I’ve been struggling to get a post together these last few weeks, Toothache!!!! I guess there are few things that bother me on Rona but Toothache is the one I really hate. I’ve been lucky to have got away with few (regular) Dental trips but lately the luck is running out. First it was an eye tooth now a molar, all in the last 6 months.
So that is my excuse and not even being in the mood to carry the camera lately so not much in the way of recording going on, but hopefully now the latest episode of tooth decay is over for a while.
Tomorrow is Deer Count day and I’ll have the camera for sure unless I waken to pouring rain, the forecast is hopeful. The pictures below are from the Trail Camera. Some would just shoot a deer and leave it for a photo opportunity but for sure I would never condone that practice. (More later).
So what we have here is one of our resident Eagles, the Golden Eagles get displaced by Sea Eagles of that there is no doubt, even killed by them I hear. So we are pleased to capture it on camera still knocking about.
The trail camera dates are all wrong as it went on the blink last year but it still managed to take photos. However, I Googled troubleshooting, carried out the instructions for once in my life and got it working again. So the dates are now correct (I hope).
We cull 25 deer per year to keep the herd in check, we may vary cull figures. We butcher everything on Rona and sell the venison locally. The yachts and visitors buy the rest and it is very popular. The bones you see are from the last three we butchered in the middle of February.
Rather than dump them in one place, bury them or cart them to the dump we leave the remains out for the Eagles and other scavengers, the mink turn up so it is a good indicator of what is going on. We place the remains well away from water supplies and generally out of sight. The occasional dog ranging finds them but then it should not be off a lead!!
The Eagles will survive very well on what it can kill or scavenge but it all helps at this stage. I am sure 25 grallochs per year help to sustain them to. There is talk by so called Conservation bodies of ‘Diversionary ‘ feeding. Having read a recent report there is a thought to shoot deer and leave them on the hills to attract predators away from the red listed species. ( Capercaillies, Curlews, and all other waders to name a few). I have not got the time to tear this crazy idea to pieces suffice to say it is a sad reflection on so called Conservationists where they are prepared to leave perfectly good food for human consumption lying where it was shot. With poverty in the UK at an all time high level it is unbelievable that this should be considered at all.
So it is pleasing every so often to capture a keeper. Trail cameras are very popular nowadays and Gamekeepers they are a huge help in informing them of the movements of the wild animals out there. Also for research and just simply for the pleasure and excitement of ‘capturing’ something.
Over the last 18/19 years we have recorded many species, some quite rare and we keep an eye out at all times. Although folk tend to get excited about the Apex predators, for me it would just as easily excite me if I see the Snow Buntings which visit us when hard weather is on the higher ground, they are really lovely and pretty tame.
The Long Tail Tits always make you smile as do the Great Northern Divers that rock up quite regularly even feeding just off the pontoon in the past.
The Skuas, Crows, Ravens, Hoodies and the rest of the Raptors all need to eat so our wee birdies suffer quite a bit, I read lately that 80% of birds that fledge this year will perish either by natural means or predators. That is quite a statistic.
I’m certainly not an expert on birds but love to see them and have a bit of knowledge just from observing them all of my life. I was asked the other day about Stalking and what is it all about. So I explain the general principal but also mentioned that when you are out there on your own and the Eagle flies past, or the Peregrine takes a bird just in front of you, the Merlin goes whizzing by or the wren comes right beside you when you are waiting, watching the deer. It stays for a while with no fear or the Black Back gull starts squawking and clearing the hill of deer. That is not all of it but it certainly is a big part of it.