Sunday, January 30, 2011

New video from the Havana Nature Center

This is a new HD video containing some good pictures I took Saturday, the 29th. The eagles were not as active but with patience, we were able to get several good picture series. Click on the link below to go to the vimeo web server. There is an option on the video player on the lower right to expand to full screen. The symbol looks like four arrows pointing out to the corners. Click on it and the HD video should fill the screen. Hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed taking the pictures. Clicking on the link below should bring up the screen sampled above.

Here is a link to the new Havana Nature Center video

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A quest for the mighty eagle

Havana Nature Center

Sunday was the first of our eagle watch tours for this year 2011. We headed up to Havana about 45 miles NW of here. While it had never been very good to us in the past for eagle sightings, I saw a note on Facebook from an Illinois Audubon Society member that told of a significant number of eagles around the harbor on Bellrose Island. As we pulled into the riverfront park, we saw what was a new building to us. It was the Nature Center, new last spring. It turned out to have just what these old folks needed. The riverfront room was surrounded by windows and a full view of the river,  Bellrose Island and the marina. The viewing station was warm and there was food service. Two chili cheese dogs later, we knew this could be a new favorite for us on our eagle quest circuit. The adjoining heated full restrooms so necessary at this age, put them high on our preferences list. There is even a campground there that we will try out in the spring. They are open Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend. Look for them on FaceBook:!/pages/Havana-Nature-Center/164528800234746  They even show a count of the eagle sitings for the day.       
Here is a tip for novice eagle spotters. We sat there for over an hour and some of the time, eagles were barley visible without binoculars. Then, a couple would fly out of the trees and jostle for a captured fish. We watched an adult sparring with a juvenile for several minutes overhead and then they were gone. So, the tip is: be patient! You can't just drive up, look around and not seeing anything right there, just drive to the next spot up/down the river. Park and watch. Get out the binoculars and scour the tree tops. Once you spot some watch them for a while. There is no assurance they will leave their perch while you watch but if they do, they could easily fly just overhead and turn somersaults less than 100 ft. away! There are always some shore birds around the park so even if the eagles are hiding out on the far shore, there will still be birds to watch. If you are just learning to capture the winged wonders in flight, it is good to practice on the gulls. They will hang almost motionless in the wind 20 feet away.

When we were there, we even had entertainment to keep us occupied while the eagles were elsewhere. The lady at upper left, sang and played the guitar. Below is a slide show featuring some of the flights from the day. To start the slideshow, click on the play arrow at the lower left corner of the player below.

havana 1 2 11 from Dulany Sriner on Vimeo.