I was rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the River.

I thought I’d take a little creative license and tweak John Fogerty’s “Proud Mary” lyrics just a tad for the title of this blog post. I know that song will be an earworm for you the rest of the day now. I prefer the Tina Turner version myself.

It’s been over a month since I took this trek and captured some images along the Detroit River – it was on Groundhog Day, February 2nd. I wanted to stay outside as long as I could to soak up the sunshine and enjoy the predicted 54F (12C) temperature later in the day, but when I stepped outside in the early morn, it was a little chilly, so I scurried back inside to grab a heavier jacket since I’d be down on the waterfront.

This was a three-park day on that gorgeous Sunday, with the first stop taking the longest, at Council Point Park. I was only going to stay about an hour at that venue, but, you may recall, on that trek I spent considerable time mesmerized by the Canada Goose, who was not grazing on grass, nor scamming the squirrels’ peanuts, but wrangling a fish. I was able to take a series of photos of the goose with its prize; in case you missed the post, just click here.

It was a Sunday stroll to savor.

After leaving Council Point Park, I drove to Bishop Park in Wyandotte. Wyandotte is a fairly cosmopolitan city and its business district and many eateries are found in close proximity to this riverfront park. Once warmer weather arrives, there are many events in the areas adjacent to the waterfront like fireworks, street fairs, parades and the like. Bishop Park is not a large park, just 12.2 acres, but has a veterans memorial, small playground, pavilion and picnicking amenities. Its boardwalk stretches just about one city block, so it’s not a place you’d go to bulk up on steps for your walking regimen. Bishop Park’s biggest draw is the scenic view of big freighters as they glide past Hennepin Point and sometimes pass one another on the horizon. The kayakers come to the launch area on sunny Summer days.

The wooden pier, which juts out over the Detroit River, is a favorite spot for anglers and home to the City’s Annual Fishing Derby which has occurred the first Saturday in June for over three decades.

But on this morning, surprisingly, just a handful of folks were Sunday strolling. Perhaps they would gather once the temps warmed up later in the day. It was kind of windy and I was mindful of those occasional gusts as the wind buffeted me a few times while I walked along the pier and riverfront. I was grateful for the guard rails as I watched waves leaping up and lapping against the seawall, even though not a single boat was in sight. You can see the flags flapping in the stiff breeze.

If you close your eyes while here at the Detroit River’s edge, the shrieking seagulls could make you think you are walking along a beach shoreline and not just a block away from a bustling business district. Surprisingly the seagulls were absent though. In the Summer, the bold and brazen seagulls have been known to swipe a hot dog or hamburger bun right off someone’s BBQ grill at Bishop Park. Then yelling, or maybe a little swearing ensues, something like “hey wait a minute – come back with that! … um, maybe not – I guess it’s yours Bud.”

The sun was shining brightly for the first time in several weeks, and even I, the ultimate weather worrier, had to concede that maybe the two Groundhogs, the infamous Punxsutawney Phil and Woody, Michigan’s female woodchuck, (whose predictions are more accurate than Phil’s), were spot on in their early Spring prediction. “How nice if the snow and bitter cold were done for the season” I thought. As the sun got stronger and brighter, I knew I would savor this little “Spring Fling” should Winter make a return visit, so I would indeed “seize the day” as that expression goes. I even unzipped my coat as suddenly it seemed unbelievably and uncomfortably warm, despite the strong winds.

Enamored of eagles.

After departing Bishop Park, I walked around downtown Wyandotte a little, then headed to Dingell Park, just about 2½ miles away. The beautiful day had brought a few fishermen to this riverfront venue, as well as spectators with binoculars pressed up against their eyes and photographers toting tripods and long lenses. All gathered silently at the boardwalk, hoping for a glimpse of, or a perfect shot of, a Bald Eagle.

The pavilion area juts out a little over the cove. Sometimes the cove area, with its rocky shoreline and extremely clear water, may be teeming with Canada Geese, Mallard and Canvasback Ducks and Seagulls; even the occasional Mute Swan or Great Blue Heron will put in an appearance to the delight of children and adults.

But the main attraction every year, mostly in January and February, are the Bald Eagles that live in the trees on Mud Island, one of the collection of many small, uninhabited islands that are part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and the northernmost island of the Refuge.

