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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #1
Chris
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Default Behind the scene at L&D 14

Current season eagle count by week http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missio...gleCounts.aspx
Eagle Count Archive http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missio...ntArchive.aspx
Here are some thoughts:

You will get fantastic images if you shoot on sunny days. The action can vary throughout the day, but the best light is in the afternoon with winds out of the west or south west. Eagles fly in to the wind when fishing, so the wind direction is important. Use the morning and early afternoon to practice your technique, and then get ready for some beautiful BIF. You will find some shots posted here on overcast days to show the difference. The eagle season here starts around Christmas and runs through the end of February. Of course weather is going to play a significant role in what the eagles decide to do.

Aerial view
There is a nice sized gravel parking lot right by the dam so it is easy to access the area. The access to this area is right off 67 just south of I-80. There is a bathroom near the parking lot of the dam. It's not heated and it doesn't have running water, but it works. Check out Post #166 and #1410 from Katodog for a aerial pictures and description of the area.
Lodging:

There are three hotels just north of the dam about 1-1/2 miles:
Comfort Inn and Suites
Holiday Inn Express
Super 8

From Katodog: For those who want to spend a few days out there, I would suggest staying at the Stoney Creek Inn. It's a very nice place, has a great cozy feeling to it, and they do a pretty nice continental breakfast. Rooms are cheap, and it's only about 5 minutes from the lock. It's right off of I74 on the Illinois side, you can actually see it from I74 as you go over the bridge.
It's also right next to the Rock Island Arsenal, which is a good spot to hang out for a while. When we stay at the hotel, we usually run by #15 to see what's happening out there, normally it's not all that thrilling but there's some eagles there every once in a while, and you can usually see eagles flying by the hotel too.
We stay there, eat, swim, whatever, and then just drive the short drive to the lock and shoot. When we get tired or want to take a break, we head back to the hotel. Moline has a few decent restaurants, and a few typical ones like Friday's and such. They also have the John Deere Pavilion, which, while I'm not a big fan of farm equipment, was actually pretty cool. It's well worth spending a night or two, that way if you're taking a long drive you can have a spot to sit and relax. Nice swimming pool, hot tub, bar (gotta have a bar). Well worth checking out.

From Go4EVA: For lodging, I stayed at the Holiday Inn-Express in Le Claire, Iowa -- located about 1 mile from L&D 14. Great location -- the hotel was fine -- just like any other HI-Express. BUT, be advised that there is a railroad track about 50 feet away from the hotel parking lot. The trains ran at various times all through the night, and being a light sleeper, they woke me up every single time. (As loud as they were, I think they would probably disturb heavy sleepers as well.) I asked the hotel staff if I could be moved to a room on the "opposite side" of the hotel (facing the river) in hopes of better sleeping conditions, but they refused -- even though the hotel was virtually empty. I had a AAA discount rate on the room (facing the tracks), and the river-facing rooms are "premium rate" rooms -- like another 25-30 dollars per night -- so I toughed it out. I'll definitely visit L&D 14 again some day, but I'll probably arrange another hotel that isn't so close to the railroad tracks.

From vmaiden at gmail.com: We stayed at the Super 8 , which was really the cleanest Super 8 I've ever seen, but yeah the Inn is much nicer looking.

From amyandmark3: I give a THUMBS UP to the Ramada Bettendorf for lodging (it's just off I-74 in Iowa and approx. 10 minutes from the dam) as well as the Old Chicago restaurant (right next to the Ramada - I walked to it) for its food a HUGE selection of both bottled and tap beers, not to mention the HOT bartendress!










A few getting ready for a fly by



And the gallery waiting for the performance



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Last edited by Chris : 6th of February 2014 (Thu) at 09:56. Reason: Additonal Info
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #2
andrewhuxman
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

LOL thats very cool Chris, you got me and the Eagle man himself launching .
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #3
Scott W
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Great shots, it is nice to finally see the place that we hear so much about and see all the eagle shots.
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

I just had an idea -- maybe I should go up there to IL. and sell refreshents to all the photogs -- then I could save up enough for one of those 4 and 5K plus lenses!!
On a side note -- FISH LAUNCHER !!! -- What an idea!!! -- who brings the fish to shoot out of that thing? And where do they get them?
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #5
dilorenzo1954
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Hey Chris. Nice images! We must have just missed each other on Sunday. I was there the whole day Saturday (ran into Andrew and a few other POTN'ers). Pretty nice place huh?
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #6
dilorenzo1954
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by markmizzou View Post
FISH LAUNCHER !!! -- What an idea!!! -- who brings the fish to shoot out of that thing? And where do they get them?
I think they get them at bait shops, They were bringin' them in by the bucketful.

Me? I brought Mrs Pauls fishsticks
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Hey Ed, I was there early Sunday morning and then went down to 15 for awhile and came back around 1:30. I couldn't believe how many people were there.
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Eagle man for one. I don't know where he gets the fish. They were all frozen solid when he shot them off that contraption. Maybe Andrew knows.
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Last edited by Chris : 2nd of February 2010 (Tue) at 08:04.
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #9
dilorenzo1954
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Hey Ed, I was there early Sunday morning and then went down to 15 for awhile and came back around 1:30. I couldn't believe how many people were there.
We just missed each other then! We started out at 15, saw that there wasn't much going on and then went back to 14 for a couple of hours. I was there from 5:30 on Saturday though...
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

These are great Chris & thanks showing us the behind the scenes shots. Looks like the perfect place for Eagles.
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #11
Chris
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

It really is. And even when it is very cold, you are only a short distance from the parking lot so you can warm up and get right back out. There must have been 75-100 people there yesterday. They were having some kind of event and had spotting scopes for people to look through and they were serving hot chocolate in the big building next to the parking lot.
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #12
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post




And the gallery waiting for the performance







It must have been LOUD there...
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Old 1st of February 2010 (Mon)   #13
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

WOW!!! The fish launcher is amazing!
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Old 2nd of February 2010 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Looks like a great gathering, what's the range of the fish launcher
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Old 2nd of February 2010 (Tue)   #15
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Default Re: Behind the scene at L&D 14

Wow, what a crowd. I have stood out to shoot eagles here and was the only one around. Even invited a member over from Minnesota for the day, and that made two of us. I prefer it that way.
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