Third time lucky

Keith Ireland's successful snap of a wedgetailed eagle.

Birds in our World with Keith Ireland

To be sitting in a hide on a hill top with the camera all set up on a tripod, waiting for a wedgetailed eagle to come back to feed its babies, can be very exciting at the thought of the possible photos that might result from all the hard work of getting to this spot and being ready.

Two small chicks were in the nest and I had been there on two previous occasions with no success. I probably came at the wrong time of day then, so this time I was determined to sit it out and wait.

Suddenly the eagle (pictured) landed on a high branch of a nearby tree and surveyed the surroundings. I couldn’t help thinking how majestic this magnificent bird looked as it scanned the sky and other parts of the hillside.

I slowly brought my camera round so that it was then focussed on this single bird. I did this while it was looking away from my direction as, knowing the term ‘eagle-eyed’, I was hoping the bird wouldn’t see the movement. It must not have, as it stayed for some time before gliding down in a sweeping arch across the terrain below.

I brought the camera back to focus on the nest and about half an hour later, one of the parent birds arrived at the nest carrying a carcuss of some description as food for the young ones. As both male and female are alike in appearance, I couldn’t say if this was the one I had been photographing before or its mate.

There is a saying, ‘Third time Lucky’. This third visit turned out to be a most successful day for me.