Oh, to soar like an eagle

I’ve visited Dingell Park when a heavy ice covering had multiple shorebirds riding on the ice floes and I blogged about it. It was fun to watch them on the ice as it clinked against the seawall and the floes bounced into one another. But, enjoyable as the waterfowl may be, the crowd is not there to see them, but the big prize, the eagles which dip and dive through the skies as they exit the trees to scope out fish in the Detroit River. Sometimes those eagles will swoop down, talons extended, to grab a silvery shad, or, depending on the amount of ice on the Detroit River, those eagles will perch on an ice floe and simply study any open water for a sign of life. If you go to Dingell Park on Facebook, the site is full of eagle photos every January and February and other waterfowl throughout the year. Here is the link if you care to see them – trust me, my eagle photos will likely never make it to this informal Facebook site.

By late Spring/early Summer the Walleye run makes it difficult to get to this park on a weekend. Pickup trucks with their hitches line West Jefferson Avenue, boats jam the waterways and anglers are elbow-to-elbow at riverfront piers all along the Detroit River, as local fishermen and even those from across the country, come to the annual Walleye run.

While I didn’t get any great eagle shots (or none good enough to satisfy my eagle quest for my 2020 Photo Bucket List), if you scrunch up your face and squint at the pictures just the right way, you’ll find eagles in my shots below.

Post script: I returned again on February 21st and the eagles must’ve slept in. A trip to the riverfront yesterday yielded the very last eagle shot, albeit a bit blurry. Something tells me you have to be in the right place at the right time .

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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42 Responses to I was rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the River.

  1. Sandra J says:

    A nice bright day in the park, even with the wind. I looked at the face book link, lots of good photos. I like the one where the eagle is catching a fish right in front of a swan. You don’t see that everyday. What a great place for the eagles, Mud island. Just far enough away probably where the cameras can’t quit reach? Good for the eagles though. I take a lot of photos like that also. Where the birds are so far away. But you still know they are there and it is fun seeing all the other photographers waiting for that perfect shot. With cold fingers. Great Post Linda. Have a good day today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Sandra – glad you liked the post. I almost didn’t include the very tiny eagle pictures – you really had to look hard to see the eagle with its legs hanging down while descending onto the water. That Facebook site is fun to look at – I watch it all year around to see what is down there and I looked to see if this new park is on Facebook and it is, but it is mostly people posting shots at prom or homecoming, although there were some nice shots in Google of this new park I discovered (BASF Waterfront Park). There are two photographers who post there a lot and they also take great shots of the ducks too. I liked that shot of the eagle catching a fish with the swan right there too – I think the photographer thought the swan photobombed the shot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        I will have to do that, look up parks on face book, never though of that. I might find a park I have overlooked. I get emails from Michigan DNR and parks every couple months highlighting the parks up north. Hopefully I will see some new ones up there this year also.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        For some reason Council Point Park WAS on Facebook and then a park in Virginia has the same name and now they are co-mingled. That’s too bad that happened. I have looked on Discover the Forest website, where you put in your zipcode and they give you some nearby parks. I kept hearing the ad on the radio: https://discovertheforest.org/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        Well, if that isn’t the handiest app ever. You have the best information. I will be using this one and adding it to my phone for traveling. Thank yo Linda. This new technology is something isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I kept hearing the “Discover the Forest” commercials all the time, for the girl who goes kayaking with her father, so I Googled it one day – for you it is handy as it has recreational areas for camping. Plus the birding and hiking – glad you like it Sandra. Yes, the new technology – a list of parks for each state (you don’t even need a zipcode, just put in the state) for a couple of mouse clicks. Stick with me kid! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        It is a wonderful app, or site I guess you call it. I have an app that shows all the state, city and national campgrounds. I use that one all the time. But this site shows regular parks also. It will come in so handy in other states. Even in Iowa. I have started a folder with just the stuff you are sharing about places and birds. I just saw your photo of the Swans in the sparkling water. That email went to junk, it is a beautiful photo. Thanks so much Linda.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        They are beautiful birds and in the sparkling water, even more so – you are welcome and I’m sure you’ll have fun with that site in each state where you travel. Have a good day Sandra.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        You also Linda.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ruthsoaper says:

