Scavenging

Last Friday turned into a pretty good Good Friday. Sunshine was promised and eventually made an appearance in the early afternoon. It seemed like a beach day, so that is where we went.

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This is where we went

We hadn’t been to Wick Beach in quite a while, and it was a very pleasant stroll we were having when we saw quite a crowd of ravens hopping about a clump of something in the distance. As we approached, the ravens flapped off, and we could see the sizeable remains of – I think – a sea lion. We skirted past swiftly, not wanting to enjoy the aroma any longer than necessary, and to give space back to the ravens.

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“Ooh, just a quick peck…”

A little way beyond the body we saw a juvenile eagle sitting on a stump, no doubt waiting for us to move on, and perhaps hoping the ravens would leave a little something.DSCF8062

As we wandered by, two adult bald eagles flew past us towards the remains. We thought it was starting to get rather crowded. If it hadn’t been dead, the sea lion could have become quite irritated with all the attention…DSCF8073

We kept going up the beach, and eventually hunkered down in front of the dunes, slightly elevated on a log and amongst the long grasses. From there, the cadaver commotion was almost out of sight, and we switched our attention to the ocean, looking out for and spotting many spouting whales.DSCF8064

Once we’d finished our coffee, after Scout had demolished a fair chunk of washed up log, and given up digging a deep hole in the sand for me to fall into as I stood, we set off back down the beach. As we drew closer to the corpse, we could see quite a crowd. Three adult bald eagles, two juveniles, and a smattering of ravens were figuring out how the goodies were going to be shared.

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“Save some for me – I’m still growing…”

We stuck to the dune side of the beach, not wanting to get involved, and anyway, after coffee and chocolate, we weren’t feeling the need to scavenge. I couldn’t believe Scout wasn’t more interested in the proceedings, but she wasn’t.

The photographs I took were at the outer limits of what my camera and shaky hands could handle, and really none too sharp, but I’ve used them here anyway, in case you’re a fan of partially consumed corpses…

When we got home, I got caught up on the blogs I enjoy, and one of them was a perfect piece to read after our earlier adventure. It made me stop and think about how vulnerable many species are. Living out here, one could (but I’m not) become a bit complacent about the numerous bald eagle sightings we are blessed with. If you have the time, I heartily recommend you head over to read Jet Eliot – you won’t be sorry!DSCF8083

If the weather holds – and it has turned warm and sunny this week – then perhaps we’ll head up Wick once again over the coming weekend, check out the state of the scavenged. I doubt there’ll be much left, maybe not much more than a few picked over and pecked clean bones. That’s life, and death.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Published by

plaidcamper

I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

12 thoughts on “Scavenging”

  1. I’m smiling pretty big right now, PC, flattered to have been mentioned here. Thanks so much for the kind words. It’s funny because I was reading along enjoying your wonderfully descriptive scene, when you wrote “in case you’re a fan of partially consumed corpses…” What was funny was that I thought to myself, “And I am.” I love the natural scavenging frenzy that erupts over a corpse.
    This was really a great post for many reasons. One, you let the beach scene unfold without disturbing it; two, you described it all so well, with the various layers of scavengers that approached; and three, I had to chuckle at the idea of Scout digging a hole and then you falling into it. Great finds on Wick Beach. And yes, a hearty thanks to Rachel Carson and the scientists and others from the 1950s and 60s who we can thank for still having the bald eagle thriving on our planet. Many thanks, my friend, great post. Have another happy weekend.

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    1. Happy to hear this raised a smile! I knew I had to make reference to your RC post, as it was the first thing I read when we got back from the beach that day. Funnily enough, when I wrote the line about partially consumed corpses, I did think of you – as a writer of mysteries, corpses, and the possibility of them, are sometimes present in your stories (maybe not in an advanced state of decay or partially eaten – I’m guessing zombies won’t be in your next one?)
      Thanks, Jet, and I hope your week is off to a good start!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the beach shot with the pole leading into the picture and find the eagle encounters very interesting , PC, though I am glad these blog posts do not have a “scratch and sniff” feature. Have a good weekend, ew-w-w we are expecting snow here.

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    1. Yikes, I read that snow was in the forecast! I hope it didn’t/hasn’t hung around too long, and you’re getting some spring weather now.
      Yes, it was quite the aroma wafting back down that beach…
      Thanks, Jane, and I hope all goes well this week.

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    1. Nope, no sign of it yesterday. I reckon it’s been on there long enough to be picked clean, and then we’ve had the biggish blow as well, likely washed anything away? Good thought on setting up a trail camera, could have seen all sorts…
      Hope your week is off to a good start! Decent weather for you to get out?

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  3. Terrific post, Adam. It is amazing to observe these dramatic nature scenes – great photos. Nice that you gave Jet a shout out– I love her knowledgeable posts on all things Nature.

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    1. Thanks, Jane! Every now and then I think it would be nice to have a camera with a long zoom, so in situations like last week I could get a reasonable shot or two! That said, I don’t think I’ve got the time and patience to even begin learning all the skills that you have as a photographer. As you said, it is wonderful to come across such scenes – camera or no camera, they are quite something!
      Last time we visited SF, Jet was kind enough to give us a tour of the city, and what a fun day out that was. She has so many stories and a wealth of knowledge!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My like and comment somehow disappeared last week and while I’m not a fan of partially consumed corpses, I did comment on admiring your photos of the young eagles on the beach and morning coffee watching whales. Also, there may have been a few complaints about hockey!!!

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    1. Haha, yes, I’ve had more than a few complaints about hockey in the last few days. As for the Premier League, how come Everton have found some form just late enough to make no difference? A month earlier and they might have made a push for a European place… Very excited that the final games of the season will decide who comes out on top. Both Liverpool and City have been excellent – hard to choose a favourite, so I won’t!

      Liked by 1 person

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