Thacher Hawkwatch - Golden Eagle

Naomi Lloyd

I did a mini-hawkwatch at the Thacher Park overlook today for 3-1/2 hours. The wind was pretty steady from the WNW with a few light snow flurries. Things were pretty quiet for the first 90 minutes - just two probably-local Redtails, so I walked the rim trail for a bit and came across two bright red Fox Sparrows. Action picked up a bit at the cliffside - 1 Peregrine (probably local), 3 Black Vultures heading strongly southwards, 1 adult and 1 first-year Bald Eagles. A little before 1:00 another eagle flew towards me and it immediately had a different 'giss' than the imm BAEA 15 minutes before. As it flew westward at long scope distance, I saw no white on the underwings, head, or tail. The wingstrokes seemed not as deep and in gliding it consistently held its wings in a slight dihedral, never giving the BAEA 'flying plank' look.

It's worth a try if the wind is from the north or northwest - just dress warmly!


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