Monday, April 18, 2011

Sheepskin Pond Eagle's Nest, Mallard Flush, and the Buffle in Bufflehead...Maybe.

Eagle Mom gives me "the look".

By the way, Blogger has told me that it has downloaded a video onto the blog. Just where it went "on the blog" I'm not sure. That said, you'll note that the above photograph, the following photographs of the Sheepskin Pond Eagle's Nest, and the video where ever it is, are remarkably blurry. There are reasons for this. The first two reasons I understand, the third is a mystery to me and I'd like your help in discovering what it is, if you can find where the video went, that is making it look like the air is full of "waves".


1. I'm not able to walk very far or carry much at the moment so the visuals were shot from over a mile away. A distance that overreaches my equipment.

2. There was a steady 30 to 40 MPH wind blowing all day. Therefore even with the camera on a tripod the wind was swaying the tripod like a lettuce leaf.

3. This is the mystery issue. The air between me and the nest appeared to be full of something that looked like "heat waves". They weren't as it's not even warm out let alone hot. There are some anomalies about the location that I wonder may have something to do with "the waves". Marching to the east of me and continuing north to the horizon are a line of high voltage towers. I'm standing between one of those and a transformer station. Perhaps 20 steps east to the tower and 10 steps west to the transformers. Plus about three quarters of the way to the nest is a reasonably good sized body of water.

I think Dad may have just done a fly-by to the nest but I couldn't tell for sure if he did a drop-off. Mom has gotten up out of the bowl and is standing with her back to me.

She leans over and her head disappears.

Then her head goes left. Eating herself or feeding an eaglet?

Her head goes back and is obscured by her body.

Then another lean to toward the bowl.

Her head sinks deeper in the bowl.

She steps into bowl.

Remains bent over.

Head up. Partially in shadow.

Focus my way.

Head back into bowl.

Shift of position.

Focus to bowl.

Focus to me.

Leans over.

Settles in, looks over shoulder.


As soon as I'm packed up and beginning to walk towards the big bisected pond, the male Bald Eagle appears and flies as I walk, in the same direction. Just keeping an eye on me, I'm assuming. I'm looking at him way over there as I walk along the verge of the road which is actually a median in the middle of the pond. When WHOOSH!!! I've flushed a pair of Mallards who seem to have been about two feet from my feet.

Here's the drake. Does he have a web foot print on his chest? What is that? Also note his tail curl, while not particularly aerodynamic I'm sure the females find it remarkably sexy.

He's playing rear guard and she is going to take to the water first.

Both continue to descend.

Great look at the iridescent wing patches.

She takes to the water. But as Drakes are supposed to lead at least according to this drake...

And he has his "landing gear" in postion, paddles ready, splash, and off they go.

This is a Bufflehead. Now I've always wondered why this little bit of a waterfowl was called a Bufflehead. Today this one acted rather like a bobble head duck. She'd begin madly paddling with her feet.

Then she would begin pumping with her head. Forward, back, forward, back, reminding me of what a child does with her legs to make a swing go higher. Could that move be the buffle in Bufflehead?

Did you find the video? I didn't either. Rats!

I'll try to put it on a blog post all my itself but don't hold your breath. My internet connection speed may well be the problem.

Donegal Browne

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