The Eagle Has Landed

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July 11th 2013
Published: July 16th 2013
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Capturing the MomentCapturing the MomentCapturing the Moment

I consider myself lucky to get a shot such as this one, how long would a wildlife photographer sit and wait for an opportunity like this one! and it's no guarantee that they would even get a shot like this.
Thursday 11 July 2013

Arkaroola - Copley - Farina

Well, it's gusting! We are camped at Farina, again, the temperature reached a fab 26 degrees today it really was lovely, even the wind had a warmth to it today, it has probably put paid to our camp fire tonight and of course my plans for dinner, but we will see if the wind dies down before sunset.

So just to give you an update on the last couple of days.

Waking up in Arkaroola, it was time for Dan, Josh, Erica and Lorena to hit the road toward the Flinders Ranges South and time for us to resume our journey North, even though Andy had asked me if I wanted to stay a bit longer. I gave that some thought but decided it would be best to move on today, our second visit to Arkaroola had been great and of course with great company, but I did not want to feel overdone and everything else could wait for another time.

We made slow moves to pack up but the others all had their tents down and packed away before breakfast which consisted of bacon and eggy bread all cooked on the barbecue in the campsite. It was delicious and certainly meant that I probably would not eat lunch!

The others were all packed away and we still had a bit to do, so decided that we should not hold them up and they went off on their merry way, I believe stopping at the reception to grab a coffee first.

The sun was up and it was beautiful, but I could not make up my mind if it was hot or cold, I left my jumper on anyway and we finished packing and only 15 minutes behind the others.

Stopping at reception to say goodbye to Katie and Carla and get a coffee for the road. As soon as I walked through the door I spied a book called "Rock Star" which was written by Kristen Weidenbach, Doug Sprigg's Ex Wife, whom just happened to be at Arkaroola whilst we were there.

I had been looking for this book and in fact had seen a copy for sale at around 200 British Pounds, the

he turned his back on us and lifted his bum feathers!
seller telling me that it was a "rare book". I declined as I did not really want to spend that kind of money on a book and here it was a brand new copy, which of course I purchased, which only cost us about $35.00 bucks.

We also heard that a joey had been rescued this morning, it had an injured ear and face and looked as if it had been attacked by an Eagle. I am not sure where they were going to take it, but it was in shock and we couldn't see it as they needed to keep it calm.

As soon as we were on the dirt track out of there and keeping our eye out for wildlife we came round a corner only to come face to face with a group of emu's, fortunately Andy was on the ball and going slow enough to miss them as they ran off the road and into the bush.

Just on the perimeter of Arkaroola, I spied some birds and my eyes did not deceive me, a number of Wedge Tailed Eagles. Giving Andy plenty of warning
Not SharingNot SharingNot Sharing

These two were not happy with each other, they had a spat until one of them flew off
to pull up, he very dutifully did, allowing me time to get my camera out of the bag. There was one Eagle, looking a bit lighter in colour on the carcass of an emu, it was reluctant to move, but it did before my camera was ready. Four Eagles were sat in a nearby tree, including the lighter coloured one.

They all looked miffed at having been disturbed and if looks could kill! Two of them looked as if they were having a spat with each other and did not want to share a tree. I have since shown a photograph to someone who thought that it was a baby eagle, but I really don't think it was despite the difference in colour, so I will have to research that.

The lighter coloured Eagle flew to another tree, still keeping one beady eye on us, my camera was trained on it, Andy had turned the engine off so that we were completely still and thus no vibration would be transferred to the camera. I watched as the Eagle turned around and started to lift up it's bum, I am waiting for it to fly off so keeping the camera trained I kept my finger on the button, just in time for the Eagle to lift it's bum right up in the air and take a big poo! Which seemed to come squirting out at quite some force and away from it's feathers, clearly natures way of keeping their feathers squeaky clean.

The pictures following you can see this long sticky glob of a substance drop toward the ground. I thought to myself "I would hate to have been standing under that tree", yuck! It was almost as if this Eagle was doing this at us in defiance of our being there, it was just the way it turned around and pointed it's bum toward us.

I was really excited about these pictures, my patience is rewarded again, my best ever Eagle shots and trump the ones I got the other day.

Andy had said for the final "Eagle shot" he would drive close and honk the horn to make them fly off, and I would get a shot of them in flight all together, so he moved the truck off, with Gypsy in
Road Signs,Road Signs,Road Signs,

These signs rotate, to show the status, we rely on these, as a little drop of rain make it like a skating ring.
tow and got 20 Mtrs away and started to blow the horn, the eagles just looked as us and thought "Bloody Tourists" and sat in defiance.

Andy drove on, and I checked through the photos, I was really pleased with the results and could not wait to download them to my iPad later on. We even saw more Eagles on the way but I left Andy to drive on, these were too far away and I knew I could not improve what I had already taken.

We took in the sights of the Gammon Ranges, which is something we could not really do last time we drove down this track, stunning, simply stunning. I started to tap out a blog which was not easy as this track was winding and bumpy in places but it made valuable use of time.

