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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 18 Jan 2015 (Sunday) 18:25
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Best eagle spotting on the West Coast?

 
WebDevGuy
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Feb 18, 2015 01:52 as a reply to  @ post 17435904 |  #16

Wow that Luecistc Bald Eagle pic is awesome! What camera/lens did you use? Can you tell me where you saw it? I want to try to go see it sometime.


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Feb 20, 2015 20:02 |  #17

I was taken there by a local photographer, 7dII, AND 100-400 II or 500 II, depending on which shot your looking out. Was pretty impressed with the 7dII+100-400II COMBO. Was awesome to see and even more awesome to get some good shots NOT ON A TELEPHONE POLE, like most shots I've seen.


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Evan
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Feb 21, 2015 12:48 |  #18

I understand that this is a bit late, but the Columbia River basin, specifically the lower 10-mile section from Knappa, Oregon to the Columbia River bar is an Eagle hot spot year round. The Bald Eagle population has exploded in the area in recent years due to the fact that they have begun preying on the Caspian Tern rookery that is a couple miles up river of the bar, located on man made dredge spoils in the middle of the river. Salmon runs have also returned record numbers in the past few years, which concentrates the Bald Eagles into the upstream tributaries to feed on the carcasses during the spring and fall runs.

A side bonus is that birding in the area is fabulous year round. If anyone would like some birding hot spots in this area, feel free to PM me at any time.


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Feb 21, 2015 22:44 |  #19

Evan wrote in post #17442547 (external link)
I understand that this is a bit late, but the Columbia River basin, specifically the lower 10-mile section from Knappa, Oregon to the Columbia River bar is an Eagle hot spot year round. The Bald Eagle population has exploded in the area in recent years due to the fact that they have begun preying on the Caspian Tern rookery that is a couple miles up river of the bar, located on man made dredge spoils in the middle of the river. Salmon runs have also returned record numbers in the past few years, which concentrates the Bald Eagles into the upstream tributaries to feed on the carcasses during the spring and fall runs.

A side bonus is that birding in the area is fabulous year round. If anyone would like some birding hot spots in this area, feel free to PM me at any time.

Super cool! I took note. :) I may just go.


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Feb 24, 2015 20:58 |  #20

snowblower wrote in post #17408097 (external link)
The Carson Valley (south of Carson City) in Nevada is a good place to. Best time of year is starting in February to the end of March.


Hey Im from so cal and ive been meaning to visit a friend in sacramento. Going here to see the Bald Eagles would be the perfect motivator to finally get me up there!

Any other info you can give me on the area up there and what to expect would be much appreciated. Im looking the place up now, it sounds pretty interesting.

So now would be the perfect time to go there huh? And I just got a new sigma 500 lens! I gotta go!


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snowblower
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Feb 26, 2015 13:31 as a reply to  @ oscardog's post |  #21

On a normal year this area is loaded with eagles from end of January to the middle of March. I have spent two complete weekends there including last weekend are and the Eagles are almost non-existent. Don't know if it's the warm weather or lack of water (snow/rain) but they just not here this year. I would not plan to come because I think you would be wasting your time. I only saw 3 eagles last weekend and I was out searching for 8 - 10 hours both days. Hopefully it turns around next year because this is sad to see.


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Feb 26, 2015 15:44 as a reply to  @ snowblower's post |  #22

Oh wow, really! Damn I was all set to come up this weekend. But it sounds like you looked a lot for some Bald Eagles and only saw a few, and it is a long drive for me.

I was wondering what area of the valley you were? I had read that Jack's Valley Road was a good place to spot them in the agriculture fields out there.

I'll probably take your word for it and give it a try next year. Thanks for the info and letting me know this place even existed. It sounds pretty amazing!


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Feb 26, 2015 22:07 |  #23

oscardog wrote in post #17451259 (external link)
Oh wow, really! Damn I was all set to come up this weekend. But it sounds like you looked a lot for some Bald Eagles and only saw a few, and it is a long drive for me.

I was wondering what area of the valley you were? I had read that Jack's Valley Road was a good place to spot them in the agriculture fields out there.

I'll probably take your word for it and give it a try next year. Thanks for the info and letting me know this place even existed. It sounds pretty amazing!

Because of some nice suggestions on this thread, last week I went up to Lower Klamath, near the border of CA and OR. It's about 5 hrs from Sacramento. We saw over 25 eagles! But it's really hit or miss. If you go try to find a field they recently flooded. That's where we saw most of them. Here's 2 pics I took...

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8650/16608238041_9c2c0815d0_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/riBy​xK  (external link) Perching Bald Eagle - Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (external link) by RG (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7410/16411540408_733baf1896_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/r1er​cf  (external link) Bald Eagle in Flight - Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (external link) by RG (external link), on Flickr

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Feb 26, 2015 22:11 as a reply to  @ WebDevGuy's post |  #24

.

