I dislike beginning posts with 'I' but occasionally it must be done, as I just have! I've decided, after reading my last Whingeing Spray, that I will no longer swear, vent or be a totally self indulgent princess.
Except the occasion being
a) said swearing or whingeing can be craftily channelled into dialogue or seriously earnest narrative.
b) I am wearing my tiara.
Consequently I'm bereft of words.
White Breasted Sea Eagles.
This morning on the Kalgan, the temperature was said to be three degrees. That gets interesting when adding the wind chill factor of a 50 horsepower outboard. It was so cold that Old Salt was reminiscing the days of olde on the Pallinup, when he'd have a kerosene tin full of glowing mallee roots on board, so as to unmesh fish with workable fingers.
The black bream we pulled up actually felt warmer than the water or air. It was tempting to dive our hands into the red bin to keep them company, were it not for their spikes!
Sightings of snow and the Yeti have been reported along the shores of Emu Point.
Yes! Yetis at sea level! Though that report could be some wishful thinking from Emu Point housewives looking for some rough trade. Either that or bikies dealing with the latest Brazilian sea container arrivals. It's a strange town. It's the granite, man.
Mmmm ... anyway, where was I?
White Breasted Sea Eagles.
At Pallinup, they watch the nets, waiting for that flapping tail of a mullet, from their paperbark eyries. White breasts and white paperbarks - they can be difficult to see. Old Salt pulls fish from the nets and waves them in the air at their impassive stance. He used to know one out there that would swoop down and grab fish from his hands.
Sometimes in the mornings at my own house, a mating pair fly overhead, crying to each other on their way to the sea. It is said they like to nest in the Marri trees above the shoreline. As I walk in the forest, I look upwards, something my Mum taught me, ("Not enough people look into the trees, when they walk.") hoping to see their home.
This morning, after the inlet, we drove to the harbour to pick up crab pots. Pelicans created their own wake, as they followed us from pot to pot, scooping the leftover bait that I threw out to them. This was much to the consternation of Digger the Disaster Pup, who watched the fish sail past his mouth and into the carvernous beaks of the pelicans. Finally he went in after them, a valiant, wet and ultimately futile attempt to sort them out.
We were just about at the last buoy, when I veered off and motored towards the wreck of the Kingfisher. Old Salt looked at me, the routine thrown.
On the iron prow of the wreck stood huge bird. This eagle was light brown, which threw me, because it had not the tousled, messy magnificence of a Wedgetailed Eagle, but was at least the same size.
Only when closer did we realise that it was a juvenile White Breasted Sea Eagle, her feathers still a tawny brown. Her legs were massive. I kept my distance but she still felt the need to leave. As she rose into the air, I saw the difference between these eagles and the Osprey. The wings are extra wide, to give them the propulsion to lift off the water laden with a heavy fish. They are attached almost the whole length of the bird's body. The Nyoongar name for them reflects their flight; "Wing tips upward kept."
It's a rather lovely thought that something so wild hunts in the harbour below me and was hatched high in the forest above me, and that this has happened the same way for millennia.