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Golden Eagle seen through kitchen window

Sunset near Rannoch Moor on the eve of our ferry crossing to North Uist

Our winter trips to North Uist are always very special. The journey from the mainland is a spectacular adventure with views of snow covered mountains whichever route is followed. For most of our first week here, the cottage was bathed in winter sunshine whilst much of the mainland was disrupted by heavy snowfall.

We spend many a leisurely hour sitting at the breakfast bar, birdwatching through the kitchen window and admiring the view of St Kilda on clear days. The sea and the sand at low tide change colours constantly. There is always so much wildlife to see including wading birds, garden birds, seals and otters. By lunchtime yesterday we had seen goldfinches, starlings, thrush, sparrows, red breasted mergansers, great northern divers, oystercatchers, curlew, whimbrel, dunlin, bar tailed godwits, ringed plover, shag, greylag geese and a buzzard.

Then we observed an aerial display featuring a female hen harrier trying to catch a wading bird (it was unsuccessful).

Hen Harrier (female) seen upper left of photo

At about 1pm, a Golden Eagle flew accross the kitchen window from right to left and into the RSPB reserve. Golden Eagles can be distinguished from buzzards by the shape of their wings (longer and broader with pronounced feathery "fingers" at the end), the shape of their beak (more hooked), their proportionally slightly longer tail and their golden head colour.

The two photo's above show a Buzzard on the left and a Golden Eagle on the right. The Golden Eagles distinctive "fingers" at the wing tips (both photographs taken through the kitchen window on different days).

Whilst out shopping for supplies at about 4pm, we photographed this Golden Eagle which was sitting on a post near the village of Solas. He looked straight at the camera. We looked at each other and wondered what he might be thinking. "I'm waiting for summer", perhaps?

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