All eyes on Sheffield Mills' eagles
BY SARA KEDDY
Kings County Register
Keep an eagle eye out over the next few weeks for Sheffield Mill’s winter residents.
The eagles are here, just in time for what’s now the 19th Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch. The two big weekend are January 23 and 24 and January 30 and 31 and, “eagle light,” as organizers call it, is February 6 and 7. “There are lots of eagles already,” says Richard Hennigar. “They’re around.”
The eagles spend winter time here in the Valley, and they like Sheffield Mills for the number of chicken barns. Growers regularly clean out their barns, and the dead chickens attract the eagles - and spectators. “The best viewing is the morning time - the eagles are not on contract to fly around for people,” Hennigar says. Early in the day, they fly and watch from their trees for food. “Once they’re full for the day, it’s more quiet.”
Farmers have had to change their husbandry practices in recent years to meet on-farm disease and poultry health standards and, working with the Eagle Watch organizers, have developed a central site in the community to both dispose of barn waste and attract the eagles. “The site at the end of Middle Dyke Road is the best place to gravitate to,” Hennigar says: there is parking, a marked viewing area and, generally, a congregation of eagles.
Taking advantage of several thousand visitors, Sheffield Mills and its neighbours are offering food, music and related displays over the Eagle Watch weekends.
January 23 and 24 at the Sheffield Mills hall, there is a pancake and sausage breakfast between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Music, beginning at 9 a.m., includes The Beatons and Gilbert McInnis Saturday; and Johanne Jobin and Laura Roy Sunday. A variety supper will be hosted between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. by Trinity United Church in Canning.
Breakfast is on again January 30 and 31, with music Saturday by Blue Print and Caleb Miles and, Sunday, from Adam, Chris and John and T@b. Saturday’s main meal is baked beans and ham at the Lloyd Memorial Centre in Kingsport, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, the Medford Women’s Institute hosts a soup luncheon at the Lloyd Memorial Centre, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
February 6, there is a soup and chili luncheon at the Lloyd Memorial Centre, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. February 7, the Sheffield Mills hall offers light refreshments, including hot coffee and cinnamon buns.
At the Sheffield Mills hall all weekends, there are information displays, videos and crafts. A photography show by the Kings County Photography Club will also be staged. Admission is $1, with a ballot for the people’s choice award and a $100 door prize.