An eagle sighting?

I spent Sunday afternoon at the Yadkin Islands portion of Pilot Mountain State Park in East Bend with a group of students from Wake Forest University. I teach a first-year writing seminar there with the river as the organizing theme. We have read newspaper accounts of river journeys. And they’ve met some of the people you’ve met here in earlier posts. But I wanted them to see the river for themselves.
We took the trail that heads south from the boat access. My students talked about their rafting and hiking adventures out west. One had spent seven weeks in Utah. Another had hiked the Grand Tetons. And they all had a class IV rafting adventure in their past. I wondered how our own wild river would compare.
The trail follows the river through the woods for at most half a mile, and ends at a point where an unnamed creek empties into the wide water. Ahead lie the Shoals. Just as we came to the point, I heard a rush in the woods and a large bird flew in close for a moment, close enough for me to hear its wings beat, before it headed out over the water.  I saw its white chest and dark tail. I know a pair of bald eagles nests nearby. And I heard it call, kleek-kik-ik-ik. I swear it sounded like the birdcall I found on line:  http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/25/overview/Bald_Eagle.aspx. It had to be one of the eagles others have seen nearby, but I can’t be sure. And my students came up a moment too late to see anything but a large bird in the distance and a river that was larger and wilder than they had expected.
Phoebe

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~ by yadkinriverstory on September 13, 2010.

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