My wife and her sister and I planned to go on an Audubon Society barge trip yesterday on Lake Ouachita to look for bald eagles. My wife opted to stay home, as she’s been a little under the weather of late, but my sister-in-law and I stuck to the plan. We did not see any eagles in the trees along the banks. We saw a few tiny, almost invisible spots off in the distance that we believe were eagles; and we saw a few vultures, some grebes, a couple of mallard ducks, and some gulls. But the hoped-for eagles perched in trees along the shoreline did not materialize.
Skies were clear (which, we learned, tends to send eagles soaring, not perching in trees), the wind was strong and cold, making the ride in the barge a bracing experience. Our two guides/navigators work (one full-time, one part-time) for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. They were nice folks who seem to enjoy their jobs. And something I really appreciated was the offer the more senior one made; she said, because we did not see eagles as we’d hoped, we were welcome to come back soon for a scheduled afternoon re-try; they will give us a complementary trip if we choose (and we remind them of the offer they made).
There is some stunning beauty in Oauchita State Park, and Lake Ouachita. I plan to go back to hike some of the trails. And maybe I’ll rent a paddle boat. Or a kayak. But the water must be a bit warmer before I do.