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We had a few weeks of cold weather so I decided it was time to take a drive along the Mississippi River and look for Eagles. We headed out early in the morning and had only driven a couple of miles when we drove over a small hill. All of a sudden there was a Bald Eagle right in front of the car. There was a deer carcass right on the edge of the road and the Eagle was trying to get airborne as we approached. I though for sure we were going to hit it because about all we could see out the front windshield was the Eagle. We drove down to the a place where we could turn around and drove back to see if it had returned to the carcass. It was flying around then landed in a tree above the carcass.

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After taking some photos we continued on our way. Along the way we encountered three Bald Eagles out in a field. Of course they were on the wrong side of the road so we drove down to the next cross roads and turned around. When we returned the first Eagle we encountered was immature.

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We drove down a little further and there were two adult Eagles together. I managed to photograph one standing in the field and the other as it flew off.

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We then drove down to Reads Landing just up the Mississippi River from  The National Eagle Center in  Wabasha, Minnesota. Unfortunately we were skunked at Reads Landing. As we drove along the river toward Red Wing, Minnesota we saw a few more eagles but none that we could photograph. We ended up at Colvill Park in Red Wing. In the past we had been able to get some good eagle photos in the park but on this day we only saw one Bald Eagle perched in a tree.

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In the past someone has been feeding ducks but it didn’t look like that was being done any more. I managed a shot of a couple of Mallard Ducks paddling in the bay. There were a couple of Trumpeter Swans in the area but they were too far away.

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While we were in the park a friend called and when he found out where we were he suggested driving up to Lock and Dam Number 3.  We had some trouble finding it but when we did we saw about five Bald Eagles perched in various trees. Most were too far away but I did manage a few photos.

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We realized that we were not all that far from King’s Bar and Grill in Miesville, Minnesota so we decided to stop and have a burger. They have the largest selection of Burgers I’ve ever seen. The biggest problem is trying to decide which one to have.

The weather was nice so we decided to take another road trip along the Mississippi River looking for birds. The main goal was to find Bald Eagles but Trumpeter Swans and ducks were also fair game. Our first stop was Wabasha but we didn’t see any. We can usually find them in the trees on the east side of the river but there wasn’t a single bird.

Our next stop was Reads Landing. We spotted six Bald Eagles all flying. On pair was performing  synchronized acrobatics. We watched them for quite a while. Unfortunately they were too far away for photographs. This is the first time we haven’t seen any Trumpeter Swans in the area. This is a photo from last year.

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We headed for Red Wing and Colvill Park. Unfortunately we only found a single eagle sitting in a tree. He looked a little disheveled.

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So far things hadn’t gone all that well so we decided to drive up to Miesville, Minnesota and try and find Kings Bar and Grill. A friend said they had great burgers. It would have made things easier if I remembered the name of the town or the name of the restaurant. All I could remember was that the name of the town started with M and the restaurant might be Kings and it was on highway 61 north of Red Wing .

Fortunately we found the place. It was mid afternoon on a Sunday and the place was packed. Luckily we found a table. The service was fast but it took a while to decide on a burger because there were so many choices. Once we ordered we had our meal in a short time. The burgers were great making up for a lousy day of bird watching. Would highly recommend Kings Bar and Grill. We have added it to our places to stop when we are in the area.

My wife and I have made a couple of road trips up the Minnesota side of the Mississippi and down the Wisconsin side looking for Bald Eagles. On the first trip the weather was warm and there was quite a bit of open water but only a couple of eagle at Reads Landing and a couple at Covill Park in Redwing, Minnesota. On our return from Redwing we drove past the Nelson Ice Sculptures along the Rush River. We didn’t expect to see much because the weather had been so warm. We mainly saw the pipes sticking out of the ground with a little ice on them. Click here for more information on the Nelson Ice Sculptures.

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About a week later, after a cold stretch of weather, we made a second trip along the Mississippi River looking for Bald Eagles. Our first stop was Reads Landing where we hoped to see some eagles and have lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. As it turned out there was only a sing Bald Eagle in a tree, not worth getting the camera out for. The Brewery was closed for remodeling until February 5th so we headed back to Wabasha for a hardy bowl of Irish stew at Olde Triangle Pub .

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After lunch we drove on to Covill Park in Redwing. This time we were skunked. There was not a single eagle to be found although it looked like there was much more ice on the river than on our earlier visit. We did see one immature eagle flying as we pulled out of the park.

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Our last stop of the day was at the Nelson Ice Sculptures. It was a big change from the previous visit where the water pipes were sticking out of the ground with only a little ice around them. I wanted to see what they looked like early in the formation when they had a little more definition to them and there would be quite a bit of water squirting out of them. It was below zero so I only spent about a half an hour walking around taking photos. It was well worth the visit.

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More ice sculptures can be found on my website.

Bald-Eagle-14-1-_2164We pulled into the parking lot at Reads Landing and immediately saw a couple of dozen Bald Eagles flying above the open water. Since our last visit the amount of open water had decreased dramatically. Another couple of weeks of cold weather and there will not be any open water at Reads Landing.Bald-Eagle-14-1-_0637

The eagles were working the open water but I didn’t see a single eagle dive into the water. It appeared that there were not any fish near the surface. On our previous visits the eagles were having good luck catching fish. As I understand it, when the river freezes over the eagles head inland to some turkey farms where they manage to find food.Bald-Eagle-14-1-_2124

A pair of eagles seemed to be performing the mating ritual although this usually takes place in February. They chased one another around and at one point were talon to talon.Bald-Eagles-14-1-_2081

More photos from Reads Landing can be found on my website.

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