Well what a week its been here on Mull - where do I start? Well I guess the weather as that is the subject we seem to talk about most! We have been enjoying a return to summer - clear blue skies and warm sunshine which gives us chilly evenings with some incredible starry skies. We are fortunate to have some of the darkest skies in Europe and at the moment we are getting some great views of the moons surrounding Jupiter.
We were delighted to welcome a very special visitor to the Island - Nick Baker - naturalist and wildlife television presenter. Nick presented "Weird Creatures" on Channel 5 and this year is a guest presenter on Autumnwatch. I met Nick at the recent Birdfair and invited him to Mull. He was in the midst of planning a trip to Scotland so fortunately, he was able to add Mull to his travels. It was a first visit to the Island for Nick and his family so we were delighted to be able to show him the Island and some of the wildlife. Whilst he was here, he visited a couple of our schools sharing stories about his encounters with wildlife around the world and talking about bugs and beasties which went down a treat. At Salen Primary School, Nick was shown around the eco garden as well as inspecting the wormery and insect boxes. At Lochdonhead Primary School, Nick helped the children put up a new ladybird box in their wildlife garden. I can honestly say, a great time was had by all (including the teachers!) Dont forget to catch Nick on Autumnwatch. Here is a link to Nick Baker's website, Thanks to Crerar Isle of Mull Hotel who looked after Nick and his family during their stay. The Hotel is open year round and is home to the Island's swimming pool and spa. Thanks also to Calmac for looking after the all important ferry crossing.
Nick Baker at Salen Primary School exploring their eco garden! (photo Debby Thorne)
Nick Baker at Lochdonhead Primary School installing a ladybird box - photo Debby Thorne
I have to say, Loch Frisa has been simply stunning in this fantastic weather. It has also been been great eagle weather. We have had some fantastic views of an adult golden eagle and juvenile flying above the larches in front of the hide. Although we have a good many pairs of goldies on the Island, compared to our 10 pairs of white tailed eagles, the goldies are harder to spot. This year they have done well chick wise and we are receiving many sightings round and about the Island. Skye and Frisa have kept us entertained too. Yesterday, Skye flew across the front of the hide, closely followed by a juvenile. Initially, I thought it was Heather but we were able to see a coloured leg ring which showed us it was a 2008 male chick. Skye didnt take too kindly to this intruder and and we were treated to some spectacular talon grappling. Needless to say, Skye chased him out.
Skye, our male on the right with the 2 yr old male on the left - Photo Debby Thorne
Juvenile (left) and Skye (right) - photo Debby Thorne
The deer rut is in full swing and we had a great view of a pair of stags locked in combat as they tried to impress the watching hinds. Everywhere you go on the Island at the moment, is the sound of bellowing stags echoing around the glens. A truly atmospheric time.
The hide at Loch Frisa will be staying open all through winter - so why no come on down and see some of our wonderful wildlife and catch up with Skye and Frisa.
Juvenile Golden Eagle - Photo Debby Thorne
To book a trip to the hide, just call our friends at Craignure Visitor centre on 01680 812556. Mull Eagle Watch
White Tailed Eagle Information Officer, Mull