Saturday, June 5, 2010

On the River

Had a great opportunity to get on the Mississippi River upstream from LaCrecent MN yesterday evening and had been anxious to make some photographs finally.  I'd had all good intentions during the day on my drive down to LaCrosse, but nothing made me pull the camera out.  Until here.  Kirk and Lynn and I worked our way downstream to an eagle nest, high in a cottonwood tree.  Three young eaglets  were there, but no adults.  I really couldn't get a decent picture of them (300mm not long enough and light wasn't there), but a Great Blue Heron did pull up and swung by the boat and I got off a few shots while panning-the end result was some "painterly" images, which I like.  They are pretty cool birds, but Grandfather Schultz used to call them "Shy-Pokes" or when the young ones were not around, "Shit-pokes."  Not sure why, but that's the common name I always knew.
Turning around, we headed upstream toward  lock and dam 6 at Trempeleau and saw an adult Bald Eagle in the top of a dead tree.  We moved in closer and he/she didn't seem to mind the attention.  Out of nowhere, a crow started harassing  it, which is pretty common.  Small birds like blackbirds bug crows, robins go after hawks, crows annoy owls and eagles.  It's kinda funny, because this eagle could have taken the crow out with a flip of it's little pinkie (okay, talon) had it wanted to.

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