April, 2018

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
  • Uh oh! Drama unfolds at the nest…

    13th April 2018

    On Good Friday, when people all across the country (including myself) were getting excited about tucking into their (*cough* nine) chocolate eggs, we at Mull Eagle Watch were most excited about an egg that wasn’t chocolate at all. It was the first egg that Scalla and Anna had laid in their nest at Craignure Golf Club.

    Tours began soon after and our visitors were able to see an incubating eagle on the nest with the telescopes that Swarovski and Viking kindly loan to the project every year.

    We were getting great views of one parent flying and of a group of eagle youths that loitered around the area. But there was a third adult around who became a very unwelcome visitor.

    On a few tours, this eagle was seen flying around and towards the nest which distressed Scalla and Anna and led them to tackle him mid-air and chase him away. And unfortunately, it became apparent that something had happened in the scuffle which caused this first clutch to fail.

    The intruder may well have intended to oust Scalla in order to take over his territory and female. Last year, Anna’s 37 year-old father who lived around Lochdon on Mull, fell victim to this behaviour when the younger male succeeded in killing him.

    But don’t fear! Our hopes remain high; we’ve been seeing the pair flying, perching and calling together and even bringing in new nesting material to repair the nest. This is a very positive indication that they will, very soon, attempt to lay a second clutch of eggs!

    Scalla and Anna perched together after their interrupted nesting attempt

     

    For now, the pair is wowing visitors by perching in very convenient places and, on occasion, flying right over our heads! It’s just a matter of time before Anna lands in the nest for good.

    To book on a tour, call the VisitScotland iCentre in Craignure on 01680 812556

    Bye for now,

    Meryl

    Eagle Ranger

  • Welcome back to Mull Eagle Watch, 2018!

    11th April 2018

    I’m excited to be returning to the role of RSPB Community Information and Tourism Officer this summer and will be running the eagle nest tours alongside Cian Burke-Brown (pictured) who is the seasonal ranger for Mull and Iona Community Trust.

    This year, we are being hosted by the wonderful Craignure Golf Club. A team of volunteers has been busy refurbishing the club in time for us opening and is even providing refreshments for golfers and our visitors to enjoy post-tour.

    It is also the place where Scalla and Anna call home.

    Introducing Scalla and Anna

    Scalla


    Age: 22

    Birthday: 15th August 1996

    Birthplace: Mull

    Tag: Grey O (both lost)

    Famous family:

    • Son of Blondie – the female who hatched and fledged the first chick since the species was reintroduced in 1985.
    • Younger brother to Frisa – one half of Skye and Frisa who were the stars of Springwatch and the first pair that Mull Eagle Watch followed.
    • 1996 nest brother to the (probably infertile) female, Grey L, who attempted to incubate goose eggs on Mull in 2017!

    Favourite food: fish

    Anna


    Age: 23

    Birthday: 4th July 1995

    Birthplace: Mull

    Tag: White O (both lost)

    Famous family: Daughter of the oldest pair of sea eagles in Scotland who finally died last year on Mull aged 37

    Favourite food: fish and small children.

     

    Eagle activity

    We’re loving the Golf Club’s coastal habitat which is new to Mull Eagle Watch this year and the constant soundtrack of gulls and oystercatchers that comes with it. And we have the beautiful snow-capped mountains behind us to scan for goldies, hen harriers, ravens and the group of juveniles sea eagles that often give us a fly-past.

    We’ve seen lots of action already and there’s plenty more to come!

    To book on a tour, please call the VisitScotland Craignure iCentre on 01680 812556 or pop in when you arrive. Please inform of any mobility issues.

    Also, Debby Thorne is now running new tours of Star and Hope at West Ardhu (where we were based last year). So for another chance to see these magnificent birds, you can book to visit her at the iCentre too.

    Thanks for reading.

    Meryl

    RSPB eagle ranger