One of two grey herons that are visiting the wildlife garden every day to hunt for frogs in the pond and field voles amongst the grassland and heather. The garden has a range of much richer habitats that the surrounding fields (over-grazed), but why they aren't down at the bay fishing I don't know (too many other herons perhaps?).
They also roost in the large spruce trees in the garden so perhaps they are going to nest?
Some of the 16-18 goldfinch charm that visit the feeders each day.
Big Garden Birdwatch 29 January 2018
While carrying out the BGBW yesterday morning (29th Jan) we spotted a large group of corvids (ravens and hooded crows) wheeling over the high moorland behind the house. Suddenly, a pair of white-tailed eagles appeared above the horizon, the size difference between the female and male being very apparent. They soared for a while, carried out a couple of pair-bonding manoeuvres – with the male flipping over in flight below the female – and then swooped down on the moorland out of sight. Within a few moments, another eagle appeared flying directly towards us. It soon became apparent by the shape and the white under-wing patches and white on the tail, that it was a sub-adult golden eagle. With all the corvid and bird of prey activity where it had come from, it seemed that it had been disturbed from a carcase by the arrival of the pair of sea eagles.
The young golden eagle flew low over the moorland, descending toward a rocky outcrop on the slopes above our back garden. It landed on one of the promontories where it proceeded to survey its domain and carry out a desultory preening routine where the full extent of the white tail plumage became very apparent. This gave us enough time to fetch and erect a telescope and spend a superb 15 minutes watching this marvellous bird, it’s golden head catching the sun that, each day, is gradually rising above the southern moorland as Spring approaches.
A hooded crow brought an end to the proceedings when it started to mob the golden eagle where it sat, causing the bird to fly off, rising with heavy wing-beats, turning several times, until it disappeared over the hill top.
Meanwhile, looking back east to where the golden eagle had come from, the white-tailed eagle pair were again up in the sky, the female being mobbed relentlessly. She moved easily away without a single wing-flap, flipping over every so often as one of the crows swooped down from above. Both sea eagles rose inexorably until almost out of sight, heading off into the distance. What a BGBW 2018!
BGBW Garden List 2018
Chaffinch 28 min.
House Sparrow 18 min.
Goldfinch 18 (fighting over 3 Nyjer seed feeders)
Great Tit 3
Blue Tit 5
Coal Tit 3
Blackbird 9 (including 4 black beaks)
Rock Doves 2
Grey Heron 1 (one of a pair that feeds on frogs and field voles and roosts in the garden)
Hooded Crow 1
Also during the hour 5 greylag geese and 1 raven flew over.
I am working as Forest Officer for Tiroran Community Forest on the Isle of Mull. Mull Eagle Watch will be operating at Tiroran again this year. (See Tiroran Community Forest page for photo gallery.)
For more information ring me on 01681 700022 or email email@example.com
For details of the books I write, check out the 'BOOKS' page on this website.
Our juvenile white-tailed eagle from Tiroran Forest in 2015.
Golden Eagle watercolour.
Logo from the Mull Biodiversity Audit I carried out for RSPB.
Mull orchids postcard.
White-tailed bombus at foxglove.
I will be embarking on a native woodland survey in 2017.
White-tailed eagle (sea eagle) at Mull Eagle Watch.
I have helped BBC Autumnwatch/Springwatch and The One Show film the wild goats at Carsaig on Mull.
Mike Dilger, the One Show presenter with yours truly.
I have just published a number of new titles in my book about the
Isle of Mull and its wildlife - see BOOKS page
The nesting white-tailed eagles at Tiroran Community Forest in Glen Seilisdeir.
To book ring 01680 812556.
For up-to-date info on the birds read the RSPB blog at Mull Eagles or twitter@frisaandskye.
Hen Harrier watercolour.
Thank you for the feedback from the TREE OF LIFE exhibition at Calgary Art in Nature in the carthouse gallery where my pictures were on display along with Lisa McKenna's wood carvings.
I have run an ecology consultancy for over 20 years, carrying out surveys of a wide range of wildlife species and habitats, writing management plans, preparing interpretation, etc. If you would like a quotation for any wildlife related project please ring me on 01681 700022 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also have a vast library of digital photos of wildlife, habitats and landscape which are available to buy, and have produced a large range of interpretational material related to nature conservation and local history.
All of the booklets, photographs and artwork on this site have been produced by me and are copyright. Paper or digital copies can be obtained by contacting the telephone number or e-mail above. Or why not come in and have a chat in my gallery/shop near Bunessan on the Isle of Mull?