Edmonds Eagles 2016-17

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#1
The return of an eagle signals the start of a new eagle season. Our locals fly off and stay somewhere for two months from mid-August to mid-October. I set Columbus Day as a target date for their return, but eagles don't read calendars.

Friday afternoon (9/30/16) I saw one of the Lake Ballinger pair perching on the tall spar near its nest at the golf course.
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The golf course and park are in Mountlake Terrace. The eagle took off and flew over the lake to a tree on the Edmonds side.
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It had returned to the spar by the time I returned from my walk in the park. I was not quick enough to adjust the aperture setting of my camera to get both the eagle and plane in focus.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
One of the Pt. Edwards eagles was at the marsh Saturday afternoon (10-1-16). It flew from Willow Creek to dry off on one of the poles by the railroad tracks.
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I relocated to Admiral Way for a better shot.
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After drying off it flew south around Pt. Edwards.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Tuesday morning (10-11-16) from the fishing pier I spotted a far-off Hutt Park eagle on its usual perch.
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One of the Pt. Edwards pair was getting harassed by an evil minion of the dark Lord while it was perched on its tree at the top of Pine St. The tree is now located next to the construction site of new apartments. I took these shots at -1 exposure compensation to keep from blowing out the white head feathers.
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I also like how it darkens the sky to make the eagle really stand out..
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Its mate was enjoying a much better view from the end of Pt. Edwards Place. These shots were taken without any exposure compensation.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Saturday afternoon (10/16) the Pt. Edwards pair provided some action at the marsh before the (not so) big storm moved in. Eagles don't share and the pair kept flying in and out of the marsh trying to out-maneuver each other for possession of what was left of a duck carcass.

Here are two of the sequences.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
View of the eagles and the marsh with the 100mm end of my 100-400L II telephoto zoom. It shows why I need at least a 400mm telephoto lens to photograph birds.
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One of the eagles got tired of the squabbling and flew east with the carcass toward City Park.
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Its mate followed.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
The past two days the Pt. Edwards eagles have been putting on a show at their usual perch by the ferry dock. Tuesday afternoon (10-18-16) they made a flight out over the Sound to look for fish.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
I am still adjusting to the new computer and photo processing program, so these photos may look a little odd.

Perch have been running off the fishing pier, which has attracted fishermen of all sorts: people, eagles, seals, and gulls. The Pt. Edwards eagles were especially active Thursday (10-27) as they flew between the marina to hunt & eat and the marsh to drink & bathe.

I had just relinquished my spot on the fishing pier to some crabbers when one of the eagles made a mid-air kill of a gull in front of them. I had relocated to the picnic table near the restroom and caught the eagle flying in with its prey.
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The eagles usually ignore the pesky crows except during dinner time.
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The crabbers told me about the kill and were sorry I had missed photographing it. I told them fishermen and nature photographers have something in common: "the one that away."
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
The action continued Friday afternoon as perch continued to swim below the fishing pier. The eagles flew in front and above us as they hunted, which afforded some dramatic closeups.

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#12
The Pt. Edwards eagles have been spending a lot of time at the marina. Wednesday (11-9-16) one posed near sunset for some publicity shots for the Port of Edmonds.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#13
Saturday afternoon (11-12-16) I caught two sea lions swimming south in the Sound off Sunset Ave.
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I went down to the fishing pier and saw the Pt. Edwards eagles poaching salmon from sea lions far out in the Sound. Taken hand held with the 7DII + 100-400L II telephoto zoom. You could not see the eagles or sea lion with the naked eye, but you could tell where the action was taking place by the large cloud of gulls and other birds that were following the sea lions.
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One of the eagles succeeded in stealing the sea lion's catch.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
The successful poacher flew to the marina with its loot followed by its mate and a gaggle of gulls.
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You can tell the salmon was first caught by a sea lion as it is torn up and its head is missing.
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Eagles don't share. The one with the salmon is gloating in the background while the one without the salmon is sulking in the foreground.
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A sea lion surfaced by the fishing pier. Sore loser?
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squirl033

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
Nice catch of the sea lion, Bill! I saw one "porpoising" off the beach at Discovery Park a few days ago, but it didn't stay on the surface long enough for a photo... :(
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#16
Nice catch of the sea lion, Bill! I saw one "porpoising" off the beach at Discovery Park a few days ago, but it didn't stay on the surface long enough for a photo... :(
My experience with sea lions is that they will "porpoise" three times to catch their breath before diving once again. This rule of thumb should help photograph them before they disappear under the water for awhile.
 

Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#17
Wednesday afternoon (11-16-16) Rocky and I saw several sea lions diving for fish near the fishing pier. One caught a large fish near the ferry dock, which attracted the attention of one of the Pt. Edwards eagles.
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The eagle tried unsuccessfully to steal the fish. Although the action was fairly close to the pier, it occurred near sunset, which really pushed the low light abilities of our 7DII's.
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squirl033

Super Moderator
Staff member
#18
Yours came out much better than mine did, Bill. With the f/6.3 aperture on the 150-600, I was at ISO 4000, so mine were pretty noisy and soft - perhaps because while the Tamron is a great lens in good light, it leaves a bit to be desired when the light gets dim. I guess you can't expect everything for $1100, though...
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#19
I guess you can't expect everything for $1100, though...
No big deal, just add another zero to the right and buy a new Canon lens. ;)

I set the camera at 1/500 and f/5.6. The camera set the ISO at 3200. It was one of the few times I really needed the old 2.8/400L telephoto lens that I sold when I bought the 4.0/500L.
 
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