I have experienced some fantastic British wildlife encounters the last few years including associating Minke whales, swimming with Basking sharks, being surrounded by 200 plus interacting Common Dolphins and White-Tailed Eagles fishing meters from me but one experience tops all of those and that is having the privilege of watching a breading pair of Eagle Owls through out the season a few miles from my house. Those birds were later removed as certain people weren't happy with their presence even though over 90% of their prey items were Rabbits. There was a worry that the birds would take a few precious Grouse and effect the welfare of a few dozen people practising their 'sport' on the nearby moors.
The Owls at Bowland are under huge threat as the usual greed, corruption and politics are involved. The video above shows two sides to the story with Tony Warburton promoting Eagle Owls quite rightly saying "how can you look at these birds and say you don't like them". Tim Melling who represents an organisation for the 'protection' of birds gives his views on the possible impact the birds could have if their range expanded.
Here is a link to John Miles article on Raptor Politics regarding the Possible Last Chapter for Britain's Eagle Owls. These personalities like John, Tony and Terry Pickford devote their lives to making a difference in the awareness and protection for their beloved bird Species without looking for publicity or financial gain, just in total commitment for the welfare of the animals they love. Their passion and dedication inspires me and encourages me to drive on all the time.
Back to the island of Mull but staying with a similar situation regarding unwanted species with the news that the first Pine Martens have produced kits on the island after somehow finding there way from the mainland. I personally think it can only be good news to have this fantastic mammal on an island that is driven by wildlife and the tourism it brings. Pineys get a hard time on the mainland with their range being cut back from many parts of Britian through illegal persecution and habitat loss. I have only been lucky enough to see them once but what an experience. They can be baited in as well to give some consistency to their sightings unlike the illusive very unpredictable Otters that are on high demand to see on Mull. Here is a link to the article and please ignore the comment made by one of the locals... 'It is beyond belief to let a dangerous killer onto an island with small birds on'...dear me...embarrassing.
News on a slightly different subject with the rare occurrence of a perigee moon which is a full moon on the same day that it is at its closest point to the earth in a year. It creates a moon that is up to 15% bigger in the sky and is an impressive sight that I managed to capture on camera (photos below).
|Sunset from Bloody Bay|
|Ardmore woodland and Lochaline Quartz sand cargo vessel|
|amazing sunset lasting hours...|
|Ben Hiant and Cal Mac passanger ferry|
|First whale of 2012!|
|Juv Black Backed harrasing a Kittiwake for its Sandeel...|
|Kitiwake getting bombarded by predatory Gulls..|
|Common Sandpiper LNK|
Headed out on the evening down to Loch Na Keal and got a drake Long-Tailed duck at the head of the loch. A Whimbrel and 2 GN Divers also on the loch. Another huge highlight was seeing the Perigee moon rise to the south after 9pm.
|Ben More mountain range, full moon|
|LNK and Ben More|
|Pomarine Skua off Glengorm|
|Knobble our very own Minke Whale!|
|Knobble surfacing with Isle of Rum and Skye beyond|
|Full perigee moon|
|Shag remains and Pellet all left by an Eagle species...|
|Bluebells in broad-leaf woodland at Killie|
|Two superstars....Andy and Ruth|
|Herring gull with sand eel getting hard pressed by a Great Skua...|
|Cairns of Coll with Isle of Eigg in the back drop...|
Thanks for Looking, Here is a treat of a link to a web cam of a Goshawk nest site in the New Forest. Its all go in the next couple of weeks with dad coming up for a few days and Springwatch film crew coming on board to do some filming for the latest series. cheers 8-)