Chehalis Flats Update
Monday, November 04 2013 @ 03:18 PM EST
Contributed by: davidh
Hancock here: Attached is a Chehalis Flats image by Christian Sasse taken yesterday AM after the fog lifted and the fishermen passed by. His big image showing part of the flats had just over 310 eagles on the ground and in the attached shot showing our tower, being used by two juveniles with just over 110 birds in the surrounding area, gives some indication that the eagles are already moving into the area.
Earlier I predicted that we would have the eagles likely arriving later than usual since there are good quantities of fish spawning on many of the northern BC and Alaskan rivers. The long-time tradition is that the eagles stay feeding in the north until the fish are eaten or they are frozen under the ice. Then the eagles come south. On top of this of course are those eagles that have already in previous years learned that the Harrison-Chehalis area is a bonanza for much of the fall and winter and they come early.
Just over 60% of the eagles present are sub-adults which is a very high ratio. However, when we reach 5000 to count the ratios will be more significant. As one can see in Christian's attached image there are lots of fish scattered along the river banks and the main spawn has yet to happen. I am looking forward to my trips with Jo and Rob (Fraser River Safari Tours http://fraserriversafari.com/eagle-watching-tours/exclusive-eagle-tours-with-david-hancock/ ) in their boat for a closer look. The first eagle tours begin on Nov. 16, the first day of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (FVBEF www.fvbef.ca)
Hope to see many of you at the FVBEF (see detail of activities at the above website) Nov 16 and 17 plus at the Sts'ailes Salmon Celebration, also held at Harrison Mills, on the following weekend: Saturday, Nov 23. By the way Christian will be holding a photo exhibit of his "eagle prints" at Pretty Estates for a whole month. Make sure you drop by and say hi to him.
For me one of the biggest pleasures this fall season will be seeing the eagles from Betty Anne's new Bald Eagle Observatory -- located right on Pretty Estates just 100 meters from our -- her -- Harrison Mills Eagle cams. Of course her tower is right on the edge of the Chehalis Flats looking out towards our tower with the two cams. If you have not followed the Harrison Mills events take a look at the Chehalis Tower cams www.hancockwildlife.org and click on Live Cameras and follow our "zoomers" who are constantly using the pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) function of the cams to find the nearby eagles. Note in Christian's image that two juveniles are standing on the tower -- our AXIS 35 X zoom can give an eyeball view at the range! The Vivotek cam is 20 X zoom.
By the way I spoke with Ken earlier yesterday and he was on the way to the Pretty Estates Eagle Observatory. We are trying to get live coverage of all the eagles and festival events taking place right at the Observatory. We're trying!
Click on the picture twice to view larger.