk at all.  It was a mature Bald Eagle.  Holy cow… great light on a mature bald eagle.  I couldn’t get into position quickly enough.  After I few (dozen) shots I moved the car to allow others to pass. One old couple kind of gave us a glare… so sorry Chap.  I re-positioned the car and we set about taking more photos.  One more move to allow another car by and then a third session with the eagle.  What a magnificent bird.  I’ve always wanted a shot of an eagle that was (a) sharp and (b) exposed properly so the white feathers in the neck and cap were detailed.  I now have about 50 of those files and I’m thrilled.  Here are three of my favorites.

 

 

 

The last time I went to Ridgefield with Carol we got to see a mature Bald Eagle take a duck home for dinner.  Today I get to see and photograph this majestic bird like never before.  I have to think that Carol is a good luck charm for eagles.  Whatever or who ever is behind this, thanks.  T’was another great trip to Ridgefield.

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4 thoughts on “Good luck charm?

  1. Glorious set of eagle shots, Bruce! Congrats and well done! This could be one of the pair that appears to be building a nest at the refuge. The shot with the bill open makes me wonder if the bird was vocalizing to its mate. Awesome photos!

  2. I can almost hear the cry in that last shot, Bruce. That cry sounds very similar to the one our daughter’s half-Scottie/half-Cairn puts out in her excitement at the prospect of a walk, or walking by a neighbor’s yard having a competing dog!! Definitely a magnificent bird and you got some incredible shots!

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