This unseasonably warm weather has had many positive effects; not the least of them is the return of at least one Bald Eagle to the Merli-Sarnoski Park. I had been anticipated a return, but was admittedly caught off-guard yesterday when Brent and I were at one end of the lake while he was doing some macro experiments. I was carrying my Sigma 70-300, actually just fooling around with some “faux-macro” attempts, when my phone rang. “The eagle is headed your way,” my wife said. Just then, Brent caught sight of him perched high atop a tree, still a fair distance from us.
I crept slowly back along the lake path until I could get a (mostly) unobstructed shot at him. The sky was partly cloudy; unfortunately, the eagle was backdropped by the clouds, so I didn’t have that rich blue to set him off.
I tried creeping closer for a better shot, hoping to shorten the distance, but as I figured he would, he only allowed me to get so close before he once again took flight. I managed a final shot of him in flight, and although he appears as little more than a silhouette, I thought the combination of his wingspan, the tree limbs and the light pastel of the sky gave this shot some artistic merit, if nothing else.
I hope to have more opportunities to photograph him as the spring unfolds; we had been told last fall that there were two eagles at Merli, though I have only sighted one at a time. It just goes to show — always carry the full scope of equipment if you have the room. You never can tell when a quarry who’s been on a leave of absence will make a reappearance.