The white-tailed eagle chick from the Glen Seilisdeir nest on the Isle of Mull has flown from the nest. On Friday afternoon the 12 week old chick was still exercising its wings on the branches around the nest. By mid-morning on Saturday it had gone. No-one saw it fly and so the watching and waiting game was on to check that it had fledged successfully and not plunged to death or serious injury from 70 feet up in the nest tree as some Mull white-tailed eagle chicks had done in the past.
Several visits on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, and constant watching from houses adjacent to the woodland brought no sight of the chick. Careful listening around the nest site also brought no results. Iona, the adult female, sat in the nest tree, seemingly unconcerned, preening her feathers, while Fingal, the adult male, was nowhere to be seen.
Eventually on Sunday afternoon distant calls could be heard. The juvenile bird was obviously hungry and asking its parents to bring food. Later in the evening it was spotted in the tree above the nest and it was certain that it had survived its first flight and was now able to manoeuvre adequately.
Large numbers of visitors turned up at Mull Eagle Watch today to try to see the newly fledged chick, but it eluded everyone. In the morning, neither of the adults were spotted either, and it was the plaintive calls of a young buzzard that were most audible. When the afternoon visitors arrived at the viewing area, Iona was sat on her favourite perch: the branch protruding to the right of the nest. At one point she hopped up onto the nest, finishing a few small scraps of food from the carcass of the shag, brought in by the male last week.
We will be continuing to run the Mull Eagle Watch trips at Glen Seilisdeir until the end of August and hope that visitors will get spectacular views of the white-tailed eagle family in and around the nest tree and flying over their forest home. To book a trip ring 01680 812 556.
Remember the RSPB and Forestry Commission/Mull & Iona Community Trust Rangers will be at Bunessan Show this Friday 2nd August and at Salen Show next Wednesday 8th August so Mull Eagle Watch trips will not be happening on those days.
Thanks John, it is good to hear that the chick has fledged safely., we have been following your blogs with interest since visiting in May. We really enjoyed the trip to Glen Seilisdeir, thank you for your patience in answering so many questions!