May 19, 2014 Scenic Beach State Park, Washington

Bald eagle heading for the trees for lunch
Bald eagle heading for the trees for lunch

A Great Day for Eagles

And Yet More  #!*:^!  From Winegard

I apologize up front for the length of this post. The first section probably should just be skipped by anyone not about to make a purchase of a Winegard product, I just have to rant ( and document ) to get some of the frustration out of system before these people drive me over the edge.

The second part however, is lengthy as the result of one of the most exciting days of wildlife photography I have yet experienced, and, yes, there are a lot of images and it may take some time to load, but I just couldn’t help myself, there were a few more decent images captured today than I usually manage.

The Battle With Winegard Drags On

This morning I received an email from Winegard regarding my appointment tomorrow at Clear Creek RV in Silverdale ( to replace the reflector and arm on my Winegard TravLer satellite system ) telling me that the parts from Winegard wouldn’t be there in time for this appointment made 8 days earlier. It seems no one at Winegard cares enough to see that the parts get shipped out in a timely manner for a customer who already is completely fed up with the company’s total disregard for their customers, especially a troublesome customer already working on his 4th defective system in a year.

It would seem that 8 days notice to Winegard’s Customer Relations Manager, who personally requested that I work through him alone after all the previous poor performance of Winegard service personnel, should have been enough to get the job done, but what do I know. Since he was well aware that this customer has already been through many of corporate Winegard‘s circles of Hell ( as I said, working on a fourth replacement system in less than a year ), maybe he could have overnighted the parts to Clear Creek when he discovered that they weren’t going to get out of the Winegard system in time, but, no that would have been an unnecessary expense, against Winegard company policy. Much better for the company to have the customer wait around for 2 more weeks for the next available appointment with the service center ( it is the week before Memorial Day and their Clear Creek RV’s service department is swamped ). The fact that this may be inconvenient and add a lot of additional expense to the customer simply is not a consideration of Winegard’s.

Soaring bald eagle
Soaring bald eagle

I insert this image just to keep you interested, many more shots below!

In a lengthy, and very informative discussion with the service manager at Clear Creek RV ( I drove in to Silverdale to let them know, in person, that I was going to have to cancel my appointment for tomorrow ), I found that I was going to have to pay for the warranty work anyhow since Winegard treats their service dealers as badly as they do their customers. He apologized for having to insist that all Winegard customers having warranty work done on their systems at Clear Creek RV would have to pay for the work upfront and then chase after Winegard for reimbursement, since the service center has to pull teeth and then wait 8 to 10 months to ever be paid by Winegard. I can’t fault the service center for this, it is just good business sense when dealing with an outfit as pathetic as Winegard is surely revealing itself to be.

I pay $160/month for DirecTv high definition service. In the 10 months I have been on the road fulltime in my RV, I have been without service because of defective Winegard equipment for more than two of those ten months ( so far! ), that’s $330 out of my pocket, wasted. In addition, I have spent over 40 hours of my time, personally replacing parts, personally replacing an entire turret system, sending emails, waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for replies, waiting for phone calls that are never to come, driving to service centers and waiting while the system is replaced, and making appointments that can’t be kept because of the Winegard Company’s failure to deliver parts on time. Without a doubt, this is the absolute worst waste of my hard earned money ( $2400 installed new in April of 2013 ) that I have ever spent in 66 years. How a company that treats its customers so poorly can stay in business is a testament to how low our expectations have fallen over the years.

Winegard, this is disgraceful! To all of you out there perhaps considering purchasing a Winegard product, don’t say you haven’t been forewarned!

Eagles, Eagles, Eagles !

Bald eagle landing amongst the oysters
Bald eagle landing amongst the oysters

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version. And yes, a lot of them are worth checking out!

Bald eagle in flight
Bald eagle in flight
Bald eagles in tree
Browsing the menu

The eagles sit in the trees along the shore looking for a heron to snag a fish.

Bald eagle looking for a lunch to steal
Bald eagle looking for a lunch to steal

When they see a catch, they are instantly on the poor heron, forcing it to give up it’s catch.

Eagle stealing from Heron
Eagle stealing from Heron

The heron drops his catch in the middle image above.

A double steal
A double steal

After the eagle steals the fish from the heron, the game is on and he has to run the gauntlet of other eagles trying to steal it from him.

Bald eagle chase
Bald eagle chase

When there is no thievery going on, I’ll shoot the eagles soaring above.

Soaring bald eagle
Soaring bald eagle
Soaring bald eagle
Soaring bald eagle
Soaring bald eagle
Soaring bald eagle
Bald eagle in flight
Bald eagle in flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once in a while the eagles will actually go out and grab a fish from the water themselves, but they do seem to prefer to let the herons do the dirty work for them.

Bald eagle and crow
Bald eagle and crow
Bald eagle and crow
Bald eagle and crow
Bald eagle and crow
Bald eagle and crow

This guy had a crow escort, I guess in case he dropped a morsel.

Meet “Frank”

Frank announcing his presence
Frank announcing his presence

Frank is the name the locals have given this one-eyed, leucistic bald eagle.

Frank announcing his presence
Frank announcing his presence

Frank may appear to regularly be visiting the wrong floor of a two story outhouse, but I am told his irregular white feathers are the result of a genetic condition termed leucisticism.

Two story outhouse
Two story outhouse

And yes, two story outhouses do, or did, exist!

Despite his afflictions, Frank seems to be getting along pretty well, he steals his fair share of sculpin from the herons, though usually seems to end up on the losing side of hie food battles with the other eagles.

Moving in to steal Frank's fish
Moving in to steal Frank’s fish
Frank being blindsided
Frank being blindsided
Frank driven off his fish
Frank driven off his fish

The other eagles do not miss a thing. They always attack Frank from the left, his ” blindside “.

Frank's handicap
Frank’s handicap

In this flyover shot, you can see Frank’s non functioning left eye. I have no idea how  he can nab fish from the water, since without a second eye, he must not have any depth perception, perhaps that is why I have yet to see him do any fishing.

Frank in flight
Frank in flight

Frank is still a majestic, handsome bird, you just have to remember to shoot him from his ” good side “.

Going after Junior's fish
Going after Junior’s fish
Stealing from Junior
Stealing from Junior 

These are the shots I am really here to get! The aerial action shots. Although they occur with some regularity, they usually happen just out of range. Once in a while, you get lucky.

Bald eagle with sculpin
Bald eagle with sculpin
Bald eagle heading for the trees for lunch
Bald eagle heading for the trees for lunch
Eagle flyover portrait
Eagle flyover portrait

From my position on the beach, I am able to get some pretty close shots of the eagles as they fly over me heading back up into the trees to devour their fish uninterrupted by their counterparts.

All in all, one of the best days I have ever encountered doing this, great light, wonderful weather, good friends, and plenty of action. And the locals tell me the best is yet to come, the action really heats up in June!

Bald eagle landing on the oyster bed
Bald eagle landing on the oyster bed
Bald eagle on the hunt
Bald eagle on the hunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “May 19, 2014 Scenic Beach State Park, Washington”

    1. Thank you, Tori, nice to hear from you, hope you and your Mom are doing well! I have a lot more eagle images I am trying to get posted today.

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