I arrived at the viewing site just after 8 a.m. this morning. The light was glorious, but a look at the Accuweather website assured me that it wouldn’t last, nor would the perfect weather. Rain was expected around 9:00, accompanied by high winds and a precipitous drop in temperature. But for the moment, everything was perfect. I dragged out my largest Manfrotto tripod, equipped with a fluid head designed for large camcorders, and mounted my Celestron C-6 astronomical telescope. I attached my Nikon N60 35mm film camera to a T-adapter and screwed it in place on the telescope. This gave me an f/10 1500mm telephoto lens – lots of magnification, but limited to bright conditions. I figured on having about 45 minutes of light, if I was lucky.
Just as I got the camera mounted, the female eagle (I think) came flying toward the nest. I had taken a couple of pictures of the male inside the nest, but only his head was visible. Over the next 45 seconds, I got a couple of usable shots. Then it was over. The female dropped a large stick into the nest, hopped up onto the edge, and flew off.
For the next hour and 15 minutes, I waited for the eagle’s return, expecting the clouds, wind, and rain to descend upon us at any minute. While waiting, I mounted a 2x telextender between the scope and the camera body, providing a few shots at a 3000mm focal length in which the frame couldn’t hold the entire image of the nest.
These shots aren’t the best, but they do show more detail than any I’ve taken at this site before. Eventually, the female eagle arrived again, this time with food. I got a few more shots, and as the rain held off, I was able to stay at the site until nearly 10:00 a.m. By this time, the clouds were descending, and I got packed up just in time to beat the rain. Here are a few of the photos: