Friday, 3 September 2010

Mull Sea Eagle hide - a four star experience

This year we decided to apply for Visit Scotland accreditation, and shortly after putting in our application their assessor visited the hide. Imagine our delight when a couple of weeks later we heard that we have achieved four stars! I'm told it's quite unusual to score this highly at the first application, so we're very proud - and determined to pull out all the stops and achieve the ultimate goal of five stars next year!

As usual when all the children go back to school the weather changes for the better, and this year is no exception with a week of fabulous warm, sunny days. Fortunately for us there is usually a slight breeze near the hide which stops us from becoming too hot and has the added bonus of keeping the midges at bay! The eagles have been performing well this week too, with plenty of great views of Skye and Frisa soaring overhead and enjoying the thermals. Normally birds of prey tend to fly when they need to hunt, and spend the rest of the time just sitting, digesting their last meal and conserving energy since they don't know where the next meal is coming from. But on a lovely warm day, when the hot air currents mean the birds don't need to flap their wings in flight, I am sure that our eagles fly just for the sheer joy of it. They find a thermal and just sit on it with their wings outstretched, circling higher and higher, almost like they are on a lift, then glide across the sky. It is a joy to watch them. I was once lucky enough to go up in a glider and fly with a colony of Griffon Vultures in South Africa - the nearest thing to flying like a bird I'll ever experience. Every time I see Skye and Frisa fly I envy their freedom and am in awe of the way they can drift across the sky so effortlessly.

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