Lock & Dam 14 – Le Claire – Part I

It has been way to long since I posted anything on the blog. The Eagles tend to inspire posting.

The Eagles and Lock & Dam 14 (which have been on my photography bucket list for some time) proved to be just that.

It took two trips to Le Claire to accomplish the mission but despite the 6 hour drive it was worth it.

Over the last couple of years, I have had a number of opportunities to date to photograph this marvelous creature. Last summer I caught a shot or two on the lake in my back yard. We have a nesting pair in town (Lake Elmo) that have been very considerate and have posed several times. And I’ve made numerous trips to Red Wing’s Colville Park and the environs around Wabasha, both eagle rich areas.

So what is different. I had to check it out, so we made the trek.

From the look of things, others were interested too. There must be something special to attract folks from Chicago, Ohio and Missouri (and from what I understand, this is a small crowd).

Here is a shot of part of the dam structure. Peak time is when the river is frozen over except at the base of the dam. This means that the eagles have limited space for fishing and tend to concentrate.

The second thing that makes this spot ideal is that the base of the lock is close by. Sometimes they fly so close that they overfill the frame.

He has spotted his prey and is on course for dinner.

Take-out grasped firmly in his talons, he is off to find a comfortable spot to eat.

I am not sure that this qualifies as a white linen restaurant, but the fish is certainly fresh.


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