A day with the predatory birds at Hullsjön
I have been on a short vacation to Öland the last week and therefore I haven´t done any updates to the blog. Now I am back and getting ready for the autumn/winter.
Yesterday I spent some time at Hullsjön in hope of seeing some of the predatory birds there. Last time I got good pictures of Ospreys and that was the main reasons why I went back. I also wanted to see the White-tailed Eagles that I always seem to miss but this time I knew where to look for them because got a little tip last time there.
I arrived there just before 10 and I got concerned because the cloud banks were thicker than I thought. My hopes for the day didn´t get any better when I didn´t see anything happening for the first 30 minutes or more. The lake was really quite except for the Ducks and Geeses. I reasoned that the good amount of Goose hopefully meant that the Eagles where there but I couldn´t locate them at their usual resting places. Neither could I see any Ospreys in the sky so the morning was really dull with no action.
I took some of the sandwiches I´d prepared and took a seat at one of the benches just watching the lake when I suddenly saw 2 Eagles up on the north-eastern side of the lake, the direct opposite of where I where. They headed to the northern part of the lake before I lost sight of them.
Now another person appeared and I started to chat with him about the different photo opportunities around the lake. He recommended me to try the watch tower at the northern side, there I also would have the possibility to try the permanent hide that is situated a couple of meters from the waters edge.
Once I approached the watch tower things began to happen as I saw a Peregrine Falcon took off with a fresh kill and a Crow close-by probably trying to steal the kill.
Further out in the fields I could see a Marsh Harrier hunting, this bird was there for the rest of the day but didn´t come closer even when I used my hide.
The Peregrine Falcon appeared three more times and I got some good photos of it flying just in front of me. I could also see an Eagle up in the sky but it dstayed in the middle of the lake. Instead I decided to try the permanent hide so I went back to the car to collect the rest of the food I brought and then went inside the hide. The windows were just slits around 30 centimeters in height so it was probably design more for the bird watchers in mind.
It didn´t take long before I could see the Osprey coming so I sat there with the camera ready still trying to eat the sandwich. It was really productive for a time and the Osprey made a couple of swoops along the northern shore. One time it even stopped just in front of the hide searching for fish. If I would be really picky I would have like to see the bird coming straight at the hide but not this time.
Things settled down when the Osprey left and I could start to look at some photos while eating the rest of the sandwiches. The lake was still and I could just see two Grey Herons to the left and a small group of Greylay Goose to the right of the hide. They is a reed bed just 20 meter in front of the hide that made the rest of the lake invisible to me but I could hear something stirring the Geese’s in the southern part of the lake. That meant just one thing. The White-tailed Eagles must be up in the sky. Franticly I searched the sky before I could localize the bird. It was must have been circling above the Geese´s that now came into my line of sight when they hurried into the northern part of the lake to avoid the big predator.
The Eagle followed and soon it was clearly visible for me. At one time it circled just above the hide and then I went outside and got some decent photos of the bird. I am not 100% please because they lack sharpness and they aren´t that interesting to watch but still these are the first “decent” White-tailed Eagle pictures I have taken.
I will surely go there more times to hopefully get some better pictures of the Eagles that have the lake as their home turf. I would also love to get better pictures of the Peregrine Falcon and some hunting shots of an Osprey.