Atkins Bay Bald Eagles

by John Briggs on January 17, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Weekend Birding

With another snow storm coming Sunday, Sharon and I decided to drive to Atkins Bay this morning for some bird watching. With temperatures a little warmer than the last few mornings (-11° F. at 6:45 a.m. here at home) we arrived at Fort Popham at 7:15 a.m. and immediately spotted two adult Bald Eagles working over a fish carcass.

I parked the car in the shade with the sun behind us and got out of the car preparing to get some photos of the pair. I got into position and pulled the camera up to begin shooting, but I could not gain focus. I fiddled with the focus/shutter button on my BushHawk figuring the cold weather was causing it to fail. In the mean time, one of the Eagles departed after being harassed by several crows. (I later checked the soundings for Popham Beach for the time we were there and the temp was -2° F.)

Beginning to lose my patience, I finally got the camera to focus and photographed the remaining Eagle. It too was harassed by crows and took off and landed several times before finally giving up and flying off toward the Sequin Island lighthouse.

While at Fort Popham, we saw a flock of 200+ Cedar Waxwings with 25 Bohemian Waxwings and 11 American Robins mixed in. Just off the pier, 16 Long-tailed Ducks and 6 Buffleheads were feeding. A lone Harbor Seal was making it’s way toward the mouth of the Kennebec.

Click thumbnails for larger view

Bald Eagle - Atkins Bay - Phippsburg, Maine. Bald Eagle - Atkins Bay - Phippsburg, Maine.

When we returned home, I watched the feeders after filling them. A Black-capped Chickadee seemed to have a black-oil sunflower seed stuck on top of its beak. (See photo below) Four Red-breasted Nuthatches are now frequenting the feeders, along with 12 plus American Tree Sparrows. And for the first time since moving here nearly one year ago, we had four European Starlings visit the feeders. A rap on the window sent them across to the other side of the bay.

Click thumbnails for larger view

Black-capped Chickadee - Bath, Maine. Black-capped Chickadee - Bath, Maine.
Male Downy Woodpecker - Bath, Maine.

Happy birding!

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