The Eagle Has Landed – posted 31/05/14

I really don’t know where to start other than wow! Just when you think things can’t get any better a MEGA appears in a tree right next to the group you’re taking out for a field trip. On todays ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ guided walk at Morden Bog, something so incredible happened that I still can’t believe it actually happened. Our group had already been treated to great views of Dartford Warbler, Woodlark, Tree Pipit, Cuckoo, Stonechat along with flyover Crossbill, Siskin and lots of Mistle Thrush when a member of the group (Alan King) spotted a bird of prey sat in a tree further on the other side of the heath. Initially the views weren’t great but the bird was pale, chunky, had a pale eye and seemed Buzzard like. Having experienced and been fooled by many, many pale Buzzards, of which Dorset has plenty I instantly ID’d it an extremely pale morph Buzzard. As we got closer it soon started to become clear that this wasn’t a Common Buzzard, so what was it? A Honey Buzzard was my next logical thought but the head was way too small and tail too short. Then a moment of total and utter madness occurred when the thought of Short-toed Eagle popped into my head, surely not? We opened the Collins Filed Guide and there it was, our bird, the same bird that had been sat in the tree. Almost wanting to faint, we gathered as many photos as we could to help confirm the ID and started breaking the news. What an absolutely AMAZING bird, made even more special by the fact it then returned later in the day for many many more birders to enjoy

 Short-toed Eagle – Morden Bog – Clive Hargrave


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