July 202321st August 2023
September 202310th October 2023
My choice for this month comes from an amazing encounter, whilst I was returning home after running a golden eagle workshop on Mull. The workshop itself yielded a couple of sightings of golden eagles, including seeing one skimming over hills after clearly dining on something - a full crop being the obvious sign.
On my way back, the skies cleared and with some time on my hands, I chose to go for a drive in the hills near my new home of Inverness. I had hoped to see perhaps deer, red grouse or maybe an eagle, but I was still surprised to spot a pair of golden eagles circling over a hill.
Whilst I was watching, and taking the odd shot (too far and too hazy sadly), one of the pair banked sharply and descended, gliding relatively slowly and low over the heather-covered hillside. I then watched it land on a rock, or so I thought. There was no drama, nothing to suggest a kill had been made. I just thought it had landed to perhaps rest for a moment.
Then it took off, and I could see something dangling from its talons. I took a shot and zoomed in. A mountain hare!
I had just witnessed a golden eagle hunt. And a successful one too.
I've seen them chasing deer before, diving down for birds on the hills of Mull, but never seen one actually catch something.
So while the image isn't technically brilliant, as it is a big crop and it was hazy with the warm sunshine that afternoon, just the sight of it, and what it had just done gives it something special enough for me to be highlighted for the month.
And that's saying something, as during an otter workshop on Mull, we watched one catch, land and consume most of a thornback skate! Pics of that are on my social media feeds...