Ups and downs for Frisa and Skye


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

Ups and downs for Frisa and Skye

  • Comments 37
  • Likes

First of all, major apologies for the delay. Debby and I are flat out at the moment with monitoring the eagle nests on Mull and trips are also running daily at the hide. There never seems to be a spare moment. I suppose too, if I'm honest,  I've been putting off having to write this news. How can I put this? Things are not going according to plan for Frisa and Skye - or us.

Despite a good, normal incubation and all the right signs in the run up to the magical Day 38 and the hatch, something looks like it went wrong for Frisa and Skye very soon after. There was the expected fidgeting and restlessness; the looking into the nest cup and even on Sunday afternoon, signs of a likely attempted feed. Sunday night was horrible here with gales, sleet, snow, rain and very low temperatures. By Monday morning, despite an early hopeful sign, there have been no observed feeds since. We now strongly suspect the first tiny eaglet which would have been small enough to rest in the palm of your hand, succumbed to the rigours of the hatch and perhaps the wintry conditions. The hatch is probably the toughest test in the life of an eagle. It can take up to 48 hours for the eaglet to break free and in this case it may all have proved too much. That, for now, is the theory and the bad news. But there is good news too - or at least some more hopeful news.

Since Monday, Frisa and Skye have resumed incubating their second precious egg. It might not hatch for another day or so so we are still just about in the time frame for egg number two to hatch successfully. We can only watch, wait and pray that they succeed after all this effort. We will of course let you know the outcome, either way, but please bear with us. We're possibly more stressed and exhausted than Frisa and Skye are at the moment. For them, it's a loss they can't really comprehend and they still have work to do - an egg to try to hatch. Where there's life, there's hope.

Dave Sexton

RSPB Scotland Mull Officer


  • What a sad time and loss..... let's hope that next year will tell a different story.  I wonder what a earth the birds make of it all?

  • I will not fear the worst until we have definate news and both birds are on the move away from the nest.


  • To lighten the mood, Dave and Debby, do you know that your Time Team visitors have their Channel 4 programme on Mull this afternoon?

  • Thanks for latest update Dave and at least if the worst has happened then Skye and Frisa still fit and healthy also reading other Mull comments seems several young birds all doing well.

  • The shows not over till Frisa (or the one sat tight) Flies.

    It must be so upsetting and frustrating for everyone involved, but as you say thats nature, and nature is tough. Hopefully others on the island are doing well.

    Thanks for the updates, and still holding on to a bit of hope for Skye and Frisa.

    All the Best Heather

  • Sorry to hear about the tough season Dave. Keep the chin up - the work you're all doing up there is an inspiration to us all!

  • Thanks for the frequent updates Dave. Maybe when you get a chance you can tell us about how the other nests are. Hopefully it is not a bad breeding year all over.

  • Saturday night update from Loch Frisa

    Only one change-over at Frisa and Skye's nest observed by watchers today which would suggest to me, sadly, that one bird is slowly beginning to lose interest. Amazing that the other one sat tight when it must have been hungry and in need of a wing stretch. That's dedication for you. And so, is the end now in sight for this year's nesting attempt? I fear so. And just as the temperature is improving and the rain has stopped! The sea eagle God moves in mysterious ways. Other pairs though will benefit and we should be thinking about them too. Quite what tomorrow will bring for Frisa and Skye is unknown. Hey, miracles happen! Or maybe not. As they 'make their minds up' what to do next, we must turn our minds to the weeks and months ahead. It's going to be a long summer. More news as we get it. Thanks to one and all.

  • Weathers a little kinder now Dave, and hopefully will only improve from now on.

    Looking forward to hearing how egg 2 gets on.


  • Blessings on all, birds and carers - now and always.

  • Yes, positive thoughts,  and hopefully you have had some better weather.

  • Yes while bird is still on nest must be a chance and lets hope for good news from the other nests.Skye and Frisa have reared remarkable numbers over the years and given lots of us pleasure and they were the reason we first visited Mull which we have enjoyed several times.We have also made friends on the blog and in person on Mull so well done them.They seem to think the Estonia S E may hatch tomorrow.

  • Yes, only positive thoughts coming your way.

    You could ALL do with some luck with the weather.

  • We are all thinking positive thoughts for you and Debby, Dave and of course Skye and Frisa xx

  • Hoping this weekend brings some good news...and good weather too.

    Positive thoughts heading your way