The UK's islands offer amazing opportunities for wildlife watching in the
Islands contain a diverse selection of wildlife from sea birds
to carpets of spring flowers in bloom.
the search for Golden Eagles |
Why not try your
hand at two fantastic springtime nature spotting activities on UK islands:
Golden and Sea Eagle watching on Skye
* Flower spotting in Jersey
on the west coast of Scotland boasts two of the best bird watching experiences
in the country.
Why not try your hand at spotting Sea Eagles and Golden
The Sea Eagle is the easiest of the two birds to see in the wild
because it is less fearful of people and tends to live in more accessible coastal
This is one of Scotland's biggest and rarest birds of prey with
a six feet wingspan.
The birds are easy to spot with their distinctive brown
body and white tail.
Look for them taking
fish from the surface of the water and plunging to find food especially during
spring when they make frequent trips to feed their chicks.
good place to see them is on rocky ledges which act as perches.
Golden Eagle is harder to spot as it is less trusting of humans and tends to live
in remote hill areas on the island.
Don't forget to
take your binoculars for an eagle eyed view from a distance.
love riding the thermals so the best time to spot them later in the day when the
air has warmed up.
Stay in a fixed location when watching the Golden Eagle
to ensure that the bird is not disturbed.
Look out for the birds on rocky
perches and sitting on trees before swooping down.
Once spotted, it's easy
to identify the Golden Eagle - its wings are narrower than the Sea Eagle and it
has a longer tail length.
is a great place to see a diversity of wild flowers in spring because of its warm
climate with few frosts.
The island lies on the cross-roads between the
northern margin of Mediterranean plant species and at the southern margin of many
north European plants.
Don't forget to
take a flower identification book to check out the different species.
the many flowers are the Meadow Buttercup, the Cuckoo Flower, the Ragged Robin,
and three or four types of orchid - Southern Marsh, Heath Spotted and Loose Flowered
or Jersey Orchid.
The latter is a continental species not found on British
mainland and features on Jersey ten pound note.
Rich purple in colour the
orchid is easily distinguished from the others by its wide spaced flowers.
out for Prostrate Broom which clings to the ground with a profusion of yellow
Other flower species to look for include Sea Campion and Pink Thrift.
a magnifying glass with you to see the flowers at close quarters - and don't forget
your digital camera for some stunning stills.
But one word of warning, don't
pick the wild flowers or trample on them unnecessarily.
Photograph of Golden Eagle courtesy
of PA Images.
Sea Eagle copyright of RSPB
Orchid copyright of English Nature
and Peter Wakely.