After a couple of days running up and down to San Lameer today I finally got a new lifer and what a one it was.
Around 9:30am on 11 May 2017 I arrived to find Jacques Sellschop already set up with his bazooka taking picture of the 7 month old female juvenile high up in the pine trees next to her nest. Jacques explained that soon the adults will be chasing their little girl away as it’s almost time for their next breeding season. For a while now they have been bringing her less and less food so she can learn to hunt and fend for herself.
Jacques had to leave but not after giving me a couple of photography tips (which have been greatly appreciated). He also told me to listen out to the change in call from the little one because that is when she has spotted one of her parents. Then he was off, trudging down the road hauling his massive equipment with him.
20 minutes after he left the juvenile spotted one of her parents and went moggie. This was my luck day, juvenile and adult. My whole trip had been made in 1 hour!
The adult landed in a few trees away but with no food. This didn’t stop the little one from acting like a real baby, jumping back into her nest and begging like she was a fledgling. The adult didn’t take much notice at all but flew to another tree a little further away. The adult called a couple of times, not sure if it was to the little one or to find its mate but after 30 minutes of spectacular views of my first adult Crowned Eagle it flew off over the golf coarse.
The little one realising there was no food to be had and now its parent gone decided to jump back on its perch outside the nest and carry on with its ever hopeful cries of food.
I was not aware that these Eagles have built up a huge reputation not only in South Africa but are celebrities abroad like the Verreaux's Eagles of Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. All of the pictures at reception are of the eagles and the staff light up at the prospect of new visitors to see the Eagles, right down to the security guards.
Consider the fact that these eagles have been there in excess of 7 years now and they have chosen to nest in a small group of pine trees just inside the main entrance gate to a very busy holiday / golfing resort. Amazing how we can co-exist if we really want to.
Writing taken from Rob McLaren on Facebook.