Well, so much for sunshine. I woke up this morning to the familiar gentle patter of rain on the roof.
One look outside confirmed the sad tidings. Although it certainly wasn’t raining hard, my day was starting out less than sunny. Darn it!
Fearing the light sprinkle might gain momentum, I chivied Ronni into a light coat and donned my jacket for our morning potty walk. We stepped outside at 8:00 am, just in time to watch a pair of bald eagles drift by, not 20’ overhead.
Yes – Rhonda is always on a short leash when we camp in Ninilchik!
Coffee and warm oatmeal brightened my morning and I soon found myself thoroughly enjoying this almost empty campground. I love mid-week on the Kenai peninsula.
From the cozy warmth of my RV, I spent an hour watching seagulls and eagles scouring the beach at low tide, squabbling over whatever morsels such birds find tasty.
Since the misty, low clouds never produced the threatened rain, Ronni and I bundled up after lunch and took off down the beach for a long walk in the brisk, salt-sweetened sea breeze.
Rhonda’s attention was, of course, nose-driven as she unearthed skeletal fish parts along the high-tide line (which I promptly relieved her of) and then cheerfully pulled me down barely visible paths in the sea-grass, on the track of who knows what.
My own attention was drawn upward. The active sea breeze had the cadre of local eagles swooping, diving and riding the currents between their cliffside homes and the curve of Deep Creek far below.
There are more eagles here this year than I’ve ever personally seen in Ninilchik, and although I could happily watch their antics for hours, I do find myself hovering anxiously over Ronni when the majestic winged beasts float too close overhead.
Later in the afternoon, I left a very disappointed Rhonda in the RV and took an eagle-viewing walk by myself in an attempt to get some decent photos.
Sadly, my cell phone is simply not up to the task. What looked to me like spectacular birds with huge wingspans, glistening dark bronze bodies and, in the adults, pure white head feathers – show up on camera looking more like winged dots in the sky. Sigh.
Still, it was a wonderful experience. From my viewpoint between the beach and river’s mouth, I could hear the strident, demanding cry of eaglets in a nest high on the bluff, and the answering call of a parent bird as one of the distinctively white-headed acrobats swerved and back-winged to a graceful landing near the nest.
As I quietly sat on a rock and watched, movement a short way down the river caught my attention. I’d thought there were a lot of bald eagles, adults and adolescents, in the sky – I had counted easily 6-8 birds overhead at any given time – but I suddenly realized I had seriously underestimated the total population.
Again, my cell phone camera can’t do it justice, but zoom in anyway – you’ll get the general idea. While many of the eagles where enjoying the air currents, an equal number (if not more) were down on the river, fishing!
It turned out to be a lovely, quiet day on Cook Inlet. I fell asleep to the sounds of surf, seagulls and the occasional bright, musical call of an eagle. Rhonda was, of course, safely tucked under the sheets at my side. The girl sleeps like a furry rock!