(courtesy The Three Degrees)
Wow! What a year it has been! After a fantastic summer of Olympics and Paralympics - we woke up this morning to the fantastic news that Andy Murray has won his first Grand Slam - the first British male since 1936 - there have been some incredible moments and I'm sure we all have our favourites - all I can say is that I'm glad I don't have to choose Sports Personality of the Year!
Here on Mull we have had an incredible year - unlike the rest of the UK, we have enjoyed a warm and sunny spring and summer - this has had a great knock on effect to our wildlife with many species doing very well.
Mull Eagle Watch has had a fantastic year too. We closed at the end of August to enable the Forestry Commission to commence logging operations. It has been a great season with visitors enjoying our new viewing area, hidden amongst the trees at Glen Seilisdeir. There, they could watch Fingal and Iona as they incubated their precious eggs, the hatching of our two chicks, Gorm and Buidhe right through to their successful fledging. Our last trips of the season were very special as we watched all 4 flying together against the backdrop of Loch Scridain. Good luck Gorm and Buidhe - fly long and free and most importantly, keep safe.
Elsewhere on the Island, other eagle families have done well and I shall leave it for Dave to report on this year's breeding numbers once everything has been collated.
We are delighted to report that Mara, Skye and Frisa's chick from 2006, has been spotted safe and well with his mate. These fantastic pictures were taken by Jim Michie from Loch Shiel Eagle Cruises - many thanks Jim!
The first photo shows Mara, now minus his satellite tag. It has provided us with lots of valuable information and thanks to Roy Dennis and his Highland Wildlife Foundation for their help in this area. The second photo shows Mara having his ear chewed off by his East Coast mate.
The other great piece of news this year was Skye and Frisa successfully fledging a chick - called Sunda. I managed to capture a photo of her during a recent visit to Loch Frisa - she is sat with Frisa as Dad, Skye, sits on one of his favourite lookout spots just out of shot of the camera!.
The first picture shows Frisa sat on the left and Sunda on the righ. The second picture is Sunda looking healthy and she is flying strongly too. Good luck - a very special chick indeed.
A big thank you to all our visitors and supporters - we couldn't do it without you!
Until next time,
WhiteTailed Eagle Information Officer
Isle of Mull