Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 10:55:43 -0500
Reply-To: James Neves <jamesneves@GMAIL.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: James Neves <jamesneves@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: GOLDEN EAGLE - S. Milledge Fields - Athens (Clarke Co.) -
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A few quick notes about the GOLDEN EAGLE sighting:
I find it quite interesting that this is actually the second record for the
species in Clarke County. Richard Hall informed me of a record listed in
the Oriole from 1952. Assuming that this record will eventually make it
into eBird, and I have it on good authority that will most likely happen,
this will be the 8th eBird record for GA. This will be the second sighting
for early November in the state. There are two sightings from Dec, two
from Jan, one from March, and one from September.
After looking at my one of my images on a different computer, the white at
the base of the undertail is visible. I have had a few requests from
folks to see the pictuers. I don't really have a photo blog anywhere, so
if anyone would like to see the (really terrible) photos, I'll be happy to
forward them to you.
Athens, Clarke Co., GA
On Mon, Nov 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM, James Neves <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi Georgia Birders,
> You know how sometimes you have a six sense that you just need to go
> birding when you weren't planning to do it because you know you're going to
> see something good. Well, that happened to me today. It was such a
> gloriously beautiful day here in Athens, and so I decided to eat my lunch
> very quickly and head to the South Milledge Fields here in Athens. As soon
> as I got out of my car, I saw a large, darkly colored bird of prey heading
> directly toward and over me, heading WSW. Now, I've been dreaming of
> Golden Eagles recently -- some birding acquaintances I have in Tennessee
> just went on a field trip to see Golden Eagles, Rough Legged Hawks, and
> Short Eared Owls in Virginia -- so I was hesitant to believe my eyes when
> the darkly colored raptor turned into a GOLDEN EAGLE as I got my binoculars
> on them. The ventral surface of the wing was all dark except for small,
> white wing patches at the base of the inner three or four primaries. The
> head was moderately sized (much bigger than a vulture, smaller than a Bald
> Eagle), the tail was somewhat wedged, and the trailing edge of the wings
> was discernibly bowed. Because of the light and the fact that the tail was
> held tightly closed, I was not able to clearly see the white at the base of
> the undertail. The pictures are blurry and poor, but you can see the white
> wing patch and clearly the silhouette of a GOLDEN EAGLE. The bird never
> soared, just held a fast glide. (The pictures have passed review by a
> couple of our preeminent GA birders).
> Other highlights were a NORTHERN HARRIER that came soaring in just after
> the eagle had left my sight over the horizon and a single VESPER SPARROW
> along the gravel road that parallels the railroad tracks. A BARRED OWL
> called a couple of times, and a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK flew low over the small
> pond, while both species of vulture soared around to make for an excellent
> showing of birds of prey for the early afternoon outing.
> Happy Birding!
> James Neves
> Athens, Clarke Co., GA
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