The second outing in the Eagle hide
Today was the last full day in Hungary and the aim was to spend it together with the Hungarian Eagles. We were a little unlucky the first day when we just saw some Eagles circling without coming down to feed. Zoltán had been at the site yesterday to put out some fresh meat and he told us that he´d seen at least 3 or 4 Eagles at that time so we hoped for the best.
When we woke up we could hear rain outside but that should clear up if the forecast was correct. I really wanted some good light but rain could also mean that you get some special pictures with soaking wet birds which I find interesting. So we did the walk out onto the field with a light rain in the face as the wind blew straight towards us. I couldn´t see the horizon, like last time, and that troubled me a little as I really hoped the forecast was correct.
In the hide I and Arne moved positions as Zoltán wasn´t going to participate this day. I moved further in as I wanted to get a clear view in the direction from which I thought the Eagles would come. Arne positioned himself in the middle to get a better view of the complete site, that where the place in which I sat in the first day.
Before Zoltán walked back to the car he informed us that the Golden Jackals probably had been on the site during the night and snatched some of the goodies that he had put in a pile. Not the best news as we now hadn’t that much Eagle candy on site and if the Crows and Buzzards were as hungry as the first day then we would run out of meat in just a few hours.
Now the wait began and it didn´t take that long before the first group of Crows arrived and this could be a disaster for us. As always they circled over the site to see what was on offer before landing in one of the nearest trees. They now sat there for waiting for the light to become a little brighter before coming down to feast on the smorgasbord. Once they got down I thought they seemed a little more caution than the other day.
It didn´t take long before the first two Buzzards appeared and I started to realize that we might be in for a rerun of the other day. They started to feed but not as furious as last time and they seemed a little more cautious just like the Crows. Now things started to become interesting as one of the Buzzards became defensive and started to look up in the air. The threat soon appeared and it was a White-tailed Eagle that circled over the site before it landed among the trees at the far side of the site. That dampened the spirit of the feeding birds as they now knew that the top of the food chain had arrived. Still more Crows came down onto the ground but they didn´t have the possibility to do any feeding frenzy as the Eagle took control of the site by just making a flight over the site dispersing the birds on the ground . Soon more Eagles appeared and to our joy we could see that one was an Eastern Imperial Eagle while the others where White-tailed Eagles. A nice way to start this gloomy day.
We managed to take some photos of the perching birds but that was not why I where here. I wanted to get some nice portraits but also action shots of the Eagles flying onto the site. This was at least my hope for the day.
Did I manage this?
Well after the Eastern Imperial Eagle flew off to catch something on the field everything erupted. The day was so intense that I at one point sat taking photos with one hand while eating a sandwich the other hand.
During the day I did get opportunities that I think where extra ordinary as the Eagles played a game of chess in front of the hide. They chased each other fighting over every single piece of meat that any Eagle went down to grab. The adult White-tailed Eagle was a master in snatching food from the other combatants and came out on top each time. The Imperial Eagle was more unlucky as it all the time where bullied by the White-tailed Eagles.
I did managed with what I wanted and I am not sure if am should be glad or sad that the light was bad during the complete day.
Why you ask?
Simply because this day would have brought me 500-600 good action photos of Eagles if I just would have had slightly better light, just a couple of centimeter of snow would have done it. Now I have room for improvement as most pictures are on the dark side and that means I must go back next year to work on my Eagle portfolio.