Looking Back Over The Week

Looking back over the week…
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it is easy to see that things have taken a “tern”…
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and spring has finally sprung at Eastwood.

This has been a week full of seeing returning friends and meeting new friends. Just yesterday I saw my first bumblebees, butterflies and caterpillars of the season, but all week long more and more birds are arriving back home at the park. Here are just a few that have brought a smile to my face.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Happy Tree Swallows.

Happy Tree Swallows.

A smiling gull.

A smiling gull.

Clean up crew.

Clean up crew.

Curious Nuthatch.

Curious Nuthatch.

Poaching Osprey.

Poaching Osprey.

Burping Turkey Vulture.

Burping Turkey Vulture.

Singing Eastern Meadow Lark.

Singing Eastern Meadow Lark.

Eastern Bluebird.

Eastern Bluebird.

Incoming Eastern Bluebird

Incoming Eastern Bluebird

Returning Killdeer.

Returning Killdeer.

Incoming Great Blue Heron.

Incoming Great Blue Heron.

A very wet Great Blue Heron.

A very wet Great Blue Heron.

Yep! He ate it whole!

Yep! He ate it whole!

And that does not include the smiles that were delivered by our local Bald Eagles, Jim and Cindy! I have had fun meeting many new humans at Eastwood this week. The warmer weather, the still-unleafed-trees and eagles actively feeding eaglets are providing a rare (and very temporary) open window for eagle watching and many folks are taking advantage of it. Just this week I have met a young couple and there two dogs, a not-quite-as-young couple from Kettering and I was able to witness the excitement as a young woman experienced her lifelong wish of seeing  a wild Bald Eagle!

But there were also a few frustrations as well. Of course there were periods of heavy, drenching rain and hours of gusty winds that made it difficult to stand let alone steady a telephoto zoom lens. But my greatest frustration came on Thursday. As I sat in my car, waiting to turn left through a seemingly endless line of opposing traffic,  I saw Jim circling just below the treetops while fishing in the near end of the lake. When I finally found a gap of sufficient size in the oncoming traffic and made my way to the lake, I found no eagle! I asked a couple of people standing near the shore if they knew where the eagle had gone. They replied, “What eagle? We were talking and didn’t see any eagles.” Arrrrggg! Really people? He was about eye level and maybe 100 feet away with a 7-foot wingspan and you didn’t see any eagles!?

But later that evening as several of us were viewing the nest just before sunset, we witnessed a very brief flurry of activity. Another eagle had ventured too close to the aerie, quite possibly one of last year’s eaglets. Instantly Jim left his guard post just north of their tree and gave pursuit. As the two flashed behind the nest, Cindy covered the eaglets before rocketing skyward to add emphasis to Jim’s chastisement of the eaglet. Fifteen seconds later Cindy returned to the babies while Jim continued encouraging the youngster to move along. I had seen it all transpire before and although the moment is thrilling, I always feel sorry for the youngster who must be somewhat bewildered by Mom and Dad’s change in attitude.

If you are able to make it to the Eastwood Lake MetroPark at Route 4 and Harshman Road please be aware of what to expect. The nest is 1/2 mile to the east and the view through your camera or binoculars will be something like this.

The view from the lake.

The view from the lake.

But the eagles are flying about every hour or so and if they venture west at all you may see one soaring high overhead or passing by somewhat lower.

Flying high.

Flying high.

Flying low.

Flying low.

If there is a lot of boating activity on the lake or several people fishing around the lake the eagle will likely fish the Eagle Lake east of Harshman Road or hunt along the river. You just never know, but that is part of the fun and challenge when there are just two nesting eagles in the county!

But there is always something to watch as you wait for an eagle to appear and maybe those encounters will bring a smile to your face next Saturday as you find yourself looking back over the week.

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Published in: on April 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm  Comments (16)  

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Always a good read. I enjoy your blog so much.

  2. They ( JIM n CINDY ) have an endless challenge of Chasing Jim & Roger up and down Eastwood Lake..
    All with “SMILES” I must say.

  3. I love you pictures and your “chat” thank you so much!!

  4. So happy to see your updates on Jim and Cindy! As I read your post, my imagination is going to town! Lol. I can sooooo see it in my mind. You’re awesome Jim! I really appreciate your updates. Maybe one day I’ll get to see these sweet birds with my own eyes! Till then…..I’ll eagerly await your blogs.

    Thanks Jim

  5. Thanks again Carolyn.

  6. Yes sir Regalspirit! The eagles have a R & J watching group.

  7. Gee thanks Opal. (Where were you when I was working and trying to get a raise?)

  8. Thank you George. I am so glad you enjoy the posts.

  9. I was doing the same Mr. Jim ! Lol.

  10. We spend the winter in Florida and it is so good to see and read about what’s happening with the wildlife and birds in Dayton.Thank you so much for the pictures and blog.

  11. Hi Jim, Love your comments on our Eagles. Yesterday I went birdwatching with my daughter & niece at Spring Valley. We go there every spring. This was the 1st. time we have ever seen Eagles there! We also found out that there is a nest that can be seen from the bike path. For any of your readers who might go there, you get on the bike path from the lake & go left till you see the 10 mile mark on the path, about 1/4mile. You will cross a path to a farmers field, before you cross a bridge look to the right, you might see one big nest, that’s not it, walk a little farther & keep looking, you will see a bigger nest just behind a groove of trees, we saw one of the eagles perched above the nest on a limb. Thought you & your readers might be interested in this. I really enjoy your blogs & pictures about our Eagles.

  12. I am glad that we can keep you posted Marilyn, although after this last winter I am willing to trade. You can do the updates while I go to Florida for you.

  13. Thank you Joyce. Bald Eagles are coming back rather strongly. There is the nest that you mentioned along The Little Miami River, on in Hamilton, possibly one near Caesar’s Creek, one at Cowan Lake south of Wilmington, one on Acton Lake in the Hueston Woods State Park, one just west of the C. J. Brown Reservoir in Clark County… There is also a currently unused nest along the Stillwater River in Englewood that was built and abandoned about 3 or 4 years ago. None of these nests were there 6 years ago! Every year we see more and more adults and juvenile eagles passing through the area. Theirs is an amazing story of triumph over some very dire statistics and an active effort by many to eliminate threats to their survival.

  14. I love knowing that there is so much wild life in the Dayton area!! And I also feel sorry for the younger eagle who may get too close to the nest and be chased away by Jim or Cindy. Awesome pictures Jim!!!!! Thanks!!!!!! Polly.

  15. Your breathtaking pictures are phenomenal! Thanks for sharing your passion with us!

  16. Just saw a big bird fly over our house on Hazelton Ave. It was high the sky and circling. Hoping to see it again. I have a pair of Blue Jays that come back each year. Just fed them sunflower seeds.


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