August, 2016

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
  • The Forest is alive with the sound of ..... Nature!

    The chick at Tiroran is now flying like an old pro! It hasn't taken him long to master the skills of picking up a thermal, a warm pocket of air to give him some height, and showing off some beautiful soaring.  Fingal and Iona are never far away, and are still bringing in food as the chick is not independent yet, but that will not be long.

    Iona, female white tailed eagle - Tiroran Forest - Debby Thorne

    As mentioned previously, our trips to Tiroran now comprise a walk through the Community Forest as a guided walk which gives me a chance to point out some of the other amazing wildlife and flora that abounds against the stunning back drop of Ben More.  As well as looking for our eagle family, we spot lots of other birds including golden eagles, short eared owl, kestrels and the resident buzzards as well as some of the smaller birds to be found in the forest including goldcrests and crossbills.  We have had some great views of dragonflies and butterflies as well as the huge array of wild flowers.  

    Meadow Pipit - Debby Thorne

    There are signs that our summer is starting to come to an end - the Rowan trees are full of berries, the bracken is turning yellow and large flocks of pipits and swallows are gathering - ready to make their journey to warmer climbs.  We are lucky that our eagles are here all year round and over the winter we look forward to our migrant visitors such as geese, redwings, fieldfare and possibly waxwings if it gets cold enough.

    The last day for trips to Tiroran will be Friday 23 September.  Dont forget to book through Craignure Visit Scotland office on 01680 812556.

    Debby Thorne

    Isle of Mull Ranger

  • Wish me luck!

     Remember this?  The bundle of fluff here is the chick at Tiroran when he was being ringed in the middle of June.

    Well today and I am delighted to report the fantastic news that the chicks at Tiroran South West Mull & Iona Development Trust and West Ardhu North West Mull Community Woodland sites have now successfully fledged.  The story was covered in the Scottish Press here https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/islands/990372/sea-eagle-chicks-have-successfully-fledged/

    The Tiroran chick will be named by the children from our local primary school when they return from their summer holidays in mid August.  It was a very special moment to see the chick launch itself off and fly - as if it had been doing it for years rather than a beginner.  He remains in the area and its great fun in the morning trying to find where he is but a big clue is the adults are often nearby.  They will bring in food and drop it close by and encourage the chick to fly and he has been very obliging.  Its a very special moment, having watched over Fingal and Iona during the 38 day incubation process, then seeing them feed and protect their young for 12 weeks through rain and sunshine.  To the moment when the chick leaves the nest and flies.  It will not be long before he is catching his own food and then eventually he will move away from the area.  But for now, as we watch junior progress, we wish him to remain safe, and a long productive life - where ever he ends up!

    Our trips to Mull Eagle Watch continue but now comprise walking through Tiroran Forest to get the best views possible of our eagle family - at the same time learning about the Forest and all that dwells within it.  Booking is essential on 01680 812556.  Suitable clothing and footwear recommended for the Forestry track.

    Debby Thorne

    RSPB Ranger, Isle of Mull