White-bellied Sea-eagle, Mallacoota, Victoria
During our only evening in Mallacoota in January it was warm and calm, ideal for a walk after a lovely dinner in the bistro of the local hotel where we were staying. The inlet was relatively quiet despite the large numbers of people – and their boats – staying in the seaside town for the Christmas holidays.
We found a comfortable seat on a headland overlooking the inlet. It was a good vantage point for some late evening birding, though the fading light made photography a challenge. In the estuary we saw several White-faced Herons, Whimbrels, Common Greenshanks, Pied Oystercatchers and Pacific Gulls, all too far away to get good shots.
Earlier we had seen a White-bellied Sea-eagle cruising overhead, sending some of the local birds into a mild panic. While we were relaxing it flew past again and landed on a tree across the water some two metres away. It was a long shot, even with the camera on the full 12x zoom. I haven’t seen this species all that often and never in a position for a close up photo, so this is the best I could do. The eagle is in the middle of the photo and it looks like it is eating something it had caught.
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