Saturday, December 15, 2007

Eagle watching at Black Dog

Another place where the water stays open during the winter is Black Dog Lake and portions of the Minnesota River that are fed from the lake. The reason Black Dog stays open is because of the Excel Energy Power Plant that uses water to cool turbines which it then treats and pumps out into the lake. This continual supply of warm water keeps the lake and river open.

This open water is a draw for eagles, trumpeter swans and other waterfowl. On the 8th of December I headed over to Black Dog to try and get some eagle pics. It had been particularily cold and so there were only a few openings on the river where the eagles usually hang out.
I did find a few eagles near the open water by the Cedar Avenue Bridge.

In total I only saw about a dozen eagles.

There where also quite a few photographers there from Cameratalk. They are a group of photographers that share information with each other through their website. They told me a bit about their group and told me that I should check out their website. Their website has a lot of great pictures and they look like they might be a great resource for me so I went ahead and registered. Currently I am waiting for my account to get activated.

I had a feeling that this might be a good group to get involved with. It takes a person who is a bit nuts to sit on the side of a mostly frozen river, with a day time temp of about 2 degrees and a wind chill of about -10 degrees, taking pictures and yet there we all were.There were also a few immature eagles. Bald eagles get their familiar coloring starting when they are about 5 years old.


John Mikes said...

I was there today, too. From about 8 until 11. Had some luck at the east sluice gate. The juvenile there was feeling rowdy, and hassled his elders a few times.

John Mikes
Weekend Shooter

Ecobirder said...

John, I saw your pics and they are great. A lot better then mine.