Duncan, down at Ben Cruachan has a lovely story today about a nest of the White-breasted Sea Eagle, in Gippsland, Victoria. Lucky him.
I was outside this morning when the local Magpie gang started up their distinctive calls they make when there is an eagle about. I looked, and the leading Magpie was flying straight towards a large bird flying fast, just over the local horizon of Pine Trees.
The bird flew straight towards, and then past, the Magpie(s) - for two more had arrived by now.
I though for a moment that it might be a Pelican, for I saw one of them over the village a week ago. But very soon it flew directly over me, and I could make out its head and beak, its very deep wings, and relatively short tail.
It was an immature bird, on the turn, being half-white underneath, but with dark blotches under the wings. It was not the clear grey and white of an adult Sea Eagle.
Its wings were much deeper than a Little Eagle (which is a relatively common visitor). Nor did the wing shape match an Osprey (which has thinner wings, and distinctive notches at the joints in the wings).
I had barely time to make my mind up as to its identity than it had passed out of view. Unlike the Little Eagle, which visits me when a southerly is blowing, and it will circle and then hover on the breeze, allowing plenty of chances for photography - this bird was on a mission.
The local Maggies gave up the chase (successful - in their minds, no doubt). But I could hear the next tribe take up the challenge.
Where I am, the coast is 25 Km east, (below an escarpment some 700 metres high) and the Wingecarribee Reservoir is 5 Km west. This bird was making a direct line for the Reservoir. But it still had 2 more valleys to cross over, then a further high hill, before it would sight the water. But it was flying very strongly, (even into a head wind) and would have made its likely destination within a few minutes.