|Giants Castle, the land of the Bearded Vulture|
|Written by Craig Heath|
|Monday, 21 June 2010 08:33|
I had the pleasure in visiting Giants Castle, the land of the Bearded Vulture and many more averian friends, thanks to a fellow Photographer Shem Compion. We got there fairly late on the Friday evening and couldn't wait for the morning to arrive and head to the hide. I had researched the raptors but I had never seen any bird so big in flight before and was told they might not even arrive! Just before sunrise we arrived at one of the best hides i have ever been to. We set up camera, poured a coffee and kept a watchful eye on the sky above. The mountain ahead was covered in fog and not long after we were visited by the Red-winged starlings and some very inquisitive Ravens, and the fun began often forgetting about the Raptors. After much anticipation we finally saw a huge shadow sweeping over the landscape and we new these beautiful creators were in the area.
Unlike most vultures, the Lammergeier does not have a bald head. This huge bird is 95–125 cm (37–49 in) long with a wingspan of 275–308 cm (108–121 in) (10 feet), and is quite unlike most other vultures in flight due to its large, narrow wings and long, wedge-shaped tail feathers. It weighs 4.5–7.5 kg (9.9–17 lb).
The adult has a buff-yellow body and head, the latter with the black moustaches which give this species its alternative name. It may rub mud over its chin, breast and leg feathers, giving these areas a rust-coloured appearance. The tail feathers and wings are grey. The juvenile bird is dark all over, and takes five years to reach full maturity. The Lammergeier is silent, apart from shrill whistles at the breeding crags, and can live up to 40 years in captivity.
Finally they swept past us and with great anxiousness I captured this special moment. I look forward to returning in the future and I will never forget the experience. Have a look at some more images in my Collections..........
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 July 2010 15:22|