|Golden Eagle (Martin Kelsey)|
Loud, urgent yelping cries caused us to spin on our heels and look towards the trees. The shapes of three Golden Eagles now occupied the stage. Bursting out of the trees were two dark adults...it was not an ambush, rather it seemed they too, like us, had been taken by surprise. They were on scramble. Normally a silent species, quite different from its highly vocal congener the Spanish Imperial Eagle with its loud barking call, the territorial pair were producing sounds which reminded me closely of the cries of African Fish Eagles, cutting through the landscape. I had never experienced this sense of urgency, almost desperation, by Golden Eagles. Almost blinded by determination, the adults beat a patrol on either side of the trees, oblivious of the getaway made by the upstart and intruder. Having searched in vain, the battle cries abated, the adults returned to perch, one making a token sky-dance, a proprietorial somersault before it landed, uttering quieter, more reassuring short piping notes. One could almost sense a relief at the return of calm.
|Plains in mid-February 2015 (Martin Kelsey)|