Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Windy day blows for the Eagles

Today was a clear sky, but with a very gusty south-westerly wind. The rear of my house (and the back deck) looks south-west, over a long sloping gully. So, when the wind blows up the valley it is perfect for Eagles to be able to soar and circle, rise up then stall and dive. Good fun acrobatic stuff of which Wedge-tailed Eagles are the masters.

A pair of Wedges soared and circled around the valley below my house for more than 35 minutes today. This was the best display I have seen at my house.
Here, the bird spotted something of interest
and immediately opened its great talons,
preparing itself for an attack, which did not eventuate.
Note how the right wing tip is raised,
whereas the left wing is "feathered" allowing air to pass through
- all part of the art of maintaining perfect control.

Interestingly, at no stage were they challenged by the resident Magpie clan. Whether this is because even the Maggies are wary of taking on two Eagles together, or whether it was simply that the strong wind upsets the Magpies (which were quiet all day long) I cannot say for sure. But the observation is there - no challenge to these great birds from the Magpies. Normally one can usually expect 3 to 6 Magpies to sound the alarm when any Bird of Prey enters their territory.
Probably my favourite shot,
as it shows how low the bird was (albeit briefly).

Today we saw a Grey Goshawk (briefly) then these Eagles, and finally, at the end of the day, a lone male Peregrine Falcon came and gave a brief display flight around the valley, culminating in a flight up the valley with the wind, then he turned into the wind, went into a perfect "stall", and hung there, totally still, before zooming back down the valley and out of sight. Again, not one of these birds was challenged by Magpies.


mick said...

You are very lucky indeed to have had such a great display from those magnificent birds. The last photo is especially nice showing the valley behind the bird.

Tyto Tony said...

Nice bit of raptor rapture. All species been in short supply up this way.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick and Tony.
Mick I liked the one with the valley shown in the background. Makes a change from all that sky one normally gets.
Tony, nice word work (as usual).
Let me go the whole hog and claim Raptor Capture Rapture?

I was more excited by the shot with Landing Gear Down, but the low angle shot is also nice.

I need a little help to Photoshop that image, I think.


Dicky Simpson said...

Such graceful creatures, which is a bit surprising considering the size of some species of Raptors.
I remember when I was a kid and I would sit for hours watching the Black Shouldered Kites hunt in the paddocks across the road from the house.
Oh how I miss the days of living in the fresh air and nature.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Dicky.
Aah, yes Black-shouldered Kites are delightful creatures to watch - so neat and precise.
A long way from these great creatures, but probably much more "refined" in their hunting techniques than these guys, which really are scavengers, first and foremost.
Wombat Road Kill is top of their menu list in our area. Kangaroos out west.
Nice to have a local (former local) comment.