Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sea Eagle 'Fly By' & More

As birders we all have those days when an event takes place that we relive in our minds for many months after the event. A recent visit to a Southern beach saw one such event. While watching a distant flock of birds a shadow passed over me that instantly made me look up. On looking up I was startled for a few moments to see a White-breasted Sea Eagle not many metres above my head. Although I was carrying a camera, it took a long time to bring it to bear on the Eagle. Too long! By the time I had got my wits together it had travelled on, and all I could see was its' rear end. Mixed emotions at this point. I had a very close view of the bird, but had failed to capture the moment. I needn't have despaired, it came back and gave me another chance! And then when it appeared to have decided I wasn't likely to cause any harm, it landed in a tree, some 100 metres away (top right). I had seen this or some other Sea Eagle in the area on many visits, often watching from a tree top. After a while it flew further into the lightly wooded area and I looked for it with my binos.. At this point my heart skipped a beat, as there wasn't one eagle, but two. And they were both standing atop a large nest of sticks, some metre or more wide and a similar depth. What the nest may contain, of course I don't know and I believe eagles often have several nest sites they use in rotation, so I can't be sure it's active. But I did wonder why I hadn't noticed this large nest on one of the many trips I have made to the area. I'm not going to tell you where it is for obvious reasons, but hopefully, if they have chosen this site, they'll be successful.

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