Saturday, March 11, 2017

Tooth and Claw

We had deadlines in the afternoon and the morning to waste spend as we wished yesterday, so we hit three river birding spots. Yankee Hill Lock was less than thrilling, several hundred Canada Geese, a scattering of Mallards, American Black Ducks, and American Crows, but nothing new or exciting.

It's been weeks since we saw anything interesting at the boat launch, but there were at least three hundred American Crows, a large crop of Ring-billed Gulls, some Herring Gulls and a few other  birds there. We did get the first Killdeer of the year there, which was wonderful, as I was very jealous of my mama who has been seeing them all week up on Lake Montgomery.

Then we hit the river by McDonald's. We immediately saw a mess of Common Mergansers, which are so pretty, and a single Hooded Merganser.

I had the camera trained on the hoodie, hoping for a semi clear shot, when, wham! a Bald Eagle splashed into the scene and swooped off with something in its talons. It landed a few feet from where it grabbed its catch and proceeded to dismember it to the accompaniment of a mess of mobbing crows.

We thought for a long time that it got the hoodie, but photos....admittedly awful, thanks to distance and bad light....seem to indicate a fish. It sat there calmly crows and all, eating for quite a while, and then flew off leaving just a few bites for the crows. Right place, right time.....weren't we lucky!


A. Montgomery said...

Wow what luck to see an eagle pounce. You should never be jealous of the birds I see. There aren't that many that get here before they get to you. Love, Mom

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

What an amazing encounter! Luck was with you, to capture such a moment.

threecollie said...

Mom, it was really cool. It was something Ralph always wanted to see and he is still talking about it. Love you!

Jacqueline, it was indeed. We see eagles pretty often down there but not like that.