Golden Eagles On Our First Day In The Scottish Highlands 23 December 2022

Golden Eagle May 2015 3

Always a thrill to see a Golden Eagles against the mountains of the Scottish Highlands.

Leaving our hotel this morning it was wet and the cloud was very low, our hearts sank, we had hoped for good weather for the last leg of our drive north. We were on the way to The Grant Arms Hotel on Speyside for Christmas and New Year. Luckily as we traveled north the weather improved and we scanned the ridges either side of the A9 in the hope of a Golden Eagle. We stopped at lay-by 82, a spot where we had been lucky last September, and within minutes a Golden Eagle glided across the glen! Wow! So lucky. The massive raptor lost height against the hill where it was hard to follow but then rose above the skyline again - a magnificent sight!

Further north we stopped as we always do at Dalwhinnie Petrol Station to fill up with fuel and to scan the surrounding mountains. It only took a few minutes of scanning before we spotted another Golden Eagle! Like the first bird, this one broke the skyline several times where it was relatively easy to see but when it flew low over the heather-clad hillside, it was much tricker to follow. We decided to try and find another viewpoint and drove a little way north stopping at the brow of a hill where luckily there was a safe place to park. This was a wonderful viewpoint and gave us a panoramic view across the area where the most recent eagle had been seen. A few minutes of scanning and there was the eagle! Low over the ridge and this time it remained in view. As this magnificent bird moved along the ridge, a second Golden Eagle appeared above it and this bird began to display. Down it dived and then up again it swooped, again and again in this crazy rollercoaster flight across the sky. What a thrilling experience to witness. We were able to observe this pair of superb raptors for some twenty minutes before they dropped down out of sight behind the snow-covered ridge leaving us elated. And this was only Day One!

We arrived at the Grant Arms Hotel to a lovely warm welcome and we're looking forward to spending a wonderful festive Christmas and New Year with all the lovely staff and guests here.

Findhorn Valley winter sun 1 Leica

This is where we will be heading tomorrow to lead our first field trip in search of more Golden Eagles

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