Autumn is in full swing - beautiful shades of red, gold, orange and brown are everywhere; the rowan trees are laden with berries which are being picked off by the fieldfares and redwings that have recently arrived on the Island. Autumn is my favourite season - a chance to reflect on the season just past and time to look ahead as the evenings draw in - wondering what lies ahead.
The Mull Eagle Hide has had a fantastic season this year. Fingal and Iona successfully raising and fledging two healthy chicks, Gorme and Buidhe (named by the pupils at Bunessan Primary School). We had several film crews visit us including BBC Springwatch, John Aitchison for a BBC series on the Hebrides (hopefully due to air in March), Ray Mears filming for ITV1's Wild Britain and a crew from the Discovery Channel. Some fantastic coverage for Mull and its wildlife.
We had 3000 visitors to our new location this year at Forestry Commission Scotland's Glen Seilisdeir forest and everyone was blown away by the view and its location - fingers crossed we will be back next spring so if you didn't manage to visit this year, come and see us in 2013 - the Year of Natural Scotland.
And to confirm how fantastic it was - we were graded by VisitScotland with 5 Stars as a 'Wildlife Attraction' - 5 Stars means 'exceptional' - we were over the moon as we were only 1 of 2 wildlife attractions in the whole of Scotland to receive 5 stars. As you know Mull Eagle Watch and the Hide is run by 5 different organisations - Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Strathclyde Police, Mull & Iona Community Trust, RSPB Scotland plus volunteers both visiting and from the local community. The award confirms how well we can work together, each adding something different and with the end result: eagles nesting successfully and a great wildlife experience.
A big thank you to all our visitors and to our many supporters, who though may not be able to join us in person, are with us in spirit - we couldn't do it without you.
Just a quick reminder that BBC Autumnwatch starts tonight - based in Scotland this year at the fantastic Aigas Field Centre. The webcams are up and running with fantastic footage of the beavers and pine marten.
Until next time,
White Tailed Eagle Information Officer
Isle of Mull