The Flying Barn Door

“Is it her?” I shouted to my boss in the wheelhouse. He’d spotted a white blob in the distant trees on Jura.

I scrambled up the whale watching platform on the deck and had a scan through my binoculars as our boat drew closer to the shore.

“Yes it is!” I shouted down. I saw a familiar shape proudly perched on top of the highest fir tree of the shoreline. Fantastic!

Her golden feathers shone boldly against the green foliage as she cast an authoritative glare over her kingdom. Then, with a bow of her head, she spread her 2.5 metre wings and took to the skies.


White tailed sea eagle. Photo: David Ainsley

A flying white tailed sea eagle is fairly hard to miss close up – think of a seeing a pair of flying barn doors suddenly dominating the sky and sending all other birdlife squawking for cover. Pretty impressive.

It’s a privilege to watch the daily lives of these animals without disturbing them – I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I hear the patter of tiny feet (or should I say the flapping of tiny wings?) this summer and I have some chicks to watch grow up too.

With a cry she flew off over a ridge and out of sight, as I headed home with a big grin on my face. The weather on the island has been (mostly) calm, with a few good sunsets to sit by while I write my blog!

sunset (2)Hoping for more calm weather to come, and that it brings the wildlife with it.



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