Monday, October 28, 2013

Butterfly and Bald Eagles at the Beach

We got our act together a little late today, and wandered down to the beach around 10:30.  Today's weather is significantly warmer than yesterday's, pushing 60 F.   The skies are partly cloudy, but the wind is down after last night's strong breezes.
As you can see, the tide is up, and getting around the gray cliff was impossible without getting wet feed, and we declined. Georgia got a bit of a lead on me this morning, as I got distracted... this Common Buckeye up in the dunes.  I had to chase it a little, and sneak up without casting a shadow on it and spooking it.  It's not as nice a setting as the one I photographed down at Buzz's, but it's still a pretty specimen, and butterflies are getting harder and harder to find.
Bald Eagles, however, are not.  Even in this short walk we saw 4 different eagles.  This one looks like it has almost finished molting into adult plumage; it still has some mottling on the underside of its wings, and the tail isn't the pure white of most adults.
But it settled in the big Sweetgum tree that overlooks the cliffs down near the Calvert Beach steps with another eagle.  Do you see the other eagle through the leaves?

There was another pair that we've seen recently down near the harbor mouth.  Neither area was occupied by eagles much last fall or winter.  Are they new pairs trying to push into the cracks between older pairs?

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