20 September 2011

Eigg birds

While we were on Eigg, we had several close encounters with birds.

On a walk through the moorland in the centre of the island, several red grouse leaped out from almost under my feet. Unusually, they didn't fly off making their "go-back, go-back" alarm call, but just walked out of my way. That gave me the opportunity to take a couple of photos before they flew off.

A few days later, we visited a friend who lives in the north of the island. She put out some corn for the birds, and a group of rock doves flew down to feed.

These are the wild birds from which domesticated pigeons were bred. The two have interbred, and pure wild birds are now only found on the west and north coasts of Scotland and Ireland.

The wild version has two black wingbars and a white rump which mostly only shows when the bird is in flight.

Hooded crows frequently visited the garden of the house where we were staying. These are a subspecies of the carrion crow, and they replace the carrion crow in the north and west of Scotland.

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