Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wedgie at the Flinders Ranges

Every now and then a friend shows you some photos you wish you had taken.

I have never been to the Flinders Ranges, in South Australia, but my friends Phillip and Cathie Owen have been. Last Wednesday, at the CTC Choir practice, Cathie showed me some photos - and this series just stood out as worthy of publishing.

So, here they are.

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) on ground, near a dead Kangaroo.
This bird is probably relatively young, as it shows a lot of red on the neck.
Wedgies get progressively darker as they age.
This bird is nervous, looking around to the right.
It has taken flight.
Note how powerfully it is flapping.
The huge wing feathers are bending under the pressure of the down-stroke.
The wedge-shaped tail is fully spread, to give "lift" as the bird if taking off.
As the bird is clear of the ground, it tilts its right wing down
to begin moving away, under full power.
Quite possibly it would have flown to a safe perching point, within sight of this road kill, so that it could come back after the human intruders had left. For a Wedge-tailed Eagle, A freshly killed Kangaroo is too good an opportunity to pass up.

Thanks to Cathie and Phillip Owen for the use of their photos.


mick said...

Hi Denis, thanks to your friends for sharing the photos and thanks to you for publishing them. I especially like the 'in-flight' photos which show some of that marvelous flying technique. I've only seen 'wedgies' high overhead up here.

Miss Eagle said...

Fantastic. Magnificent bird! The Flinders Ranges is indeed a beautiful part of the world - and a place of great heights and great ravines. Perfect eagle country!

Blessings and bliss

Tyto Tony said...

Reminds me of the many wedgies I saw during 1999 trip to Flinders, including draping blanket over roadside bird with broken wing and picking it up by talons with the blanket owner's help. Got minor hole in back of hand for my pains.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick, Brigid and Tony
Yes the Flinders are legendary for Eagles, but unfortunately I have never been there.
But thanks to Phillip and Cathie we can all appreciate their close encounter with a wondefiul wild bird.
Tony, your encounter might have been a bit close - those talons are extremely powerful.
I knew Miss Eagle would not be able to resist a good Eagle posting.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
Nice one. Great birds aren't they?
I agree with the others - the Flinders Ranges are wonderful. In a long gone era, I rode a pushbike through there, twice. Fascinating geological formations, Magnificent river red gums, stunning wildflowers, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.. and lots of my sweat and skin on the sides of the roads! Ah, the memories.

Denis Wilson said...

Ah, Gouldiae. Lucky you to have such memories of the Flinders Ranges.
Sounds like you earned them though, with sweat and skin. Ouch.
Glad you enjoyed the re-wind effect of the blog post, thanks to my friends Cathie and Phillip.

tilcheff said...

Good morning, Denis!
Thank you for posting these great images, and thanks to Cathie and Phillip for stopping and taking them!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Nickolay
These were holiday snaps, not your own hi-res images. But I believed they told a good story, and so were worthy of publishing.
Glad you appreciated that.