Bald Eagles at Seabeck, Wa

Eagles catching fish

Eagles catching fish

Bald Eagle Fishing

Bald Eagle Fishing

Eagle on Branch

Eagle on Branch

Eagle takeoff

Eagle takeoff

Eagles fishing crows

Eagles fishing and crows

transfer talons to beak

transfer fish talons to beak

Eagle transfer fish to beak

Eagle transfer fish to beak

I photographed at Seabeck, Wa June 21 to 24th before and after low minus tides the gathering of Bald Eagles. They congregate only when the sculpin fish are trapped in the low tides in the oyster beds. The Great Blue Herons also arrive to catch fish and the Eagles try to steal from them. I shot all of these with a Canon 1DX II and a 300 mm f2.8 Canon II lens with a 1.4 extender ( total of 420 mm) although a slightly longer lens would be helpful at times. The 1.4 extender combination seems to focus faster and is sharper than the 2x extender. This year there were fewer birds with around 10-15 birds in a small area versus as many as 50-60 last year. In the next Blog I will include some of the Great Blue Heron images and also Mt Rainier Nat Park landscapes.

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Bald Eagles at Seabec, Wa

Eagle Catching Fish

Eagle Catching Fish

Eagle Landing

Eagle Landing

Bald Eagle and GB Heron fight

Bald Eagle and GB Heron fight

Great Blue Herons Fight

Great Blue Herons Fight

Eagle and Heron Standoff

Eagle and Heron Standoff

Eagle juve and Adult Fight

Eagle juve and Adult Fight

3 Eagles

3 Eagles

Eagle with Fish

Eagle with Fish

Bald Eagle fight

Bald Eagle fight

Eagles mid-air

Eagles mid-air

Eagle with Fish

Eagle with Fish

Bald Eagles at Seabec, Wa in late June during minus tides when they congregate to feed on small fish in the oyster beds during very low tides. All photographs taken with the new Canon 1dx mark ii and 300 mm f2.8 ii with either a 1.4 or 2.0 extender. This is the only time they congregate in quantities during the year with up to 50 or more eagles at a time. At times they fly right over your head, too close to focus but are generally about 30 to 100 feet away and flying back to the trees  when not eating fish.

 

 

N Harriers Fight over Prey

Northern Harrier & Prey

Northern Harrier & Prey

Northern Harrier & Prey

Northern Harrier & Prey

N Harriers Fight over Prey

N Harriers Fight over Prey

N Harriers Fight over Prey

N Harriers Fight over Prey

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

At San Jacinto Wildlife Area I observed a Northern Harrier on Prey and then another appeared to try and steal the Prey, a Coot. I managed to photograph from my van about 40 ft away. As long as you stay in your vehicle the birds are not disturbed. Then I saw a dark large shadow overhead and a Golden Eagle flew over the kill, but did not land. Maybe 2 Harriers were too much for the Eagle, although he was much larger !

San Jacinto Birds and a Skunk !

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Female Pheasant

Female Pheasant

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Striped Skunk

Striped Skunk

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

White-tailed Kite

White-tailed Kite

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

More raptors are starting to arrive at San Jacinto Wildlife Area, Perris, CA. There were N Harriers, Red-tailed hawks, a juvenile Bald Eagle, a Golden Eagle, lots of ducks and  shorebirds, and this Vermilion Flycatcher. The skunk was preening himself and then searching for food near some water. I had to walk within 10 feet to get by on the trail but he was not concerned and just ignored me- Relief !

Bald Eagles at Nest

Eagle Nest

Female sitting on Eggs

Eagle Landing

Eagle Landing

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

eagle_fight-1341chasing intruder young eagle (top)

Eagle Closeup

Eagle Closeup

Bald Eagle Pair

Bald Eagle Pair

Eagle Pair

Eagle Pair

Eagles "celebrating" after chasing intruder

Eagles “celebrating” after chasing intruder

We went up to Washington state north of Seattle and photographed a pair of Bald Eagles at their  nest. When an immature eagle flew over the nest the 2 nesting Eagles took off after the intruder. After successfully chasing away the younger eagle they celebrated on the branch by vocalizing and mating. The female sat on the nest most of the time and the male went out and brought back a rabbit and a duck to the nest. We did not see any of the young yet but they should hatch any day.

