May, 2009


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
  • Diversity!

    Well, having just sat through all the acts for Britain's Got Talent, I'm glad I didn't have to choose the winner - they were all so good.  Congratulations to Diversity!

    Well someone has finally heard my pleas - the weather here has been glorious, buckets of sunshine, blue skies and very, very warm.  The Factor 50 suncream had to come out today.  This weather is great for growing chicks too - its gives Skye and Frisa plenty of opportunity to hunt for food too thus giving us fantastic flying displays.


    Cotton Grass Loch Frisa - photo Debby Thorne

    Cotton Grass at Loch Frisa

    One of the things I love about working at the Hide is meeting so many different people, all ages and from all differents walks of life - but with one thing in common - to catch sight of our largest Bird of Prey - and Skye and Frisa have certainly given so much pleasure to so many people.  We also have a great diversity of wildlife from our eagles (white-tailed and golden), the siskins and chaffinches on the feeders, our sand martins, the divers on the Loch, through to the butterflies and even a dragonfly that we all stopped to admire today.  What a wonderful World!


    First Visitor waiting for the hide to open- photo Debby Thorne

    First visitor of the day!

    As I arrived at the hide this morning, this lamb was waiting with him mum for the door to open - we do meet a diversity of life at the hide!!

    Dave is on Iona this weekend doing the Corncrake survey - I guess I will have to text the results of the show!

    Dont forget to check the Estonian webcam Live sea eagle webcam

    Have you ever thought of joining the RSPB and supporting our work with the eagles? Just click the 'Join now' button and take a look. 

    Debby Thorne - White Tailed Eagle Information Officer, Isle of Mull


  • Six weeks old and growing fast!

    I returned to the Eagle Hide today, having had a couple of days off.  What do you do on your day off on Mull?  Why, check on the other eagles of course!  I had a great day and had some wonderful views of both white-tailed eagles and golden eagles - we are so lucky on Mull to have both these magnificent birds - I don't think I could ever tire of watching them. 

    Both trips today were fully booked and the visitors were not disappointed.  As I arrived at the hide this morning to open up, I was greeted by Frisa flying across the loch and into the nest.  Both groups got fantastic views of both adults and the chicks on the nest.   The two chicks are six weeks old today and growing at a phenominal rate.  As I took a final look at them this evening, you could clearly see their feathers coming through, a wing or two being flapped, getting ready for that first flight which should happen around 12 weeks old.

    Did some of you manage to catch 'Animal 24:7' on BBC One this evening? Just wanted to point out that it was filmed two years ago. It was sad for everyone involved (see archived blogs from 2007 'White tail, black day') but the chicks this year are just fine.

    I just want to sign off tonight by sending all our very best wishes to PC Finlay Christine, our Wildlife Crime Officer on Mull who featured in tonight's programme.  Finlay 'retired' today (although his official last day is in July) and is one of the nicest guys you could meet.  He has done so much for our eagles and all Mull's wildlife. This year he was awarded Wildlife Crime Enforcer of the Year - a fitting tribute to all his hard work.  A long, happy and healthy retirement and a huge thank you for all that you have done for our magnificent birds.

    Dont forget to check the Live sea eagle webcam in Estonia and you will see how Skye and Frisa's chicks on Mull are looking!

    I have included some of the stunning photos taken by Iain Erskine

    White Tailed Eagle - photo copyright Iain Erskine













                                         White-tailed eagle - Photos copyright Iain Erskine


    White Tailed Eagle - photo copyright Iain Erskine














    Have you ever thought of joining the RSPB and supporting our work with the eagles? Just click the 'Join now' button and take a look. 

    Debby Thorne RSPB Scotland


  • I don't like Mondays

    Live sea eagle webcam 

    Well, actually I do. Usually. But to wake up to the mizzle (mist and drizzle?) again was a bit of a let down. Especially when the rest of the UK seems to be basking in wonderful warm sunshine.  However, undaunted, two true-grit groups assembled at 10am and 1pm and were not put off by suggestions that we might see absolutely nothing at the hide. They would take their chances. True the mist was down and covered the nest wood. True it was raining so hard you got soaked walking from car to hide. True the midges were loving it. True the morning group saw nothing more than a dark 'atmospheric' eagle silhouette in a tree. The afternoon group were a determined bunch. True Brits. It's as if they were willing the rain to stop.  And then a miracle happened.  It stopped. The clouds parted. A hint of blue appeared in the western sky. Frisa flew from the nest where she'd been doing her best to protect her rapidly growing chicks from the wet. She perched next to Skye and they called to each other. A small cheer went up from the brave crowd at the forward hide. Skye heard what Frisa was screaming: "I know it's wet. I know you're fed up but GO GET SOME FOOD!" Out he flew from the wood, across the loch and off to hunt. Everyone got fabulous views and they left happy and contented, if a little damp and slightly bitten. A small price to pay.

    Last night as I took a last look at the live streaming sea eagle webcam in Estonia, I learned something new about sea eagles after nearly 30 years of watching them. Of course we never really get to see them at roost, at night, 'asleep'. The webcam is 2 hours ahead of British Summer Time so at 2230 Estonian time, there was one of the adults - probably the female - on the nest with the two chicks. Amazingly she had her head tucked under her wing - just like a sleeping swan. I've never seen them do that before. There's always something new to learn about these birds. As I write I can close my eyes and picture Frisa on the nest tonight. She has her two chicks tucked cosily underneath and she rests her proud head under her wing. Let's hope the sun shines on them all (and dries them out) tomorrow.

    Welcome back to the new Springwatch team. Great show. I think it works. How about you?

    Has Britain Got Talent? Mull's sea eagles get some primetime TV exposure this week. Don't miss 'Animal 24:7' BBC One 7.30pm Wednesday 27 May (except Wales).

    Dave Sexton RSPB Scotland Mull Officer

    Have you ever thought of joining the RSPB and supporting our work with the eagles? Just click the 'Join now' button and take a look.