What a Clever Girl!


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Mull Eagle Watch

Follows the fortunes of Mull's white-tailed eagles and the Isle's other fascinating wildlife

What a Clever Girl!

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Well, Heather is turning out to be a quick learner.  On Friday as we watched her in a field in front of the Hide, it was clear she had caught something and was feeding.  It was very difficult to see what it was, but I was surprised how quickly she had managed to work out how to catch something.  Today, she took another step forward in her journey towards independence.  As we looked out of the Hide window, we saw a large bird hunting over the crag in the distance.  From the profile, we could tell it was a sea eagle but on closer inspection with binoculars we were taken aback to see the dark brown profile of our Heather!  She had her legs and head down, looking for prey - she wobbled slightly but eventually slipped from our view.  Amazing at this early stage she has started hunting for herself.  Skye and Frisa will still be bringing in food for a while yet but the fact she is hunting on her own means she has the instinct to go out and look for food herself.  What a gal!


Breaking news tonight!  If you check the Google Earth movements for Mara and Breagha, for the first time, neither birds are on Mull.  Mara has been flying around Morvern and Breagha has been up to Loch Maree.  These birds are now out on their own in the big wide world.  Without the satellite tags, we would have no way of knowing their movements and would have to rely on sightings.  Its great that we are able to keep an eye on their movements but at the same time, we know they have lots of dangers to encounter.  Again, in the news, report of a buzzard found poisoned http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8166855.stm

Please encourage family and friends to support our campaign to protect Birds of Prey.  Here is the link to sign our pledge Birds of Prey Pledge.

Tonight as both our youngsters, settled down for the night, let's hope and pray they stay safe.   With most of the chicks now fledged on Mull, it brings home that these birds have an incredible journey in front of them - leaving the nest is only the beginning.

Let's hope Mara and Breagha stay safe.

I apologise for the quality of this photo but someone asked for a picture of Heather - this was taken last Friday in the rain from a long way away but at least gives you a glimpse of our beautiful bird!

Photo by Debby Thorne - Heather, our female chick


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

  • SOOTY: I found the Time Team reference - I think I remember passing Norman Cross marked off the A1(M) on the  way to and from university. BERTIE: I too was very confused by Sooty, until I looked back and saw that one of the most frequently posting names had changed - to Sooty. No triumvirates please, as you never know where they lead: the first triumvirate ended with Julius Caesar killing both Crassus and Pompey, his dictatorship, the fall of the Republic, the rise of the Roman Empire and the (second) Roman invasion of Britain. Let's steer clear of cliques, folks!  

  • Well done with the photo Debbie. Totally confused by the Sooty Sweep Mex triumvarate but it's good fun and I am famous for my tracking abilities :}

  • Hi guys yes I would all agree about poisoning,egg thieves,shooting of birds etc,so frustrating and painful when judges give lenient sentences but all other crimes seem to be of the same principle.Think if someone committed crime against a judge he would take a tougher attitude.Mex it is important you stick around you are one of wildlife's champion.You prodded Sooty and Sweep to sign both of pledges on your blog otherwise we may have thought one more voice wouldn't make any difference.There is the clue GaryS Sooty signed the pledges oh but had to use real name but it is there believe me.Mex you know Sooty and Sweep love you platonic of course please keep up the good work and PS look up Time Team dig Napoleonic prisoner camp Norman Cross if you can find anything on web the ships etc prisoners made out of bones unbelievable.Sooty looked after what had been Commandants garden when any spare time from school.

  • Hi Gary S Sooty is struggling as he is the last person not to be overtataken by PC, Goverments etc trying very hard to change Sooty to Snowflake but Sooty resisting because hard brushing with bleach painful, ouch.Be careful with LOL as 50% chance Sooty could be male kind regards.  Hi Debby yes lets hope Half Pint doing wellbut lets not forget Mullis becoming probably very important for lots of other birds especially perhaps Hen Harriers,Cuckoo,Short Eared Owls and I am sure many more.I think Isaw somewhere only about four Hen Harrier chicks hatched in England,only very small number anyway.That seems one of the most appalling bird statistic I have seen PS Gary S, Sweep sends LOL XXX    

