Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baldy Hits the Food Court for Take-out

...okfine, this was supposed to have been my update on Thursday, April 29th's outing to Serpentine Fen and Elgin Park, but it has been trumped by today's hit-and-run to the Boundary Bay dykes area, as I was twitching badly for an Eagle fix. Went to my usual no-fail 72nd Avenue hotspot, only to be somewhat disappointed by a meagre pair of Bald Eagles soaring at heights well beyond my camera's ability. I carried on to some more sideroads, being very careful to not to land in the water-filled ditches that surrounded both sides of the road, and turned onto a road running east of a sod farm. I was distraught, and had actually begun to photograph Red-wing Blackbirds out of desperation, arghhhhhhhhh. All of a sudden, I looked in my rear-view mirror back towards the sod farm, only to see all sorts of gulls acting up, big deal, right?? Yup, you betcha:

  • Sod farm= gulls

  • Gulls= take-out for Bald Eagles, or so it seems
There were at least four bald eagles that came out of nowhere and began to dive-bomb the gulls:

Here's a young one, I'm guessing at a third year, he had his choppers open the whole time, he'd obviously been out partying all night, look at the state of his feathers:

He landed in a tree right next to where I'd left the car, I gave thanks to God.

Then it gets interesting, I realize that Baldy has done take-out, something is being carried in its talons!:

Here he/she is, coming in for a landing to chow down, in the very same tree as the younger one:

Now he's tearing up his prey, I zoomed in on some flight photos to determine what it was, and it appeared to be a wing of some sort:

Finito, mmmm, mmm good:

All of this happened in the space of fifteen minutes, it was totally amazing. As John, Doug, and Ann can attest to, in my usual, civilized demeanour when out birding, I was quiet as a mouse the entire time- yeah right. I was shaking like a leaf, it was so unexpected and incredible to witness, in fact I am shocked that any photos were even in focus. In the end, though, I became jaded and drove off, leaving both Bald Eagles behind in the tree.  

As for my BOTD? Puleassssssse. Trip report on the yesterday's wuss birds at the Fen & Elgin Park to follow tomorrow!


Geri said...

Wow! How lucky was that, having the adolescent bald eagle landing so close to you. I LOVE your photos, Janice. Jim Munroe in Whitby, told me about your blog and I now frequently check for new posts. My husband and I go birding regularly at Thickson's Woods in Whitby but with the early 'leaf-out' the easiest birding conditions are almost finished for this spring.

janice.melendez said...

Hi Geri, thx so much for the kind comments, glad u're enjoying this, hopefully as much as I am maintaining it! And noted re our early spring, by the time I get back home to Whitby 2 wks from now, it will prob be too late for me. T4 am hoping to get my fix here in B.C. while I can. Re the eagles above, the adult ended up in the same tree as the young one, so I turned my attn to him, but it was truly a magical moment. Look fwd to perhaps meeting u out in the field sometime!


Alison said...

This is TOO amazing. Just looking at the pics makes the heart rate speed up so goodness knows what you were feeling when you took it. Thanks for sharing it with all us non nerding people. I just love the drama!