Back to Adamuz and the Alpacin Hides again, this time for the magnificent Spanish Imperial Eagle. Also to meet my friend Gerry Bennet who also wanted to experience such close encounters with iconic wild bird and animal species, for photography and the sheer thrill of it.
Gerry and his wife Carolyn were travelling down through Spain in their motorhome and we agreed to coincide at Adamuz and share a session in the Imperial Eagle Hide. Carolyn in the meantime would be out cycling in preparation for a North to South trans-African bike journey which sounded quite insane to me, but she apparently does stuff like that quite a lot.
We were settled in the hide at around 8 am and following a couple of quick fly pasts from a Sparrowhawk we were getting concerned after the first two hours as apart from lots of Iberian and Common Magpies, Jays and a few small birds nothing much else happened. Then I spotted this one-eyed Fox which prowled around the area for the next three hours. It was extremely visually impaired, if not completely blind and felt its way around cautiously, but strangely it never took any of the bait placed out to attract the eagles.
A couple of Ravens showed up and showed an interest in a dead rabbit laid out for the eagles, but like the fox decided against any attempt to eat it. Strange?
Eventually a superb Iberian Imperial Eagle flew in low across the trees and settled on a broken stump about 7 metres in front of the hide. It was a heart stopping moment and the bird stayed there for fully ten minutes or so showing no inclination to take any of the bait laid out for it.
Eventually our Eagle hopped to the ground, took a good look at the bait but decided he didn't fancy any of it, not the turkey meat or the dead rabbits. He flew off in disgust. So that's the Fox, the Raven and now the Imperial Eagle turning their noses up. Agustin needs to improve the quality of his wildlife lures.
Suddenly a pair of marauding Golden Eagles flew in fast and low and one grabbed a large chunk of turkey with one foot and flew off with it.
The other Golden Eagle settled on the ground and checked out the wares on offer. It came as no surprise to us that he/she too was not tempted, and before long the other eagle returned, probably after having dumped the turkey somewhere in disgust.
Eventually we had seen enough, it had been a fantastic show and we were well pleased so we called Agustin to collect us at around 1:30, five and a half hours had flown by. We let Agustin know he needs to freshen up the meat on offer to our wildlife cast and we set off for home after a good day's birding.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
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