Saturday, 15 March 2014

Scotland Journey Pt 9 - Watching Mating Golden Eagles on Skye

After 4 days without rain Friday looked like it wanted to make up for it.We had a 2hr drive west to Kyle Of Lochalsh to meet up with a friend to spend a few hours in Isle of Skye which takes its name from the old Norse sky-a, meaning 'cloud island'

I looked out the window and saw this Pied Wagtail on the bird table.
 The rain and wind was unrelenting as we made our way through Glen Shiel past the Red Deer and Feral goats grazing by the roadside.
Eilean Donan Castle.
The winds around Raasay were whipping up the water creating spindrifts.I tried my best not to be blown over while trying to get a photo of one.
As our friend Jan knows Skye very well she takes us down small roads that give us a chance of some wildlife.
Lots of gulls and Hooded Crows on the road to Moll.
We headed to the Aros centre near Portree for lunch and saw 3 Grey herons in the trees on the edge of the carpark.
Down another coastal track from Portree we had a view over the water and spotted 2 Red Throated Divers.
We had seen 9 Common Buzzards up to now and a Kestrel but not our main objective but going down another tiny track that I would've never noticed we saw large birds over the ridge.
Finding a place to park we tried to keep up the them as they closed their wings and fell from the sky.After seeing them through the scope we immedaitely realised it was a pair of Golden Eagles displaying, twisting in flight one way, then another, attempting to talon clasp as the passed one another.
We watched in awe for around 20 minutes til one landed on the ridge, quickly followed by the other and then we watched in disbelief as we had the priviledge of seeing wild Golden Eagles mating.
They were only viewable through the scope so these photos are very blurred and far away.
 You an just make out the two eagles, one on top of the other in the pic below.
 My heart was thumping loudly in my chest and my friend who has watched them for years couldn't believe what we had just witnessed, probably a once in a lifetime experience.

Back in Kyle of Lochalsh to go to our car we spotted the lifeboat rushing out, and now the Coastguard and Police on the Skye bridge.The lifeboat moved back and forth around the bridge supports looking like they were searching for someone:(
I still have no idea what happened or if everything turned out okay.

After saying our goodbyes to Jan and going our separate ways we took the long steady drive back through the gloom and rain to Roybridge still amazed at the Golden Eagle spectacle we had seen.

Total Bird list for trip -
64.Golden Eagle(New for 2014)

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