To some, our early morning walks in the local "Wounded Wetlands" might seem to be a dreadful waste of time. We usually start out on the three mile route about a half hour before sunrise. Mary Lou and I walk together briskly the first half mile. It is too dark to see any birds, but I usually can identify a handful by their calls and songs-- mockingbirds, cardinals, catbirds, jays and doves.
The sky lightens up and I fall behind as Mary Lou continues her pace. I may hear the song of a Carolina Wren...
...or the calls of an Eastern Towhee:
However, on the morning of January 31, I covered the first half mile in quite a hurry, not wanting to repeat my experience only 2 moons ago on December 3, when I tarried and nearly missed the setting of the SuperMoon.
The night before, from our back yard, I had watched it rise over the lake:
The sky was dark but crystal clear. It was a perfect morning to see the third consecutive Super Moon and the second to appear in January-- a Blue Super Moon! But there is more-- it will also be in partial eclipse and its penumbra will turn red as it approaches the horizon-- a Blood Moon.
At 6:38 AM the deepening penumbra mostly involves the upper left edge of the full Moon, and exhibits no color:
The Moon was scheduled to set at 7:06 AM, only one minute after sunrise. Half way to the lake, the sky was already lightening and the rays of the Moon were taking on a yellowish hue. My pace quickened:
The view from the lake shore:
By 6:59 AM the penumbra covered the Moon and the umbra had progressed to about 20%:
Bt 7:02 AM over a third of the Moon's surface was in darkness:
Within two minutes it sunk out of sight as the sun rose:
Later that morning I checked on the local Bald Eagle nest. Their first egg presumably hatched on January 11, based upon ground observations that it had been laid 35 days previously, on or about December 7.
The adults were seen feeding one or more eaglets over the next two weeks, but the rim of the nest is very high and one chick did not become visible until January 28. I watched the nest from about 9:00 AM until 9:45. When I arrived the female (Jewel) was sitting rather deep in the nest:
She never looked down to tend or feed any offspring. so I thought they had just been fed and were probably sleeping. After about 20 minutes I walked back to the car and was ready to attend to other chores. No sooner had I closed the car door when the male (Pride) flew in, carrying a large white bird (an adult White Ibis).
I reached for the camera but was too late to get a photo before he landed on the nest. Pride is on the right:
Jewel promptly flew up to roost just above the nest:
Pride got right to work, tearing at and "butchering" the prey. Very soon a curious little fuzzy "Bobble-head" appeared...
...and waited patiently to be fed something which does not appear to be a tasty morsel:
To date, the suspected second eaglet has not been seen, and I saw no evidence that another was being fed.
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display