It was a cold day but thankfully only slight winds. Both feedings drew roughly 50 birds and there was a great deal of ground activity. Reports were received of the peregrine making an appearance on Fred Thomas Road and a red tailed hawk was sited doing a flyby at the eagle site.
The eagles came down at both feedings 5 to 10 minutes after I drove off the site.
The glut of chicken has started as I picked up 12 buckets today. I'll do two feedings tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:30.
Snow!! At last we got some snow. However, as the wind was moderate and from the north it meant the photographers took up position on the western side of the field next to the house to avoid getting snow on their lenses. This meant a new configuration for the feeding which I wasn't sure would work.
The first feeding at 8:30 went well. There were about 30 birds and with visibility poor due to the snow we had very few incomers. This happens when birds away from the site see eagles or crows circling and decide to join the party. We had some good ground and aerial action with one eagle dragging a chicken to within about 50 feet of the photographers. We had half a dozen viewers for this session.
The 10:30 feeding saw about the same number of eagles but double the viewers. There was pretty good action both in the air and on the ground. Both sessions also showed an increase in the number of crows and ravens - almost as many as there were eagles.
I am going for two feedings tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:30. Beyond that I'm not sure. Two barns should come back into production next week but we will lose at least four as the chicken goes to market. This may give us a short term glut of large birds but then I will receive nothing from these barns for two weeks.
If the cold weather remains I can store the chicken for longer but if it gets warmer I either use them or lose them, so to speak. The cycle in the barns augers well for the two Eagle Watch weekends but we may have feast and famine in the meantime.
It turned out to be a very good day with two feedings and lots of visitors. In the past I have put out three buckets of food for the early feeding and two for the later feeding. I decided to mix it up today because we have been getting more eagles for the second feeding than the first.
It was +2 and overcast at 8:30 and even before I had driven my vehicle back onto the road the eagles had come down and were already feeding on the ground. It was a good display of both ground and aerial feeding. The light winds were from the northeast so the flight tended to be across the site or away from the line of photographers. There were about 15 visitors at this time.
The three buckets for the second feeding were distributed by about 10:40 but there was not the mad dash to feed as there had been at the earlier time. Still, after about 15 minutes he action started. I estimated 50+ eagles and one of the photographers suggested the number was over 60. There were over 35 people as well. As the temperature was up to +5 we were all quite comfortable. The second display was exceptional with a fair bit of roughhouse on the ground to go along with the flying display.
There is a storm forecast for tomorrow and we could have snow on the ground in the morning. It doesn't look too severe a storm so I shall again have feedings at 8:30 and 10:30 and use the same feeding strategy as today.
Two feedings proceeded today. The first was at 8:30 under heavily overcast skies yielding poor light. The temperature was 0 degrees and winds were very light. It was a particularly good session which kicked off 5 - 10 minutes after I left the field at about 8:40. Lots of aerial action was followed by extensive ground action with 25 birds on the ground at one point. This was aided by 3 or 4 large chickens which could not be taken on the wing. There were about a dozen photographers present.
The second feeding took place at 10:30 and I was off the field by 10:35. A layer of cloud cover had gone making for brighter condition. The temperature was up to 3 degrees. The eagles were a bit slower to commence feeding and it was 10-15 minutes before they came down. There were no large chickens so most of the action was aerial with only a handful of eagles on the ground toward the end of the session.
There were about forty eagles by my count though one photographer thought that estimate to be conservative. The mild weather may have suppressed numbers in that more food is available in the wild and less energy is expended by the eagles to keep warm. Also, I suspect that we have yet to see the full impact of the annual migration to the area.
My stocks caught up today as I took in more than I threw out, so there will be two feedings again tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:30. I am reserving judgment on Sunday until the weather outlook is more certain.
Just the one feeding today at 9:00. It was mild at +2 but the wind from the west was moderate gusting to strong and if felt colder than the temperature would indicate. It was cloudy with some sunny spells.
There were about 45 eagles on site and a dozen or so spectators/photographers. Action began fairly quickly and within forty-five minutes the food was gone.
I will have two feedings tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:30 and hope to be in a position to have two feedings at the weekend as well. I will confirm tomorrow.
Happy New Year, Happy New Decade!
It was murky in the early morning, overcast and about +1 degrees with light winds from the west gusting to moderate.
The first feeding at 9:00 was good: circling eagles before I left the field and all out activity within five minutes. In all there were about 35 eagles and 4 hearty photographers: all female (the photographers that is!) I finally found Starr who favoured me with a Robin's card again this year. Thanks, Starr.
Now we come to the second feeding at 11:00 which was not a roaring success, even though the sun made an appearance. On a positive note the eagle numbers had grown to about 45 and the onlookers to about a dozen. The bad news that after forty-five minutes the eagles had barely done a flyby. I left in search of more chicken and returned at 12:40 to catch the tail end of the feeding which had commenced about 10 minutes earlier. I don't quite know what to make of the delayed response from the eagles but cling to the positive that they at least stayed around. That's more than can be said of the onlookers, most of whom gave up and missed the late show.
The other bad news is that I did not replace the chickens I threw out so tomorrow will revert to a single feeding at 9:00.