September, 2013

Wildlife

Wildlife
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
  • Close-up Views

    Since our juvenile white-tailed eagle, Orion, fledged at Mull Eagle Watch, Glen Seilisdeir, I have been leading walks to the nest and beyond in search of the birds.  Some days we get distant views of the adults and juvenile flying, some days we don't see any eagles at all, but some days we get really close-up sightings of the birds sitting in their favourite tree roosts.  One such day occurred just over a week ago, when our visitors were treated to excellent views of the two adults, Iona and Fingal, perched in trees just above where we were standing.  Luckily, one of those visitors was Chris Wilson with his camera and long lens, and Chris was generous enough to share some of his photos with us.  Not only was he lucky to get such pictures, but then, after he had left, he got another great shot of one of the adults catching a large flat fish in the bay below the wood.

    The walks at Mull Eagle Watch are continuing this week, but they may be the last for the year.  Keep in touch via the blogs and tweets or by calling the Craignure Visitor Information Centre on 01680 812556.

  • Orion - Hunter flying to the stars

    Our juvenile white-tailed eagle from the Mull Eagle Watch nest at Glen Seilisdeir has recently been named by children from Tobermory School.  They chose Orion from a short-list of names, because in Greek mythology Orion was a hunter who has a constellation named after him, and our young eagle flies high in the sky, almost reaching the stars.  What a great choice!

    Today, despite the gusty wind and intermittent heavy showers, the visitors on the Mull Eagle Watch trip were treated to spectacular views of the adults, Iona and Fingal, and Orion.  Iona, the majestic female bird, sat imperiously on a ragged branch of a Sitka spruce in the conifer woodland of the Forestry Commission where they nest.  She knew we were watching, but was quite content to allow everyone in the group to look at her through our wonderful Swarowski telescope.  The sun glinted off her pale head plumage as she stared out over the local sea loch, looking for potential prey.  After several minutes she spotted something in the distance and headed off, circling several times overhead before disappearing behind the trees.

    Imagine our surprise when we headed back to the nest viewing area to see Fingal, the male, sat in the top of the nest tree.  And then, thinking it wouldn't get any better than that, Iona suddenly flew directly overhead, through the gap between the trees, landing on the branch right next to her partner.

    The walks at Mull Eagle Watch are due to continue until mid-October, so if you live on Mull or are going to be visiting in the next couple of weeks, do come along.  Booking is essential though so ring 01680 812556 to reserve a place.