Tuesday morning, Diane Parsonnet opened her dining room curtains to a somewhat misty, overcast day. She looked out the glass-sliding doors to the beach at Eastern Lake outfall and saw two large birds standing on the white sand.
As they walked slowly westward on the edge of the water, she thought the birds were two buzzards at first. She grabbed her binoculars and upon closer inspection realized they were bald eagles.
The pair stayed in her sight long enough for her to grab a camera with a long lens and take their picture.
When she posted the picture to Facebook. It quickly went viral and was reposted and shared hundreds of times. The reaction of all was a resounding "Wow!"
Parsonnet has lived on the Eastern Lake outfall since 2002. She had heard there were eagles in the area but had not seen one until Tuesday morning.
"Who would have thought?" she said. "It was a special moment to see those beautiful creatures and to have my camera nearby to catch it."
The sighting was of particular interest to Parsonnet, who has been active with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge since moving here and after finding an injured pelican at the lake outfall shortly after purchasing her home.
"Always a lover of wildlife, I was hooked after that rescue," she said. "The position of my house gives plenty of wildlife-viewing opportunities, so my eyes are constantly scanning for something to see."
She said the "rare moment" and eagle sighting would be something she'd always treasure.
"I had heard that a pair had been sighted around Eastern Lake but I had not have the privilege of seeing them yet. It made for a perfect day," she said excitedly. "It's just another daily confirmation of the beauty, diversity and significance of our Beaches of South Walton."
This isn't the first time eagles have been spotted hitting the beach. Click here to see photos from last year.