I am sat writing this blog on a balmy Sunday evening - the window is open and a blackbird is singing its heart out, along with the calls of curlews and oystercatchers mixed in with a cuckoo. Its a wonderful time of year as new life is springing up all over the place.
Visitors to South West Mull & Iona Development Trust have been wowed by some fantastic flying displays from Fingal and Iona, as well as some tender moments as they feed their young chick, now 3 weeks old. The young chick is quite lively and is like a little jack in the box popping up and down and moving around the nest. So you can imagine my surprise when we saw something else moving on the nest - was it Iona moving behind a branch? We just couldn't quite see. The last week has seen the weather particularly warm and Iona can sometimes try to find some shade under a branch that overhangs the nest that slightly obscures her. After a lot of patience and staring and then suddenly - there it was - no mistake - a second head alongside our first chick!
There was a lot of eye rubbing as I couldnt quite believe what I was seeing - but there right in front of me, and our visitors on Friday afternoon, 2 chicks for Fingal and Iona. The visitors to Tiroran on Friday afternoon were just as excited as they were the first visitors to see the second chick. There is a difference in size between the chicks but I have certainly seen both adults taking turns feeding both chicks so with a bit of luck, our 2nd chick will survive - it has certainly been very active over the weekend making sure we all see it.
The weather this week is forecast to be warm and sunny - just what we need for fast growing eaglets. The rate of growth is incredible from little white downy heads to full size chocolate brown eagles as big as the adults when they are ready to fledge when they are about 12 weeks old.
(Young eagles on the nest - photo thanks to Iain Erskine - copyright Iain Erskine)
Come and meet the family - booking is essential via our friends at the VisitScotland Craignure office - telephone 01680 812556.
Keep up to date with Steph the Ranger at West Ardhu North West Mull Community Woodland Mull Eagle Watch at https://mulleaglewatch.com/blog/
Mull Eagle Watch is a partnership between RSPB Mull Eagle Watch Scottish Natural Heritage Forestry Commission Scotland Police Scotland Mull & Iona Community Trust - and this year thanks to South West Mull & Iona Development Trust and North West Mull Community Woodland who are hosting Mull Eagle Watch.
We look forward to meeting you soon.
(Photo courtesy Iain Erskine)
the egg (s) they have been incubating for the last 38 days have finally hatched! Having endured persistent rain, Arctic blasts and a blizzard, Fingal and Iona have done an amazing job keeping the egg (s) dry and warm and are now feeding their young. At this moment, we do not know how many chicks they have as they are still tiny and safely cocooned within the nest cup or under an adult bird, but as soon as we know how many, we will let you know. Fingal and Iona have been kept busy as well as taking on the role of parents, they have been keeping a close eye on the young golden eagles that have been hanging around for several weeks now. This afternoon, Fingal was patrolling the ridge and at one point, all 3 goldies were close by, as well as the local buzzard. Fingal dropped like a stone out of the sky towards the buzzard who had got just a bit too close to the nest. It looked as if he was going to take the buzzard and we all held our breath as we watched him chase the buzzard until it was safely out of the area.
Some of you will be aware of the White tailed eagles in Estonia and the amazing webcam - they have managed to successfully hatch 3 chicks which is quite a rarity - make yourself a cuppa and settle down to watch Estonian Webcam
Golden Eagle - (photo courtesy Iain Erskine)
Don't forget, Mull Eagle Watch is located at 2 sites this year courtesy of South West Mull & Iona Development Trust and North West Mull Community Woodland - come and join us and watch the story unfold. Booking is essential via VisitScotland Craignure on 01680 812556.
You can read about Hope and Star here West Ardhu blog
RSPB Ranger, Isle of Mull