I first spotted him (her?) on the afternoon of the 20th, when I glanced out the bedroom windows (which overlook the front pasture) to see the eagle flying past. Just a few feet off the ground. Amazing.
He landed in the old walnut tree, where he sat for an hour or so, and tolerated my taking photographs of him from about 50 feet away. He didn't seem real concerned, but whenever he looked down into the pasture, I was glad it wasn't me he was scoping out for dinner.
Later in the morning, Davey showed me the eagle's new place in the pasture: near the private road,
having his dinner. When the neighbor drove up the road it spooked him away from his possum meal, and up into the cottonwood above the pond. And there he sat for hours, as the sun dropped in the sky, and the evening light shone.
My favorite place to photograph the front pasture is from the upstairs windows in our old farmhouse. Pulling down the top windows makes a perfect rest for the camera, and the view is a panorama of the pasture and little valley we live in.
I was there, photographing the eagle, when a hummingbird flew into the birch tree about 30 feet from me. It's the first one I've seen this year, and by framing carefully, I was able to get both birds in one picture.
This is a good example of the compressed field of view that a telephoto lens provides. Here are two birds, at either end of the size spectrum. The birch tree that the hummingbird is sitting in is directly in front of me, about 40 feet away.
The eagle is sitting in a huge cottonwood tree that's more like 200 feet away from me, down a small hill toward the pond. But the trees look like they're the same distance from the lens.
The eagle hunted on the farm for five days in a row, which makes me hopeful that he (or she) has a nest nearby, and that we'll see eagles often.