29th of August 2012.
Portree, Isle of Skye, West of Scotland.
After a huge breakfast at Mrs MacLeod’s B&B, we visited the Aros Centre just outside Portree. Within the Centre there is an RSPB Sea Eagles interactive exhibition. The warden was extremely knowledgeable and gave us good advice as to where to see both White Tailed and Golden Eagles on Skye. There is also a small cinema here that shows a film from a helicopter flying over the Cuillin Mountains of Skye, this is not recommended for anyone that does not like heights as its soars over the peaks revealing huge drops down sheer cliffs etc.
White Tailed eagles were seen throughout Britain for thousands of years, but by 1918 they were hunted to extinction. They were reintroduced by conservationists after an absence of 57 years on the Isle of Rum and have since continued to grow in numbers throughout Scotland.
Armed with lots of information on White Tailed Eagles we set off to Portee harbour to book a boat trip to hopefully see the Eagles on the cliffs of Raasay Island. We boarded the MV Stardust vessel that took us out across the sound to look for birds of all kinds.
After half an hour of everyone on board searching the cliffs we came across our first White Tailed Eagle very high above us, even at this height it looked huge, within two minutes from behind the boat and souring high was another? As these birds fly a great speed, photographic results are purely down to luck! These record shots were managed, not brilliant, but records at least!
Birds seen today were, White Tailed Eagle, Shag, Cormorant, Kittiwake, Great Black Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Gannet, Razorbill, Oystercatcher, Goosander, Grey Heron, Kestrel, Raven, Hooded Crow, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Wood Pigeon, Feral Pigeon, Collared Dove, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Starling, Chaffinch and Greenfinch.
Today and yesterday will go down as very memorable birding days first a Golden Eagle, then today two White Tailed Eagles! I am already planning of returning to Skye, maybe in a different season to see more of the Island and of course more birds.