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Category Archives: Mississippi River

Last week we headed out on another trip to find Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. Just before we reached Durand, Wisconsin I noticed one sitting in a tree along the road. We turned around and went back for some shots. This is probably the best Bald Eagle shot I’ve gotten. He was right near the road and was not obstructed by any branches.

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As we drove over the Bridge At Wabasha  we noticed an eagle sitting in a tree next to a nest just north of the bridge. Unfortunately it was too far away for a shot. We then headed up to Reads Landing. There were a few Eagles sitting on the sand on the other side of the river but too far away for any shots. We did see a pair of Mature eagles flying around. It looked like they might be getting ready to mate. About that time a train came along and I could see that the eagles had gotten close enough to photograph but by the time the train passed they were gone. We had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. Apparently it is in the process of changing hands.

We then drove north toward Red Wing, Minnesota. There are several pull offs just north of Reads Landing so we stopped to watch the eagles fishing on the open water. One of them caught a large fish before it flew off to have lunch.

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We then drove to the next turn off where another photographer was already photographing eagles. He hadn’t had much luck but just then one landed a short distance away. Unfortunately it was partially hidden by the trees.

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While we were looking at the eagle another bird flew into a patch of Sumac. Turned out to be a Piliated Woodpecker.

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A little further up the road we found a bunch of Mallard Ducks on a partially frozen pond.

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When we reached Red Wing there were no birds around so we headed home.

 

Yesterday we had a beautiful day. The sun was out and the temperatures were near 40 degrees. We decided to drive down along the Mississippi River to look for Bald Eagles. This was our first eagle watching trip of the year.

Our first Stop was Reads Landing. In winters past we had good luck finding eagles at this location. They tend to congregate in this location because it usually has open water. Unfortunately there was a lot of open water on the Mississippi and we only found a single eagle. Normally we would have had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company Bar but it was closed. We decided to drive back to Wabasha for lunch at Olde Triangle Pub. We love their Irish stew.

This shot of two soaring eagles was taken a few years ago at Reads Landing.

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After Lunch we drove back to the Wisconsin side of the river and headed for Maiden Rock. From there we took county Road A along the Rush River. We wanted to check on the condition of the Rush River Ice Sculptures. On the way we saw 5 more Bald Eagles.

We were disappointed at the condition of the ice sculptures. They looked a little forlorn. The warm weather has not been kind to them. We need a week of cold weather to get them back into prime condition. This photo was taken last year after a patch of cold weather.

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More photo from Reads Landing and Nelson’s on the Rush River can be found on my website.

My wife and I headed out last week to search for Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. Our first stop was Alma below Lock and Dam number four. Not an eagle to be seen. Our next stop was Reads Landing. We saw only two eagles and didn’t bother to get the camera out.Bald-Eagle-14-2-_1043

We then headed up to Red Wing and Colvill Park. As soon as we pulled into the park we saw an immature Bald Eagle sitting in a tree next to the parking lot. Someone was taking it’s photo. I was able to get some photos of it then went looking for other shots.Bald-Eagle-14-2-_1001

There were about two dozen eagles in the area. A few of them were successful in catching fish but as soon as they landed they attracted other eagles that started battling for the fish. In several cases they lost the fish.Bald-Eagle-14-2-_1057

The immature Bald Eagle returned to a tree near the parking lot so I managed some more photos of it. In talking with another photographer she said that earlier in the morning it had landed on one of the docks and she was able to walk up to within four feet of it.Bald-Eagle-14-2-_1027

Most of my photos were of immature Bald Eagles because those were the ones hanging around the parking area on this particular day.Bald-Eagle-14-2-_1050

They should be around until the end of February when they will disperse to their summer grounds.Bald-Eagle-14-2-_1046

More Bald Eagle photos can be found on my website.

