Where Eagles Fly The Highlands Of Scotland 26 December 2021



Golden Eagle May 2015 3

A Golden Eagle in the wilds of The Highlands of Scotland.



We have just returned from eighteen days in The Highlands of Scotland where we were part of The Wildlife Team at the Grant Arms Hotel on Speyside. Our role at the hotel is to help the guests enjoy the wildlife in this beautiful part of the world. We led field trips to various habitats to show guests the amazing birds and wildlife that occurs close to the hotel, updated the daily sightings board so folks could see what was in the area and gave illustrated talks in the evenings and were generally on hand to give advice and answer questions. It is a wonderful idea and we are amazed that other hotels in other parts of the UK have not followed the wildlife hotel model.

Findhorn Valley winter sun 1 Leica

A perfect landscape to enjoy spectacular birds, if a little chilly!



On Boxing Day, the 26th December, we headed out to a beautiful valley to check out the road conditions ahead of leading a field trip there the following day. It had snowed in the area and the night had seen temperatures well below freezing and we were worried the mountain road would not be safe for guests to drive on. Luckily we have a wonderful 4x4 that can tackle most conditions the UK weather can throw at it but most guests did not have such a machine. We were certainly right to check out the road less than half way to the spot where we planned to meet folk’s sheets of ice covered the road. We stopped at a vantage point and scanned and almost at once spotted an eagle! A huge White-tailed Eagle soared over the valley and then moved further up between the hills and was lost to view, a real wow moment. This was soon followed by super views of a Red Kite that flapped slowly over in the morning sun.


We were thrilled with the views of at least three Golden Eagles!



The river in the valley was mostly frozen solid and the whole area was white with several inches of snow, so beautiful, but no good for a field trip for the hotel guests sadly. We slowly drove further up the valley again finding ice across the road in places and finally reached the parking area where we had hoped to meet people – it was a sheet of thick ice! With the 4x4 we were able to park on the grass away from the ice and got out carefully to scan the area. Again almost at once we spotted an eagle, this time a good distance away and we quickly got the raptor in the telescopes it wasn’t giving much away at first as it glided across a distant ridge, then, at last it turned revealing more of its shape – a Golden Eagle! Wonderful two species of eagle within half an hour of each other. This huge bird soon slipped behind a ridge and was lost to sight but a Peregrine Falcon entertained us and we watched red deer on the hills above the valley floor. Then another Golden Eagle appeared above the ridge behind us much closer this time and we could see the white wing and tail patterns of a juvenile bird a fantastic view. But things rapidly got better; not one, not two, but three Golden Eagles came along the ridge all in view at once! This was just mind-blowing three Golden Eagles together in the sunshine and close. The huge birds of prey slowly drifted along the hillside allowing us plenty of time to soak up this so unusual sight. Through the telescopes we could even see the hook at the end of the huge beaks of these most impressive birds. Two juvenile birds and a sub-adult bird and we could see from their bulging crops they had enjoyed plenty of food recently. The eagles doubled back along the ridge as if to say would you like to see more and then dipped behind only to reappear again this was just fantastic birding. The raptors then slowly drifted away along a ridge sparring with each other so often all three in one binocular view and at one point they flushed two Red Grouse from the heather below them! What a thrilling encounter but there still more, we had hardly got our breath back when a White-tailed Eagle drifted over the valley passing almost directly above us albeit pretty high, again this massive bird put on a show and stayed in view for some ten minutes at times flying against the hillside where we could see the white tail of an adult bird another wow moment.


Awesome is a perfect word to describe White-tailed Eagles come and join us to enjoy them.



We also enjoyed super views of a Dipper on the ice at the edge of the river always a delight to watch. Common Crossbills were in the pines and to add to the raptors Common Buzzard and Kestrel what a wonderful day. Check back soon for lots more Scottish adventures!

Find out more about the wonderful Grant Arms Hotel on Speyside here...

https://www.grantarmshotel.com/

We would love to put together a custom Birdwatching Trips tour perfect for you please just drop us a line and we can do the rest…

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to enjoying great birds and wildlife with you soon.





Contact us


* * *

*


Submit

Our Tweets


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this
 

Cookies

What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.


<