May is usually a little late for “snow birding” bald eagles, but this late-stayer was a welcome sight nonetheless. He sat atop a tall cypress in the middle of an old Arkansas River oxbow within sight of Little Rock’s skyline. Such a treat!
The continued quest to take decent bird pictures meant a stop by the pond on the way to work on Feb. 7. The buffleheads were sailing around in the mist and the sunrise was glowing coral. Rolled down the roadster window to snap a couple of frames and then continued the morning commute. Not until this morning when the shots were downloaded did something else appear — white head and tail feathers at the far side of the lake. We’d seen the Ferndale eagle around New Year’s Day flying straight over the house, with no camera in hand, and wondered if we’d see him again.
Bald eagles are frequent winter visitors to the Ouachitas. There are rather large populations that take up snowbird residence around the Diamond Lakes of the Hot Springs area, though residents say the eagles have been spotted in Ferndale near well-stocked lakes, notably the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center.
The flash of white in his head and tail feathers caught my eye while sitting at the computer. Fortunately, the camera was in reach to capture this long-range image before he flew north and out of sight.
(Hot Springs, the nation’s first national park, would be about 80 miles southwest, to the left, behind the eagle.)