Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A visit by an Eagle

Two days ago, a strong "sea breeze' was blowing wispy clouds up and over the edge of the escapment. With the breeze came one of the Wedge-tailed Eagles which live just below Robbo, in the wild country of the coastal escarpment, just 5 Kilometres east of Robertson.

The Eagle spent about half an hour floating around, on the uplifts created by our two local ridges here, along Fountaindale Road, 600 metres to my east, and my own local ridge, along Missingham Parade, where I live.

Looking at the pictures, it is apparent to me, (in view of its orientation, relative my house) that the wind was a "nor-easter" - perhaps not quite a "sea breeze".
As soon as the Eagle arrived, the local Ravens gave chase to it. Which allowed me to catch this next shot.

This is an "action shot". The Raven is preparing to "dive bomb" the Eagle again - and the Eagle knows it! The Raven is calling aggressively. Its beak is open, and the Raven is very actively adjusting its position relative to the Eagle - hence the "awkward pose". Similarly, the Eagle is looking up over its shoulder, to check where the Raven is, and is also adjusting its flight pattern, hence the twisted tail feathers, and awkward angle of the wings. (Click on the image to enlarge it)
However, after only a few minutes of harassment, the Raven gave up, but the Eagle continued to soar on the breeze and the updrafts. It had moved just a little further up and away, hence the smaller images.

Eagle circling smoothly, on the breeze.
Eagle dropping slightly into the breeze, to pick up speed.
Eagle just floating into the breeze, almost at a "stall".
I love it when the Eagles visit my home. Its not just the "convenience factor", of not having to leave home to see such great birds. It is more the fact that I know I am living amongst the local Eagles.

My friend and fellow blogger "Miss Eagle" will be jealous.


Miss Eagle said...

Am indeed jealous, Denis. I live in the Country of the Kulin nation where Bunjil the Eagle is the creator spirit and I never, ever seen an Eagle.

I love your description. Very exciting. I note that there is no mention that the Eagle thought of pay-back by way of chasing the raven. In Victoria, in rock art and cave paintings, Bunjil is usually depicted in the company of two Australia Ravens.

Christmas blessings

mick said...

What a great sighting! And even better to get a series of photos. You are fortunate indeed to be able to see these birds from your own place.

Denis Wilson said...

It is always a great day when an Eagle visits me - by definition!
And I like to share these visits with those of you who are not so blessed.
Usually it is Magpies which chase the Eagles here, but on this day it was a solitary Raven. But Miss Eagle's comments are well founded in Aboriginal tradition.

Denis Wilson said...

Further comment.
In response to Miss Eagle's query about the Eagle giving chase, they seldom bother. Indeed they generally are not too troubled, and can usually outpace most attackers - with a gentle dive, usually.
I do recall one Eagle being bothered by something I could not see. With binoculars it became obvious that there was a Willy Wagtail buzzing around the head of the Eagle, and that was driving it nuts. I assume the WW had followed the Eagle up from much lower levels, and just could not give up the chase.
I once saw a Whistling Kite giving chase to a Kestrel. That action was the first time I had seen any retaliation.
The Kestrel realised it had gone "too far" and got the hell out of there!