Today was "Eagle Day" in Lawrence.
We probably wouldn't have even taken notice, but Nice In-Laws went to Milford Lake--which is a few hours West of Lawrence--for New Years and saw the bald eagles that winter there. They brought back some great pictures, and Sweet Husband and I decided we would make a point to try to see if there were eagles in Lawrence.
Apparently, every year bald eagles migrate into this area and build nests at Clinton Lake and on the banks of the Kansas River, as well as at other various lakes around the area. I've read that the eagles stay from the first of January until sometime in March, but many of the towns around here have "Eagle Days" (including tours and informational lectures) at the end of January.
Accordingly, early this afternoon we tried to go out an see the birds at Clinton. We ended up being unsucessful. We had the dogs and we didn't want to wait with them to take a tour (or subject the other members of the tour to our little four-legged monsters) so we walked a few trails to see if we could find any eagles on our own. No such luck.
A friend told me that there were also eagles nesting near the river, so we decided to take the dogs home and try there. First, we walked out onto the Mass Street bridge. Facing east from the bridge, we could definitely see two, but they were really far away.
Then we wandered into the Marriot, which is right next to the river, and asked if there was a place we could see them more closely. We weren't sure if we would be allowed out onto the walk right next to the river, but the lady at the front desk told us to go right ahead.
As you can see, facing back west, we were able to get a few decent shots off. We were hesitant to get too close, because we didn't want to scare them away, but we were able to see two pretty well with our binoculars. Sweet Husband even saw one eating a fish.
I've never really been all that into watching birds in the past. It always seemed like a lot of looking and waiting for very little reward. But the eagles were so easy to pick out, and really beautiful to watch. I would recommend it if you ever get a chance.