Yup... that's me before I became a "troutbirder." I didn't even know what a blog was at the time. My son clued me in as a way to learn about he and his wife's activites, when they traveled to Ethiopia to adopt a child. I remember thinking "I could do this!" Start a blog that is....
March 2 2008 - "I had decided to rev up my new birding hobby by persuading my friend Gary to join me at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha for the annual Golden Eagle Count. Unfortunately, he couldn't make it so we decided to branch out on our own the following Friday. We stopped by the Eagle Center to get some ideas on routes to take where we might see the Goldens. There were learned that sixty Goldens had been spotted in Minn. Iowa, and Wisc. the previous weekend. On to Wisconsin!!
Mr Science and I made a waystop near Reeds landing on the Mississippi where we spotted six Balds and a host of the usual waterfowl including common goldeneyes and Canada geese.
Then it was across the Wabasha Bridge and south towards Alma. We turned left and headed into the coulee country east of Alma.We spotted perhaps another half of a dozen Balds in the next couple of hours before we started thinking about lunch. "Where should we go," I asked somewhat naively. "Hey every town in Wisconsin has at least one bar," I was informed.
So there ahead in the distance appeared to be a small crossroads town.
As we approached the town's outskirts I noticed some buildings and a fence line stretching toward the east. "Huge flock of crows in the trees on that fence line up ahead," I noted.As we approached the "crows" seemed to be growing in size. Stopping, we got out and scanned with our binocs. They were definitely Balds and my partner began counting till he reached over one hundred. (CLICK ON THE PICTURE AND WATCH THE CROWS TURN INTO BALD EAGLES!)
It was then that I noticed what appeared to be a hog confinement building along the road ahead of us. Also, there were lots more eagles on the ground in the alfalfa field behind the buildings and adjacent to the fence.We decided to approach closer by pulling the car ahead about a hundred yards. Now we could see clearly behind the building. There were dozens of Balds on the ground, some in a literal pile where they were swarming and jumping in the air. This scene reminded me of one of those African documentaries where vultures are seen clambering on the dead carcass of an antelope.
Finally, we left, driving into town to find (sure enough) a bar and grill. We had lunch with a view, including watching eagles flying back and forth across the deserted main street. There were also perchin right out the window on top of a Catholic Church next door to the cafe. Upon asking our waitress if seeing so many eagles was a common sight, she informed us that they were "here all winter due to the chicken farm." What an amazing day!!!! And what fun to tell all about. I was hooked and have been blogging several times a week ever since.