    Actually “Fly Like An Eagle” is the song I now have running through my mind. LOL. That last photo Is very good. I think much of life is about being at the right place at the right time.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That song would stick out in my mind too Ruth, but this fellow blogger, Sandra, whom I just mentioned in the prior post about the “Birdie Bucket List” had just published a post on eagles and used that song, so I didn’t want to look like I copied her post. I agree with you – you look the other way for a minute and you miss a great shot. I spend last Saturday on the River at several parks for a total of six+ hours – it was so gorgeous out and I saw no freighters amazingly, but saw one tugboat.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        Seems like freighter traffic should be picking up soon. The soo lock don’t open until March 24 or 25 so many will be waiting for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, you’re right – I thought shipping season may have started earlier since there were no issues with the big ice formations like there usually are. Something else to see down on the River once that happens – I like watching them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I wonder if the eagles know you’re trying to photograph them, so they’re making a game of it for you. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I think the smaller birds around the house or the park do that Ally – they seem to duck me, I’m sure of it, but in this case, I think it is me and I don’t have adequate long lens power to get a good shot. I was talking to a photographer there and he said his best shots were when the eagles came down onto the ice to go fishing. Now that would be close enough for me to get photos of.
      We did not get the ice floes we have had in the past – we had some amazing ice floes after the last Polar Vortex – big slabs of ice pushed against the seawall and ice floes covered with seagulls and ducks cruising on by as you stood at the pavilion area. It was an amazing sight.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. one off the list 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Well, the last shot was not too bad, but a little blurry – the other shots, you really had to squint to see them clearly. I cannot compete with the photographers that you saw in the post with their extremely long lenses.

      Like

  5. krc says:

    Wonderful weather
    So many photographers there

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, it was a gorgeous day and I have been going to the riverfront more, not just to see if I can see/photograph the eagles, but because the other parks are rather blah right now, no color and not much happening – I got a lot of geese and swans pics on my last trip, so was more successful than most times. The photographers with the big lenses have great pictures – I like looking on the Facebook site to see their post.

      Like

  6. Warmer weather coming soon! We are having a glorious day today. There is a lot of critter activity going — squirrels, birds, chipmunks. Methinks there is a mating fever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      We had low 60s today – amazing. I hated to come in after my walk today. With the time change, I had to leave later … hated for that time change, as it was light enough to get longer walks. I agree with you – the squirrels are chasing one another across the yard and up/around the trees. Lots of birdcalls to one another too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t seen the frogs yet. They like to cavort in the spring but it’s a little early yet.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I saw the little frogs at one of the marshy parks in the Summertime … very cute and bright green and they sit on this invasive, small, heart-shaped leaves called Frog-bit. They blend right in and you don’t see them until they hop. Yes, this warm weather is just a tease – I think we’ll have a little more Winter yet.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Our long range forecast isn’t looking very wintery. It’s seasonal to warmer going out 10 days. By then we are close to the end of March. Fingers crossed! I have spring fever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Ours neither – I have my fingers crossed too. I hope I can still say I can count the times I shoveled this Winter on the fingers of one hand and I never drove in snow one time … that has to be a first for me!

        Like

  7. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………..that is a marvelous Eagle picture…………………………cool!……………I like it and to think its from right near us in Ecorse Michigan!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Joni says:

    The last picture is still a good picture! Looks like you had a good outing and another one off the list!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thank you Joni – at least the last photo you can tell it is an eagle – the other shots, it is hard to tell, but I put them in there anyway since I had mentioned going there before. Yes, it is off the list as I don’t know if I’ll get any closer in 2020 unless they land on the ice near where I am standing and that might not be til next Winter (hopefully)!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. susieshy45 says:

    Hi Linda,
    I am here after reading the two link items you sent me- thank you for keeping a lookout.
    we heard nothing so far- can you believe that ? But as you say, maybe my stint in the US was only for this long- who knew?
    Love all the pictures and the clear blue skies and the very clean sidewalks- who keeps them so spotless.
    The eagle pictures are marvellous- I love them from afar as if to show that they are free- and far from the crowd.
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I am betting by week’s end, you will hear Susie – after all how would your school look by not permitting online classes if the other Ivy League schools are closing and allowing the students to finish out the term remotely.

      Glad you liked the photos – it was beautiful there when I went each time – the City does a good job of keeping the park clean since it is a park dedicated to a former Congressman, the longest-serving congressman in the U.S. who passed away last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The eagles are nesting now but they take turns hunting. You captured some really nice shots!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Eliza says:

    Stunning weather. Looks cold but bright and clear…
    Lotsa love light and glitter

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lovely sounding day out ❤

    Liked by 3 people

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