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White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)


Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:38 am

Route description: Geal-charn Mòr , from Lynwilg

Corbetts included on this walk: Geal-charn Mòr

Date walked: 14/12/2019

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 446m

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A year ago it was election time, so I decided to cast my vote in the dark of the earlyish hours and hoof up to the Highlands. Arrived Thurs 12th Dec, walked at Spey Bay and picked litter on Friday 13th, followed by a catch-up with pal at Carrbridge. I can't remember why I picked Geal-charn Mor for the Saturday morning, but everywhere was snow-covered so anywhere would have been beautiful. And I wanted wildlife.

(The eagle and hares pics I've already posted on the wildlife forum - this is just Tier-y 2020 reminiscing.)

At Lynwilg I took the Burma Road as far as the cairns at its highest point. When I hit clag I couldn't see the point of plodding on to the view-less summit, so I didn't. What was special about this day was the life on the Burma Road.

Image003 Burma Road gate by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image008 Western Feshie hills of Creag Dubh by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image009 Wren by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

As I rose, I looked over to the Cairngorms where cloud was hanging low and snow looked pretty thin...

Image011 Cairn Gorm plateau pano by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

... while up ahead of me, the generous bulk of my hill rolled on up, looking like a great big cushion.

Image012 The view up ahead by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image013 Dog human and bike tracks by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image014 Ptarmigan Funicular to Cairn Gorm by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

A zoom into Sgor Gaoith was a bit more pleasing from my distant vantage point. It looked soft and peaceful, and since this was a pretty windless day, albeit a short one, anyone up there was probably enjoying a lovely sense of remoteness.

Image016 Allt a Mharcaidh to Sgor Gaoith zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Ahed and to my left it looked like this:

Image019a Landscape ahead by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Suddenly I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye, and saw the back foot of a hare disappearing. Had a feeling that was going to be my lot. I tried the skies instead and found a kestrel:

Image021 Male distant kestrel zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Back down on terra firma-ish, I was forlornly photographing the hare poo in case that was all I would have to remember my little fleeing friend by, when I heard a raven croak above my head.

Image022 Hare poo - raven calls above by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

I looked up and beyond the raven there was this:

Image023 White tailed eagle above by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

I thought at first it was Golden, but then the size of the wings, and as it got closer the heavy beak and wider tail said White-tailed. And I'd just not thought of seeing them here. This was a young one, and it hung above me for about seven minutes. I couldn't believe my luck - what an honour for very little effort.

Image024 Look at the size of it by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image025 White tailed eagle zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image030 Turning adjusted to see face by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image053 Honestly - that beak by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

etc
And finally, off it flew.

Image076 Flew off over Creag Ghleannain by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

All that was just before the bridge, so at about 1,800 feet.

Image076a Bridge over Allt Dubh by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

With the eagle gone, out came the others. First grouse:

Image077 Poor wee grouse by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

...and then lots of hare. It's hard to contemplate how little time these have before there's no more 'up' for them to hide in. I wonder if they'll hybridise with brown hare, or are these beautiful characterful creatures just going to die out?

Image080 Mountain hare zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image083 Hare landscape by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image085 Ears and eye by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image090 Running hare zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image092 What a shape by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image093 Stops on meeting hare 4 by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image094 Two hares zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

I think this bit of the Kinrara Estate is still grouse moor. I also think Povslen bought it in 2018. What that means for the hill, who knows?

Anyway, I'd arrived at the top of the Burma Road...

Image097 Cairns at high point of Burma Road to Carrbridge by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

... started following hare tracks up to the summit...

Image097b Hare tracks up to summit by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

... but then was walking into clag. I'd had such an amazing treat, I couldn't see the point in plodding on in clag, so I decided to come back down and crash about in some woodland for the afternoon. On my way down I met a pair of ladies coming up, looking somewhere between 65 and 75, another with a dog, then a man. The two ladies were doing the round I think and looked very disapproving when I said I hadn't walked to the summit :lol: Quite. Lazy a***.

On my descent I could see the cloud really started to come into the east. So it was a funny little morning I'd spent on an easy track, but what a joyous one!

Image097e No more Cairngorms views by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image097f The Allt Dubh being dubh by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image097g Sun and haze by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image100 Stonechat looking winchatty by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image101 Dog walker and not by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image103 Big trees and mini trees by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image105 Two of 3 buzzards - one trailing something by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image106 Cant see what its trailing by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image108 Ice and winter colours by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image110 Activity centre's zipwire by Emma Kendon, on Flickr
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EmmaKTunskeen
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Location: was West Sussex, now Ayrshire

Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:09 am

Stunning photos - the eagle is magnificent! - and great to see the hares too. I also like the little wren clinging to a bit of bracken.

Tim
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby dogplodder » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:41 am

Great capture of the white-tail. :clap:

I've been up there several times and never seen one there.
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby tweedledog » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:03 am

Fabulous eagle shots, Thank you for those and for the hares too.
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:56 am

The eagle is amazing. Hare would make a nice snack for it I guess. Wonder how long it would take the hares to evolve not to change coats to full white if the snow is gone.
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:45 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Stunning photos - the eagle is magnificent! - and great to see the hares too. I also like the little wren clinging to a bit of bracken.

Tim

So do I. I made a lockdown pond in summer, and it's attracting a little wren every day. Down here (Sussex), it's like a poor man's dipper! :lol: ImageDSC_0419 for web by Emma Kendon, on Flickr
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EmmaKTunskeen
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby Anne C » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:05 pm

Terrific! Seeing wildlife and some of our 'star turns' makes a walk so extra special.Great photos you got of the eagle and the hares :clap: - such beautiful animals in their winter coats.
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Anne C
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Dec 22, 2020 8:06 pm

EmmaKTunskeen wrote:So do I. I made a lockdown pond in summer, and it's attracting a little wren every day. Down here (Sussex), it's like a poor man's dipper! :lol: ImageDSC_0419 for web by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Nice photo! By coinicidence my daughter and I also made a lockdown pond. We used a similar combination of pebbles and logs for the surround to make it easier for wildlife to colonise. This was one of the (few) visitors.
374B44CF-C158-4EA9-98FC-FEF2A0F26F0D.jpeg
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby scottnairn » Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:01 am

Fantastic array of wildlife and some great scenic photos! A great reminder of just what is out there to enjoy, for those who dare to get out and see it!

Wrens are my personal photography nemesis - they are so, so quick! :lol:

Loved the pics and the write-up, thanks for sharing!
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Re: White tailed eagle on Geal-charn Mor (and hares)

Postby ScotFinn65 » Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:39 pm

Absolutely stunning :shock:
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