Scotland: a wildlife cruise

One of the main reasons why I’d come to Scotland was to see sea eagles. The re-introduction programme of both golden eagles and white-tailed sea eagles have been successful here, the birds are breeding and building a population again, soaring the skies above the wild Scottish coastline. The remoteness of the Sound of Mull and the surrounding coastline works in their favour, no doubt.
We went on a 4 hr eagle watch cruise aboard the Mhara Mor, skippered by Ron Stevenson, who is a really nice guy, and full of knowledge. He loves his job, that’s very obvious, and it was great getting to know him.

During our little trip, we saw all manners of birds –

geese

Eider ducks (amazing looking things, the males especially!)

I got VERY good use out of my newly purchased 300mm f/4 lens, and got some great results. All shots were handheld, because lugging a tripod around wasn’t practical, and probably wouldn’t have made much sense on a small boat bobbing around on the sea, anyway.

We came across this juvenile razorbill –

A very special encounter was this Great Northern Diver, a stunningly beautiful bird!

After a few hours out on sea, gazing out into the grey skies, spotting birds, seals and deer – still no sign of the eagles. We saw their nest, which had been newly re-built. Ron had seen the eagles the day before, so my guess is they found something to eat, were fed and had no need to fly that day… which is fair enough, why waste energy when you don’t have to!

So, no eagles…
I think Ron was almost more disappointed than we were, he really wanted us to find the eagles, but no such luck. Never mind, I know we’ll return and maybe we’ll have better luck next time.
A brilliant way to spend the afternoon, in any case.

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~ by Simone on May 2, 2010.

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