Sunday, January 18, 2009

white-bellied sea-eagle

boat-wreck along the coast at kranji

a white-bellied sea eagle at kranji coast

most times when i take to the kranji trail, i would be the solitary walker. today, i had the company of a group of about eight nature photographers, led by someone from nparks. they were taking close-up pictures of insects, plants and birds. for birds, in this case it was the collared kingfisher, they had to use the 200mm to 500mm telephoto lens.

while walking close to the coast, i saw three white-bellied sea eagles circling over the tall trees. it seems to me that the number of sea-eagles has increased. just yesterday, i saw five of these magnificent birds soaring and gliding over the upper seletar reservoir area. on thursday morning, i saw a pair over the sea off sungei buloh wetland reserve. closer to my home, over at pang sua stormwater pond, there used to be a solitary eagle. these days, i often see a pair of them.

as i watched one of the eagles, i could not help feeling envious of it - gliding effortlessly up there and crossing borders without having to bother about immigration check. it flew over the johor straits before turning back.

these fish eagles normally hunt for fish but they sometimes go for small animals like rats, frogs and sea snakes. i usually see them in the morning or evening or when it is about to rain.

from my bedroom window, i have watched how the eagle catch its prey. it would circle the stormwater pond a few times to look for its prey. sometimes it could be quite high up in the sky but at other times it would be just above the tree-top level. when it had spotted some potential food, it would glide over the surface and using its talons pick up the fish that had been swimming near the surface. it seldom misses.

it does not dive into the water as some people would imagine it to do. it is not a cormorant or an osprey. it just skim over the surface, pick up the target and fly off somewhere to enjoy its spoil.

you can go to this web-page to view some superb shots (by speedblade) of the white-bellied sea eagle at bukit panjang.

15 comments:

JollyGreenP said...

A wonderful bird that has always impressed me. I remember watching them in the early morning when my wife and I were staying at the Ferringhi Beach hotel in Penang. They would fly down from the hilltop scanning the trees and then on to the sea if they caught nothing in the trees. We got up each morning at daybreak to sit on the balcony to watch them.

Thanks for including the link to "speedblade's" photos they are truly magnificent. I guess a visit to Bukit Panjang pond is going to be on the agenda for my next visit!

yg said...

john, at the moment there is construction work going on at bukit panjang. they are building some sports amenities right next to the stormwater pond but the eagles still make their appearance. will be glad to show you around.

nah said...

The school crest of Woodsville Sec.School which has closed down had an eagle in flight. The school chose the eagle because this is a powerful majestic bird. It has fiery eyes, steely talons, vast wing span and soaring flight.
The eagle is the embodiment of strength and invincibility.
Hence the mission statement of the school was –
Unleash your potential
Soar to greater heights
Aspire and Achieve.

yg said...

mr nah, the eagle has moved on...to macpherson secondary.

Victor said...

The school crest of RI also has an eagle. The eagle has long been considered a symbol of power and majesty. On the crest, one of the eagle's heads faces left (the past) and other faces right (the future), symbolising the school's tradition of drawing strength from the past to work towards a better future.

yg said...

wow! this vs boy has been checking on the rafflesian. he knows more about the school crest than i do. i have almost forgotten about the two-headed eagle but i can still remember the gryphon and this line in the school song: the eagle eye and gryphon strength....

Victor said...

My elder son was from RI. Now he's attending 2nd year in RJC. But RJC recently merged with RI and both are called RI now. Confusing, right?

Were you an old boy of RI too or did you teach there before?

yg said...

from what i have heard, during my time, the top two boys from each school were posted to ri - provided they had opted for it. suppose the top boy's score was 273and mine (the 2nd highest), 250, i would still make it. but, i believe there was also a qualifying score because some primary schools had four or five pupils admitted to ri. anyway, during my time (1961)our score in the psle was not made known to us. by the way, that year my pri 6 class was the only class in the whole school.

peter said...

I am certain that Victor also memorised the school anthem?

peter said...

Yg
what is that rotten junk doing that? Very unusual to find one these days, more so in the Kranji area. Can explain please?

yg said...

peter, this wreckage has been around for a long time. it is in a secluded part of the coast. i first saw it in 2006.

Victor said...

Yg, about your reply on 19 Jan at 8:23 AM, so I take it that you are an old RI boy and you could very well have been the top student in your primary school. Whoa!

Peter, I didn't memorise anything. All I did was to access the information on the school's website.

yg said...

victor, ya, was trying to tell you i got into ri by default. i was not exactly top material. the top boy was consistently top and he was way ahead of me/us.

ordinary guy said...

You may be interested to know of a local site called the "Bird Study Ecological Group" at: http://besgroup.talfrynature.com/

I'm sure they will welcome your birdie photos in your writeup about it.

yg said...

ordinary guy, thks for the info. i visit the site that you mentioned on a regular basis. i have always admired the photos taken by these bird-watchers. my birdie photos, taken with a point-and-shoot digital camera where the images are so small, definitely cannot qualify for posting.