Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bald Eagle Watching at Jordan Lake

My child is obsessed with animals. Still. Hasn't ended. So in searching for an afternoon learning activity, I decided to dash down to Jordan Lake to see if we couldn't rustle up some Bald Eagle sightings.

Jordan Lake is home to the largest concentration of Bald Eagles (which I will capitalize since the birds seem to command it with their majestic presence) in the eastern United States. I have seen them soaring the skies many times before at the Lake.

If you head to the Jordan Lake website (which, confession, I have to say I really do not like, but I am here to help you understand it) it lists Bald Eagle Watching in the list of activities. They actually recommend watching for eagles at Vista Point, Ebenezer Church, and Seaforth. Of course, these can be closed during this time of year. So rather than chance a car ride that ends in nothing but gates at the end (it's happened before), we went to the "Wildlife Watching" area on Martha's Chapel Rd. near Farrington Rd. About a half mile down Martha's Chapel after turning from Farrington Road, there is an observation dock.

You will know you are there because of the binoculars on the road sign. Although I passed it and had to turn around and come back, you will be wiser because of this picture:
The walk to the dock is not fantastic. It is easy, and you could actually push a jogging stroller. It just looked like it had a rough off-season and perhaps saw a controlled burn. But you don't come to walk. You come to dash the very short distance down to the water where you find the very kid-friendly and safe dock that has a fantastic vista:
C and I didn't have any luck seeing Bald Eagles. But we weren't there at the best of times. The recommended times for Eagle spotting are early day or late evening, and even better April - June. But we saw a lot of other birds and wildlife. C was definitely enjoying it and turns out he has better eyes than I.

Still on the prowl for an Eagle, though, we stopped by Farrington Boat Ramp on the way back to the Hill. DH and I had lots of luck seeing the birds here in the past while kayaking in this area. Although no observation sights in particular, you can park here and stand on the banks of the Lake many places. With views like this:So did we see any? I can't really say. We did see some magnificent birds flying in the distance. I like to think that they were Baldies.

By the way, should you choose to experience the Eagles without leaving home, or the computer, or if you are just bored and looking to kill time, check out these sites:
or the live camera here http://www.basic.ncsu.edu/eaglecam/

And I have to give a shout-out to the Triangle Birder's Guide for having such a great website for activities such as this. See their links below.

Happy Eagle watching friends!

Jordan Lake State Park
Triangle Birder's Guide- Jordan Lake

Triangle Birder's Guide- Farrington Boat Ramps

Chatham County


At March 18, 2011 at 12:31 PM , Anonymous Don said...

Accurate observations and a great post!
If you really want to see bald eagles on Jordan Lake, then check out www.TriangleBoatTours.com for guided boat tours for private groups....we see them flying all the time (not to mention best view of sunsets in the Triangle) Capt. Don

At August 31, 2011 at 8:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you would like a definite Bald Eagle sighting, go with JordanLakeTours.Com the "original" boat touring company on the lake. Over the past 12 years I've accumulated a lot knowledge of Jordan Lake. I provide a fun and educational tour. I know, and explain the flora and fauna along our route. I tell many stories about the lakes history, as well as why the Bald Eagles are increasing here at our lake. I look forward to having you aboard. Dave


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