 

My wife and I have been out looking for Bald Eagles on the Mississippi River this Winter. With the cold weather most of the river in our area is frozen over. The eagles have been forced to congregate in areas of open water. Bald-Eagle-14-1-_0632

We have developed a little road trip that takes most of a day. We start out by driving from Menomonie, Wisconsin to Durand, Wisconsin. In Durand we stop at the River Valley Bakery to pick up some artisan bread and pastries. Unfortunately they are closed until the 13th of February. We can’t wait until they open again. When they do open they have limited hours so call ahead.Bald-Eagle-14-1-_0637

Our next stop is Alma, Wisconsin where the eagles gather just below Lock and Dam number 4. The Mississippi River is almost completely frozen in the area so the only open water is found just below the dam. There is an outdoor viewing platform at the lock and dam and Wings over Alma also offers a free viewing deck. The times we have been there we have seen a dozen to over thirty Bald Eagles.Bald-Eagle-14-1-_0632

We then head down to Reads Landing, Minnesota for lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. They have limited winter hours so check their website. At Reeds landing there are usually a large number of Bald Eagles searching for food in the open water. The great thing is that you can have lunch at the brewery and watch the eagles at the same time.Bald-Eagle-14-1-_0634

If you haven’t been to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota you should stop in. They have five captive eagles that are on display and they do daily presentations. Generally you can see wild eagles from the Center. They also have an eagle count on their home page so it is a good way to see where the eagles are gathering. When we stop in Wabasha we try to visit the Olde Triangle Pub for some fine Irish stew. No the eagle is not dining at the Olde Triangle Pub.

Rabbit for Lunch

Rabbit for Lunch

We have a Japanese exchange student staying with us over Christmas break and have been attempting to show him what life is like in Wisconsin during the winter. This past weekend we decided to take a road trip to look for Eagles along the Mississippi River. It was a beautiful sunny day but only about five degrees out.Bald-Eagle-13-12-_1307

We drove over to Wabasha, Minnesota and then north on highway 61 toward Lake City. There is open water along the river at this point and we started seeing eagles as soon as we reached Reed’s Landing. We also saw some at the bottom of Lake Pepin.Bald-Eagle-13-12-_1311

We then headed back to Wabasha to visit the National Eagle Center. They have five injured eagles on display at the Center. They also conduct programs throughout the day using one of the injured eagles. Given the cold weather there were only a couple of dozen people in attendance and the group chose to have an informal program with lots of opportunity to view the bird (Was’aka) and ask questions.Bald-Eagle-13-12-_1361a

There were also a number of wild eagles fishing along the river outside the Center. The Center provides scopes so there were some good views to be had.13-12-_1356a

We decided to drive back down to Reed’s Landing Brewing Company for lunch. This is a fantastic place to eat and watch the eagles fishing on the river. There were probably thirty eagles working the river in front of the restaurant. There were also some ducks, Canada Geese and Trumpeter Swans feeding along the shore. The restaurant has window seats so you can sit facing out the window and watch the eagles while eating.

Yesterday my wife and I decided to drive down to Wabasha, Minnesota to look for Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. The weather report was partly cloudy in the morning and sunny in the afternoon. About 15 minutes after we started out we ran into rain showers. We were in a dead zone so we couldn’t get the weather on our phones. When we finally were able to get cell serviced it showed rain showers popping up in the area but they were scattered.

When we reached Wabasha they were no longer scattered, it was raining hard. I knew it was going to be impossible to get any photos but we were close to our destination so we continued on north to Reeds Landing. We didn’t see any eagles at Reeds Landing and the ice was gone from the river in this area so we kept going north on highway 61.

Just north of Reeds Landing there was ice along the far side of the river. We could see eagles perched along the edge of the ice so we pulled off the road and got the binoculars out. We counted about 20 eagles perched along the ice on the far side of the river. Then we noticed some ice out in the middle of the river with 2 eagles perched on it. It turned out to be an ice flow and the eagles were sailing down the river at a fairly good pace.

We decided to head north to Camp Laupolis which marks the southern end of Lake Pepin. The river was iced over in this area and the eagles were closer to shore. We counted about a dozen eagles on the ice. They really looked miserable in the rain. Lots of eagles but no photographs on this trip.

Since it was still early in the morning we decided to stop at the River Valley Bakery in Durand, Wisconsin on our return trip. We purchased some bread and rolls. The prices were good and the product was outstanding. The bakers are in a glassed in area so you can see them baking the breads and rolls. They are open from 7am to SOLD OUT (about 1-2pm) so you should plan on stopping in the morning for the best selection.