Bald Eagles at San Jacinto Wildlife Area

Bald Eagle, juvenile

Bald Eagle, juvenile

Bald Eagle, juvenile

Bald Eagle, juvenil

Bald Eagle landing

Bald Eagle landing

Juvenile bald eagles

Juvenile bald eagles

Bald Eagles in flight

Bald Eagles in flight

 

Bald Eagles photographed at San Jacinto Wildlife Area a few days ago. The Eagles are possibly 2 or 3 year olds and don’t have the adult plumage yet. The aerial displays are probably practice for later serious fights or courtship behavior. All photographed with the new Canon 7d mark II and a 400 mm f 5.6 lens.

Golden Eagles and a Merlin at San Jacinto Wildlife

 

Merlin eating Dragonfly

Merlin eating Dragonfly

Merlin, female

Merlin, female

 

Merlin

Merlin

 

Female Merlin

Female Merlin

 

 

Golden Eagle Takeoff

Golden Eagle Takeoff

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

This last Mon and Thurs I spent photographing the Merlin and at least 3 Golden Eagles were spotted at San Jacinto Wildlife area near Perris, CA.  The Golden in the photos was feeding on a Coot at fairly close range. All were taken with a Canon 400 mm 5.6 lens and the new Canon 7d mark II. There is a big improvement over the original 7d with more accurate and faster focusing and 10 fps makes a big difference with birds in flight. There were quite a few kestrels, red-tailed hawks, n harriers, and a Vermilion flycatcher the week before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic National Park, WA

Bald Eagle on Branch

Bald Eagle on Branch

Eagle Takeoff

Eagle Takeoff

Gray Jay

Gray Jay

Black-tailed Deer, Hurricane Ridge

Black-tailed Deer, Hurricane Ridge

Second Beach, LaPush, WA

Second Beach, LaPush, WA

Hurricane Ridge looking North

Hurricane Ridge looking North

Hoh Rainforest stump

Hoh Rainforest stump

We went to the Olympic Peninsula in WA state in mid July and hiked the Hurricane Ridge area near Port Angeles and then to the Pacific Coast at La Push to photograph 2nd Beach. Hoping for more goats but saw lots of Black-tailed Deer. Was shooting with a 17-40mm lens when the deer came towards me and passed within 2 ft. I got one good shot (see above) when it paused at very close range. You do not want to approach wildlife that close, but in this case I stayed perfectly still and it ignored me.  Not a lot of birds were seen but a few eagles and the Gray Jay were the highlights. If you can catch great clouds at sunset then the beach could be spectacular but we had heavy fog for 2 nights in a row. Still one of the most incredible beaches on the WA coast.

“You can’t always get what you want”, Mick Jagger.

 

Bald Eagles and a Golden at San Jacinto Wildlife

Bald Eagle at San Jacinto

Bald Eagle at San Jacinto

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagles

Juvenile Bald Eagles

Golden Eagles

Juve Bald Eagles

Golden Eagles

Juve Bald Eagles

Golden Eagles Fight

Juve Bald Eagles Fight

 

An Adult Bald Eagle at San Jacinto Wildlife Area past the far NE ponds. Last year there were several immature Eagles but this my first time for an adult.
The Juvenile Bald Eagles were flying over the first pond near the entrance and either fighting or just doing their acrobatic exercises. The Golden on the phone pole was by the Duck Club road.

Kestral, Golden Eagle, W Meadowlark, Killdeer

Kestral

Kestral

 

Kestral

Kestral

 

Kestral

Kestral

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle (juvenile)

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

 

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

W Meadowlark

W Meadowlark

Killdeer

Killdeer

 

 

I went to San Jacinto Wildlife Area yesterday and got these photos. The Vermillion Flycatcher from 2 weeks ago was not around but I managed to get this Kestral taking off from a branch to catch insects on the ground. They are a small falcon and can catch birds but also lots of dragonflies, grasshoppers, and other insects. After searching most of the day I saw a Golden Eagle (immature) on a distant phone pole. After watching for a few minutes he took off and flew overhead fairly close. This was on the Duck Club Road south of the main area.
The Meadowlark and Killdeer were at a shallow pond feeding along the edge. Although not rare this was about as close as I have been able to get.