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WATCH: Excuse me! Just passing through in Strathspey

By Tom Ramage

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A golden eagle was astonished to find a big white passer-by on Monday, high above Loch Einich.

Close encounter: golden eagle meets white glider. Photo: Stewart Hills
Close encounter: golden eagle meets white glider. Photo: Stewart Hills

“I was gliding along the back ridge near Sgòr Gaoith, which is one of the Munros that overlooks Glen Einich,” said glider pilot Stewart Hills. “During my second pass I noticed I wasn’t alone...”

A beautiful golden eagle had decided to pass to his left in the opposite direction.

“On my next pass, we came almost head on!” confessed Mr Hills, a member of Cairngorm Gliding Club.

“The poor eagle got a shock and went from enjoying the scenery as much as I was to wanting to tear my canopy off.

“I managed to snap this photo from that exact moment. I have a video of the whole of the action unfolding as well.”

On the footage a scream can be heard, getting higher in pitch in bursts. The Strathy asked if that’s the sound an eagle made when being confronted in its own territory by a strange incomer.

“No!” Stewart explained. “That’s the sound of my variometer, letting me know I’m getting higher and higher. It’s a good sound.”

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