The weekend of November 23-24, 2013, Cheryl and I headed out about an hour east of where we live to get away for the weekend and enjoy the Bald Eagle frenzy that happens every year around here. Thousands of salmon come to the Chehalis Flats where the Fraser and Harrison Rivers meet to spawn. It’s also this time of year when the annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival goes on as well.
Around this time of year into January resident and transient eagles come by for their free buffet of food before their nesting season starts around March. Most are coming from Alaska after the salmon spawned up there and leave after the big freeze. Tons of food for all species so it is also a special time to see normally non-social raptors gets along with so many young and old.
Not that much fighting over territory here due to the abundance of food except maybe nests. Resident eagles not only get free food but have to protect and guard their nests from others flying by looking for free accommodations.
We stayed on Saturday at a very cute Inn called Rowena’s Inn. A cottage/cabin that was cozy, clean and very private in some sense.
View from our front deck at the cabin
We were delivered a bottle of wine after we arrived with an assortment of cheese and fruit. Fireplace all ready to be light with a simple swipe of a match. The view of the beautiful Sandpiper Golf Course and of course a river full of eagles, seagulls, Trumpeter Swans and spawning salmon.
My review of our cabin and stay…
We also took a jet boat tour with a famous biologist and eagle maniac David Hancock
and the our boat operators Jo-Ann and Rob Chadwick who own Fraser River Safari tours.
One of the cool fish that swim around in the Fraser River is the Sturgeon. Every year when I go out here usually there are many fisherman trying to catch these dinosaur looking fish to weigh, measure, tag if not tagged and let them go free. Here is the one we saw on the day we went out on the boat.
The weather was perfect all weekend long. We did not take the bikes we took our cager this time. Just easier sometimes to not have to lug everything on a bike, including all of Cheryl’s camera gear etc. One thing for sure that was frustrating for Cheryl was her camera lens envy. You see “real” photographers comes out this way from all over the world to see the thousands of eagles in this one magical place. Having said that we saw camera lens that were worth more than our motorcycles. Cheryl was envious of the equipment we witnessed. I mean I spoke to one guy who was using a $20,000 zoom lens.
Crazy eh? I told Cheryl if she wants a crazy ass lens like the above picture she needs to sell her pics to National Geographic. This guy said his obsession with wild life and his camera almost cost him his marriage! He was from Ontario.
You can see why we love living in BC, especially when it’s November and we get to see the sun and eagles.
Great boat ride, tons of eagles, nice lunch at the Kilby Gereral Store made for a very nice Saturday.
Oh, and me, Leslie was interviewed by a local cable channel about bird watching. Cheryl of course had to tell me I am such a nerd and attention seeker.
Yet Cheryl took a picture of this nerd in any case.
Some views from our boat tour that you just can’t get from the shore line…as we walked to the boat Cheryl got a few cool shots too from the beach area.
All those black dots are Bald Eagles…
From the boat
I only have a Bridge Canon camera but it has a decent zoom…many of these pics especially the ones from Sunday morning sunrise are all my camera. Cheryl has a nice Nikon D800 for work with a 300mm lens.
In the morning Cheryl was sleeping as I watched the sunrise on Sunday. There were so many eagles that I went into the cabin to close the window so Cheryl would not hear all the trilling coming from the trees above. Eagles love to trill and in the morning after sleeping all night they were excited to eat.
The morning proved to be much nicer than the late afternoon on Saturday. Why? Hardly anyone was up at the crack of dawn so way less people and just a handful of avid photographers, me and the eagles.
I will put the rest of the pics into a gallery but I hope by the time you get to this part of the post you have gotten a taste of what we got to see. I hope anyone reading this gets to come here at some point in your life if you love wild life. Come see this phenomenon that rarely occurs any where else in the world outside of Alaska. I hope to get out there at least one more time before all the salmon disappear but glad we were able to go out east together this year.