Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Eagles Vs Ravens

The White-bellied Sea Eagles fly over out place pretty regularly, sometimes several times a day. Quite often an eagle will be accompanied by the local pair of Forest Ravens who try to see it off. The eagle will generally ignore them and continue on it's route. Yesterday not one but two Sea Eagles got into a full scale dog fight right above our place. I was able to watch them for a good 10 minutes. They were high up, it was getting dark, and the rain clouds were rolling in as well. As a result, these are pretty poor images, but hopefully they convey some of the excitement of the event.


  1. Hi Mosura
    Amazing photos, especially the second last one - with tail spread and wings half-folded.
    In the last one, is it carrying something in its beak? Strange. Usually if they catch a fish, it would be carried in the claws.
    Different images show beak is not cluttered, others show talons clearly visible and empty. Unless it caught something whole the Ravens weren't looking.
    Anyway, it is a remarkable series of images. Well done.

  2. Thaks Denis - I noticed the thing behind its head and assumed it was the wing tip on the far side. However now that I look again it seems also to have a small line going downward from it's bill. No idea what it is.

  3. Brilliant series, Mosura. Well spotted and captured, regardless of the weather at the time!

  4. Amazing experience and photos!

  5. What a blast having that happen over your place Mosura, fantastic.

  6. Truly amazing sequence! Congratulations, Mosura!
    It's funny how this is a scaled up version of what Noisy Miners do to Ravens :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    Under such conditions I would boost the ISO to 800 or even above 1000 and lock the shutter speed at 1/1250. Don't know about you, but I always shoot multiple.

  7. Thanks JL, Mick, Duncan, & Tilcheff - Smaller scale versions of this happen all the time but the difference was like having a plane fly over or watching an air show.

    I did bump the iso up but only to 400. Should have checked the images before continuing but I was too excited. By shooting multiple do you mean 'exposure bracketing'. If so, that's something I should try.

  8. Hi Mosura,
    Those ravens really show the actual size of the eagles up well.
    Nice shots.

    You should be able to set your camera to muti shot. Then if you want you can set it to 'exposure bracketing' as well, If you do, then you have to take 3 shots each time, one 'normal'- one ''under''- and one ''over'' Exposed. I do this all the time.

  9. Just checked the camera manual - they call it 'continuous shooting'. (It's in 'drive modes' section of the manual. As our cameras are similar, the terms, I hope, should be the same.) That's half-press to focus and then press and hold the button and the camera takes a sequence of images. I usually go in twos or threes, but if it's very exciting I might hold the button down for 10 -12, then release lock the focus again and take another sequence.
    In most cases one of the images is much crisper than the rest. As these are action shots taken at great focal lengths by usually quite excited photographers who don't (and can't) use tripods, hand shaking is a serious factor for loss of detail. Shooting multiple increases the chance to get one image which was taken from a relatively more stable camera than the rest.
    In the ideal situation (which doens't often happen to me) you should end up with something like this.
    Hope this makes sense.

    ps. Oh! And I find myself shooting at ISO 320 and higher all the time, even under good lighting conditions.

  10. Thanks Warren & tilcheff - They have about a 2m wingspan.

    I've used exposure bracketing and continuous shooting from time to time (not very often). Both would have had their advantages on the above shots. Thanks for the suggestions. I will just have to calm down and think before I shoot :-)

  11. OH... and tilcheff that Pacific Gull sequence is fantastic. I seen that one before when looking through your blog.

  12. John TongueAugust 23, 2008

    Hi Mosura
    Further to your post on Duncan's blog about the Sea Eagles, if you ever get to go on the Arthur River cruise (especially the older boat) they should be able to point out two WBSE nests along different stretches of the River. Also, around Arthur River is a pretty good spot for Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters!!

  13. Thanks John - Thanks for the tip. That's something I've been meaning to do for some time. Maybe I could tick a Kingfisher while i'm at it :-)

  14. John TongueAugust 24, 2008

    We got our one and only Tas eg of Azure Kingfisher on this trip!

  15. Thanks John - That's encouraging. I hear of many places where you can see them but have never had any luck myself.