Sunday, January 8, 2017

Bald Eagles In The Rain At Millerton Lake

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge 
Millerton Lake

There is an old saying, “A blind pig will find an acorn if he hunts long enough.”
I know where the eagles are supposed to hang out at Millerton and have seen them off and on for 25 years. Most of the time I was running the route that leads from the historic courthouse to a trail that leads to Winchell Cove where the bald eagles had a nest along the trail portion.
Eagles like high vantage points and I recently had one land in the top of a nearby tree while I was taking landscape photos in the early morning. Millerton Lake is a half million acre-foot reservoir only 20 minutes from my home in Fresno CA. I have never fished in the lake but my wife, friends and I swim there once a week during the warmer 6 months of the year. And of course mountain biked and ran the trails also.
I drove there Saturday in a seasonal rainstorm hoping the eagles would show up. As I drove up toward the tall tree, I could see a large dark bird on a limb and assumed it was a juvenile eagle. The eagle was cooperative and allowed me to leave my truck and approach for closer photographs. In the low light and in the “shade” of the inner branches, the photographs were not optimal. I had a 70-300mm lens on my Sony Camera and of course more magnification would have been nice but…such is life.
After about 15 minutes a pair of bald eagles arrived and landed in the top of the tree. What a treat! They remained there until I grew arm weary taking photographs. The photos show that the birds are obviously soaked from the rain. It was one more moment in time where persistence and patience shook hands with good fortune.

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