Golden Eagles And Hypothermia

January 24, 2010 at 3:37 am

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagles

I have just returned from four days in Finland filming a pair of Golden Eagles that were feeding at a baited site in the forest.

When I flew into Helsinki the temperature was minus 16°C and it went much, much colder. When I entered the hide at 7.30am the following morning the temperature registered a mind blowing minus 31°C and when I left the hide nine hours later it was still only minus 26°C!! In those nine hours I had incredible views of a pair of Golden Eagles as they came to search for food buried in the snow and ice. Unfortunately I had also to concentrate on keeping myself warm and alive! It was a bad start when I reached for my first cup of coffee and upon opening the milk bottle to pour it in I found it frozen solid. Several hours later it became worse when I bit into a Mars bar only to find it frozen like a rock.

I did, however, see a new bird for me whilst I was in the hide as four Grey Headed Woodpeckers fed on fat placed in a pine tree by the hide.

The following day I was due another nine hours in the hide but as the temperature at 6.30am was minus 32°C and I was still suffering from the after effects of the day before, and I still am, I declined and we returned to Helsinki.

There was a bonus in returning to the airport early for as I walked alongside a woodland I found twenty Waxwings feeding on Rowans. As Waxwings are my favourite bird I spent nearly two hours in minus 16°C filming them. My memories of Finland are of a very cold place!!