Friday, August 28, 2009

Heidecke Lake - August 28, 2009

More photos from today:

Perfect fishing day

I knew fishing would be slow because of the bait fish that are always abundant this time of year, but I decided I'd give the lake a shot anyway. Sure enough, fishing was pretty slow. I caught a few Drum and lost a little Smallmouth that threw the crank bait.

Baitfish on the locator

The highlight of the day was seeing a bird of prey. I'm not sure exactly what species it was ( thanks to Mary Hennen of the Field Museum of Chicago for identifying it as a Peregrine Falcon named Sloopy. She was able to look up numbers on the bands on its legs), but I first spotted it underneath a railroad car. I took several photos as I went past it. I got about 50 yards away from it and it took off and landed about 50 yards in front of me on top of a railroad car. I didn't think much of this until it happened again a couple more times. Could this bird have been following me?

Bird of Prey (Peregrine Falcon) under a Railroad Car

When I got home and looked at the photos on the computer, I noticed bands around birds legs. That had me wondering if the bird had been rehabilitated or domesticated.

On top of a railroad car

Regardless, it was a unique experience to see a bird like that up close, and to have it follow and watch me. Hopefully it wasn't thinking of me as a possible meal. :-)

Bird of Prey posing for the camera

When I was angling the boat to try to get a better photo, I destroyed the prop on the trolling motor. Not only did it shear the pin, but it embedded the parts of the pin into the prop and cracked the inside. It's a good thing those pins are designed to shear before anything else gets damaged. I put the spare prop on but decided to call it a day anyway.

One more picture before it's time to go

Despite not catching many fish, it was a wonderful day to be on the water. There was almost no wind and it stayed cloudy. The air temp was in the mid 70s and the water temp was only 71.

Freshwater Drum


  1. Hi Bill - Sorry to hear the fishing was slow, but, you really got some great photo's of the raptor. It is interesting how the bird followed you. Maybe he was hoping to intercept one of the fish you might be bringing in to the boat.

  2. We have a couple of those exact same type birds in our neighborhood. After much internet research, I've decide they are Coopers Hawks. Google it and tell me if you agree.

  3. Cliff,

    The field Museum of Chicago was able to identify this bird by the tags on its legs. The birds name is Sloopy and it turned out to be a female Peregrine Falcon that was fledged on the north side of Chicago.