Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Day in the life of - Deiric Walsh

St Lucia Boat Cruise
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Fish Eagle - (Haliaeetus vocifer)

Getting close and personal with many animals Deiric embarks on daily adventures along the Estuary aboard Fannas. The Spirit of St. Lucia. What we call fun in the sun is what he calls work. His office is the deck and he captains the vessel along the water ways past the mangroves, reeds and marsh hibiscus along the banks of The Estuary.

In this photo a Fish Eagle is feasting on a Cormorant else where in Europe they are also called a Shag.

African Fish Eagle
The African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer)[2] or – to distinguish it from the true fish eagles (Ichthyophaga), the African Sea Eagle – is a large species of eagle that is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever large bodies of open water occur that have an abundant food supply. As a result of its large range, it is known in many languages.[3] Examples of names include Visarend in Afrikaans and Aigle PĂȘcheur in French.[4] It is the national bird of Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The African Fish Eagle is a species placed in the genus
Haliaeetus (sea eagles) which gets both its common and scientific names from the distinctive appearance of the adult's head. The African Fish Eagle's closest relative appears to be the critically endangered Madagascar Fish Eagle (H. vociferoides). Like all sea eagle species pairs, this one consists of a white-headed species (the African Fish Eagle) and a tan-headed one. These are an ancient lineage of sea eagles, and as such have dark talons, beaks, and eyes.[5] Both species have at least partially white tails even as juveniles. The scientific name is derived from Haliaeetus, New Latin for "sea eagle" (from the Ancient Greek haliaetos), and vocifer is derived from its original genus name, so named by the French naturalist Francois Levaillant, who called it 'the vociferous one'.[6]

The African Fish Eagle is a large bird, and the female, at 3.2-3.6 kg (7-8 lbs) is larger than the male, at 2-2.5 kg (4.4-5.5 lbs). This is typical of sexual dimorphism in birds of prey. Males usually have a wingspan of about 2 m (6 feet), while females have wingspans of 2.4 m (8 feet). The body length is 63–75 cm (25–30 in). The adult is very distinctive in appearance with a mostly brown body and large, powerful, black wings. The head, breast, and tail of African Fish Eagles are snow white, with the exception of the featherless face, which is yellow. The eyes are dark brown in colour. The hook-shaped beak, ideal for a carnivorous lifestyle, is yellow with a black tip. The plumage of the juvenile is brown in colour, and the eyes are paler compared to the adult. The feet have rough soles and are equipped with powerful talons in order to enable the eagle to grasp slippery aquatic prey. While this species mainly subsists on fish, it is opportunistic and may take a wider variety of prey such as waterbirds. Its distinctive cry is, for many, evocative of the spirit or essence of Africa.[7][8][9] The call, shriller when uttered by males, is a weee-ah, hyo-hyo or a heee-ah, heeah-heeah.[10]

For Bookings on Fannas:
081 342 7371

Deiric on Facebook

Ndiza Lodge & Self Catering Accommodation
You will find Ndiza Lodge & Cabanas nestled onto the verge of the Wetlands. With easy access to the restaurants, supermarkets and rest of the town yet private and quiet. This ideal location makes Ndiza your best choice for exclusive accommodation. Lovely views from our deck of the Indian Ocean and famous Lake St. Lucia. Children under 12 – half price and children under 5 yrs stay free. Secure parking on our premises. The Lodge with a lovely wooden deck offers beautiful views over the Ocean and part of Famous Lake St. Lucia. (From here Ndiza’s guests are privileged to be the first to see the whales on their way to the warm Mozambican’s waters.)
Amanda de Gaspary
083 442 1896



  1. Anonymous9:36 AM

    Any news on the future of St Lucia.

    I heard stories that if the mouth do not open by itself the rainy season, it will be dredged open again?

    Is this true?

    Thank you

  2. Anonymous3:23 PM

    any new info on st lucia and the mouth area

  3. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Please can you put a new update on.
    I'm very interested about the conditions at the estuary?

    Any plans to open the mouth?
    Is the water being diverted from imfolozi to the narrows?

    anything please.