Sunday, 22 January 2012

Aquila Eagles at Norng Bla Lai, Phetchburi Province

Greater Spotted Eagle

I am surrounded by avian richness and a 35-40 minute drive today took me early afternoon to Norng Blah Lai in Phetchburi Province. This is home to wintering aquila eagles; these must be some of the most spectacular birds I have seen: big, majestic birds and a magnificent spectacle. The official count today  was 17 Greater Spotted Eagles, 5 Imperial Eagles, 4 Steppe Eagles, 3 Booted eagles, 4 Peregrine Falcons, a few Eastern Marsh & Pied Harriers, a couple of Brahminy Kites, a few Black-shouldered Kites and lots of Black Kites. These are the figures provided by Mr Paan, one of the leading lights in the raptor scene - I saw all the aquila species this afternoon, and only missed out on the Peregrines. You could say the place was buzzing - at times it was a bit like a fly past. Great to see Paan again too.

Eastern Imperial Eagle

I must add it didn't start out too promisingly. As is the tradition here the recently harvested fields were on fire this afternoon, and this meant a huge amount of smoke was being blown northwards across the main viewing area. However I noticed a number of black kites perched on a tree just above the wind and headed in to this area. 

There were plenty of Black Kites on the ground in this area and then the flyby began. In fact the Imperial Eagles came down from high and I was so excited that I messed up the shot! I've got shots of Steppe Eagles too, high in the sky, but they are good enough for identification purposes but not much else. So I won't post them here. The Imperial just qualifies for use here! Amazing to see the four aquila species on the same day in the space of a few hours.

A very pleasant afternoon today and truly sensational birding.

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