Monday, 16 November 2009

Rocks and Birds

Near to the spot I stopped for lunch was this small island. It's called Eilean Leac na Gainimh which translates as something like "Island of the Sand Slab"

The island is an outcrop of very soft sandstone with pebbles embedded as a matrix, seemingly defying gravity.

This isn't a great photograph, I was so blown away by getting a view of a Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)from less than 20 metres that I forgot about the camera! The bird didn't immediately fly off, and gave me a stunning moment; I could see every feather and clearly read the bird's wing tag.

I reported the sighting via the Scottish Sea Eagle Project run by Scottish Natural Heritage, and found that this is a nine year old male, hatched in Wester Ross. He's part of a breeding pair who have successfully raised a couple of chicks of their own.

I've not been priveliged to have had such a close view of a Sea Eagle before, normally I've seen them at a distance. There's something very satisfying in the knowledge that they are on the increase and recolonising former haunts. The birds surely add to the seascape and the sky of Scotland.

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