Saturday, 9 March 2013

22nd Feb: Eagle chasing in Norfolk

I did a quick trip to north-east Norfolk with Nick Moran for a couple of hours this afternoon.  The weather was cold with grey skies, a biting north-easterly wind and a few snowflakes.  I was not expecting to see anything: I have chased White-tailed Eagles in the past before and have often been disappointed.  One usually has to put in 6 or 7 hours waiting before any kind of success.  Indeed it took me seven attempts before I saw my very first one.  After several stops and false alarms, we decided to go back to a stretch of road that looked suitable with an all round view.  I decided to scan a field looking west, the direction no-one else was looking in.  Whilst scanning with bins I picked up an odd 'eagle-shaped' lump perhaps over a mile away, that was conveniently positioned in a gap in a distant hedge from just the tiny mound that I was standing on.  I kept on looking - it did look good, but I could not be sure without a telescope.  There were a couple of birders nearby neither of whom had scopes, so I put them on it and told them to stay looking at it whilst I ran back to the car to get my 'scope.  By the time I'd got back there were lots of smiling and happy people as someone with a scope had quickly turned up and confirmed what I was seeing.  All very fortunate really.  After about ten minutes the bird suddenly took off and did a few circles, flying towards us on occasions.  It then landed further south, out of view.  I did get the watercolours out and put a few washes on in the bitter cold; my hands were pretty numb by the time I'd finished.  Not long before dusk the bird flew over one last time flying over a distant wood and then towards Houghton Park to roost.  Other birds seen included a pair of Grey Partridge, a brief flyover Woodcock, a female Hen Harrier and a Barn Owl.  Not a bad collection for such a brief trip!

No comments:

Post a Comment