Four Eagles Sighted in Eleven Mile Canyon
I would have to say it was a great day in Eleven Mile Canyon… At least four eagles sighted! Kevin and I are pretty sure we saw Speckles in the south end of the canyon but he was too wily for us, evading all attempts at a detailed image. Every time he spotted the truck he just took flight upstream until he finally apparently went home to escape our prying lenses. Our favorite nesting pair were sitting in a tree together well behind their nest and way out of range for a nice picture, but I did snap this one just for the record!
Spotting the Golden Eagle
Anyway, we drove up and down a couple times without success, looking for Speckles before heading downstream to see if we might find the nesting pair fishing in the canyon. That’s when we spotted what we thought was a hawk across the wide clearing near the campgrounds. We got out to get some pictures and heard a strange call that was definitely not the screech of a red-tail. Shortly after that, Kevin spotted a bald eagle in a tree about 20 yards from the hawk which we then decided was probably a juvenile bald eagle, which took flight shortly thereafter. Now that I’m in front of the computer however, I am happy to report that Merlin says this was not a hawk or a juvi, it was the resident golden eagle that I haven’t seen in such a long time! This isn’t the greatest picture of him, but I did get credit for a new lifetime sighting in my eBird account attached to the Merlin app.
I also got a few captures of him flying overhead but apparently the winter sun wasn’t able to get much light on him at the angle we were shooting, but I did manage to get one capture with a little light on his head and wingtips (below).
Best Sightings of the Day
Then we got the best sightings of the day of our nesting pair just across the stream near the first clearing. They posed nicely for us and provided some nice in flight captures before flying upstream into the cover of dense pine trees along the top of the ridge.
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