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  #21  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:57 PM
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SCEtoAUX...miss read your original post. But it is still a great photo 8v)

Don...Western Sandpipers at Cape May, or did I misread something?

I've had a number of encounters with birds which were pretty cool. I've had Stellar Jays take food out of my hands on a swooping attack, a Golden Eagle crap on my head, Chickadees which would go to my bedroom window and do their loud, CHI-CHI-CHI-CHI call when the bird feeder was empty and a Rufous Hummingbird which once go in my face making all sorts of noise when I got too close while taking photos.

But my most memorable happened with a Bald Eagle years ago. I was heading north along Highway 97 to The Dalles to pick up my mom at the train station. I was passing through the wheat field areas of central Oregon, zipping along at about 60 or so, when I entered a slight left hand curve and noticed a gap in the fields in front of me. As I approached the gap, a Bald Eagle came drifting out of the gap, headed right for my car.

Now, you need to understand that the gap area wasn't much more than 15 feet from the road at the most, when this eagle appeared. I didn't even have time to slam on the brakes. Well, I braced for impact and looked in the rearview mirror to see if I missed him, when my peripheral vision noticed the bird coming up over the hood. I reared back expecting a windshield hit, when the eagle dove down by the front left wheel well and turned perpendicular to the travel of the car, at a 45 degree angle or so.

I watched him slid by my driver's side while I looked DOWN on him passing by. When he cleared the car turbulance, he turned to his right and continued his westward journey through another gap in the wheat fields on the opposite side of the road.

This all took place in maybe, six seconds and when it was over, I had to slow down and caught my breath while I continued my journey northward.

It was an experience I will never forget.
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2008, 07:59 AM
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Hmm, memorable bird experiences.
I watched a small falcon (was pre-internet, so I didn't really get to identify it) hit a dove about 10 feet away from me through a window. Was my dad's backyard and I was sitting in front of the TV watching football. There were large windows close by and I heard a dove fly into one. He was faster than the dove still sitting in the melting snow on the deck. The bird hit, stopped and adjusted the dove in it's claws and then took off. Went out and there were perfect wing prints in the soft snow.

Canoeing down the Au Sable and had a golden eagle with a minimum 7 foot wing span fly over not 8 feet from our heads - riding the river below tree tops.

And last summer, I was at Grand Lake on a jet ski - and we found a bald eagle sitting up in a tree. As I rode over as close as we could get to it, it was sitting in the 'classic' pose with the light shining just right to get a perfect profile. Gorgeous bird, saw it from about 50-60 feet - couldn't get closer and didn't have my camera on the lake so no pictures, but cool to see one in the wild.

Last one is odd. I saw a parrot on my tree in the back yard, in Michigan. Obviously an escaped pet.
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2008, 10:52 AM
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Cool Dan! Bald eagles are so majestic. Ash- I think you know what an Osprey feels like when it drops a fish, That Eagle manouvers around the Osprey in a flash.
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  #24  
Old 12-06-2008, 09:18 PM
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OK I've got one. Several years ago while fishing the Akansas river through the town of Salida I noticed an Osprey in a small tree near the bank. Seems he was trying to protect his favorite fishing spot. As I got closer he got very preturbed and then finally flew off to wait for me to leave. Four or five fish later I did so with great thanks to my spotter bird.

Fishing has been a great opportunity to observe many birds not available in our backyard high desert environs. I almost always see american dippers, kingfishers, humming birds, nuthatches and the like whereas the backyard is mostly sparrows, towhees, finches, quail, doves, ravens and of course the various hawks that feed on them. Summer visitors include mountain bluebirds, phoebes, and scrub jays.

One more memorable moment occurred because I happened to look up and notice a bird hovering in the air about 50 feet up. It suddenly folded its wings and dived to within a foot of the ground where it pulled out of the dive and landed like a feather just feet away from me. It was a horned lark and one of the most amazing flight displays I've ever seen.

Cecil

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  #25  
Old 12-07-2008, 11:59 AM
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About 10 years ago, I was at Crane Prairie Reservoir south of here. Bald Eagles and Osprey populate that site. The fun came when an Osprey would grab a fish and the eagle would take it away. It almost seemed to be a game to them.

Around that same time, I had gone to Paulina Lake to do some fly fishing. Paulina Lake is inside Newberry Volcano and is one of two lakes inside the caldera. I had moved around to the northwest side of the lake and found a spot with a number of fish moving around in the shallows. So I waded out near some downed trees and started casting. As I was building up distance, I noticed a gorgeous Lake Trout slowly moving across my casting field, but a ways further out than I was planning to cast.

Hoping the trout was on the prowl for a meal, I decided to go after him. My first three casts fell short, and as I was ramping things up for the fourth cast, I heard the call of a nearby eagle. I gave my pole one final throw, released the line and watched as my fly landed within ten feet of the trout. The fly caused him to change his course and it began following the fly as I moved it across the surface.

I was using every trick I knew to tempt that trout into taking my fly. I finally decided to try a roll cast and see what would happen. As the fly reached the peak of the roll, I could see the trout start up, then I could see it's head break water and then a large brown wall covered it.

When the Bald Eagle moved off, she had the trout in her talons and was screaming a loud "Thank you" my way for bringing the trout closer to the surface.

While I stood there shaking my head, I became aware of a couple of guys in a boat not far away laughing their ass off. I reeled in my line, waved goodbye to the eagle, yelled a good luck to my human audience and headed back to the car.

That was the last time I fished that lake.
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  #26  
Old 12-08-2008, 11:48 AM
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Good story Ash! Fishing's good if you use the right method. Cecil those Horned larks are amazing, but so little most are unseen, in the winter the flocks weave and turn ALMOST like a flock of shorebirds (the most amazing in flight)
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  #27  
Old 12-08-2008, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birder View Post
Fishing's good if you use the right method.
Yes, but the authorities so often frown on using a quarter stick of persuasion.
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  #28  
Old 12-08-2008, 08:35 PM
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Ash -- Yes. Western sandpipers. About a hundred grouped together amid some thousand sanderlings and a very large number of dunlin with a few ruddy turnstones mixed in. The westerns were slightly smaller than the sanderlings, distinctly brown, with dark legs, and thickish, slightly downcurved bills.

Don (Just got back from Cape May and working through a lot of email and accumulated work.)
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  #29  
Old 12-08-2008, 09:21 PM
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Don- nice birds! That is the problem of time off, the in-box....
Ash- just like "Eastern Kingbirds"
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2008, 09:33 PM
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Lee, sounds as if you might be familiar with Dupont spinners.
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