Piercing Eyes

Spending time in nature must be one of the most relaxing experiences, but at 2 Degrees Celsius that experience is not all that relaxing.

I was up and about early on Sunday morning and decided to head out to Rietvlei Nature Reserve in Cape Town before sunrise. I didn’t realise how cold it would be and had I known, I might have just stayed in bed.

When I arrived at the reserve the sun was just starting to make its presence known. I made the long walk towards the viewing hides. On route I watched as the sun was going to rise over the distant mountains. What a magical sight it was.

20160703_075837It was extremely cold outside and I could already feel my fingers starting to burn from the cold. I was walking on the wooden walkway and it felt like I was ice skating rather than walking. When I looked down I saw that the walkway was covered in frost. It was very entertaining making my way to the hide.

Unfortunately there was very little action on the water as the birds must’ve been sleeping in late too. I did manage to get a fantastic view of a sunlit Table Mountain across a very smooth Rietvlei dam.

Rietvlei Mountain-2

It was too cold inside the hide so I decided to rather venture out into the field and hopefully find some raptors. I saw the resident Black Shouldered Kite perched in the distance, but it was too far away for any decent shots. I walked around for a while and still not too much activity.

Once the sun had warmed things up a little, the birds started venturing out. All of a sudden I noticed the Black Shouldered Kite flew in and perched very nearby. I took a closer walk and tried to get as close as possible without chasing it off.

Black Shouldered Kite-1Black Shouldered Kite-2Black Shouldered Kite-3This bird of prey is not the biggest of the lot, but what I find most incredible is their piercing red eyes. It is quite an eerie feeling looking at them straight in the eyes. It’s almost as if they are looking right through you.

I spent a couple of minutes with this beautiful raptor and I knew it would take off soon. I lined up the shot and watched it depart.

Black Shouldered Kite-4Black Shouldered Kite-5

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3 thoughts on “Piercing Eyes

  1. You put my little image of a Black-shouldered Kite to shame – these are marvellous photographs that really show off the ‘muscularity’ of these often overlooked predators. Thank you for sharing them 🙂

    Like

  2. Lovely shots of the kite, Cal, but that shot over the water of Table Mountain doesn’t have to stand back one bit!

    Glad to know your finger didn’t freeze to the shutter button 😉

    Like

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