The depth of the snow caught me off guard this morning as travel was difficult on snow packed and slippery roads. Not surprisingly I was the only one at the site for the 9:30 feeding. Visibility was poor and the only eagle I saw was a juvenile flying to the site as I left to do my barn run. Given the state of the roads it was an hour before I returned and by then all the chicken was gone. Visibility had improved and I spotted about a dozen eagles in the trees but suspect that it took more than that the clean up the food.
I was a few minutes late for the 11:30 feeding having got stuck behind a snow plough. The dozen or so eagles were still in the trees and I had the company of a single photographer. The snow had turned to sleet by this time and though it was mild it was not a very pleasant morning.
The aerial display started very quickly and was a decent show. By the end there were about 40 eagles at the site and they got stuck in on the ground quite quickly. Most of the action was in the air, though there wasn't much taking of chicken on the wing. There were, however, several attempts to carry off chicken with the ensuing chase. The action on the ground was relatively tame.
I am very much aware that the time is ticking down for the eagle watch season. While I would love to have a decent attendance to send the eagles back to their nesting grounds I appreciate that social distancing is an issue. There is a fair amount of space at the site so that I think we can spread ourselves adequately thinly provided that we're not overwhelmed by numbers. However, safety must be everyone's primary concern.
I am pretty much committed now to the two feedings at 9:30 and 11:30 so I'll be there either way.
Malcolm lives in Sheffield Mills and is our resident eagle feeder. He feeds the eagles daily and has a unique relationship with these large birds. These are his adventures!