EE’s away at the moment. Shhh, don’t wake the kids.
And as I had a week to ‘myself’, dropped a note to Mr An Onymous and we agreed that WTP on Wednesday in the sunshine would work. So we set off. Worried of course that without EE to spot things we’d like as not miss an elephant in the middle of the road.
On the way in along Paradise Road, we got our first surprise. A big black shape sitting on the fence on the road ahead, but the light, isn’t that always the way was wrong and all we were going to get was a dark shape. So, rather than sit and ponder, we decided to drive on. That’s when it exploded off the fence. At first I thought it a “hobby”, a joke in there somewhere, and it was gone. Then An called, “Its landed back on the fence behind us.”. Ok, let’t turn the car around and head back as now the light will be ‘over your left shoulder dear, said my mother”, and it was, and the colour was great, and lo and behold it was a Black Falcon. Very elegant and impressive. Might be a good day after all.
The tide was out, and we went along the coast, plenty of ducks of various varieties, but no shore birds at all. Mr An, has been wanting to spot a White-bellied Sea Eagle for quite a number of trips down there, but no such luck. Interesting to contemplate but when EE and I go it alone we see one or two regularly. Sorry about that. So we scoured the sea, bunds, grasses and ponds, but no sign of a Sea Eagle. What sort of a tour guide am I?
The Brown Falcons must have recovered from hunting season and were out in force and we followed one from post to post along the beachroad, and I did my best to get the car in a position for An to get the best results. Pull car over sharply on an angle and he gets a good shot out the window. I get a shot of his elbow and part of his 300m lens Them’s the breaks.
We took the road down to the Spit, or Murtcain (m) depending on whose telling the story.
On down to the Murtcaim (n) outflow, and the tide was in, but a pair of Black-shouldered Kites amused us for awhile until one snagged a mouse and then landed on a box thorn, and of course I just had to get a shot. Nice in the afternoon light.
We drank tea and pondered that it was indeed a Magic Place.
On the way back along the road, I was checking each fence post for another Brown Falcon, when off in the distance on a gate post, was a ‘HUGE’ white blob. Focus binos, and … It was the elusive White-bellied Sea Eagle.
Dilemma: A. Drive down fast, and the bird will fly. B. Drive down slowly, the bird will fly. C.Drive down a bit, then walk, the bird will fly. We opted for C. Just about ready to get out of the car, and even though we’re still a long way away, the bird threw. Now normally they will always fly away from our position. But. Not this time, it slowly got a bit of height and then drifted casually down past our position with the sun “thanks, Mum” over our shoulders and close enough for detail.
The D800 to my left was going berserk. Finally a spot disappeared in the distance, and we regained out collective breaths. Wow. Big smiles all round, I’m back in the flavour of the month Tour guide handbook, and the D800 is smokin’ writing out the images to the card.
Talk about fill your dreams. So he’s got enough images of a White-bellied Sea Eagle to fill his quota on the photo site, and I’ve got a story, and a satisfied photographer.
Mr An Onymus no doubt will post the images on his photo stream “Na-na-ne-nana”, on the ANTI-social networking website, In_cognito.
But, there was more to come. As we headed out the gate, a Nankeen Kestrel, landed on a post by the road way, and then dropped into the grass just in front of us, and rose with a mouse in tow. It happened as quickly as that. Settling in to consume the mouse, it suddenly was attacked by a marauding Black Falcon. Kestrel takes mouse and flees, but the Black Flacon was all over it, and completely out flew the hapless Kestrel. Out gunned, she dropped the mouse and fled. The Black Falcon must have claimed the prize as it too took off in the other direction
Probably enough for one day. So we headed for home in the late evening light
And just in case you don’t get over to the Anti-Social Networking site, IN_Congnito here is a cut from Mr An’s photo stream, “Na-na-ne-nana”.