Well Winter has finally arrived here in New Jersey with two blasts of snow over the past week as well as some very cold weather which was enough to freeze many of the local ponds and lakes.
This is significant in eagle behavior as eagles will fly south only far enough to find open water. So as rivers and lakes freeze north of me, it pushes a significant number of Bald Eagles into my area.
January 19, 2024
After not being able to find the eagles in the early part of the week, I took a ride to Mercer County Park on Friday. It was snowing quite heavily which I thought could make for some interesting photos. I probably saw around 8 eagles that day but with the low light and poor visibility it was difficult to get much in the way of decent photos.
A young juvenile hanging out during the heavy snow
Out on the frozen lake. I was trying to capture the harsh conditions the eagles must endure in their quest for survival.
January 20, 2024
A bright sunny day but very cold and windy. I headed back to Mercer County Park hoping to find a large number of eagles. When I first got to the park, I probably observed 10-12 eagles over the lake. They were hanging out on the ice, sitting in the trees and doing regular fly-by’s.
I got my better photos within the first half hour of being there. As the winds really began to blow, the eagles dispersed and for the next hour or so, they were much less active with only an occasional fly-by.
In all I spent about an hour and a half with them and came away with a few decent images.
On my way, home, I swung by the pond to see if John & Sandy were around. They were on their regular perch. I was hoping to get a photo of the two of them sitting on their snow covered perch. As soon as I got out of my car, John took off, leaving Sandy behind for a solo portrait.
Sandy hanging on her perch. Missed having John in the photo by seconds
The cold weather should hang around for a few more days before a thaw later in the week. This should create some idea conditions to see a significant number of eagles in my area.
Coming in for a landing on the ice.
Another photo of a mature Adult out on the ice.
I'm not sure quite what this carnage is. I'm thinking it's teither a seagull or Canada Goose.