or: Eloise Does Fast-food Breakfast.
You knew it was coming right? Of course you did.
With such a bird in the vicinity, and the possibility of her taking a fish sometime when I was there, it was too much not to expect I’d sacrifice a couple of hours sleep, and go down to K Road Cliffs in the early morning. EE had somewhat offhandedly remarked that perhaps I should sleep down there in the car.
So armed with the ever reliable D810 and the 300mm f/2.8 and TC2.0, I set out. The only thing that made the plan look less than successful was the weather. Overcast. Porridge. Classic 3200ISO weather.
I found her sitting high in a tree overlooking the horseshoe bend and its big fishing hole. The tide was at the end of running in high, and that seems to be her preferred time.
So I waited. Did I mention that lack of light. I’m not a great high iso at any cost person, but it was high or go home, and I took the former not the latter option.
And waited. So did she.
Here’s the long sequence. Enjoy
Eloise was sitting high above the river on a favoured perch.
A first strike
The next attempt. What I learned from all this is that she prefers to hunt close to the river bank. Each strike was only a few metres from the edge. I’m not sure if that makes it easier to see the fish or if the fish work close along the river bank
Tail up and grappling hooks going down
I put this not so good one in to see how close she runs to the edge. Another miss
Back up to the far bank. Here is part of the high cliffs on K Road. They sometimes appear in movie and tv dramas.
The look and the wingspread say it allAnd away for another attempt
I missed the strike, but here it’s possible to see how close to the edge she is working
Gathering the energy for extraction
I’ve included this as I love that just over the wing view. However the fish is not coming out without a fight.
WIngs spread out, she spent a few seconds regathering her strength and perhaps rearranging the fish underneath for better lift
Now to find a quiet spot of enjoy breakfast
A little later some Whistling Kites thought they could freeload so she took off again with her half-eaten prize.