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Monday, March 30, 2009

Ducks, Eagles, Otter

Common Mergansers just arrived

The males have the dark green heads, the female's heads are brown.

Two eagles arrived in the mist

These are young eagles have not attained the all white head and tail of the adult plumage. (Digiscoped in fog, through my window, from more than 1000 feet away, so apologies for the mistly blurry images, but I thought it was worth capturing something.)

The eagles were watching an otter, hoping to steal a fish from it. (Photo also digiscoped from a great distance, but with more sunlight.)

Over the weekend we had quite a show of ducks plus 2 eagles. The ice in the cove in front of our house finally opened up, so it is only half ice. The ducks, eagles and an otter moved right in. We saw 32 Common Mergansers, 2 Hooded Mergansere, 4 Wood Ducks, 4 Black Ducks and 3 Mallards. This morning we saw the 2 eagles sitting about 20 feet away from the otter. We think they are waiting for the otter to catch fish and then they will try and steal it. We have seem them do this before. The otter gets a fish, comes up on the ice to eat it, then the eagles drive it off, then get the fish. These eagles are subadults (young) and do not have their full adult plumage yet. That takes about 4 years.

I had to digiscope the eagles from a great distance, in very poor light, it was the only way I could capture the moment. No one digiscopes like this, because the resulting image is so blurry. I am the only one I know who tries things like this. But in an odd sort of way, I like the misty, blurry, ghost-like images, that kinda capture the feel of what it was like to look though my scope into the private world of 2 young eagles waiting in the fog, hoping to snatch a fish from an otter.

Speaking of digiscoping done right, our friend Mike McDowell, master digiscoper of Mike's Birding and Digiscoping Blog, had to move his blog to a new address due to a nightmare experience with his server. You can find his new blog, with his gorgeous digiscoped images, here.

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