  • LizLFW: is the problem not partly that prison sentences AREN'T being given for poisoning offences (in contrast with egg-stealing etc)? And, as you say, small fines are no deterrent to estate-owning investment bankers with a penchant for grouse and for gamekeepers who are prepared to lay poisons.  Hope you have all signed the Irish petition against poisoning eagles, as well as the RSPB's Birds of Prey Pledge? Sooty: happy to stick around here if that is what Dave and Debby want. I just wasn't sure if the RSPB was wanting us to filter off to the Forum sections instead.  GaryS, re Sooty: look at the clue in my last posted message....

  • Liz LFW- couldn't agree more. Have just been reading in the latest RSPB magazine about the gamekeepers and egg thief who have been caught. After all the effort they only get suspended sentences and 'community work'. It's a joke -and a very bad one at that!

  • Whatever happened to Itchy and Scratchy (seen on Autumnwatch ? about 2/3 years ago)?

    Agree with the comments re Birds of Prey persecution, but until the legal system deals with the perpetrators appropriately, then they will continue to think they can get off lightly.  The fines imposed are laughable, as are the "prison" sentences.  If gamekeepers are involved, then maybe their employers need to be made responsible for some of the actions of their employees.  The law is said to be strong enough to deal with the problems, but unfortunately it is not be used to its full potential.

  • yes, let us know Debby. Hope Half Pint is OK

    So, who is "Sooty" ?? !! Apart from being Sweeps' best friend LOL

  • Oh great, give Half Pint my love. (For Half Pint xxx)

  • This is a test by me (Debby) to see how my comments come out! Going to check on Half Pint tomorrow - will let you know how he/she is doing!

  • Oh well here goes, I think I now have two identitys after the problems I have had with logging in.

    Love the photo of Heather Debbie even though it is distant she is very plain to see and wow arn't Mara and Breagha spreading their wings. It will be very interesting to see when they next come home to Mull if they will meet up for a chat about their adventures. I can't wait for the day they settle down to breed themselves and wonder where that will be.

  • Hi Mex so glad you still blogging I can continue my education from your blog but continue to forgive any mistakes I make,didn't know how to spell malarchy just guessing but Troll real easy as I am a giant living in a cave.Serious matter though birds getting poisoned horrific number of Sea Eagles been poisoned I believe from the releases they have made,sure that it makes all bird lovers really sad.Really great news about Heather and so nice that a name given to Bracken as in his short life as others have commented he gave lots of pleasure.Like others I am sure we would try each day to see if any updates gave us any news about him and Heather.  

  • Found you and your little tease out, Sooty! A great wind-up - well done!! Excellently clever troll! I started to catch on  when you used a word that I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue how to spell (malarchy, malarky, malarkey?? ). Kind regards also to Den&ann, from the seagles.

  • 1) The buzzard was presumably poisoned by a neighbour of the estate named, to judge from the wording of the report. 2) Heather must look fantastic! 2) Breagha must have flown over 60 miles from Fort William to Loch Maree on the 26th and/or 27th 'as the crow/seagull flies.'  3) Sooty can spell malarchy. I wonder if he (?!) can spell Troll? I believe that is what these hilarious interruptions are called?  But if he is simply a simple soul, we must be kind as perhaps he cannot read too well. I beleave English is detearierating? Well, our family calls sea eagles 'seagles' in textspeak, anyway. You try texting a student camping solo in the snow in the Arctic Circle under the aurora borealis amidst a horde (sic) of the white-tailed eagle or haliaeetus albicilla without using abbreviations or deviating for just a minute. Sorry, Sooty, no owls here just at the moment, but wot a hoot, huh?      

  • Having a bit of trouble posting to the blog, hopefully this time it will work.  

    Great photo Debby, it's amazing young Heather is hunting already.

    Good luck to Mara and Breagha out there on the mainland, it's a dangerous place.  I've sent the birds of prey protection pledge to everyone I know asking them to sign it.

    Reply: Well done Blog came through fine! thanks for passing round the Birds of Prey pledge - we must stop this killing of all birds of prey.