Bonaparte’s Gull and Golden Eagle! Life is good!

A beautiful immature GOLDEN EAGLE at the Bashakill 10/27/14

A beautiful immature GOLDEN EAGLE at the Bashakill 10/27/14 click on to enlarge

This morning I wasn’t quite sure of what to do.  Days like this I tend to just follow my nose rather than make a definite plan.  I started by walking across the street to the lake and checking for birds.   4 Common Mergansers and 3 Ring-billed Gulls were my initial spots.  I then saw something fly straight up and then nose dive into the lake.  When it took off again, it became clear it was a winter-plumaged BONAPARTE’S GULL!  Bonies are not very common in the fall and much more reliable in spring.  This however (as you know) is my second Bonie in a week.  I watched for a while as the bird continued to feed, eventually flying off with the Ring-billed Gulls.  I then decided to check the rest of the water hotspots to see if anything else had come in. All the locations had the usually expected species with good numbers of Ruddy Ducks in a couple of Spots.  Ring-necked Duck, Mallard, Black Duck, Wood Duck, Pied-billed Grebe and Common Mergansers were all seen.  I then decided to head to the Bashakill briefly before heading to the tower for the Hawk Watch.  I stopped just as Scott Baldinger was pulling up.  As we spoke, we first saw an adult Bald Eagle fly up.  As we watched, an immature GOLDEN EAGLE  took off from between Haven Road and the Pine Boat Launch.  I ran for my camera, and was able to get a couple identifiable shots.  It was amazing how fast this bird gained altitude making it hard to photograph.  The really amazing thing to me was how huge the Golden seemed in comparison to the Bald Eagle.  Fantastic sighting for both Scott and I.

Golden Eagle another shot.  Click on either shot to enlarge.

Golden Eagle another shot. Click on either shot to enlarge.

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4 Responses to Bonaparte’s Gull and Golden Eagle! Life is good!

  1. Wow John, awesome day! Congrats to you and Scott on the Golden – very exciting!

  2. Wilma Amthor says:

    I just might get to see one of these yet…along with my long tailed duck of course!!!

    Great job John

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