After seeing several photographs of eagles and pelicans on Facebook I decided to head up to Midland and see this park for myself.
I could tell from many of the photos that this was not a conventional park filled with hiking trails and wide swaths of woods for wandering.
But I was still surprised to find that it consisted of a parking lot on top of a high hill overlooking ponds which are part of the Dow Chemical complex.
As I drove up the hill I could see an eagle sitting in a tree.
The light wasn’t good, a bank of clouds was encroaching on the sunshine I’d left at home, two hours to the south. Still, on occassion when I first arrived, the sun broke through the clouds.
And it was windy! Between trying to focus on the eagle who flew out over the water as soon as I arrived, and trying to keep my hair out of the frame, I almost missed the pelicans swimming very close to the edge of the pond, behind the chain link fence.
While I was trying to catch an image of them, shooting through the fence, I lost track of the eagle until I heard a whole lot of eagle type noises coming from the trees.
Turns out there were three juviniles, all landing close together. I’m pretty sure one of them had a fish.
Pretty much the whole time I was there I was pointing the camera either at the water following the pelicans, or the sky trying to get a sharp image of the eagles.
I was facinated how these beautiful wild birds coexisted so well with industry.
I was unsure if the eagles coexist with each other quite as well.
Mostly the eagles soared round and round, higher and higher. I never saw any of them dive into the water, though when they were flying closer to the ponds the ducks seemed to scatter.
It was hard to keep track of the big birds, they were really very far away. Sometimes the only way I knew where they were was their noisy discussion amongst themselves.
When the sun slid out for a moment it was easier to find the adult, with his bright white head…
The whole time I was there, sitting in the car until an eagle took off from a tree, then popping out to try to get an image, I didn’t think I got anything worth looking at.
I was shooting pretty much into the light, what light there was. And the birds were so darn far away. These were all shot with my longest lens, and they are still cropped a whole lot. Hence the painterly looking images.
I think I’ll go back some day when the sun is shining brighter, and perhaps later in the day to get the sun behind me rather than shining in my eyes.
I felt lucky today that they were so active. I didn’t get the perfect eagle (or pelican for that matter) shot, but I got to see them flying, so much more fun than watching them watch me while they sit still on a branch.
None of these images are great, but I had fun, and I figured you’d have fun looking at them too.
If you’re a birder, this would be a fun place to visit with powerful binoculars. You can sit in the car and watch some amazing birds. Can’t beat it! (You might want to look at these pictures on something bigger than your phone!)