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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Portugal.3 Types Of Eagle.

Golden Eagle really close!
A sub adult bird gliding on the thermals!

Golden Eagle, just beautiful to admire!

Short Toed Eagle
Booted Eagle.

Simon my guide decided it was time to head up into the mountaineous region of the Alentejo to see if we could spot any more raptors.It was after midday and the thermals would suit anything that was out hunting.He has a couple of favourite places he goes to and was confident that a few birds would be coming through.A few pair of Golden Eagles patrol these high ridges as well as Vultures and other Eagle species!Anticipation was high as we made our way past a few small villages which eventually brought us to the viewing area.Being so high up the vista before us was staggering.Away in the distance was Spain and as we looked behind us you could see as far as the Monchique mountain range!

Slowly but surely odd Griffon Vultures would drift lazily past us with a few Black Vultures for good measure,A short Toed Eagle was spotted hanging in mid air looking for snakes its main prey item, then a Booted Eagle appeared shortly after!On the whole it was preety quiet on the raptor front so we decided to move onto to another area that Simon knew.Stopping every now and then on the descent we would scan the rocky out crops,Simon was suddenly scrutinising this particular cluster of boulders when he suddenly exclaimed`quick Paul take a look at this`.Through his scope something slowly moved away, he`d chanced upon an Eagle Owl hidden amongst the rocks,what a find!He`d always knew they must be about this particular areabut had never actually seen one here before,A new site for him which he was going to monitor closely.A survey had been done previously on breeding Eagle Owls and up to 30 pairs had been recorded about the region!!Driving on a little way I caught a glimpse of a large raptor disappearing over the ridge to our right,Simon was immediately out of the car and crashing through the bushes in pursuit,he leaves nothing to chance.Golden Eagle he exclaime and its bloody close.I couldn`t set the camera up quickly enough and was on it in a flash.It hadn`t spotted us and was cruising the ridge looking for prey.It was a sub adult bird that Simon had seen before right in front of us and with the backdrop of the plains below, made for some wonderful photography.`Wow how good was that` then Simon shouted,`doesn`t get much better mate`I totally agreed.On that note, we made our way back down the bumpy track to go and have lunch at the small restaurant Simon uses and have a few cold glasses of beer,It had been a long morning out in the baking heat and we both needed time out to recharge the batteries for the late afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. Paul. Exciting stuff !!!! What a great morning's eagle watching. Great memories and super shots. I am sure there's more to come!!