Saturday, 31 July 2010

The eagle has landed!

Thursday was a bit poor with the weather but I still headed out for a bit of a look around. A nice looking Lesser Black-backed Gull...
...was hanging out with Common Gulls while the Corncrake called occasionally from the edge of the field. A brief view of one of the Hen Harriers was a good spot in poor conditions. An Otter was located on the way back to the shop before the weather really started closing in but that didn't hamper viewing the WT Eagle.
Saturday wasn't looking too grand, as you can see from the view, but you can't let that get in the way of a bit of wildlife watching can you?
I headed off to pick up the guests in conditions that make the photo above look like a summers day! There were showers still pushing through as we watched this Mountain Hare,
...these four Black-tailed Godwits...
...and a juvenile Hen Harrier while we watched a Red Deer calf. Not a bad start to the day but the conditions worsened before they got better. An Otter brightened things up a bit before the day really took off. We went for an early lunch as a brighter spell might give us our only chance of Golden Eagle but the weather started closing in as soon as we headed for the hills! An Adder showed well in drizzly conditions as we settled in for lunch. The cloud started to lift and revealed a few Red Deer hinds and a bigger herd of stags a bit higher up. I had another look for the Adder as the sun broke through briefly and managed a photo of this Toad...
...before getting the Adder in my sights.
Just as the weather looked like it might close in again two Golden Eagles cleared the ridge and circled over the Red Deer. They performed superbly as everyone got cracking views through the scopes. Just a WT Eagle to get now so we headed for the usual nest site hoping the weather wouldn't spoil things too much. As it happens the sun broke through which made it scorching hot but birdless for now. A quick cuppa and a look around and, as if by magic, the eagle had landed. It hadn't flown in from a distance so it must have been checking on the youngster who is still on the ground. Good views of the adult were enjoyed so we headed back along the way. A quick stop to check the ridges produced another three Golden Eagle - again very satisfying views in the scope. We'd had plenty of good sightings for the day but the day wasn't finished yet. Cracking views of a Red Deer stag at the side of the road before located a real treat. It had been mentioned that it would be nice to see a WT Eagle in flight and we got a real eyeful when I spotted this monster.
This was one of last years juvenile birds but he wasn't going to stay landed for too long as he was getting harassed by the gulls. Sure enough he took flight and made our day! After I'd dropped the first of the guests off a male Hen Harrier flew in front of the motor and then I got another male Hen Harrier as I approached home!! It had been an absolutely stonking day and the showers were still pushing through!

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