Opening day of 2014 – 2015 Eagle Season

This year’s early cold snap had driving the American Bald Eagles down the Mississippi River and into Illinois 3 to 4 weeks early this year.  However, it has been so gray, overcast, or foggy that nobody has been getting any decent photos. I usually never start traveling to photograph eagles until after Christmas.  Cabin fever and boredom was setting in!

Finally yesterday (Friday 12/20/15) a sunny day.  I grabbed my gear and headed to my favorite spot to photograph my beloved Eagles.  Their was 30 – 40 eagles fishing WAY out by the damn, but nothing happening in near the lock.  Took a couple shots of some birds sitting in the parking lot trees.

PBKJ5452-FrameShopClassic Banking PosePBKJ5477-FrameShopAction was slow so I was working on my tracking and focus on sea gulls when I caught this one eating a fish mid flight.PBKJ5509-FrameShop

Heard a ton of clicking of shutters from photographers around me, turned around to see them firing this female goldfinch behind me.  So I thought I better take a couple too.PBKJ5555-FrameShop PBKJ5556-FrameShop

Put my 2 X teleconverter on my 500mm and tried to squeeze out a couple mid-air fight sequence. These birds are WAY out there!PBKJ5567-FrameShop

A lone eagle buzzed a flock of Speckle Bellied Geese resting on the ice. The all got up and took to the air. I caught them flying past the lock’s traffic light.PBKJ5583-FrameShop

Heavy crop, but the rare “upside-down” eagle.  I still don’t have a full frame talon to talon shot.  Maybe this will be the year.  Guess that is why I keep going back.PBKJ5606-FrameShopSometimes I wonder how many more eagles photograph I really need, I think it is more of an excuse to get out an just watch and enjoy them!

More eagles trips to come!


11 thoughts on “Opening day of 2014 – 2015 Eagle Season

  1. These are great. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed looking at them and hope to make it out to Lock and Dam 14 one of these days.

  2. Kent,

    Hope you have a nice trip at the end of Jan…that’s when i’LL BE GETTING TO iOWA(OR early Feb)…sorry I’m going to miss you, but I’ll try again in ’16, God willing. These shots give me a little to go on in the topography department so I’ll know a little more of what to expect…thanks!

    • Thank you for the kinds words! Eagles is what really got me going, but I try and photograph whatever wildlife I can find in boring central Illinois. Now I am starting to plan vacations around photo ops. 🙂

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