EA­GLE EYES

Sh­effield Mills pre­par­ing to host thou­sands of vis­i­tors for Ea­gle Watch week­ends

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIRK STARRATT SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Sh­effield Mills, N.S., pre­par­ing to host thou­sands of vis­i­tors for Ea­gle Watch week­ends.

The ea­gles are plen­ti­ful, as will be the num­ber of vis­i­tors con­verg­ing on Sh­effield Mills.

As has been the case for sev­eral years now, Sh­effield Mills Ea­gle Watch will take place over two week­ends, Jan. 26 and 27 and Feb. 2 and 3. This will be the 28th an­nual event.

Meg Hodges, a res­i­dent of the com­mu­nity for about six years and a mem­ber of the Sh­effield Mills Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive, said Ea­gle Watch is one of the few times dur­ing the year that ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity gets to­gether to work on a com­mon project.

For those hop­ing to ob­serve ea­gles, they will be fed chick­ens do­nated by area farm­ers in the field at the cor­ner of Mid­dle Dyke and Bains roads at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. all four Ea­gle Watch morn­ings.

Hodges said it’s ex­cit­ing to see so many ea­gles around this win­ter. She was at her neigh­bour’s home the other day and saw a con­vo­ca­tion of up to three dozen fly up from a pond be­hind the house.

“They’re here and they’re hun­gry, so it will be a good show,” she said.

An­other crowd favourite is the pan­cake break­fast, tak­ing place at the Sh­effield Mills Com­mu­nity Hall all four morn­ings from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for chil­dren younger than 12 and chil­dren un­der age four get in for free. There will be live mu­sic and the menu con­sists of pan­cakes made from scratch with in­gre­di­ents pro­vided by Eos Nat­u­ral Foods and sausages from the Can­ning Vil­lage Meat Mar­ket. There will be Ox­ford blue­berry sauce and War­ren Fam­ily maple syrup to top it off. Just Us! Cof­fee Roasters will pro­vide hot bev­er­ages, there will be ap­ple juice from Great Val­ley Juices and ap­ple cider from Richard Hen­ni­gar of Suprima Farms. There will also be lo­cal eggs avail­able as a gluten­free op­tion.

Mem­bers of the Blo­mi­don Nat­u­ral­ists So­ci­ety will be up­stairs in the hall talk­ing about ea­gles and their habi­tat and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ducks Un­lim­ited will have a booth.

“There will be lots of in­for­ma­tion out there for peo­ple who want to learn more about ea­gles and why they come to Sh­effield Mills,” Hodges said.

Ross Creek Cen­tre for the Arts will be up­stairs in the hall on Jan. 26 with ea­gle-themed crafts for kids and there will be ea­gle-re­lated art on dis­play.

When Ea­gle Watch be­gan 27 years ago, about 100 peo­ple were served break­fast, mostly from the vicin­ity of Sh­effield Mills. Last year, about 5,000 peo­ple were served over the four days of the event.

Hodges said or­ga­niz­ing such a large fundrais­ing event has been a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in many ways and she wouldn’t know as many peo­ple in Sh­effield Mills if it weren’t for the event.

GARY MAN­NING/SPE­CIAL TO SALTWIRE

Or­ga­nizer Meg Hodges says there has re­cently been an abun­dance of ea­gles in the Sh­effield Mills area.

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