This day was our Mother’s Day & Father’s Day Gift from Roy & Deb.
They know how much I enjoy bird-watching, so they planned a morning of looking for eagles and other wildlife at Conowingo Dam – not far from their house.
They live in Amish Country – about an hour south of us – so we knew we would see some Amish buggies. I took this picture through the front window – from the back seat of their Jeep – the strange, light marking was a necklace hanging on the rearview mirror. 🙂
It looks like little brother gets to sit between his sisters. 🙂
As we arrived at the dam, we knew immediately that we would see black vultures as they were everywhere.
Description from the Internet: The Conowingo Dam is a large hydroelectric dam in the lower Susquehanna River near the town of Conowingo, Maryland. The medium-height, masonry gravity dam is one of the largest non-federal hydroelectric dams in the U.S.
Description also fom the Internet: The dam has 53 flood control gates – starting at the northeastern end of the powerhouse and spanning the majority of the dam. The flood gates are operated by three overhead cranes.
We found a picnic table and adjusted our eyes to the area – scanning the island across the river for bald eagles. Roy and Cerwin had binoculars. Deb and I had 300 power lenses on our camera. I didn’t see any eagles but snapped a picture of these fishermen while the others tried to spot an eagle’s white head. When I cropped this photo I noticed an eagle. 🙂 Look on the upper center.
I did see this one – on the far right – along with a great blue heron on the left and a vulture to the left of the eagle.
These vultures looked kind of pretty in silhouette – as pretty as a vulture can look. 🙂
There were probably three dozen flying, sitting, and hopping around us.
It was a beautiful morning to have breakfast along the river. Deb made bacon and egg sandwiches and fruit salad.
She also brought pastry to go with our coffee.
Cerwin took this picture of me – with his cell phone.
We had many opportunities to take pictures of herons as several flew and fished along our side of the shore.
This vulture was standing in a water puddle along the sidewalk as we walked toward the dam.
It was a good morning for fishing.
This man was pleased with his catch – especially the two catfish. He thought they weighed about 20 pounds each.
Later in the day we heard that someone caught a forty pound catfish further up river.
This fisherman was also pleased with his catch.
I think he said they were striper.
While we were near the dam someone noticed the eagle sitting on this cement piece jutting out from the dam.
We had seen two eagles fly across the river and knew they had to be in the trees above us. Deb found this one. (We didn’t have opportunity to catch a shot of them flying.)
The security guard told us that there are 150 bald eagles in the area – but today didn’t seem like they were going to be active. Roy and Deb had been here on Mother’s Day and said there were so many they lost count. November is also supposed to be a good time for spotting eagles.
While we kept looking for eagles, we took pictures of other bird activity.
Just as I snapped this picture the vulture flew away. A full-grown vulture has a 59″ wing span.
For some reason the vultures began gathering on Roy and Deb’s Jeep. 🙂
Roy walked over to take a picture.
We were surprised that they didn’t fly away as Roy got closer to the Jeep.
He pretended that it was standing on his hand.
We yelled, “Grab it’s leg.” 🙂
The security guard told us – and the other photographers – to wait until 10:00 o’clock when they were supposed to change the water flow through the flood gates. He said that sometimes stirs up the birds.
They did not open the gates on this day, but we did get to photograph and eagle flying over us.
Deb located it in the trees near us.
Then as we prepared to leave, we noticed a vulture eating some of the bread from my sandwich. I had thrown some of it on the rocks near our table.
This one posed nicely on the fence as I walked toward it.
From here we decided to go to a wildlife sanctuary about 13 miles away – according to our cell phones, but when Roy put it in his GPS, it said it was forty miles away. We headed that way, thinking it would adjust, but we seemed to be driving away from where we wanted to go – so changed course and went to the restaurant Roy had previously chosen for lunch. (Pictures about that tomorrow night.)
After lunch Roy touched the exact location on his GPS so it would take us directly to the sanctuary. We soon knew why the GPS wanted to make it a forty-mile trip. We ended up at Aberdeen Proving Ground – a United States Army facility.
When we pulled up to the gate, Roy said, “We are not where we want to be.” The man called in another soldier who listened to Roy’s explanation, and allowed us to turn around. 🙂