Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Made My Day---White-bellied Sea Eagle

I was having a somewhat frustrating day. I had set of for the Arve Valley, hoping to find and photograph, Scrubtits. Well, I found several, all in deep, deep shade, and not very co-operative either. I had tried instead, first Tasmanian Scrubwrens and then a pair of Pink Robins. None of them wanted to play. Cutting my losses, I decided to look for Swift Parrots. I had found a few at Port Huon on the way, high in the tops of blue-gums, being harried by a pair of Yellow Wattlebirds, and I had heard a distant flock in the forest near Geeveston. Bill Wakefield had mentioned seeing several in coastal trees around Gordon, and I opted to go there.
By now the morning was nearly over, and from previous experience, Swift Parrots often roost in the middle of the day, and are more difficult to find. Several stops along the coast near Gordon failed to produce any Swifties, which was in line with the rest of my morning! I was just deciding whether to find an eatery or wait until I got home to have lunch, when I noticed a bird flying parallel to my car over the water. My first
assumption was Kelp Gull, possibly from the nearby gullery, but cautiously switching my gaze from road to bird (and back), I realised it was a White-bellied Sea Eagle. Not only that, but if I drove hard enough, and got to the approaching small headland first, I had an evens chance of photographing it as it flew by. Well I beat it by a whisker, or whatever the avian equivalent is, parked (there are double white lines here, but it's a quiet road), grabbed my camera. I was ready! But the eagle had seemingly disappeared. Where was it? I walked back down the road, looking out over the bay, nothing. Then the penny dropped, it had landed in a nearby 'tree with a view'. I closed on the bird, but it looked a bit edgy and shortly took flight. I took several shots as it passed, which when reviewed as I ambled back, were terrible! I really was having a bad day. Fortunately, as I looked back towards my car, I could see the eagle, now perched in a tree alongside it. Take 2. This perch was photographically much better, and the eagle allowed me to photograph and watch it for 15 minutes or more. Finally, after much ruffling of feathers, it took flight, almost straight towards me and away over the hillside forest. I suspect this bird is a regular along this piece of coast, probably nesting nearby, and has become accustomed to vehicles and the presence of people. For me, it saved an otherwise forgettable morning.

10 comments:

david said...

Magnificent! Wow.

I saw this species twice in PNG, but only as brief flyovers in each case.

Lynette said...

Wonderful photos and birds. The closest I have been to these magnificent birds was in a local wildlife park that had taken in an injured one.
https://soulsongart.wordpress.com/

BirdingTas said...

Thanks David and Lynnette for your comments--I'm blushing! Ironically, I didn't get the shots of the Sea Eagle that I was really after. I wanted shots of it floating, butterfly like over the sea. Although I was ready when it took flight--it was very fidgety prior to that--I wasn't expecting to fly almost straight over the top of me. The flight shot is full frame. I shouldn't complain, it was a memorable moment.

Graeme said...

amazing bird

Graeme said...

an awesome bird and great shots

BirdingTas said...

It is indeed an awesome bird and although I was quite pleased to get what I did, I actually was after something altogether better!

Tunny said...

Such mahestic birds. i would love to see one close up. what power and beauty. marvelous!

Anonymous said...

Such amzing birds. i would love to one day see them upclose.what power and beauty.marvelous!

Heath Holden said...

Nice shots! I just got some shots of Sea Eagles during the week, take a look and hope you enjoy! http://www.heathholdenphotography.com/

Artikeldatabase said...

The first photo were the sea eagle is just sitting and watching is one of the best pictures I have ever seen!