That's awesome work, Robert!

Would you mind sharing a few of the practical details about your Klamath trip; where you stayed, where you ate, etc? That info could help some of us who go there ourselves.

Thanks!


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Feb 26, 2015 22:27 |  #25

Tom Reichner wrote in post #17451743 (external link)
.

That's awesome work, Robert!

Would you mind sharing a few of the practical details about your Klamath trip; where you stayed, where you ate, etc? That info could help some of us who go there ourselves.

Thanks!

Thanks Tom!

We stayed at the Holiday Inn at Klamath Falls (OR) for one evening: http://www.ihg.com …h-falls/lmtrt/hoteldetai​l (external link) . It was only like 1/2 hr from Lower Klamath. It was a pretty nice place! The lady at the desk said that the week before was the Winter Wings Festival and she heard that several eagles were spotted nearby, at Upper Klamath. But we didn't see any. We saw all of our eagles over at Lower Klamath. There is a 10 mile auto route that you can take (gravel roads). There is a stretch of trees (willow trees maybe) near the intersection of highway 161. We saw our first eagle here. At first we only saw a few eagles flying or perching in the FAR distance. But, then we encountered one road (near the end of our drive) where the fields were recently flooded. This is where we saw many eagles! There were many photo opps on this road. In fact, once we were driving and flying right in front of us, at eye level, were 5 hawks that kept diving (they were hunting by sound). It was amazing! This year has been rather warm so the birds are more scattered. I heard that when everything is frozen over the eagles will congregate together more, looking to hunt on the ice, etc.... I heard there are over 400 eagles that migrate here each year. We definitely will go back! At first, we were disappointed because we saw very little. But then, when we hit that one road, it was 100% worth it! We also saw a few golden eagles as well. Many, many hawks. Also, one falcon too....

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8569/16421618279_e019b712b6_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/r285​ZD  (external link) Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) - Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (external link) by RG (external link), on Flickr

I suggest hitting Tule Lake also, which is only a few minutes away. Also their visitor center is the main one for Klamath, if I'm not mistaken. We didn't have time to really see Tule Lake this trip. I hope this helps! :)

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Feb 27, 2015 01:12 as a reply to  @ WebDevGuy's post |  #26

Thanks, Robert!

I am familiar with the refuges at Klamath, I just wanted to know abou tyour trip, so that I might learn something for my next time down. Your info is helpful - thanks!

Its awesome that you were able to get such a god capture of a falcon.......I have never seen one there, much less photographed one. Great work!

Were the ducks and geese there in great numbers, or have the largest masses not yet arrived?


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Feb 27, 2015 01:14 |  #27

Tom Reichner wrote in post #17451915 (external link)
Thanks, Robert!
Were the ducks and geese there in great numbers, or have the largest masses not yet arrived?

Thanks! Yes there were lots! Especially Snow Geese! Here's a pic....

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7346/16573061816_324e0ee47b_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/rfvg​T7  (external link) Thousands of Snow Geese - Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (external link) by RG (external link), on Flickr

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Feb 27, 2015 05:31 as a reply to  @ WebDevGuy's post |  #28

I lived in Klamath Falls for a year and tried to bird at least twice a week through the entire klamath basin. One day would be designated to the North end, one day to the South. Working like that, I managed to find an average of one Prairie Falcon per month. I wasn't going out of my way to look for them in their habitat, so someone who was could probably find them weekly. Most of the Prairies I saw were located North of Upper Klamath along the farm fields of Modoc Point road. Guess what I'm trying to say is give those Peregrines an extra careful look. :)


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Feb 27, 2015 11:29 |  #29

Evan wrote in post #17452041 (external link)
I lived in Klamath Falls for a year and tried to bird at least twice a week through the entire klamath basin. One day would be designated to the North end, one day to the South. Working like that, I managed to find an average of one Prairie Falcon per month. I wasn't going out of my way to look for them in their habitat, so someone who was could probably find them weekly. Most of the Prairies I saw were located North of Upper Klamath along the farm fields of Modoc Point road. Guess what I'm trying to say is give those Peregrines an extra careful look. :)

What a cool year you must've had!!!! :)


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Mar 06, 2015 01:48 as a reply to  @ oscardog's post |  #30

I was all over the valley west and south of Gardnerville. The eagles are typically in the area between Genoa Lane and Mottsville Lane. I finally found eagles nesting in trees on the southside of Genoa Lane east of the Carson River but they were too far away for me and I use an EF 800mm f5.6 prime lens for wildlife. Very little out there that has longer reach and clarity than that lens but I might have been able to get a few shots if I had a crop body (only have full frames). Time to move on to something else and hope they return next year.


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