Wednesday, 2 December 2020

New for the garden list...

Well, this had to be the surprise of the autumn for me. Just a few hundred metres from my house and staying for two weeks, one of the Isle-of-Wight release programme White-tailed Eagles was present until a few weeks ago. 

Asked not to put the news out by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation (who run the release scheme), we couldn't unfortunately share the news. Now that it has moved on though I can at least share a few photos. An amazing bird to see, they are the proverbial 'flying barn door' and watching it glide over Whitestaunton being harrassed by Ravens on a near daily basis, was a sight I never thought I would see and almost certainly never will again.

It's not G463's first foray into this part of the southwest peninsula, having started a tour of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall in October, at which time it passed close to Axminster. However it didn't stay anywhere for very long until it reached South Somerset on its return from Cornwall. Two weeks in one spot showed a marked change in its behaviour and was the main reason the foundation didn't want its location made public.

White-tailed Eagle G463 from the house!

With corvid convoy...

As you would expect, it was continually harassed in flight by both gulls and covids but it didn't seem to care too much and when perched it would often sit quietly with corvids in the same tree.

A sheep carcass proved popular with the eagle
and a flock of around 20 Ravens but the fun was
over as quickly as it had begun when the farmer 
found and disposed of the carcass.

Resting up in its favourite Ash Tree

The photo was taken around 60 m away with the P1000. It crossed the A30 backwards and forwards dozens of times and often perched within full view of the road but remained unnoticed. It was at times though, very difficult to locate. Despite moving around a relatively small area it was not an easy bird to monitor and report back on.

Young male G463

Not a bird I ever thought would be added to the garden list. Glad it's on the move though, hopefully more people will connect with it as it heads home in the coming weeks.