Sunday, 12 December 2010

White-tailed sea eagle @ Amberley

White-tailed sea eagle successfully evades photographer... rats!

Wow, what a day!

After reading the reports of a White-tailed sea eagle at Amberley Wildbrooks on the Sussex Ornithological Society's sightings page, nothing was going to stop me making the short drive down to see if it would return today. It did not disappoint, and what an amazing sight. It flew in following a pair of buzzards, who looked tiny in comparison. It sat in a tree in the middle of the brooks for a couple of hours, then left the tree and dropped to the ground (possibly to eat) for a while. After a brief return to its' perch, it then left the area and was last reported flying west from Hayling Island.

The only disappointment is that the attached, heavily-processed shot was the best I could manage. But I'm not overly bothered - I'm still on a high from seeing the bird (and in Sussex!) and there was never the possibility of getting close enough to capture anything special (although missing it departing while I changed viewpoints was galling). That's on hold for a visit to Mull. There was enough to keep me entertained without the eagle... my first shots of a Stoat, Hen Harrier and observing some spectacular duelling Buzzards. There was also Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, melanistic Fallow deer, Lapwings, Fieldfares, Redwings and various other waterfowl, passerines and a grumpy Robin - they always seem to take offence at my presence!

My first Stoat shot!

The downside to events such as this are the sheer number of people that descend on the area. I'll be going back when things are back to normal - if the incredible array of species on display today is anything other than a complete fluke, I can see it becoming one of my favourites. And of course, it's another handy stopover between home and Pagham, my preferred haunt of the moment.

Hen Harrier v Crow

Overall, a rather good morning's play at Amberley. Hopefully there will be plenty more of them like this.


  1. WOW! Sounds to me to be a bit of oneupmanship and I was working just a few miles away.

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