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Saturday, 26 February 2011

The WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE in the Newnham and Old Basing area of North Hampshire

The juvenile WHITE-TAILED SEA EAGLE did a fine performance this afternoon, after being inadvertently flushed from its roost tree by one of the farmers in his landrover at 1300 hours. At around 1527 hours, the bird appeared from the Newnham direction and drifted north as far as Tylney Hall, being constantly pursued by 3 Rooks and often by up to 6 Common Buzzards. It was enormous by comparison but seemed unperturbed by any of their harassment. After some while of soaring, it started to flap westwards and approached as far as the Lyde River valley and then went south over the road and Deeplands Farm and disappeared behind the trees of Hodd's Wood at 1544 hours.

The Blackland's Farm estate is surprisingly alive with raptors, with at least 6 RED KITES noted, easily 10 different Common Buzzards and several Common Kestrels, whilst 85 Fieldfare flew NE and a charm of over 30 Goldfinches was by the farm reservoir. Most intriguing was the gibbet of 20 or so hanging Common Magpies adjacent to where we were all observing from - I thought this activity was now banished from our countryside

The bank of the farm reservoir just inside the entrance to Blackland's Farm offers would-be observers an excellent panoramic view, allowing easy location of the eagle once airborne. The bend at Deepland's Farm offers the opportunity of it flying over one's head but you are much more restricted on viewing. An outstanding bird and well done to the farmer in recognising it
ALAN HAYDEN obtained the exceptional images above

Good Birding Always

Lee Evans