The conservation of Eastern Imperial Eagles in our region has been playing an important and leading role in our bird protection activities. This year the number of records of an unknown bird has been increased in the western part of the Gerecse Mountain which made us hoping to have another breeding pair. To find evidence or at least sign of the territory keeping pair I decided to have a raptor watch today. We departed to a prominent raptor watching point where we thought to see the birds showing territorial behaviour.
Beautiful view from the raptor watching spot in the western Gerecse Mountain. © György Szimuly
The weather was more than perfect for excellent rising warm air currents which the raptors love to use. We stayed at the same spot from 8AM till 3PM. It was a killer raptor watch as having no shade from the best spot in 31°C air temperature in shade.
Eastern Imperial Eagle is one of the rarest breeding raptor species in our region. Image was kindly offered by Peter Csonka, who is the ranger in this area.
Birds started to show up after 9AM but the most productive period was between 10:30AM to 1:00PM. We supposed to find territories of Common Buzzards, Northern Goshawk and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. At midday I picked two Common Buzzards flying next to the Danube river together with an Eastern Imperial Eagle. The eagle was gliding over the potential hunting habitat then moved over a smaller hill just in front of us where showed a characteristic display flight. The fight lasted for about 2 minutes then the bird suddenly started to dive into the forest. I soon lost it as it moved to a valley. It should have a nest somewhere there or just a resting tree. More observation days needed to find evidence of their breeding in the given forest section.
Birds seen during the 7 hours raptor watch:
Black Stork 3
White Stork 1
European Honey Buzzard 4
Western Marsh Harrier 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 2
Northern Goshawk 2
Common Buzzard 8
Eastern Imperial Eagle 1
Northern Raven 4
Year list has been increased by one to 221.