Saturday, 31 March 2012

Lightening does strike twice

It was about this time last year when i was traveling southbound on the M3, and was between Fleet services and the Hook, and as every birdwatcher does is scanning the countryside, its about 7am pretty cool, good light bombing it down lane two when I spot a bird in front about 150yds in from the motorway sitting on top of a dead tree, oh that's a big Buzzard I say to myself, then as I get nearer the scale of the bird then sinks in, it was fucking HUGE, heart racing, eyes starring. As I'm now getting level with the bird I can now see the massive side on bill, OMG its a White-Tailed Eagle. Shit, panic, swerve, then realise I'm still doing 70 and that I'm driving !!

I rang RBA and my local birders who all sounded like they were getting out of bed (not together), and wasn't until then realising its got to be the bird that was seen south of Basingstoke area over the winter and that perhaps it was this bird on the move north?

So back to Friday 30th March Chadwell st mary's (just north of Tilbury, Essex) having been working with Shaunboy the last couple of months it was not rude of us to both be bringing our binoculars to work!

Shaun having spotting a raptor the previous day, turning out to be a Red Kite which gave the most amazing views right above us for five minutes before gaining height and flying west, Awesome.

I walked outside of this house, have a cheeky scan with the eyes, ''Shaunboy quick'', Shaun comes running, ''Look over there'' we both see a large bird circling, shaun runs to the van, I keep watching, slowly making my way to the van.

We both have our bins now and are watching this bird best part of a mile away, mmmm its very big I point out, Its circling on flat wings which kind of ruled out Buzzard, then the thing starts flying towards us its getting bigger and bigger wings still flat, a very powerful shudder of the wings made this bird move quicker. Still not seeing much of a tail another thought was Osprey but we still could see no colour on the bird. By this time the bird was almost above us it opened its wings and began to circle again '' Its a fucking Eagle, its a fucking White-tail, me and Shaunboy are jumping up and down, hearts racing, we try to compose ourselves and note some detail. Enormous wings and very very broad, short wedge shaped tail that had some white mottling, we had clear blue sky so could make out its uniform brown colour which was pretty much the same throughout the bird bar some paler streaks on the belly, on its right wing there was a primary missing probably p7, its circling gaining height still, a large gull sp was dwarfed by the eagle as it drifted west.

Still in disbelief on our sighting we both get on the Phone ringing local birders to try and get the bird seen as it headed London bound, the rest of the afternoon was pretty much a blur..........

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