Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eagle Geology and a Drain Pipe Perch

On many shoreline bluff visits I observe bald eagles. We are fortunate in Washington that they have become such a common site. As common as they may be they are still fun to observe.  I spotted this eagle while walking a shoreline bluff along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and observing the steep bluff geology above me. He was in a classic perch - a wind sculpted tall mature Douglas fir near the edge of a steep high bluff.
Perfect viewing spot atop a fir.

A bit after passing by the eagle perch, I watched the eagle soar out over the water. The bird headed back with no catch, but seemed to be taking a close look at the same features I was looking at - the bluff geology.

Eagle and outwash geology of sand and gravel with rip up blocks of silt

Eagle and glacial drift 

Eagle and more drift

The eagle did not return to its tree perch, but instead alighted on a drain pipe protruding from the bluff face.
 The way the bird headed on its flight strongly suggested this was a well known perch versus a sudden interest in geology by bald eagles.

The eagle was high enough above me to not be too concerned with my presence. The bluff here is about 100 feet high. At times like this I sometimes wish I had a better camera with me. But given the rough field work I do I am fairly happy with my small point and shoot Fuji. I leave it to better equipped folks to get the really good wildlife shots.

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