Happy Valentine's Day! We went with three feedings today, all successful.
The 8:30 feeding was cold at minus 14 with a bitter wind. Predictably the eagles didn't take long in coming down - roughly 50 of them. It was more a ground show than aerial. There were only two photographers and a single spectator. The photographers set up along the western side as has become usual when the wind is from the northwest. They got some great shots with eagles flying directly at them. Ground action was very close at about 50 feet.
By the second feeding the human numbers had swelled to about 20. A nice couple from Newfoundland were among them. It must make at least a dozen people from the Rock this year. The wind had died down by 10:30 and the sun had come out so that while it was still minus 13 it felt a lot warmer than 8:30. This feeding was split with some chicken thrown either side of the ploughed avenue. Stronger aerial action was a feature but there was still very good ground action.
The 12:30 feeding was always going to be dependent on the number of eagles still at the site. When I got there I could only count ten but one did a flyby of me before I even started to throw down the chicken, so I was persuaded to go ahead. There was another close range flyby as I threw out the chicken, so I was confident.
Yet they did not come down immediately. There were two or three eagles soaring high over the field and this seemed to open the floodgates as very quickly 50 eagles appeared providing excellent action in the air and on the ground. We were down to six humans, two of whom were the Newfoundlanders who stayed and were rewarded by a second show.
I'll follow the same procedure tomorrow: 8:30 and 10:30 feedings with a possible 12:30 if supported by eagle presence.
Malcolm lives in Sheffield Mills and is our resident eagle feeder. He feeds the eagles daily and has a unique relationship with these large birds. These are his adventures!