Kiersten has returned from the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains with an extraordinary report of an encounter with a pair of Golden Eagles – and despite very misty conditions she still managed to get some shots to post for you today…
At 3,011m Cerro del Caballo is the westernmost “three-thousander” in the Sierra Nevada range. A wild and remote place, without a doubt…and its crags and rocky slopes provide the perfect habitat for one of Europe’s largest birds of prey.
Kiersten was waiting to pick up the Spanish Highs Mountain Guides team at the time, and thick cloud meant visibility was at a minimum – which in turn meant at first she heard rather than saw a pair of these wonderful raptors. The noise was like a free-falling aeroplane as they came diving out of the mist and swooped past overhead!
In their display flights Golden Eagles will make occasional lightning-fast stoops and plunges, literally ripping through the air on folded wings. A memorable sight at any time, and every now and then we’re lucky enough to have close contact with these magnificent birds that can turn the coldest and foggiest days into something quite special.
Across much of its European range the Golden Eagle has disappeared from more heavily populated areas, and has retreated to mountainous regions where it can still establish its huge breeding territories – up to 60 square miles – and rear its young undisturbed by human interference. Thankfully Spain remains a stronghold, and we’re lucky enough to see these wonderful birds throughout the year.
Golden Eagles are just one of the many bird of prey species that can still be found in the mountains of southern Spain. We run birdwatching trips and holidays that can provide a great introduction to the birdlife of the region: for more information on how to join us, click here…and for all our latest birding news, please keep checking our posts and trip reports!