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Thread: Eagles at Farmington Bay

  1. #1

    Eagles at Farmington Bay

    Anybody been out to Farmington Bay recently? I'm wondering if there are decent numbers of bald eagles yet. I went out about a month ago to get some photographs and saw 3. I was hoping that further into winter there would be higher numbers, but it's been so warm I'm not sure if they will come this far south.

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  3. #2
    I was there yesterday in late morning and didn't see an eagle. I didn't look very hard since I was only interested in photographing them. There might have been some way out but nothing even remotely close enough to photograph. Could be a bad eagle year but it is too soon to say for sure.

  4. #3
    I was out there last Saturday morning (4 Feb 2012) and saw only one. It was quite a ways out on the ice, too. My 300mm could just barely confirm that it was a bald eagle. :) I saw quite a few hawks and geese but only the one eagle.

    Out of curiosity, where at Farmington are they typically found? I've seen magnificent shots on here (such as this classic thread: ...oops...can't post links yet... It's post291974). My question stems from the shots with eagles in the trees. I don't recall seeing a single tree last Saturday!

  5. #4
    I noticed you said you went out there in the morning. I think that was part of the problem why I only saw a few too. I just read an article recently that said the best time to see them out there is between 2 to 4 pm. I guess that's when they start to roost in the trees for the evening. But I agree there aren't hardly any trees out there. There's only a few that I can remember. The article also said that the DWR is hosting a bald eagle viewing event across 4 or 5 different sites throughout Utah on Feb. 11th. Here's the link:

  6. #5
    Usually when I go for the eagles it is to photograph them and I like to get them flying and feeding. I've always had the most luck on that in the morning. As noted earlier I think I have noticed them roosting near dusk on the way out in the "eagle trees" but rarely photographed them there. I plan on heading out there later this morning and will try to post tomorrow morning.

  7. #6
    I went out there a few days ago (8 Feb 2012, 10 to 11AM), and it was pretty dead. No baldies whatsoever. Not even any of the usual harriers or kestrels. I did see a couple of golden eagles; one on the ice about 75 yards out, and one in-air about 150 yards. Both were at the southernmost edge of the reserve. I did see a few more dark spots WAY out on the ice...most likely goldies. A few small groups of Canada geese, and some of the typical ducks. The ice was pretty solid, with no trace of any dead or dying fish.

    Like RP and ofer4, I've had the most success in the morning there. When there's a lot of birds (and fish), the afternoons can be good too...
    Scott Mikkelsen

  8. #7

  9. #8

  10. #9
    Hi, gang...

    I decided to go out in the afternoon yesterday (11 Feb 2012). I saw a pair of bald eagles this time. The warm weather provided quite a bit more open water, but there still wasn't much activity. I stuck around until sunset, which was gorgeous, though. The calm winds led to some glassy water. FYI, the fish & game folks implemented a carp kill this week. At one of the shallow ends, I saw a whole bunch of floaters. It also stunk...wheeeeeeeewie.

    Eagles (definitely stretched my 300mm's capabilities!)...


    And, at the other end of the spectrum, the carp:

  11. #10
    Great info - thanks for the update!
    Scott Mikkelsen

  12. #11
    16 Feb 2012 Update: I tried to post this sooner, but had - um - technical difficulties. Anyway, my report:

    No Ice! No fish! At least not in the main pond "unit." There was, however, as ofer4 informed us, plenty of floaters streaming down the canal coming from the south and wrapping around and then off to the northwest. But no baldies were hanging around. And the carp that were somewhat beached did not show any signs of predation. Apparently not even the seagulls were interested...

    I did see around 20 baldies while I was out there (roughly 9:45AM to 12:30). Most were circling far to the west, where the stream was taking the fish. One baldy, apparently scouting, came from the west and followed the dike road south 'til I lost sight of him. And as I was leaving there was a pair sitting in "the" tree. A few more were in the trees behind the houses near the entrance.

    Without any ice to catch and hold the fish, and for the birds to rest on, I don't see this being a good year for photo ops... But that doesn't mean there won't be any, so please post your results!
    Scott Mikkelsen

  13. #12
    Yep, I was out there a bit earlier on the 17th and did not see any. Like Scott says, plenty of dead fish but no real signs of anything feeding on them Saw some gulls fighting over a small live catch but nothing feeding on the killed fish. A few Northern Harriers around but just not a good year out here.

    Not like years past when it wasn't unusual to be able to pull off shots like these:

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  14. #13
    Wow great shots! That first one...yowza! Awesomeness.

  15. #14
    Does help to have a 800mm lens! Even if it is manual focus...

  16. #15
    I was out just about sunrise this morning. I did see several eagles but none fishing and no real photo ops. This could be a year to forget eagle photos-I'm not ready to give up yet just not too optimistic.

  17. #16
    I was at Farmington Bay again yesterday. I saw eagles but they were all far away and since I was there tp photograph it was not worth staying. Many airboats were present, I think to work on nesting structures.

  18. #17
    800mm, huh? Guess I need to start saving!

    We're having the same problem here in the Midwest - I usually make at least one trip over by the Mississippi River to catch the eagles at the dams, but didn't even bother this year. It's been too warm.

    In a good year, numbers like this are not uncommon, too bad this was before I had a "good" camera!

  19. #18
    Anyone seeing the eagles yet this season? Been a pretty cold start to the season which should bring them in, but I've heard some strange illness has been dropping them like flies. :(

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

  20. #19
    I was out Christmas Day and saw a large dark bird way out on the ice-probably but not definitely an eagle. No other eagles visible and not a lot to be seen of any type of wildlife. Around Thanksgiving I did see an eagle in the "eagle trees."

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ahansen60 View Post
    Anyone seeing the eagles yet this season? Been a pretty cold start to the season which should bring them in, but I've heard some strange illness has been dropping them like flies. :(

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
    Something to consider this year:

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