My last day on Eagle Watch....
Like some others of you, I spent many days at Caw Caw these last several months volunteering to monitor the activity on and around the bald eagle nest there. 'Eagle Watch' started early last November for me, and April 26th was my last day before moving on to being an Alligator Ambassador with the County Parks for the summer!
So, that last day was somewhat bittersweet! The eaglets had fledged and were happily flying circles around the rice fields the last I saw them, being joined occasionally by one, if not both of their parents!
While there, of course, I was able to capture some of the 'events' on film. OK, sensor.... :) My first sighting was on the first official day of Eagle Watch for me: November 2, 2022, when I saw one of the adults just watching me from a distance! This one below....the banded male.
After that, it was nest beautification time! Adults were seen over the next few months just getting the nest ready for the new nesting season. This involved many trips bringing in new material to bolster the nest. Nest refurbishing!
One morning as I was driving the golf cart in to get set up, I saw the pair of adults off in the distance, just surveying their eagledom!
But generally, it was twig time. And sometimes branch time!
And I think sometimes they were watching me as much as I was watching them!
By the end of December though, there were definitley signs of activity on the nest!
I wasn't able to get out to Caw Caw in January or February, but word had spread that a couple of eaglet heads had been seen! My next trip out was March 2, 2023, and I was rewarded with a couple of sightings of now almost fully grown eaglets! It was very challenging to get any clear photos through the foliage, though!
So it was, in the following weeks, that we watched those eaglets turn first in to branching, then fully fledged juveniles!
It was April 20, 2023 when I saw them flying for the first time!
And on the 24th, my last day, I was rewarded with a very close fly-by!
Of course, as much as it was about monitoring the eagles and their activity, we were also there to share with, and educate the visitors to Caw Caw.
Over the months, I personally spoke to dozens, perhaps hundreds of people that were from all parts of the world. A couple from France, another from Holland, some from China, and several from Britain. One couple actually lived in a camper van and traveled the US blogging about their visits. The couple from China were professional wildlife photographers.
I even met a newly graduated Master Naturalist visiting from VA with his wife!
Mostly though, people were out for the day to enjoy the outdoors, sometimes for the first time and sometimes on a weekly outing. Always though, people appreciated the information and the views we could share with them of the nature around them.
It helped to have 'gear'!
My last day on Eagle Watch was also rewarded with several other sightings...all firsts for me! Bobwhites, a King Rail, and a Least Bittern! I think I may have been the first to report the Bobwhite sightings, too...it was an amazing day, made even more special by these opportunistic sightings!
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