I got distracted while on the phone to my parents late this afternoon – Happy Birthday Dad! – by this short eared owl putting on a fly-by display over the croft. He was hunting all over the croft and we walked around while he flew over our heads for a good half an hour. He was not at all bothered by us and at one point was flying straight towards me so close and low that I ducked. We briefly made eye contact and it was a haunting experience that will stay with me for a long while.
It’s definitely been the year for close wildlife encounters and I was reflecting earlier today about how much we have all learnt about the wildlife here on Rum. I can now identify so many creatures I could never have picked out before, some of the birds by their flight pattern alone. We remain utter amateurs on this island full of wildlife experts, researchers, rangers, national nature reserve officers, scientists and birders but the delight of sharing our home with so many of natures amazing creatures never wears thin.