April, 2008

Wildlife

Wildlife
We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Mull Eagle Watch

Follows the fortunes of Mull's white-tailed eagles and the Isle's other fascinating wildlife
  • Week 4 - Eagles, eagles everywhere!!

    It's been a fantastic and really exciting week down at Loch Frisa, the sun has been shining, and everyday we've been treated yet again with spectacular views of not only our eagles Frisa and Skye, but of several juvenile birds with white and yellow tags as well as a few golden eagles scouting by too! At one point on saturday, we were fortunate to see 5 eagles at the same time!! Frisa on her perching tree, 2 wandering adults and a juvenile sea eagle circling above along with a goldie for good measure!!

    And as if there wasn't enough excitement for the week with all the views we were getting, the time had come........ everyday we watched and waited for any sign that the chicks had hatched..... and finally on sunday we were rewarded with what we had been waiting for, Frisa perched on the side of the nest, stripping little bits of meat off something she'd brought back and bending her head into the nest to feed her newly hatched chicks.........SUCCESS!!!!!

    But the challenge has only just begun for Frisa and Skye, now most of their time will be spent searching for more and more food to bring back for our ravenous little eaglets...... how they put so much away is quite beyond me....... hollow wings no doubt!

    The next couple of weeks is crucial for them too, baecause they can't control their body temperature yet, so mum and dad will have to constantly brood them to keep them nice and warm, all we can do is keep watch and hope that the sun keeps shining to give them the best chance possible!!!

  • Week 3 - Spring arrivals and sun all the way!!

    Spring has firmly announced its arrival with our first Swallow, Sand Martin and Willow Warbler freshly back from their wintering grounds in Africa. I love seeing the swallows especially, they always seem to arrive on really nice sunny days, and this year has been no exception!

    It has been a glorious week of sunshine and our eagles have been making the most of the sun, perching out on their perching tree, preening themselves vigorously getting ready for the hatching of their chicks..... only 1 week away now!!!!

    So the eagles are still putting on a great show for everybody, and for a brief 5 minutes in the middle of the week both birds appeared perched up in their tree! At first we all stared, wondering why there wasn't a bird on the nest....had something terrible happened? But Skye set all our minds at rest as he got up and flew straight back to sit on the eggs.......Phew!! He'd been away from the nest for over 3 hours before that, so I think Frisa just came off the nest to give him a good ticking off for being such a long time!!! Poor Skye.....but he'd only himself to blame! Funnily enough, the next few days he was back to the nest within a couple of hours of changing over to Frisa, so it looks like he learnt his lesson!!

    With Skye back in his place, and Frisa perching out as I write this, everything is just fine and hopefully, by this time next week, their eggs will have become small bundles of white fluff with ferocious appetites....... Then Skye and Frisas work really begins!!!!!

  • Week 2 - Frisa Eagles brighten the dreary days!

    Not a great start to this week; wind, rain, hail, snow and strong winds...... it's true what they say about the weather on Mull, you really do get all four seasons in one day up here!

    But in the midst of the heavy showers and even a hefty blizzard or two our eagles Frisa and Skye continue to delight visitors, (even if not appearing straight away.... good things come to those who wait!), and everybody goes home with a great big smile!

    Views this week haven't been the best, mainly because of the weather, but with the intermittent sunny spells the birds have duly appeared almost on cue!

    Even though the eagles have been up and about, again cameos of Whooper Swans, (which have reached a maximum of 14 birds during the week), Hen Harriers, Short-eared Owls, Golden Eagles and our ever present Buzzards have all rivalled for the attention of on-lookers.

    However, highlight of the week for me has been the brief visit of a superb summer plumaged Black-throated Diver for a day mid-week, almost trying to out-fox us by diving under the water and appearing in a completely different spot! Despite his games, we had some fantastic views of him, and it was wonderful to see him in the telescope, giving us chance to look at his striking plumage in great detail....... What a cracker!!!!

    Frisa and Skye are still faithfully carrying out their duty of incubating and the countdown continues....... 2 weeks - not long now and our eagles will be proud parents once again. Lets just hope they have better luck than last year....... I know I'll be keeping fingers, toes and anything else I can crossed!!!