Yesterday was a glorious day in Haines, so I took the opportunity to drive out the Bald Eagle Preserve again and try to dial in my new lens a bit more. My pictures seemed to come out a bit better and I think it's because there was more light. But I still have to work on this focus thing, some places in the picture look perfect but others are just a little bit fuzzy.
Anyway, I got out to the parking lot, let the dog start his exploring, and grabbed my stuff to go check out a couple of eagles I saw fairly close. Once there I had to set up my tripod, it didn't take nearly as long to get that thing together this time. One of the adult eagles took off during this set up. I got my lens out and started to mount that, pulled out my remote thinking that I should use it this go. The other adult eagle quietly flew off. Then I got my camera body out and attached it, looked up into the trees, and the only eagle left was the immature one...I didn't even realize the second eagle had taken off until I looked up. So I spent some time with the immature eagle, and just soaked up some sunshine. Where I was there was no wind so that made things that much nicer. I had seen some swans a ways off so we decided to move to a different location and see if we could get any good pictures of them.
When we were walking down the road towards another pull off I spotted an eagle perched on a log sunning himself. Then looked down and there was a little family of swans right there! So Gus and I headed down the bank, it was pretty easy for Gus, a little slower for me since I was punching through the snow up to my knees. But when I got to the bottom of the hill I saw a nice little spot on the river bank that was clear of snow and ice. Set up my tripod and attached the camera body and started snapping some pictures. The swans were very cooperative and didn't seem to mind Gus running around too much. They would honk every now and again but didn't take off. Gus of course was finding fish parts buried in the snow. He even found something to roll in...thankfully it was snow and he didn't smell horrible whatever it really was. From my muddy spot on the river bank I could also see the eagle out on the log. So I swung the camera that direction and took some photos of him as well. I'm finding it's a lot harder to get things into focus the further away they are, or the more zoomed in I am. And I couldn't use my remote so I just had to try to be extra still.
I almost wanted to just find a spot to sit and soak up the sun, although I did take my winter coat off it was so warm. Finding a dry, non-muddy place to sit would've been a project. Gus and I spent a good portion of the afternoon out taking pictures and when I got home my face felt a little warm :-)
Here are a couple of shots from the afternoon.