River stories, part 2

Eagle and crow  

Part two of the "River Stories" took place last Monday evening. I still had the kayak on the roof top of the car and decided for another trip on the Mississippi River. Shortly after leaving the boat ramp in the marina at Mud Lake Park (the closest access to the big river for us and only 10 minutes away from our home) I saw a juvenile Bald Eagle sitting on the trunk of a big disrooted tree that was stranded in a shallow part of the Mississippi. I expected the bird would fly away as soon as I came closer but things developed in a totally different way. A couple crows also claimed the big tree for themselves and the eagle just hopped around, flapped its wings, and tried to scare the crows away. This wasn't very successful and after a few minutes the young Bald Eagle gave up and sat down on one of the roots that were sticking out into the air. I approached the bird very slowly and carefully and it just tolerated my presence. I had Cooper with me in the boat but the little dog stayed quiet and didn't move. He hardly ever spoils my wildlife encounters and I can't ask for a better dog in that regard. Because the shallow water the weeds kept the kayak from just drifting away and I got my chance to frame the eagle and make the photos I was hoping for.


Juvenile Bald Eagle


And here is the second benefit you can have while shooting from a boat (I talked about the first one in yesterday's blog post). It allows me to get physically closer to a subject on a lake or river. The shore doesn't limit an approach necessarily anymore. Of course, it doesn't always work out and I consider myself very lucky to make these images. However, it increases the chances to make a click you could never make from shore and to get closer to the animal you like to have in the viewfinder of your camera. There is more from this trip on the hard drive, so please stay tuned for another "river story"...