It was by far the best day for shooting Bald Eagles at the Mississippi River during this winter so far. The river is only partly ice covered and this allows the eagles to hunt for fish at many different places. We learned already yesterday that many eagles were present at lock and dam #10 in Guttenberg, which is about thirty miles north of Dubuque, Iowa. I decided to go back there again and spent a few hours in the icy wind. Warm boots and a down coat are very useful while hanging out at the river for an extended time. But I can tell you, it was worth every minute because there was a lot of action today. It is difficult to count the eagles because they move around all the time but it is safe to say that more than 50 birds were within sight.
There was a lot of push and shove going on and catching a fish wasn't always called final success. The eagles tried to steal the fish from each other and some were very competitive. Yesterday I tried mainly to shoot eagles in flight because the sky was blue and made for a good contrast and background. Today it was a little more hazy and therefore I focussed on action shots on the ice.
Distance was a little bit of a problem because the Bald Eagles stay at the edge of the ice or circle over the open water and that was quite a bit away from my shooting location. There is not much I could do about it, except for cropping my photos a little bit. Walking onto the ice is no option! ;-)