Sunday, 1 June 2014

The (Short-Toed) Eagle Has Landed! - 1.6.14

Short-Toed Eagle
Yesterdays plan was to head to Norfolk and to try and add a few year ticks but as expected I slept in and dragged myself out of bed around 11am! So instead of birding I ended up going shopping in Watford and buying a load of artist stuff with the idea of learning to paint! So watch this space.

Whilst sitting in bed and having a cuppa I read on twitter the breaking news coming from Dorset where someone had found a Short-Toed Eagle on Morden Bog! I checked the pager and the message had come through but it hadn't Mega'd. It had been perched in a tree for 10 minutes but then flew off. With this news I went shopping. News then came through along with a stunning photo that it had come back and was resting in a tree. It then proceeded to move trees and stay there until dusk. With news like this I knew I had to be there for first light. The only trouble with that was that sunrise is at 4.48am! The alarm was set for 2am and I crawled into bed at 11.30pm. I didn't sleep a wink and so bleary eyed I headed out into the dark and into the car. I arrived on site at 4.40am, parked up and hurriedly joined the couple of hundred or so other birders already there. I got onto the bird straight away and I was happy to be able to write in the notebook 3rd for UK SHORT-TOED EAGLE!! But then the fog rolled in for 30 minutes. Eventually it cleared and then the sun shone on it making the white head stand out. But for the near 3 hours I was there the most it moved was twice to have a dump!! It faced away from us so only a small side section of the pale breast could be seen but even at distance the bright yellow eyes and bluish base to the bill could be seen. A brief Cuckoo and a fly over Mediterranean Gull were the only other birds of note to be seen. I left just before 8 and was home at 10am just 10 minutes after the bird had decided to do something and get up and fly off!

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