HK Builds His Nest

HK Builds His Nest

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Encounter with HK 12.26.15

I took a chance the day after Christmas and drove to Honey Bee. I only had about an hour before guests arrived for dinner, but decided to take the chance. Luck was with me as HK was in the Osprey nest tower surrounded by fog.

I drove to another side, hoping the light was better. It was....slightly.

After several minutes, HK flew down a fairway and landed in a dead tree.

I drove around a very long block and was able to relocate him in a dead snag where I have seen eagles perched several times. Reluctantly,  I had to leave the car, which I use as a shield. Fortunately, this day, HK cooperated and never moved.  I was able to take a series of portrait type photos and to change locations while doing so.

It was a chance encounter but I felt exhilarated, as I left him in that tree.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

HK. 12.23.15.

Not a lot of time during the busy holiday season, but I took a break and drove to Honey Bee hoping to catch an eagle. This is the 3rd day of gray, misty, rainy skies.
HK was in the second Osprey nest right at the Honey Bee entrance. The day was drawing to an end, so I parked and mostly just watched him. I was hoping another eagle might show, but it didn't happen.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

HK and Sterling. 12.22.15.

I received a report of 2 Bald Eagles on the towers on S. Independence this morning. It was a couple of hours before I could get out there but, sure enough, HK was on one tower and Sterling was on the other. Another day of fog, mist, and rain.
Here is HK.

And, the lovely Sterling.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

HK in the nest and elsewhere. 12.16.15.

It's no secret that I love to see HK in the nest he built at Honey Bee. He was right there when I went to Honey Bee this morning.

He had some food in there and spent over an hour eating a leisurely breakfast and popping up and looking around.

 At one point, a second eagle flew high overhead, and HK chattered a warning....or maybe a greeting?

Then, HK abruptly left. But, that's how I determined his identity!

I was immediately able to relocate him in a nearby tower.

He left there after just a few minutes.

HK flew up, up, and away. And I left for a bird count at Stumpy Lake, also hoping I might find him there. But I didn't.
I returned to Honey Bee on my way home, and there was an Eagle in the cell tower. I assumed it was HK also.

I watched for a while, but I had family obligations at home, so I left him there and snapped the last pic on my way out of the condo neighborhood.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HK Tower Hopping, 12.8.15

When I found HK this morning, he was in the nest, of all places!

He moved briefly out to a branch.

And flew to a nearby tower.

He spent the rest of the morning hopping from tower to tower.

Eventually, HK flew and caught a thermal way, way up... and flew out of sight.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

HK: December 2, 2015

I am back from Thanksgiving in Florida and wanted to get out right away to find HK. The Bald Eagles in Florida are mating and laying eggs already! An exciting time!
It was foggy, then very overcast but it only took a little bit of searching; HK showed up on the original Osprey nest tower. He did some squawking.

And a lot of just looking around.

HK jumped in the nest a few times.

After over three hours of this, he flew at dusk.  I was able to quickly relocate him in his nest tree. Photographing was tough in the rapidly fading light, but he was quite cooperative.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

HK and the return of Sterling: 11.18.15

It took a while, but the beautiful Sterling has returned to the area and has been seen in the company of handsome HK.
With the local temperature in the 70's, it was a great afternoon to go "eagling" in Virginia Beach.
As I drove down S. Independence Blvd., I could easily see 2 Bald Eagles in the original Osprey nest tower. As I got close and parked, it looked like HK and Sterling. And after sneaking a look at some photos, I was reasonably sure that it was. Sterling on the left.

HK left first, and I was able to snap a shot for his positive ID. Sterling stayed for 35 minutes, then she took flight. She sure looks great in the air!

I drove around for a bit, hoping to relocate at least one of them. Eventually, I did spot HK in the yard of a nice lady who I had visited before, who lives on the golf course. I was able to get a few quick photos of HK perched.

Then, true to form, HK took off! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

HK and a Eagle Youngster

I spent about 90 minutes tracking HK around the golf course today after being sick for over a week. I first found him in a familiar tree, yelling.

 The source of HK's displeasure was a Bald Eagle youngster, who left almost immediately.

HK took off also, but I was able to relocate him on the golf course. He posed nicely for some distant, portrait shots in fading light.

I left him there. Maybe he'll still be there the next time!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Just HK (with a bit of blood)

It took a while to locate HK this afternoon. Finally,  I just sat in the car on Ware Neck Drive where I could see down the North Landing River to a few of his favorite perches. I heard eagle chatter before I saw one. But, I made one out heading fast towards the original Osprey nest with the binoculars. So, pedal to the metal, I drove around the block to S. Independence. And, there was HK in the original Osprey nest. He seemed nervous and perhaps in a defensive posture. I drove up and stayed in the car so as not to spook him. It was GREAT to have a spot of blue sky!

HK looked back and forth and up and down. I took this next shot and realized as peeked at it (I usually don't do this, but I wanted to check my ISO setting) that he seemed to have blood on his head.

I couldn't tell if it was a gash or from a previous meal. But, then HK took off and flew down the driving range.

 I drove to the clubhouse to see if I could get a closer look at HK's head (I'm a wildlife rehabilitator, so I wanted to check him out). But, he was still too far away. This is a full frame shot.

I left after an hour and a half, with HK still perched in the same tree. Hope he is ok. Be healthy, HK.

Monday, October 12, 2015

HK and the sun is shining!

FINALLY a bright, sunny day. HK was perched on the outside of the original Osprey nest tower. I took a quick photo and moved to a parking lot where the lighting was a little better, even though a bit further away.

Just as I arrived at the new location, another photographer pulled up to where I had been, got out of his truck, and HK flew. I still managed a couple of flight photos from my SUV window.
 Blue sky and sunshine are a great combination!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

HK and Sterling: Together Again

We had to cut our vacation short due to a possible hurricane, so before the weather changed dramatically, I headed out to check on things at Honey Bee. As I turned onto S. Independence, I could see HK in the original Osprey nest. As I pulled up, he promptly took off.

It was another 2 hours before I found him again AND.........HK was with Sterling (although I was unsure about that at the time)! Here, they look at each other.

And here, they look away and around.

HK suddenly dove down to the first fairway on the golf course, and I broke into a run.

I ran between a couple of trees to see if I could spot him, and twisted my knee in the process. HK had stolen something from a larger bird, maybe a gull, and was about ready to take off.

I got off a few shots. This was my favorite. I could not determine what the prey was. HK flew off and did not land back in the Osprey nest.

Now to determine if this was actually Sterling. I was pretty sure it was, based on several years of observing her. I just sat and waited for her to leave. And she did not disappoint.

There was her single, silver USGS band gleaming in the overcast conditions. Great to see you, my pretty!