Nov 21, 2010

The Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) 56 - 74 cm

The early morning drive uphill along the winding road was pleasant enough. No city bumper-to-bumper traffic and the cool country air was most refreshing and a welcome change! Whilst my eyes were on the road to ensure that the car stay on the right lane moving forward I occasionally steal a quick glance at the many lamp posts that dotted the way up the hill. Raptors out hunting in the morning or to just to get some warmth from the morning sun have been reported to perch on top of the concrete lamp posts. I was counting that luck would be on my side today to have a chance to sight a raptor, well any raptor will do just fine, so long as it's a raptor. :-)

As I negotiated my car gingerly around a fairly sharp bend to the right as I came out of the bend what came into my view above me got my heart rate up and I instinctively slammed on the brakes and pulled the car to a stop approximately 30 meters away. A raptor was perched on top of the lamp post!

Now looking back I wished I had kept my camera on the front passenger seat, all set and ready to shoot. But no it was in the bag and on the back seat! I opened the car door as quietly as I could, made a dash to open the back door, grabbed hold of my camera and quickly set the correct metering for the shoot. I then anchored my shoulder to the side of the car and 'pulled the trigger'! On hearing the shutter the big bird jumped from it's perched and made a dash for the forest just off the road shoulder. I managed to 'punch' 3 frames. The 1st frame captured the whole bird, the 2nd just half the bird and the 3rd nothing! :-)

Below is the one and only photo recorded on the 1st frame! Lucky, just plain lucky or there would have been nothing to share from the interesting experience. LOL


Cheers guys and have a great day!

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