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 Post subject: Golden Eagle?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:03 am
Posts: 420
Location: Kendal UK
Not a good pic I know, but we had driven around a sharp corner in a glen in the Outer Hebrides and there it was, being mobbed by a raven. I had to change lens and this was the best of the shots. As far as I can tell it was a juvenile golden eagle. Can anyone confirm?

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Not a good eagle pic by warth man, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Eagle?
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:22 pm
Posts: 588
Location: Alexandra, Central Otago, NZ
hi Warth

I think you have been quite lucky there but i dont think its a golden eagle. Being that you are in the outer hebs and not very far from the sea i think you have captured what we used to call a flying door. I think it is most likely a Sea Eagle or its proper name a white tailed or grey sea eagle.

They are becoming the norm around the bays and inlets of Lewis and Harris and i trudged the isles looking for them a few years ago with little success until i was about to get on the ferry and right in front of us were about 4 of them all playing, soaring and feeding in the bay.

The difference can (when close up) be easy to spot (white tail obviously and a very golden brown head on the golden) but from a distance it can be very difficult. The sea eagles tend to be close to the coast or water and appear very black the goldens appear more rusty brown and have occasional greyer or whitish brown feathering below the wings - giving it a lighter look to the sea eagle, the sea eagle is a bit larger than the golden and has a distinctive flat 'door like' wing when soaring. Goldens are more heathland and mountains and forest (i had the beejeebies scared out of me in the lake district once when a golden swooped out of a set of pines along the track i was walking - under the tree canopy and nearly took my head off..).

The Sea eagle populations on Harris and Lewis are from what i remember doing extremely well and i think their numbers are still on the increase, as such if you see one then you will probably see two or three all close together, the goldens however are far more recluse and you will be very lucky to see one.

Looking closely at your photo i think its a Sea Eagle. Another birdy might be able to correct me if i am wrong, either way, great spot. :D

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Got some of the gear but really still no idea...:)


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Eagle?
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:03 am
Posts: 420
Location: Kendal UK
Thanks robbon. What threw me is that it didn't have a white tail and it does have a lighter coloured head. It was certainly very dark in colour. It was still a great thing to see and, from what you say, that was my first sea eagle sighting. Madam was impressed too as it was the first eagle she's seen at all.

Like you, many years ago I had a close experience with a golden when I was out around the Monadliaths with a gamekeeper friend. We rounded a bend in a small gulley and the thing took off right in front of us. No camera with me at all then. Isn't that the way?


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Eagle?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:47 pm
Posts: 1
This is definately a young Golden Eagle,although it is dificult to see in the picture if you look at the left wing there is a patch of white in the flight feathers where the outer secondaries meet the inner primaries just behind the carpal joint.This is exactly what I would expect to see in a young Goldie of about two years old.Also the curve of the trailing edge of the wing is classic Golden Eagle,and when you enlarge the photo you can clearly see the light brown/golden feathers on back of the neck.The fact that you saw it near the coast is actually irelavant I know plenty of Golden Eagles who live on the coast and breed on sea Cliffs and throughout its range it is not unusual for Sea Eagles to live and breed in aquatic habitats hundreds of miles from the sea.Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Golden Eagle?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:03 am
Posts: 420
Location: Kendal UK
Thank you fakalaya. I think I should revisit and try to get pics of both types. Something I would really like to do very much.


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