If you read my story this morning, you know about the “Wildlife Loop” I frequently drive. If you haven’t read it yet, here is the link. Go take a look then come back to read this.
On my way to work Wednesday morning, I decided to drive part of my “Wildlife Loop” to see what types of animals I would see that day. With my camera in hand and my windows rolled down, I slowly drove down the dirt road past Burton Wetlands. I stopped by the beaver pond to listen to the spring peepers and all of birds of that crisp, cool morning.
I rounded the corner on Pond Road where Lake Kelso is frequently dammed up by the beavers. I stopped to see if there were any ducks, geese, or beavers in the water. Once, I saw some baby beavers chomping on some brush growing near the pipe that goes under the road. Today, a pair of mallards took flight as I pulled up, apparently startled by my Jeep.
As I scanned the horizon, I spotted a bald eagle in the distance sitting on a branch of a dead tree. I was SO EXCITED! I continued to slowly drive down the dirt road until I got a better view of this beautiful bird of prey. I found a good spot without trees and branches blocking my view. I snapped a few shots, and by a few, I actually mean about 25 shots!
I sat in my car, with my binoculars, just watching! I had a feeling that morning that I would see something great on the drive that I take so often. I WAS RIGHT! Just as I was about to say farewell and continue on my way to work, the eagle swooped down to catch a fish in Fern Lake, which is owned by the Natural History Museum in Cleveland, then flew back to where I had been when I originally spotted the eagle, and landed in a tree near the road. So, I turned around and headed back that way. I made one pass, did not see the eagle, so I turned back around, utterly disappointed.
As I rounded that corner again, I saw it just ahead on the left side of the road up in the branches.
I cautiously pulled closer toward that tree, camera in hand in case it decided I was getting too close and flew away. I stopped about 50 feet from the tree, and started shooting (photos, of course). I probably took another 20 shots of this magnificent bird. It did not seem to mind my presence.
After watching the eagle for about 15 minutes, I decided that I probably needed to get to work. So, I turned on the video camera, and started to drive away, completely expecting the bird to fly away as I got closer. But to my surprise, it stayed on that branch, and I found an even better spot to stop and take a few more pictures.
So, I put my Jeep in park and sat for just a few more minutes. I thought to myself, this bird really needs to fly away or I am never going to work. Just then, it started to downpour. The eagle took flight back out to the tree it was sitting in when I first saw it.
If only I had left the video camera going for another minute, I would have caught the take off in the rain. But I am happy with the time I shared with that amazing animal that morning. I said farewell and continued on my “Wildlife Loop” and went to work. I did spot the Sandhill Cranes on Rapids Road that morning as well. But I think I may save those photos for another article.
Take a look at all of the features that I have written about our amazing parks in Geauga County. Click here.
As I always say…
“Take a hike, bring your binoculars and your camera, and enjoy what nature has to offer.”
Please leave comments below about any experiences you have had with bald eagles in Geauga County.