White tailed sea eagles

Just back from our stroll, today the usual rough track from Kirkhill House alongside Loch Ewe. It is cold but lovely fresh and with a weak wintry sun as we eat our sandwiches and soup (me) coffee (she), sitting down on the sea shattered remains of a world war two hardstanding. There's the odd diver out there on the water, a few equally unidentifiable ducks, a harshly calling raven overhead and a splindly heron by the water's edge. Suddenly comes a clamouring of gulls. Three of them; blackbacks, the most powerful of the genre. We turn to look for what's upsetting them. Not a hundred metres away it's not one but a pair of white tailed sea eagles flapping low and slow towards us over the low tide kelp beds. Very evidently the black backs do not like them. Very evidently they have not spotted us.

We keep quite still as this aeriel ballet proceeds. One white tail spirals upwards and the other one hovers right there in front of us before swooping to pick up some trifle from the kelp. Then the two of them flap slowly away, to all appearances ignoring their persecutors (looking tiny by comparision). One flies across the kilometre or so of the loch to Isle Ewe, where Dee sees it alighting in a tree, and the other goes down towards Poolewe. No doubt they'll soon be rejoining each other.

We hope Loch Ewe has its first breeding pair of white tailed sea eagles in a hundred years.

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