Yesterday I went out into the yard for a wander and heard Rajiv and the chickens giving out loud distress calls. The first thing that entered my mind was a fox, so I sort of did a shuffly-jog sort-of-run around to the chicken yards (as fast as someone with a 6 month baby belly can move). I had my breath absolutely taken away by what I saw.
Two beautiful, immense wedge tail eagles were sitting on the fence adjacent to the chicken yard. I have seen them circling over the hills here but I had no idea they would be so bold as to come anywhere near a property where there is human movement and sound. Even seeing them high overhead leaves me in awe at their size, and so to see them so close was a shock. It reminded me of the first time I came eye to eye with an owl in the UK which was looking down at me at night in torchlight. Birds that large with such penetrating strange eyes are so completely unnerving up close – in a way that makes you hurry to put some space between yourself and them, and then immediately regret your reaction.
Whether the pair were after the chickens or perhaps some mice or rabbits which may be around, I’m not sure. As they flew off between the trees, I was torn between wanting them back and the initial panic of thinking of them as chicken predators.