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Hebrides: Islands on the Edge

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Originally broadcast on BBC One Scotland during May, now audiences across the UK can enjoy the popular TV series Hebrides: Islands on the Edge when it begins a four-week run on BBC Two this Thursday (11 July) at 9pm.

Everyone loves gathering around the TV to watch the latest BBC wildlife documentary. Forget the African plains and the Arctic Circle, never before have we seen such an intimate portrait of our very own Scottish wildlife, until now.

The Hebrides span across Argyll & The Isles, the Highlands and the Outer Hebrides and are home to rugged coastlines, uninhabited islands and some truly unforgettable landscapes. This breathtaking part of Scotland is the perfect natural habitat for an incredible variety of wildlife who are all set to star in the BBC series titled Hebrides: Islands on the Edge as part of their ‘Scotland Goes Wild’ season.

Bringing together talent from award-winning series like Frozen Planet and Big Cat Diary and narrated by Ewan McGregor, this beautiful part of Scotland is set to shine in the Year of Natural Scotland like never before.

Starring charismatic local white-tailed eagles on Mull and Skye, basking sharks, newborn seal pups and battling red deer stags on Rum, McGregor, star of Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge!  tweeted it’s “one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen” – and we couldn’t agree more!

Puffins on a clifftop, Isle of Staffa, Outer Hebrides

If you want to admire the Hebridean wildlife for yourself, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. For example, you can seek out the puffins in St Kilda and Staffa or observe Skye’s seal colony on a boat trip from Dunvegan Castle.

One of the best ways to see these fantastic species is to make use of the many expert tours, boat charters and wildlife cruises available across Scotland.

Learn more about the wildlife in the Highlands, Outer Hebrides and Argyll & The Isles by tuning in to the first episode on BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday 11th July. Catch up afterwards on BBC iPlayer, and join in the conversation on Twitter using #BBCHebrides.

Whether you prefer to call them sea eagles, white tailed eagles, or even white tailed sea eagles, these magnificent birds are undoubtedly one of the highlights of the series.

As the largest bird of prey in the UK, white tailed eagles have an impressive wingspan of over 8 ft and unlike most other creatures on this BBC series, you will only be able to find them in the Highlands and Islands of western Scotland.

At the beginning of the 20th century, white tailed eagles disappeared from Britain due excessive hunting but were reintroduced on the Isle of Rum in the Small Isles in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, the population has gradually increased and has now spread across the whole of the Hebrides.

During the series, you’ll see them grace the skies around the Glen Elg ferry to the Isle of Skye and on the Isle of Mull. This season, there are currently 15 breeding pairs of sea eagles on Mull so the chances of spotting them are high.

To get the best sightings, visit Mull Eagle Watch at Glen Seilisdeir or go out with a local wildlife tour operator, such as Isle of Mull Wildlife and Birdwatch Safaris. Or if heading to Skye, take to the water with companies like Stardust Wildlife Boat Trips from Portree. You might even get to feed a sea eagle from the boat!

For those of you living outside the UK who won’t be able to tune into the show, not to worry – you can get your copy of the series from Amazon on DVD and Blu-ray from 5 August.

Post last edited on July 25, 2013.


  • Will there by any way that those of us in the US can see this programme? Will it be available to stream online in the near future?

    • ComeOnBBC

      I hope so, because I told my friends back in the USA to watch the series and was disappointed to find out that its unavailable in the USA. How is the tv series suppose to attract tourists if only locals can watch?

  • Why oh why was this not shown nationwide on BBC ? The rest of the UK got Pirates of the Caribbean. What a shame.

    • Callum Mackintosh

      Hopefully the BBC will repeat this series later on for the whole of the UK. Scotland is hoping for a boost to tourism through this series and at the moment it will only be people who see the programme in Scotland (and on iPlayer – though you need to know about it in the first place!). I’m watching it on iPlayer as I don’t live in Scotland and thankfully saw a clip of it on Points Of View. I have seen a mini-series on heritage railways on BBC Wales (only) that was then later repeated for the rest of the UK.

      It seems to be a great series, more of storytelling than a nature documentary.

  • Anyone know where I can get the Theme tune for this programme?

    • Brian Herriot

      The song is Dice by Finlay Quaye (feat Beth Orton) and, so I am told, can be downloaded. Not sure from which site. Hope this helps.

    • Brian Herriot

      Just been told it’s on you tube.

  • Jeremy Hemming

    What is meant by ‘feat Beth Orton’?

    If ‘featuring’, I’d suggest this is not an abbreviation in common use, and not in Oxford Concise dictionary.
    A hairy, kilted Scottishism perchance?

  • Keith

    Let’s not attract too many tourists to this fragile environment please! I’ve seen the effects of mass tourism on other fragile wildernesses in the Highlands, and we do not want a repeat in the Hebrides. If’s it’s beautiful then leave it alone.

  • Ian

    Islands on the Edge – great programe- White tailed Eagles on Mull –wonderfull …. BUT— Where have the GOLDEN eagles from Mull gone? No mention of them — have they become extinct!

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