I saw a wedge tailed eagle earlier today. I had to think about the sighting for a bit before I could definitely say, yes it definitely was a wedge tail. The heavy dark strong look of it, so much heavier and more impressive than any other Australian bird of prey, definitely a wedge tailed eagle.
It wasn’t here, at home but even so, to see one flying across a road I drive on often was exciting. I was on my way to Salisbury from home, travelling along Port Wakefield road, and heading south, the bird was flying across the road, headed east, and approx. fifty metres above the traffic. Major roads are good places for carrion birds in some ways, but not in others.
I didn’t see any dead creatures on this journey, but I wasn’t looking, and I’ve certainly seen quite a few dead things along that road, over the years. It’s a sad fact that fast cars and animals don’t go together well, and the animals are usually the ones that end up dead.
The other day I was driving from my place to Gawler and saw a bearded dragon on the road. The slowed down as much as I could, the creature crouched down a little, and I think that one lived, this time. I wish they’d stay off the road, but who knows, the lizard may have been feasting on something smaller that had lost the battle with the cars.
Getting back to the wedge tailed eagle, from earlier today, if you’ve never seen one of these magnificent creatures, this is what they look like. Their wing span is over 2 metres, and the adult is usually quite dark overall. They are feathered almost all of the way down to their toes, and are a very strong and solid looking bird in flight, as they leisurely circle around high above, on the thermals over slow and hot summer’s days.
(image from http://rwsboa2011.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/saw-pair-of-wedge-tailed-eagles-today.html – A great site for seeing images of birds in the wild.)
I’ll never forget the day I saw one of these birds on my way home from Balaklava – it was on the ground next to the side of the road, and it appeared enormous. I suspect it had either killed or found something dead, and was settling in for a meal. I was on my way home, and thinking about a meal myself! This was quite a few years ago, and I can’t remember what I’d been doing. The sighting of the wedgie was the more exciting thing, for me.
My most recent poetry collection, that is coming out around the middle of the year has many poems about dead creatures and roads, and dogs that like to kill creatures and other creature-related matters. I was going to call this collection ‘Critters’, but my publisher didn’t like the name, so it’s now called ‘Delicious Tension’ which comes from the first poem. It’s certainly a more dignified title, but I still have a soft spot for all of the critters that make up the collection, and that make up for my life interest in Nature, and all of the animals, birds, insects and so on who share this world with us.