Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Golden Eagle!

Yesterday I planned to find a Great Grey Owl. Upon getting out of my car and whilst dealing with an urgent matter that frequently occurs after coffee drinking with men of my age I looked up and saw a raptor. A late Buzzard I thought until what I thought was a Sparrowhawk flew up to it and I realised it was a Golden Eagle. It then flew pretty low and close and I managed to finish my task in hand and get my camera and fire off some shots which weren't as good as the sighting deserved but they could have been worse!
The pictures do show though that the hawk was actually a Goshawk (must be a 1cy male) which even further emphasises the huge size of the eagle. This is the only Golden Eagle I have seen so far in 2018 so made my day.

I found a good vantage point where I hoped I would be able to see the owl should it turn up.
With so much recent rain I hoped that the dry, sunny conditions that developed late morning would cause the owl to actively hunt. Well if that was the case it was unseen by me and come 1515 I had to start heading home. After getting to the car and driving a bit I stopped where I was able to get a very distant view over the area where I had previously been and what did I see flying between the trees? Something to search for again me thinks :-)

My waiting time was relatively unproductive, but I did have a female Capercaillie flying over at a good height which is something I have witnessed only once before with a male in Maridalen which was being chased by a Goshawk. Another interesting incident was when I heard a woodpecker calling. I thought it might be a Three-toed (it wasn’t) and played the call of Three-toed in the hope of it responding. What happened though was that a young Goshawk (probably the same one that had mobbed the eagle) appeared and flew at me. I can only assume that they hunt by listening for the calls of birds.

1cy male Goshawk (hønsehaul) carefully watching a young Golden Eagle (kongeørn)

the eagle looks to be a 1cy bird although has quite a lot of damage to its primaries so may be a 2cy although I can't see that it has moulted any feathers and the tail looks fresh. Edit: it is apparantly a 4cy with some moulted primaries!

female Capercaillie (storfugl). The bird was clearly large and bulky with a large bill but the banding on the underwing is also I believe a character to separate from Black Grouse in flight

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