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the local water utility (ebmud) owns two large reservoirs in the central valley, about 30 miles east of lodi, california (which makes them pretty much smack dab in the middle of not much). these reservoirs (camanche and pardee) have become home to a great variety of bird and other forms of wildlife, and are stocked for fishing. they are also one of the few places in northern california where bald eagles have decided to nest and raise their young. twice a year ebmud runs eagle boat tours around the reservoirs to go check out the eagles and other wildlife, and my wife and i went this saturday afternoon. randy finley (much better phototgrapher than myself) was on the morning boat but we did not get the chance to meet him. we had a great trip, and the weather was absolutely perfect with reasonably warm temps and not a breath of wind on the lake.
overall we had a great tour and were fortunate to see several bald eagles, both juvenile and adult. there were also lots of hawks and tv's zipping around, as well as many pelicans, grebes and assorted ducks and geese. i have posted some eagle pix below, but i want to warm you in advance that they are not the best shots--while we saw several birds, we could not get close to any of them. these are large, manmade reservoirs used to store water for the bay area by collecting the sierra snow melt. part of the issue is that the reservoir has been drained to a pretty low level by ebmud in advance of the winter rains (which have not yet come), and the other part is because we just didn't get lucky. anyway, below are some pix of the birds we did see, and i did the best i could with the long range, late afternoon light hand holding on a boat.
a grebe swimming away from a close up...
juvenile bald eagle in flight
juvenile bald eagle having lunch...backlit and in a dark tree unfortunately
another view of the same juvenile eagle
Edited on Jan 16, 2012 at 05:01 AM · View previous versions