Spain may be a democratic monarchy but imperialism still lives on the peninsula. I´m not talking about a movement in favour of taking back the Philippines or most of South America but that of the imperialism of the skies. There are some 297 breeding pairs of Spanish Imperial Eagle in Spain according to the latest census results of which here in Castilla la Mancha we have the largest population of 86 breeding pairs.
On Friday driving about the region known as Campo de Calatrava my friend Javi and I saw a large raptor flying about. Stopping to see what it was we discovered one of these fine birds which should be on every birdwatchers list. It seems to be a sub-adult just about into it´s adult plumage as it has the white leading edges but a pale window on it´s inner hand.
What was even more remarkable about this sighting is that during half time of the rugby on Saturday (ITA 11 – IRL 13) I stepped outside with my wife and a friend and looked to the sky. What did we see but the very same bird soaring over Ciudad Real city!! Remarkable to say the least, incredible unless I saw it myself. My wife was well impressed, although my mate was not so impressed by the nobility that was above us.
The Imperial Eagle is a flagship species of Spain really and just cannot fail to excite any birder. Long live the emperor. Ave Ceasar!