Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Steppe Eagles

A very close immature. New inner primaries, the odd new secondary and three new tail feathers presumably make it a 2nd cy.

In this photo p7 in the right wing looks new compared to the brown p8 and p6?

Near adult


2nd cy

A dark immature

A nice pale juvenile. Primaries lack the pale inner window of juvenile Imperial

A typical juvenile

Adult type. Typical blackish carpal with no crescent. Long hand.

Longish tail and protruding head/neck

Regular juvenile

Adult. Very difficult to see the barring and dark trailing edge on many birds in the field and often only visible once put into Photoshop and shadow highlights.

The dark trailing edge to secondaries is visible here.

Long wings especially arm.

A different adult to the above bird. Slightly longer and fuller tail than GSE but this seems variable.

I had assumed this to be an immature Steppe on shape with it's long wings and broad long fingered hand.

I think this immature had survived a tank


Contrast between new inner and old outer primaries should make it a 2nd cy

A different 2nd cy

Another 2nd cy, this one lacking the white central underwing band.


3rd cy. Worn median primaries with newer ones either side. Also several fresh median and outer secondaries.

2nd cy

This adult type bird has the long wings and huge hand of a Steppe but has a double white carpal comma? Also no obvious barring or dark trailing edge to flight feathers. Quite a full tail especially in lower photo.

Adult. No barring or trailing edge visible either due to light or it is absent.

A different adult to above. This bird has a narrow white crescent to the outer carpal area.

2nd cy

Near adult

Adult. It appeared to have damage to its left wing, the primaries being less splayed. Also the edge of the primary coverts were hanging down.

Very rarely do you see this much detail on an adult Steppe Eagle at Batumi.

Same adult as above.




Adult. Very long wings, broad hand and a fairly large tail.

A few new inner primaries, worn juvenile outers and a couple of new middle secondaries should make it a 2nd cy.


A large heavy bird with a strong head/neck and bill.

The new inner primaries contrasting with the worn outers should make it a 2nd cy. Just surprised how bland the upperwing coverts are.

Perhaps 3rd cy.

A very distant immature.

A very distant juvenile

A very dark adult type which accompanied the lower bird. I paid more attention to the very large individual in the lower photos as that one came nearer than this.

This individual had a worn white primary in it's right wing and is what I can only assume to be a dark plumage adult type  Steppe Eagle. Very long wings, broad hand with sword like primaries and a fairly full tail. Not fully sure about this bird.

Solid black carpals with no hint of white at the primary bases. It came pretty close and the only indication of barring was in the inner primaries.

A slight grey inner primary window with some light barring visible here. The pale tips to the greater coverts and secondaries I guess point to a younger bird.