Sunday, 20 January 2013

GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE

This morning I went to Torviscosa (Udine), to see a GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE. The juvenile bird was almost immediately on show when me and a couple of friends arrived. It remained perched on some dead trees for much of our stay, getting soaked really hard under the constant rain (above). A few times it also changed perch, making small flights around.
A quite distinctive bird with dark brown (almost black) plumage, a lot of white spotting on the wings and a buffish-brown nape.
It was great to see it, because the last (and only) time I saw this species was back in 2009 in Egypt. In northern Italy, Greater Spotted Eagle is a quite rare winter visitor, but almost annual. This year I was lucky to have it so close to home. The bird seems quite settled in the area (first seen a week ago) and is almost always found on the same two or three dead trees. Nearby there's a small wetland, so the perfect wintering habitat for the species.
Although the wider area of Torviscosa is usually rich with farmland birds, today we failed to see any other interesting bird, probably due to the incessant rain.
One or two Red-throated Divers in the nearby canals were actually of note.