Monday, February 15, 2010

Third Eagle

You may find it beneficial to follow me around next weekend.

Unable to play golf much this winter, I've spent the past two weekends walking around without a white ball to chase through the woods.

During a hike at the Harris Lake Wake County Park the other day, we paused on a bit of high ground to look out over the lake, when a large shadow swooped up from behind. My first thought was "heron," but when I looked up I was surprised to see the broad white tailfeathers of a Bald Eagle. It was exciting, if not altogether surprising. Eagles are known to nest around nearby Jordan Lake, and since Harris Lake is used to dissipate heat from the Sherron Harris nuclear power plant, what bird wouldn't be enticed to escape this winter's cold via a trip to a relatively warmer pond?

The next weekend, I just went for a walk around my local golf course, which, being covered in snow, was not in play. I strayed from the paved cart path to test the depth of snow on the untrodden sixth tee, and looking out in the direction of nearby Sunset Lake, I discerned a large bird flying toward me. Funny, it looked like it had a white head. Sure enough, a second eagle in as many weeks. (Since I was not able to band the first eagle, there's no guaranteeing the second eagle was not really just the first, reseen, of[f] course.)

Lest you think it commonplace to see eagles about, I will explain that these were my first eagle sitings in North Carolina while on foot, ever. And I've covered plenty of miles of would-have-been eagle habitat afoot over the last 41 years here.

Knowing how things seem to happen in threes, if you would like to see an eagle, I recommend you follow me around next weekend. The weather forecast provides some optimism for the possibility of golf. Who knows, maybe somebody in my group will hole one from the fairway.

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