For those wanting to photograph Bald Eagles or waterfowl, the winter of 2012 has been frustrating. The mild winter has failed to push the birds south or to concentrate them. For me, it has also been hampering my need to test a new camera body. So, earlier this week, my patient spouse agreed to a two-day visit to the Delaware River around Lackawaxen. We saw Bald Eagles but never close enough for any interesting images. We met some nice people and stayed in a delightful B&B in Lackawaxen, the Roebling Inn on the Delaware.
So, on the second day I camped at the Lackawaxen boat launch, camera ready and waited for the resident Bald Eagle pair to swoop down to the river. They were up on the mountain side in a roost tree. Waited until noon. Never happened. We headed home with a stop at the Mongaup blind. Waiting inside for eagles, I heard a faint “pip-pip” and found a lone Northern Cardinal just outside the blind. Try finding a small bird in a 400 mm lens at the closest focus possible! After 10 minutes, hunger overrode any vain hope for eagles. It was 3 days later that I recalled the Cardinal image.
So, was the trip fruitless? Not really, just not as fruitful as hoped. We had a nice time together including an evening by the fireplace reading peacefully. The breakfast was wonderful. The other photographers I met were a source of good intelligence for future trips. I did get useful practice on birds-in-flight, just not frame filling.
As I write this, the wind outside is blowing wickedly and there is a meager cover of snow. Like a frustrated skier, I am hoping this weather will bring reports of concentrated birds. My experience fits into the old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I will keep trying.