One morning at South Toledo Bend State Park, I was hiking Hippie Point Trail on a bluff at the edge of the reservoir. Upon turning a corner in the trail, I spotted a white-headed bird in a distant pine tree overlooking the water. As soon as I realized it was a Bald Eagle, I shot a couple of photos, but realized my view of the bird was heavily blocked by pine needles in front of it.
As I slowly moved closer to the tree, I sought a vantage point from which the eagle would be more exposed but was unsuccessful. When I finally got almost under the tree, the eagle took off, but not before I got one last shot of it.
The next morning I was anxious to get back on the trail to see if the eagle would be there. Indeed, when I got to the same point as before, half an hour earlier this time, I saw the eagle in the same tree. This time, although it was initially looking away, it quickly spotted me and left. I got only a single distant shot.
These highly cropped images of a Bald Eagle, partially hidden behind pine needles, can hardly be considered good bird portraits. Even so, I decided to post them for personal reasons—they represent only the second time I’ve been relatively close to a Bald Eagle in the wild, and the first time I have photographed one. Your indulgence is appreciated, dear reader.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.