Friday, 16 June 2017

Intermission part 2 (it dragged on longer than I'd thought) - eagle-hunting by the border



June 14th

This one's going to be short and sweet (well, sweet because it's short). Going to Alba Iulia for the past two weeks left me with a handful of extra spare time, and intrigued by my friend Tudor's apparent glimpse of what he thought was quite possibly (however unlikely) a bald eagle on his was back from Hungary, I quickly accepted his proposal to go on a 3 and a half hour drive to Nădlac (one of Romania's border towns) on the off chance we might happen upon the above-mentioned mighty predator. A wisely concocted plan stemming from two brilliant minds with sharp attention to detail and surely no chance of failure.
To cut a long story short, we actually did manage to find the birds (yes, plural), though to our predictable dismay, they weren't bald, but rather lesser spotted eagles, and while perhaps not quite as emblematic as their North American cousins, like all birds of prey, these guys soared with a majesty that I was naturally unable to capture on camera because of how hesitant they were to come near us (or just stay still while we got near to them) and because I still need plenty of practice. Regardless, here's what I did manage to get, uncropped and minimally edited so as to get the full sense of the scene. 

First sight, exciting enough to warrant a legally dubious stop right on the highway to capture.

Soaring across corn and wheat fields, presumably hunting rodents

Like the previous ones, I didn't crop out the unaesthetic cable lines so as to maintain proper context. I'm not ashamed of sometimes doing a shoddy job!

Tudor and his car. 'nuff said

A cricket (?) had got inside after one of the stops, and while I agree, this doesn't look like much, I will take the credit of having taken it while the car was being driven on a quite bumpy road through a 75-300 mm lens!

Last shot of the eagle before we move on to other things.

Romanian agriculture. We were temporarily tempted to attempt stomping crop circles, but decided against it in the end.

Gave us a Gladiator vibe. Tudor's silhouette to the right

A different sort of bird I can't name hunting for fish in the Mureş river

Last bird of the day, a raven overlooking the surrounding hills.
 All in all, the whole thing took us around 10 hours, of which around seven were spent on the road and one more eating dinner, so I'd say we managed to see quite a bit in just two hours of walking around. Definitely worth paying the area a second, longer visit (as we intend to!) and it just goes to show fun adventures need not only happen in mountains, beaches, deserts and whatever falls into the "exotic" category.

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