Birds of Mountain and Moor
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 June 2011 07:29 Written by Webmaster Thursday, 09 June 2011 07:27
The population of hen harrier on Arran is of international importance for the survival of the species. Around 5% of the UK breeding population is on Arran, more than the whole of England, and in order to protect the birds habitat 11,000 hectares of Arran’s moors are designated as a special protection area- the highest European designation. Males are a pale grey colour with black wingtips and a white rump, females and immatures are brown with a long, barred tail and a white rump which give them the name 'ringtail'. They fly with wings held in a shallow 'V' and quarter the ground gracefully and effortlessly, gliding low over the ground before half-turning with tail fanned and then quickly stalling before dropping on their prey below.
Where they are found in many locations round the island, but the best views can be had from the Machrie Moor road…
When all year.
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 June 2011 10:54 Written by Webmaster Thursday, 09 June 2011 07:25
Buzzards are very numerous on Arran and from a distance are often confused with the much larger golden eagle. They have a wingspan of about 1.2 metres and very variable plumage form pale to dark brown.
Where: they are often seen on telegraph poles and fence posts close to the roads where they take advantage of the carrion provided by road kill.
When: all year
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 June 2011 10:55 Written by Webmaster Thursday, 09 June 2011 07:14
One of Scotland’s most iconic birds of prey, golden eagles with their broad wings and two metre wingspan are an impressive sight as they soar over the mountains. They get their name from the golden tinge to the feathers on their heads and are sturdy birds standing at 80cm tall. Their diet consists of rabbit, hare, feral cats and carrion from dead deer and sheep.
Where: Golden eagles are resident in the mountains in the north of the island. A walk in the mountains is likely to result in seeing one, but good views can also be had from Lochranza where they are regularly seen from the village as they soar over the surrounding hills. Golden eagles are still persecuted in Scotland today so the sites of eyries(nests) is closely guarded information- the safety of the birds is of prime importance.
When: Golden eagles can be seen all year and are most active in the breeding season through the spring until the young fledge in summer.