Moonrise at Loch Raven

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I was out at Loch Raven and caught a daylight moonrise on October 4, 2014; the sun was about 30 minutes from setting and I thought it was a golden opportunity to catch a bird flying near the moon.

I positioned myself on some rocks just above the dam, and hoped the lighting conditions would hold long enough for something to fly past.

A thin layer of clouds began to drift in, and I was about to give up when I spotted a Golden Eagle approaching. He didn’t come as close to me as I wanted, but he did manage to fly near the moon’s position in the sky.

Despite his distance, I can’t really complain about the last rays of the sun streaming in on him from the west, and he banked enough to let it partially light up his belly.

I snapped a few more shots as he went out of range, and then lowered my camera to watch him fly over the ridge on the opposite side of the reservoir.

I heard some crows start calling frantically as he went up the ridge; there is a spot near the crest of that ridge where crows roost each night. I’ve seen them streaming in during twilight before.

Sure enough four crows began pursuing the eagle, I hoped they would come back in range, but they stayed faraway for most of their altercation. I saw the eagle flip on his back, and make a halfhearted grab at a crow with his talons.

The eagle had been flying northeast, but the crows managed to turn him south, and they came close enough for a final shot of the eagle, three of the crows, and the moon at the top of the frame. Not the best resolution, but an interesting shot as it documents their behavior.

I’m far from a bird expert, but I’m sure the crows didn’t want this eagle hanging around their roost.

I’ll be writing more about my observations of bird behavior at Loch Raven Reservoir, so please come back to read more.

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