Hello, here is an eagle

I HAVE BEEN SO BUSY. I’ve been working a lot of hours over the last month or so; food has unfortunately taken a backseat. I should be able to relax after a big software release in the next week or two, just in time for wildlife baby season to really get started and take up all my free time. Fortunately the farmers market will be opening in a few weeks, which is certain to be inspiring. In the meantime, I don’t have a recipe tonight, but I did get some eagle and osprey pictures yesterday so I thought I’d share.

Saturday night I asked Mark what he wanted to do the following day and he said, “see an eagle.” As far as I know, the best chances of seeing a bald eagle in this area are Mason Neck State Park, so I suggested we go there, although on the drive there the next day, I encouraged Mark not to get his hopes up, because that’s how it is with wildlife. He insisted he was keeping his hopes up because we WOULD see an eagle. So we got to the park and headed for the lookout point where we saw an eagle about this time last year. At first we saw only omnipresent turkey vultures, but within three minutes of our arrival, Mark’s eagle arrived.

I guess there’d been no need for the “don’t get your hopes up” speech.

Although I see them with some regularity these days, eagles never fail to instill a sense of awe in me. I know that as a product of the ’80s I abuse the word “awesome” but bald eagles truly are awesome in every sense of the word.

After landing (on the exact same branch we saw him or a friend last year), he sat there for a good long time and preened. He’s all convoluted in this shot!

After watching the eagle for a while we decided to head to the other side of Belmont Bay to see if they’d cleaned up Occoquan Bay NWR of all the accumulated trash the day before as their website had promised. (They had, thankfully!) This time of year you are guaranteed to see a lot of nesting ospreys at Occoquan; no worries about dashed hoped there. This one is returning to the nest with half of a fish plucked from the bay.

And this one is working on his nest.

We also saw tons of painted turtles sunning on one of the first truly nice days of the year.

Ordinarily I’d have tried to look this bird up in one of my books, but I just didn’t have time, so I’m not sure what it is, but I thought it was cute.

In non-wildlife news, we went to see the physicist Brian Greene speak in McLean a couple of weekends ago. Which is relevant to this blog because he’s a long-time vegan!

I had him sign one of my books, and Pig got himself involved. Brian said it was very nice meeting me and my pig!

Finally, Torticia.


  1. Catofstripes Said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 5:24 am

    Lovely pictures, I especially like the one of turtles.

  2. Jain Said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    Great bird shots! I especially liked the convoluted eagle and the osprey with half-fish (with a nod to the fish). I’m not expert at waders–or birds for that matter–but your mystery bird might be a Greater (length 14”) or Lesser (10.5”) Yellowlegs.

    Brian is clearly pleased to be in the presence of Pig!

  3. renae Said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    Thank you, Catofstripes!

    And thank you, Jain, as well! I think you are right about the bird and both of them on are the bird list for the refuge. He looked fairly small to me so I’m going to go with Lesser Yellowlegs.

  4. Jes Said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

    I was thinking Wilson’s Snipe…but he does look like a yellow legs too! (Snipe: http://www.pbase.com/silverbowff/image/106094839)

    And holy batman eagle photos! Amazing!!

    I’m with you in the work hole, I have big dreams of updating my blog. Hmm.

  5. Josiane Said,

    April 9, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

    I love how confident Mark was that you would see an eagle that day – and I love even more that it turned out his confidence was justified!

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