Thursday, 27 February 2014

WTE Monitoring (27/02/14)....

So far the new job is going well, I'm enjoying it and the guys (there are no woman at my office) I work with are a good bunch. There have been days that have been enjoyable and days that have been a bit of a slog, especially with the weather we've had recently. But today was one of the days where I absolutely love my new job.

Today's task was to check out various sites where White-tailed Eagle have previously nested on FC ground and monitor and record any activity. Of course we were headed to Skye and the morning started off quite well with a couple of Fieldfares spotted at the road side. Nearer to the first location (of which I will be divulging none I'm afraid), and there were plenty of Hoodies about and a few Ravens. We were roughly half a mile from the nesting location headed to a vantage point on higher ground. After a brief shower of hailstones we found a spot to settle down and look across the glen. After about 15 mins I spotted the first WTE coming in off the sea and landing in almost the exact spot where there was a nest last year, success. It was visible through bins but even better through the scope but soon hopped out of site and we didn't see it again. Whilst we waited awhile for a second look a flock of about 20 Crossbills landed in the trees about us giving great views.

Another location was checked afterwards but no signs there so we headed off to the third site. By now the sun was out and it was a pretty nice day. Again we parked up about half a mile from the nest site but it wasn't long before I spotted the 2nd WTE of the day flying up and over the hill to the right of us which was then followed by another which appeared to be a sub-adult going by the white tail which still had a black band along the bottom edge. I did manage to get a couple distant photos.

White-tailed Eagle
Both eagles didn't hang around long and they were off over the hill and out of sight but we decided to have some lunch and hope that they came back again. They didn't unfortunately but whilst finishing my lunch something caught my eye coming over the hill to the left. It was headed our way and once it came a bit closer it turned out to be a Golden Eagle this time. Again it appeared to be a 1st-winter / sub-adult type bird going by the white tail with the black band and the obvious white patches on the wings. We watched it as it was first mobbed by two Ravens, then two Hoodies and finally a Buzzard had a pop. By then the eagle was a bit pissed off and turned and flipped 180 degrees to have a pop back at the Buzzard above it. Did get a photo again but again it's not the best.

Golden Eagle

Year List Additions:
53. Fieldfare
54. White-tailed Eagle

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