Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

The Wedge Tailed Eagle is the largest bird of prey found in Australia. I've been trying to capture a set of decent images of this bird for over 3 years but have had very little luck in terms of good sightings. We spent last weekend (a 5 day long weekend!) in the Barrington Tops region of northern New South Wales. We stayed in a log cabin, which was nestled in a small valley on a 2000 acre property. Most of the property was bush and the terrain was hilly. It was perfect country for seeing Wedge Tailed Eagles.

More images inside.

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

I was fortunate enough to have sightings of the birds on all three mornings. The first morning's sighting wasn't the greatest as the Eagle was quite far away. However, I did manage to get a few shots of it. The second morning's sighting was probably the best. I actually drove past two eagles perched on a fallen log by the side of the road before I realised what they were. I just assumed they were part of the log!

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

Once the car stopped the two Eagles flew off onto separate trees which were close by and were soon joined by a third Eagle. I was able to approach the trees and fire off a number of frames and the birds seemed least interested in my presence.
 
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

I had good sightings of one of the Eagles on the third day as well. It was feeding on a bone (see the first, third and seventh images) at the time and again wasn't bothered by the fact that I was around.

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

The light was best for photography on the third day as I was able to position myself with the sun behind me. Shooting into the sun on the first and second days wasn't the best as the birds are dark and exposing them without blowing the highlights wasn't the easiest.  Fortunately the final images were sharp (although a bit washed out) and that was good enough for me. I'll upload more shots form the trip over the coming weeks.

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax


Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax

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