Eagles and Gulls on the Illinois River [with video!]

Today we participated in a Rockford Bird Club (NCIOS) sanctioned field trip to Starved Rock State Park (near LaSalle/Peru, Illinois) to search for odd gulls and Bald Eagles. Of course the wind was blowing hard, making for a fun battle against the cold to filter through the hordes of gulls.

But before the search could fully begin, we discovered that our Canon was missing a crucial piece of equipment necessary for digiscoping. No CF card. Yes, our camera was without our 8 GB memory card and no backup was in the camera bag.

Thus, our digiscoping was cut short, with our backup (Nikon point-and-shoot) quickly running out of battery power. The trip was still fun with plenty of gulls to view and an extraordinary amount of Bald Eagles. A Thayer’s Gull was the best find of the bunch, the majority of the gulls being Herrings.

This video clip shows a mini Eagle battle with a juv. taking control of a fishy snack and not willing to turn it over to the rest of the gang. [Near the end of the video, watch for the “Bald Eagle butt-waggle”]

The lock was iced over but still in full operation. One barge went through which provided a lot of excitement for the large crowd, including the gulls that were looking for fish fragments.
Starved Rock Lock (Illinois River)

6 thoughts on “Eagles and Gulls on the Illinois River [with video!]

  1. We’ve done the missing card trick before, d’oh! Now I carry spare CF and SD cards in my daypack as standard equipment. Love the butt wiggle, eagle’s got some moves! 😀

  2. That totally reminds me of one chilly winter day in Lawrence Kansas… before ever thinking of birding. I read in the paper one day it was a cool free thing to do, so I grabbed my 33mm film (wow that’s old) camera and my puny 80-200mm lens and attempted some shots down on the Kansas river. All I ended up with were dark blobs in the trees across the river. But it was a beautiful day and I kind of saw the eagles 🙂

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