Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Field Trip To Buffalo City

We have been experiencing extraordinary numbers of Bald Eagles flying below Lock & Dam #4 on the Mississippi River in Alma, Wisconsin. From the Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center's viewing deck our daily counts are ranging from 80 to 100. The City of Alma eagle count is between 120 and 160 daily.

Knowing that Alma was not alone in this abundance, I decided to take a field trip and drive to Buffalo City, just a few miles south. Turning right on County Hwy OO off of Wisconsin State Hwy 37, I entered one of my favorite drives for Bald Eagle watching because the road closely parallels the Mississippi River backwaters for about 8 miles.

I was not disappointed. During my drive time of an hour along the river I counted 215 Bald Eagles in the trees, on the ice and flying overhead. If time would have allowed, I could have sat for hours and watched the eagles.

Photo opportunities along this stretch of road require preparation because you are so close to the eagles, many of them are just a few feet away from you. Walking up or driving your car by them causes the eagles to fly away.

You have to have your camera ready, your window down and embrace "drive by" photography. Lots of photos are no good, but you can achieve some real gems with patience and perseverance. I often drive the stretch of road picking the areas where I want to take pictures and then return with camera at the ready.
If you live in the Buffalo County, Wisconsin area or nearby don't miss the opportunity for outstanding Bald Eagle viewing at the Wings Over Alma Nature & Art Center or along the Mississippi River in Buffalo City.

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