White-tailed Eagle in Sussex!

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday 12 December 2010 14:01

During a course I was running yesterday at about 2.00 pm I got a call from Penny saying there was a juvenile White-tailed Eagle at Amberley. I wasn't going to be able to get there in time so after a rather sleepless night, I headed over early. After hanging around in the freezing shadow of the Downs there was no sign of it. We headed into Storrington to warm up and get coffee. No coffee. Pulborough Brooks RSPB then, they had coffee but the White-tailed Eagle had come back so we legged it round and got some good but distant views of it sitting in the same tree it was in yesterday. Then it flew straight towards us (this time we were viewing from Rackham Plantation). It landed much closer to check out the remains of a kill and we had a great view, the Crows soon moved in and started pecking its tail!
Someone in the group asked "Where is it in relation to the barn" I helpfully replied "It is the barn!". It's great seeing this thing in flight, reminds me of the fell beasts from Lord of the Rings. Deep slow wing beats and vast wings that fold up like a dragon's when it takes off and lands. Feels like it's in slow motion. It's been seven years since I last saw them on Mull. Awesome. It flew back to its favoured perch and then, as we were leaving, flew south into the sun and disappeared out of site heading over the Downs (about midday). I hope it comes back! UPDATE: The bird was back at Amberley (via Arundel WWT) by the time I had written the post! SECOND UPDATE: Although another post on the SOS sightings page says it was in Hampshire by 14.00 pm at Titchfield Haven so it looks like it's gone.

4 Response to "White-tailed Eagle in Sussex!"

Kingsdowner Says:

Cracking bird - I'm most envious!

It's bizarre that it's deemed to be 'local' on Birdguides, just like Waxwings which are all over the south-east like a rash at the moment.

Graeme Lyons Says:

Yeah I noticed that too, I was expecting the grey square yesterday to be in proportion to the bird's size!

Clare Evans Says:

I was lucky enough to see it yesterday as I was over at Pulborough anyway. Everyone there got a chance to pop over for a few brief minutes to have a look. Weather looks as though it was better this morning.

Tom Kenyon Burns Says:

Glad you got to see it Graeme! Very jealous! Great course too. We said it would be there the next day!

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