Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bald Eagles! and a few more ducks - 28 Jan 2014

I received a call from my dear friend Patricia Rydzewski on Sunday. She was down at John Dingell Park at the foot of Southfield Rd. on the border of Ecorse/Wyandotte.  45 Bald Eagles were perched in the trees lining the shores of Mud Island in the Detroit River.  The island is close enough to hit w/ a golf ball.  Bitter cold temperatures have the waterfowl low on the profile the past few days, but the eagles continue (mostly).

I stopped to check out the trees on Monday at noon, but found zero eagles.  Ming Yao was also there and hadn't seen any.  Ducks were not being cooperative so I took no pics.

I stopped at the foot of St. John's Street yesterday after work just minutes before a snow squall swept through the area.  The Detroit River was mostly iced over except a small patch of open water near the boat launch, but only a single Gadwall (drake) was present.  A bit too far to photograph.  A pair of Bald Eagles were far out on the ice, however, and provided a bit of entertainment.

A young bird (2nd Yr) was settling down onto an ice flow when an adult bird flew in and harassed the younger bird for its spot on the ice.  The squabble lasted only a second, before the adult flew off to harass another youngster (3rd Yr bird) farther north on the ice.

The youngster took off to the south and soared right by the boat launch where I was parked. I managed a few flight shots as it sailed by.

Today the wind chills were in the -30's with clear skies and blowing drifts.  A drake Gadwall was a bit closer to the boat launch and permitted a few pics before drifting off to open water to join a male American Wigeon, American Coot and an female Common Goldeneye.

I headed north to John Dingell Park and cruised slowly along the river until I spotted the drake White-winged Scoter floating in the open water next to Mud Island.  I left the car and headed to the railing only to get a few record pics.  A male Ring-necked Duck was also out in open water and was a first for the winter (here).

In the trees along the north side of Mud Island there were 35 Bald Eagles roosting!  One adult soared right next to where I was standing and provided a nice full-framed wing-spread (see top)!  I chatted with Noreen and Eric in the parking lot for a few minutes before giving in to the bitter cold.

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