16 May 2020

The Wright Strokes - Sketches from Eagle Country #2


by Rick T.

16 May 2020

The latest installment from Eagle Officer John Wright's sketch book highlights the importance of watching and listening to all of the wildlife around you as, much like Alastair and Jane's noisy gulls over Edinburgh (Blog 8th May 2020), they can lead you to some magical encounters.

Nature's language is complex but nothing wastes energy making a noise for no reason! Whether it be a Skylark rising on shimmering wings to state a claim to it's very own wee piece of Scotland or an Eaglet begging for food on a remote cliff, every sound means something.

Nothing drags my eyes to the skies faster than the sound of a corvid (crow) calling with urgency. Many birds become agitated by the presence of a raptor and the more common species often alert you to a chance encounter. John's sketch of the crows mobbing Beaky (C11) from August last year depicts this typical behaviour.

Other raptors will also mob their larger kin. The sketch above depicts a Kestrel being dwarfed whilst harassing Emily (121) this February. Cast your mind back to the image of the miniature male Merlin captured with Beaky (C11) by Mike Carr (Blog 25th April 2020). These smaller birds can provide valuable scale to aid with ID, especially at distance.

So as well as keeping your eyes open, make sure to use your ears too. You may well be reporting your very own Eagle encounter to us if you do!

Please send any sightings, pictures or stories to

Good luck and stay safe and well!

All artwork; John Wright. Top - Beaky (C11) being mobbed by crows. Middle; Emily (121) being mobbed by a Kestrel. Bottom; Golden Eagle (not a project bird) being mobbed by Kestrel on Mull - John Wright.