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Eastman Lake From Vista View
Let me begin with some particulars about Eastman Lake from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastman_Lake
“H. V. Eastman Lake is an artificial lake formed by the construction of Buchanan Dam across the Chowchilla River in the foothills of Madera County, California. A small percentage of the northwest area of the reservoir is in Mariposa County.
Buchanan Dam was a 1975 flood control and irrigation project of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The earthen dam, 218 feet high with a length of 1746 foot at the crest, impounding a maximum capacity of 150,000 acre-feet of Chowchilla River water in the reservoir, is owned and operated by the Corps.”
Eastman Lake is about an hour from my home in Fresno CA and I enjoy the mostly two-lane drive through the rolling hills of Madera County. As you near the reservoir, you think to yourself, “How could there be a lake in the middle of all these foothills?”
As you begin the climb around the dam and up to lake level, there is a wonderful vista view area. After that, there is a ranger station/visitors information center as you begin to descend toward the boat ramp. The folks in the ranger station know lots about the wildlife and can be very helpful. There is another boat ramp on the west side of the lake also. There are also many nice camping and RV accommodations for those wanting to stay more than a day.
The place is full of hawks but has other bird species like the Belted Kingfisher. My main interest is the Bald and Golden Eagles that nest here. Unlike Millerton Lake near me, all the eagles at Eastman Lake are year-round residents.
I have no idea where any of the eagle’s nests are but the lake is small enough to find a few places from which to scan much of the lake with binoculars. The Bald Eagles really stick out with their white heads.
If you go during the week, there is very little traffic with most visitors parked at one of the two boat ramps for fishing. There is also a hiking trail that is about 4 miles one way that ends at the Raymond Bridge. Raymond is the closest town to the reservoir.
The landscape photos were taken with the Sony A7R3 and Zeiss Batis 25mm F2. The Wildlife photos were taken with the Sony 100-400 GM with a 1.4X extender.
Red Tailed Hawk
Mature and Juvenile Bald Eagles