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Pictures from Doug and Pat Ross on their trip to Scotland 2007
Dunrobin Castle


After breakfast at the hotel in Inverness, suitcases were loaded and we were on our way again. 
 
    As one heads northwards in the Highlands, conversion of wind energy into electricity becomes more common. Off-shore oil rigs have marginal impact upon the people, except to manage the drilling or to provide ports for the shipping. Sheep are still very important on the land, but few residents actually eat meat from local lambs. Numerous fields produce rape seed for canola oil (mainly for industrial use). Broom and gorse (or furze) are still common plants. Tourism is a major industry. Single-lane roads become more frequent, but the European Union is providing funds to implement change.
 
    The bus trip to Thurso is lengthy, but shorter than many we've driven by car in Canada. The Moray Firth, Scotland's largest firth covers most of the north-eastern coast. Part of this large firth is the Dornoch Firth, the most northerly large complex estuary in the United Kingdom (with a complete transition from riverine to marine conditions). There are many scenic views from the Dornoch Firth to Golspie (and Dunrobin Castle), so the morning went quickly.

That particular blue eagle, Fig, has had an interesting history. Wherever this extraordinary eagle is on the Dunrobin property, that eagle always knows where the falconer is located. There is a special bond. If you note the mesh under its left wing, that is part of the painstaking repair job which was done so that it could fly again. A few years before the turn of the Millennium, Fig had been found abused and near death, the feathers on one of his wings shattered and ripped apart. Fig was delivered to the falconer at Dunrobin Castle. It was only through attaching the feathers of other birds to Fig's shafts that he was now able to soar with the other birds, stronger and wiser than before. That procedure must be repeated yearly. 


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