A juvenile American Bald Eagle (One of two seen Wednesday!) glides on the updrafts along the shoreline at Lake Metroparks Lake Erie Bluffs park.
Sighting an American Bald Eagle in Northern Ohio was once, not that long ago, seeing a rare bird. Fortunately the eagle population is growing and sightings are more common, though still thrilling.
A juvenile American Bald Eagle glided on the updrafts along the shoreline at the Lake Metroparks Lake Erie Bluffs park. While we eventually saw two eagles of the same apparent age, I was only able to photograph (above) this one; I believe it to be in its first year. The distinctive white head and tail feathers take about five years to fully develop.
A mature American Bald Eagle soars over Sheldon Marsh State Park, Huron, Ohio.
On an earlier September visit to Sheldon Marsh State Park, Huron, Ohio a mature American Bald Eagle soared majestically over exciting visitors as it fished the shallow waters on a Sunday afternoon. We saw the bird swoop in low over open waters, apparently missing the fish it had spotted, then climbing high to continue its patrol of the wetlands. Other visitors saw the bird catch a fish, only to have it escape. Even a fierce predator misses most of the time.
Lakeview Park Beach, Lorain, Ohio, in January 2018
Late in January we had a bit of a break in the weather. Yes, it was still cold but the sun was shining and the temperature was in the double-digits. We paid a visit to the Lake Erie coastline.
At Lakeview Park, Lorain, lake ice, pushed onshore by winds and waves, lay in piles dirtied by flotsam also thrown up by Erie.
Gulls sat on nearly every ice floe in Lake Erie, off Lorain, Ohio, as the old lighthouse stood watch.
Gulls rode ice floes in the open waters of Lake Erie off Lorain, Ohio, as the lighthouse stood watch. One ring-billed gull, on a chunk of ice of its own, seemed pretty relaxed; it yawned widely as we watched.
A Ring-Billed Gull yawns as it stands on an ice floe just offshore of Lorain, Ohio.
Evening Falls and Vermilion Light Waits to Shine
A little more than a year ago, we visited Vermilion, Ohio and its little Lake Erie lighthouse. That December, we learned the lighthouse was without light – it did not even contain its beautiful fresnel lens! Underway at that time was a community effort to raise funds and restore the historic landmark to operation. The goal was $40,000.
On New Year’s Day 2017, we ventured out on a beautiful afternoon and revisited the lakefront city. To my surprise and delight I spied something new in the little lighthouse: a brand-new fifth-order fresnel lens! The fundraisers had succeeded and commissioned construction of a hand-made lens that could project light far out over the Great Lake’s waters.
It turns out the glasswork had been raised, with help from the fire department, to the top of the tower and installed September 11, 2016. An official lighting ceremony took place the evening of September 15.
And so after going dark a decade ago, losing its lens to a museum move, the Vermilion light once again marks land’s end.
November Gale Arrives Early
November ushers in the change of seasons. Autumn is ending. Winter is beginning. We transitioned from warm and sunny conditions one day, to cold and snowing the next. Overnight we received about three inches of wet snow in Medina, Ohio. Wanting to get out, we ventured north to the shores of Lake Erie. Call me crazy but I find exhilarating the wild weather often experienced at the edge of our Great Lake. Today, with steady northwest winds of about 20 miles-per-hour, the lake offered plenty of action — and it was mighty cold! The air temperature of about 34 degrees (F) equated to something in the 20s, and as I explored camera in hand, those hands and my ears quickly began to ache. Now that I live farther inland, my visits to Lake Erie’s coast are less convenient and less frequent; they are no less exciting.
Breakwall is Pummeled by Wind-Driven Waves
Lake Erie Storm off Vermilion
A quick house hunting trip to Vermilion produced no new home June 6; it did, however, produce the opportunity to photograph a storm moving in across Lake Erie. I love the beautiful scenes the lake produces and that is, primarily, why living near the coast is something I think I’d like. Sun, clouds, and water are constantly changing and when a storm is involved those changes happen rapidly.
Against the Coming Storm
I (stupidly) didn’t have my DSLR gear with me but was carrying my trusty iPhone 6SE with its tiny but mighty internal camera. As winds rose, I was able to make a panorama of the lake scene (above) and a nice portrait of the Vermilion Lighthouse brightly popping against the darkening sky.
I’ll try and remember to bring the “big guns” with me from now on as we seek a new home out there, somewhere….
Sheldon Marsh – Wetland Panorama
A favorite place of ours and of many actual birders is Sheldon Marsh, a spit of land that extends from the south shore of Lake Erie in Huron, Ohio. A paved pathway runs from the parking lot nearly to the beach – a protected natural area. The preserved environment serves as a place for migrating birds to rest and refuel, and as permanent residence for others. With little breeze Sunday, the open water areas were mirror-smooth. It was pleasant to once again hear the sounds of birds from the still-bare trees. Canada Geese occasionally had raucous disagreements and small flights of Mallard Ducks could be heard “squeaking” overhead. Heard from surrounding brush were Red Winged Blackbirds with their raspy and warbling calls. Downy and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers could also be seen and heard. Now the wetlands just south of the lake are relatively still, though the population and activity will steadily rise as spring and its birds return.
Taking advantage of a cold but sunny Sunday afternoon, we made a quick trip to the shore of Lake Erie. The shoreline was piled with snow-covered ice, in wave-shaped mounds parallel to the coast. Ice that formed on a guard rail made glistening caramel-colored curtains, even walls, joining the steel tubes of the framework to each other and to the ground. And a stream flowed beneath a bright, snowy ice layer, visible sometimes, down a rocky fall and, under cover ice once again, to the lake. Nice to see the lake again.