Eagles Along Mississippi River in 01/31/2022

Years ago I was flying Huey helicopters out of Davenport with the National Guard. We would fly along the Wapsipinicon River over to the Mississippi River and rarely saw any eagles. This was in the early 1980’s, but a decade later flying with them we quit counting after a few minutes because there were hundreds along the same route. Since then American Bald Eagles have always caught my eye, and my wife continues to follow the eagle nest in Decorah each year (they put cameras on the new eaglets). This year I made it a goal to capture a spectacular photo of an eagle (from a side angle) capturing a fish from the Mississippi River. So far this year, the ice has only recently thickened enough to walk on it, and I plan to get out into the middle of the river near Lock and Dam 11 to get photos. However, from the shore line, I have gotten some pretty decent images of eagles. Hope you enjoy them as I get the blood circulating in my fingers again. 2022 is Bob’s year of the Eagles. 

Flying away

Juvenile at Sunrise

Catching Fish

Dozens Perched in Trees

Calling out

Landing in tree

Perched in tree

Day on the Ice at Mines of Spain 01/13/2022

Beautiful last few days of warm weather in Iowa, the upper thirties, allowed my father and me to extend our daily walkabout to the Mines of Spain Calcite Trail that runs along the Mississippi River. Almost stumbled on about eight eagles sitting in the tree branches near Catfish Creek that were getting fish from one of the unfrozen sections of the river. In between the walkabout trails, I pulled out my backpack drone (Mavic Air Pro 2) for a few minutes of photos of Julien Dubuque Memorial Grave Site, some pretty cool tree shadows on the ice, and a shot of us. I was carrying my Canon 5D Mark III with a Tamron 150-600mm and took some fantastic shots of the eagles (a few adults, but mostly young ones) on tree limbs, diving for fish, tussling with each other, and just doing morning chores. Walking back to the 4-Runner, a Pileated Woodpecker started following us closer and closer, allowing me to get some pretty nice macro shots of it. The weather tells us the next few days could have some snow, so look for some more shots in a week or so. Thanks, have a fantastic day, and hope someone gives you a smile!

Mississippi River Aerial Views Project 12/19/2021

As a former helicopter pilot for 22 years in the military, I miss being in the cockpit but medical issues keep me out of manned aircraft. In 2016, when the FAA opened up the new Part 107 Unmanned Aircraft Pilot Rating I jumped on it and have been flying drones for over five years with hundreds of hours flying. Using a drone as a “camera that is positioned at different angles, but considers composition, lighting, and technique” has become one of my passions and joys as a photographer. With that in mind, a friend recently asked me about making some photographs of the Mississippi River for people to purchase for their homes. I now have an exhibition series of “Mississippi River Aerial” photographs, which will include a link location to purchase the images as panoramas (even with multiple prints combined into a grouping) and landscapes using different materials, and sizes. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them. Bob

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