Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eagles on the Salt Marsh

Last Saturday at Rainbow Haven I was having a lovely walk on the beach when another walker asked me "Did you see the Eagles on the marsh ?".

Eagles on the marsh ?!!!

I had just walked down a boardwalk from the parking lot and hadn't even glanced out on the marsh.  I promptly hustled back to the boardwalk.

There, out on the frozen marsh were TWO magnificent bald eagles.  One of them was sitting on the carcass of an obviously freshly-killed Canada Goose.  The second one was sitting nearby wishing he'd caught that goose.  Clearly eagles do not share.

The eagle with the goose tried to take off but couldn't get more than a foot off the ground and the gooses' head bumped along the icey surface. 

So there I was, staring open-mouthed at this amazing sight and I'd left my camera at home !  

I decided to risk driving home, to get the camera and come back.  The round trip was just under 20 minutes.

By the time I got back the second eagle had left but the first was still enjoying the carcass and was only a  hundred feet away.  I zoomed my modest digital camera to its limit and then once I got home zoomed and cropped the picture still more on my computer. 

The result is the slightly fuzzy shot below. 

I thought it amusing that the week before I'd driven across Nova Scotia to go eagle watching and found the best views were in my own "back yard".

The next day I thought I saw the eagle again but upon getting my binoculars from my car I realized it wasn't.  It was a vulture now feasting on what was left of the carcass.  Vultures don't kill prey.  They feed on carrion (already dead prey). 

It was too far away for a picture.

I have since learned that vultures are pretty darn rare in Nova Scotia but the sighting was confirmed by a birder in the area so that was two special bird sightings two days in a row.

You can be assured that I always have my camera with me now.

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