Arriving in Copley, we decided to stay here the night and had a good recommendation to visit the bakery attached to the caravan park. I went in and the Lady explained to me that they had a water leak so there was no water at that time, but it would be fixed before the end of the day. I was fine with this, she was not worried about me paying at that time, showed me where we could go and choose our own site and said to pay her later, people in these areas are so laid back, but on the other hand she seemed to be suffering with a cold so perhaps it was all a bit too much for her today.

We found a site, dropped Gypsy and then drove into Leigh Creek to top up with diesel and grab a couple of things from the supermarket, Andy also wanted a haircut, but we knew that would be a tricky one, there is a hairdresser and we went in to ask, but it appears that she flies in and flies out every fortnight and thus is fully booked, so it looks like the next time either of us is going to get a haircut will be in Alice Springs.

Back at the campsite, Andy had to try and repair the chainsaw again, he tried to use it earlier to gather some wood but it did not work, when he removed the pull start the something had fallen out or something, so he needed to repair it once again, Also when we dropped Gypsy, I noticed a problem with the tow bar, it was bent and that really is not good. We are not sure when it got bent, it may only have happened in the last couple of days, or it had just become noticeable.

So another thing that needs to be looked at and repaired, Andy pondered that little conundrum.

I put a load in the washing machine, it was an automatic front loader that you did not need to add detergent to, it was a small machine but that was ok it was just a small load. I hung it out to dry, but much later on I went to shower and the washing was drying nicely so thought I would leave it until after my shower.

I came out of the amenities to be confronted by a herd of horses and noticed that a couple of things were off the washing line, the pegs were nowhere in sight! I looked at the horses and they all looked innocently at me then wandered off. Innocent definitely not, they had obviously had a nibble at the clothes on the line, I found the pegs a fair way from the washing line so they must have pinged off.

An easy evening followed, I downloaded my pictures to the iPad, I was really pleased with the results of the Eagles. We only had soup for dinner that night as neither of us fancied anything more. The night was warm, well ok, maybe not warm but it certainly was not cold and the fact that I was still wearing thongs and not my hiking boots was a testament to that and it was probably the warmest night we have had so far.

Deciding that we would have a film night, I set up the laptop and chose a film which took us nicely to bedtime.

Friday 12th July

Despite us having the hot water bottles, I don't think we needed them, it turned out to be a warm night, in fact it must have been a warm morning as Andy was up at the crack of dawn and sat outside!

He made us both a cup of tea and I find out that he was researching the problem with the chainsaw and had in fact fixed it and now he was working out what to do with the bent towbar. This we had to be really careful with because we did not want to weaken the structure and fracture the metal, if that occurred we would not be moving anywhere.

There was only one other person in the caravan park, they recognised us from Arkaroola and came over to chat, they too had done the Ridge Top Tour, however as there were only 3 of them they had a normal 4wd and sat inside rather than the cab chassis Landcruiser that we had, thus it was lovely and warm.

Andy set about fixing the bent towbar and somehow took the bend out of it and managed to fit it back in. There were a number of reasons as to why this probably happened and one of them is the weight versus length and the road conditions with dips etc. I could go on, but there is no point trying to work it out, it is fixed, we have shortened it and all is ok. The only thing that we will have to watch now we have shortened it is we may lose some of the flexibility in the turning circle.

We pulled off site and went into the coffee shop to do a bit of internet before we headed out of the area, we know that once we are out of here we will get very little internet opportunity until we don't know when!

Being that we left Copley fairly late we decided to stop at Farina overnight and then tomorrow we could easily get some mileage done and we also want to see a museum at the Marree Hotel.

We collected some wood for the fire tonight, but the sun is going down and the wind is still fairly brisk, it may not be a good idea for a fire so I changed plans on dinner, only to find that once the sun had gone down taking the wind with it, Andy decided that we would have a fire, so I switched back to plan A.

I made pizza breads with some rolls that we had left over and needed eating up, laced with lots of tomato on the base, cheese, onion, red peppers and bacon, they went in the warm camp oven and 10 minutes later we had the most delicious pizza bread, was it as good as Chives in Roxby Downs? probably not, but hey it was good for my first go at making pizza in the camp oven.

The evening was wearing on and yet it was still warm, warmer than last night! I was not even compelled to put my hiking boots and fleece on, though it was comfortable by the camp fire, once it burnt down we went to bed, for the first time on this trip, "No hot water bottles", We certainly did not need them, in fact we were pushing the extra doona and blankets off, by the time I went to sleep, I had one window open and had even pushed my doona back.



16th July 2013

Eagle's disdain
Absolutely love the photo! Award winning moment. Priceless. xx Keith & Jan
16th July 2013

Love this one.
16th July 2013

The Eagle has Landed
Hi Both, Thanks for your positive comments, fortunately I just had some lazy subjects that wanted their photo's taken. Travel Safe Caroline
16th July 2013

The Eagle has Landed
Hi guys, hope you are both well, was very pleased with my Eagle photo's, thanks for your comments. Caroline.

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