Beach’n Bald Eagle

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Beautiful sky, sun is out and the water is clean and green looking.

While waiting for the beach clean up volunteers to arrive at Keybox access, I checked out the water, and beach. It was going ot be a beautiful morning for a beach clean up. I looked towards Dewey Beach and I could see a big bird on the beach. It was a good quarter mile away and still looked pretty big, and it had a white head. Either that is an eagle or an osprey, I needed the big camera.

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Bald Eagle on the Beach at Keybox access in Delaware Seashore State Park

I ran back to the car, Thomas arrived, we said hello, I grabbed the camera and ran back up the dune access. “I need to see if this is an eagle or an osprey and get a picture.” We walked to the crest of the dune, the camera zooms in, eagle for sure. Click the button to take the shot … beep, beep, the memory card is in the camera bag, or the computer at home. I have done this more than once, I always have extra cards. Run back to the car for the card, a few more people arrived. We say hello thanks for coming, then I turn around and run over the dune. Pretty sure these ladies, out for their first clean up, thought who is this crazy guy we just met

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Eagle takes off, it was so clear in the picture you can see the towers and the dune at Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park

The eagle is still there I start walking as fast as I can towards Dewey Beach. Can’t run don’t want to scare off the bird. I have twenty minutes until 9 AM, when everyone is supposed to meet up, I have time. Usually I am fishing until everyone shows up, today I wanted this shot … eagle on the beach. I get halfway to the eagle from where I started and start shooting. I know I am only going to get a few good shots, I’m on auto and banging away. I’m still learning light, settings etc. etc. I know I don’t have time to fool around with figuring out the best settings. That eagle is going to bail soon there is a lady walking her dog headed towards it.
Now I have something else to learn, what settings are good for certain situations so I can just set and shoot. In this case auto and take a metric ton of pictures is the best settling.

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Moving up and down the beach
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The eagle is just sitting there, looking all majestic, catching some warm morning sun on the surf. It has flown towards me twice and landed, real quick trips, and kind of hopped around, like ten feet or so away form its original spot. Now I am concerned it is injured, usually most large birds of prey or any bird fly off by now. He flies back over where he was sitting and I see the food, he was just finishing up breakfast, and defending it as well. Not sure what kind of fish he had but he eventually took off, and I had to get back to the parking lot. I would guess he stole it from an osprey or caught it. We watched several bird fights yesterday, from a few different species.

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Taking off for the last time

The eagle takes to the skies and this time I know he is gone. He heads towards the ghost tower at tower beach and is out of site over Rehoboth Bay in under a minute. I have to get back to the parking lot, I have a beach clean up to organize, I am half mile down the beach towards Dewey Beach.

bald eagle, delaware, sussex county, delaware state parks, raptor, birds of prey, american eagle,
Eagle takes off, it was so clear in the picture you can see the towers and the dune at Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park

I went back to the group which had increased from three to thirty people and got everyone ready to clean the beach. When I went back over the dune the eagle hadn’t returned. I was happy I got that shot and the eagle finished his breakfast by the sea. I think it was also just sunning itself to dry out after catching that fish. I got about a hundred yards down the beach and heard another familiar chirp. An osprey was overhead heading to the surf to hunt, and of course the camera was in the car. It was beach cleaning time, I have all summer to catch an osprey catching its meal. Next time I am bringing a backpack for the camera. You never know what you will see when you are out and about.

Fish On!
Rich King

bald eagle, delaware, sussex county, delaware state parks, raptor, birds of prey, american eagle,
Eagle takes off, it was so clear in the picture you can see the towers and the dune at Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park

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