The Dark Room

Friday 30 March 2012

It's a F-ing White tailed Eagle

Well myself and Paul Hawkins were working at Chadwell St Mary, Essex today and have been the last few days. As the nature of our job we often pop out of the customers house and get materials from the van etc, so it's often we get to look up and may see Sparrowhawk or Buzzard but yesterday, we had a work tick in the form of a Red Kite. Anyway whilst on our lunch break Paul picks up a Raptor and as we checked the patch on the way to work this morning we had our bins with us. So the Raptor circled and made its way towards us. No comments from either of us at that point as it was too far away. It still kept coming towards us and then circled again and then I played catch phrase "say what you see it's got a short tail", then it got closer. "Hmmmm what the hell is it?" I said, Paul was quiet still. Then we both said "It's on flat wings", the wings are broad, not much of a tail. I said "Vulture?" because of its now apparent size. I don't know why I said that but I did. Then I shouted "It's a F***ing White - tailed Eagle" and Paul replied "It's a barn door". Although high up it was massive and to compare size a large gull went underneath it, not close but the WT Eagle dwarfed it. Underneath it was a muddy brown colour with some white, very broad wings and the tail was wedged shaped, huge in size. An immature is what we aged it at. Its right wing had some primaries missing. It made its way west and then out of view. We both made calls to local birders to get news out quickly so people could get onto it and also RBA services and Twitter. I've seen WT before and Paul has too , we are more than a 100% confident of the ID. Remember todays date 30th March, we will for a long time.......

This photo was taken a couple of years ago in Scotland by me of a White Tailed Eagle, but it shows you the silouette is unmistakable. The one today was far more higher up.

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