Tag Archives: gavins point dam

One More Look of Siouxland’s Winter Visitors (well first of the year winter), Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

8 Apr
A bald eagle perches in a tree above the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This year, so far, I have seen a number of bald eagles in various locales within the Siouxland region. The majority of those sightings took place at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD along the Missouri River bordering the state of Nebraska.

Watching this creatures soar and dive and then perch aloft in tree tops is indescribably thrilling. They are are magnificent. Using a telephoto lens allows one a closer look. And after shooting way too many photos, one is able to retain a few keepers. I have seen other eagle photos posted that are much more dynamic than mine, but I keep trying. Time, place and luck, one can only wish and hope.

A bald eagle flies over the Missouri River looking for a meal below near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle scoops up a fish from the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even the best “athlete” has challenging days. A number of eagles caught fish from the Missouri River then subsequently lost their grip, which seems hard to imagine seeing their talons up close through a lens when they perch in the tree tops. But fish, even dead ones, are slippery, and then sometimes you have that interloper who expects you to share.

And back again into the drink for another chance for a meal and maybe the thrill of a catch.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A juvenile bald eagle challenges an adult male to its catch in mid-air over the Missouri Rive near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle clutches a fish it caught from the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Try try again and a bald eagle clutches another fish it caught from the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes plans don’t go as expected as a bald eagle drops a fish it caught back into the Missouri River near the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Photographers and birders watch bald eagles perch in trees and fly about the spillway of the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Monday, January 3, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Watching Eagles Soar, Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

15 Mar
A bald eagle looks down from its perch near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s been an exciting winter this year in Siouxland to have been able to to see so many bald eagles and enjoy watching them cavort in and around the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD and elsewhere.

A bald eagle launches itself off a branch as it takes to the sky near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle launches itself off a branch to check for fish near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The birds or raptors are so fierce seeing them up close with a telephoto lens. And bird migration for the coming warmer months has begun as well with various species making their annual return trip for spending the spring, summer and early part of the fall months before making the trek again.

But it will be nice to see some green re-emerge and add some color to the landscape. And enjoying warmer weather, although winter has been overly warm itself, just not on a daily basis.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

People gather to watch bald eagles near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle sits on an ice outcropping looking for a meal near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle holds onto a fish it took out of the river near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Saturday , January 8, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Soaring in Siouxland on a Blustery Day, Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

19 Feb
A bald eagle rides an air current near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I never realized living in Siouxland that there are so many areas where it’s possible to view bald eagles depending on the time of year. It is so fascinating watching them fish and soar and just hang out with their brethren as we mere human mortals watch them. While working for so many years in the area it never occurred to me to go check them out or find the places one could watch them. Duh. Other priorities and tasks awaited free time then.

An adult bald eagle sits in a tree over a parking lot near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have photographed these creatures a few time in different places and probably have taken too too many photographs. Not all of which are stellar, or even close to other photographers’ images. But it’s a nice challenge and an enjoyable experience to see them up close and personal in a way, especially near Gavins Point Dam where the trees the birds roost in at times are almost if not quite eye level to places a person can stand, watch and photograph.

A bald eagle cry out from a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Another bald eagle comes in for a landing to a tree near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

From a nearby vantage point a person can watch bald eagles interact in a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it’s a nice excuse to get out of the house, breathe some fresh air and watch some magnificent creatures in real life rather than on a nature show on the television, or online as well these days. Sometimes it’s those quick and fleeting moments that can bring joy, as these creatures don’t generally stay in one spot for long.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A bald eagle makes a landing on a blustery day in a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle completes a landing on a blustery day in a tree overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle balances on a branch as it is buffeted by a gust of wind on a tree’s branch overlooking the spillway at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A bald eagle heads back to a place it can enjoy its catch of fish from the Missouri River near the spillway at Gavins Point Dam outside of Yankton, SD Tuesday , January 11, 2022. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Soaring in Siouxland, Gavins Point Dam, Yankton, SD

16 Jan
People watch from a parking lot as an adult bald eagle soars about at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature always amazes in good ways and sometimes bad and a recent outing in Siouxland brought the unexpected fun of watching bald eagles fly and fish at the spillway of Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD. This is a stopping off point for a variety of migratory fowl with open water most times in nearby lake areas at the Lewis and Clark Recreation area and at the dam’s spillway which regulates water flowing downstream of the Missouri River.

An adult bald eagle soars over the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An adult and juvenile bald eagle locked in a stare down at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A photographer tries his luck photographing both adult and juvenile bald eagles soaring about at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s truly amazing watching the bald eagles fly about and then dive, somewhat, into the flowing water of the river to catch fish. Sometimes it was like watching “touch and go” maneuvers that military aircraft sometimes perform during training. And as it was still during a holiday week a number of spectators came out to watch these majestic creatures perch in trees or look for food.

An adult bald eagle soars over the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An adult bald eagle clings onto something it pulled from the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle grabs something in the Missouri River while in flight over the spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was also challenging from a photographer’s standpoint in trying to follow the action which sometimes pivoted on a dime acquire focus as these creatures made their way over and near the water. Although I might be somewhat disappointed with the results of my photographic experience, I was not disappointed in the opportunity to watch these birds perform their aerial acrobatics, successes and near misses all being equal.

I could think of worse ways to spend part of a day, not withstanding with a day temperature of 45 degrees in late December.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Two juvenile bald eagles manoeuvre while in flight at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A juvenile bald eagle readies to grab something in the Missouri River while in flight over the spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An adult bald eagle soars over the Missouri River spillway at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A number of adult and juvenile bald eagles perch on a tree at the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD Thursday, December 30, 2021 (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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