11th June 2018
The Mull Eagle Watch rangers attended the beautiful Treshnish (and Haunn cottages) Farm on Sunday 10th June for their Open Farm Sunday event. This national scheme run by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) gives farmers an opportunity to show people how they are farming in an environmentally-friendly way and for us, as consumers, to learn about where our food comes from – one of the most beautiful places on Mull apparently!
The farmers, Somerset and Carolyne, gave us an interesting insight into their annual itinerary regarding lambing and meadow management before guiding us around their land.
The meadows looking over to Calgary Bay
And their meadows host the most magnificent myriad of wildflowers you can imagine!
We had orchids (butterfly, heath spotted, common spotted, fragrant, northern marsh to name a few).
Northern Marsh Orchid
Heath Spotted Orchid
Me smelling the Fragrant Orchid
And the most colourful swathes of other flowers including the pink lousewort, white burnet rose, blue speedwells, yellow buttercups, purple vetch, red sorrel, heaps of wood bitter vetch and even a rare moonwort.
We finished the walk with a delicious Moveable Feast by Jeannette’s at Ballygown which we all tucked into on the array of multi-coloured picnic blankets that had been laid out down the lawn, giving us a superb view across to the Isle of Coll. We were joined in our picnic by a group of porpoise who were feeding in the sea below us!
A fantastic event; great farming, great wildlife, great people and great food!
If you fancy seeing this wonder for yourself, why not take a peek at their cottages for your next holiday!
8th June 2018
Due to the nest failure at Craignure Golf Club, we have now re-opened tours at Tiroran Community Forest! We are still running tours at the golf course but sightings of eagles can, sadly, no longer be 100% guaranteed.
The first week of tours at Tiroran are now over and Fingal and Iona have not disappointed! We’ve watched as the eagles fly in to feed the chick who’s now stumbling around the nest and slumping face-down, exhausted from the heat. But yesterday, on arrival, I was greeted with a view of two adults. Iona was on the nest but it wasn’t Fingal perched above. It was another eagle! Iona nervously stared up at the bird, intermittently calling for over an hour until Fingal finally smashed into the top of the tree to shoo the intruder away. As it flew, I noticed it’s tail - white with a dark terminal band, making it a 4 year-old/sub-adult. Was this their young from a previous year or a stranger thinking of moving in?
And so the drama continues...
With thanks to Viking Optical and Swarovski Optik for the annual loan of their amazing telescopes, allowing us to capture these moments! Meryl
15th May 2018
Unfortunately, as many of you know, the first nesting attempt of the Golf Course eagles failed and we were crossing everything in hope that they may re-lay. They teased us with some promising signs such as bringing back nesting material, performing aerial displays and then for four days, they appeared on the nest in the incubation position but… nothing.
Scalla landing in the nest tree
Experts were consulted and books were read, all in hope of giving our pair a bit more time to re-lay but we have now truly passed that window of possibility. It’s not all doom and gloom though as Scalla & Anna have used this site for a decade and are showing no signs of moving on. They are still gracing us with their presence on almost every tour, being very vocal and showing their ginormous wingspans!
Scalla and Anna appearing over our heads as we were ending the tour having not seen them!
What we are even more excited about here at Mull Eagle Watch is all the other fantastic wildlife we are seeing. Now that we know they are not going to lay any more eggs, we can cast our eyes towards the coast and watch the nests of ringed plover, oystercatchers and a variety of gull species forming on the beach around us.
Not to mention our first couple of otter sightings! A big shout out to Gill from Devon who was our otter expert for the morning, she spotted an otter from the site for the first time this season. And credit to Olly for getting photographic evidence (below)! There were in fact two there that morning and we have since seen them on a similar outcrop in the Sound of Mull a few metres away.
Otter on the skerries in the Sound of Mull (credit: Olly Ingram)
The shoreline here is really starting to buzz with the calls of our coastal birds like common sandpiper, turnstone and dunlin. Not to mention the return of the terns! (Excuse the poor joke) We have seen and heard a flock of common and arctic terns on the skerries. Though these may not be the birds that attempt to nest here this year, it’s the start of a very interesting few months at Craignure Golf Club.
We also just wanted to thank NWMCWC (North West Mull Community Woodland Company) for providing our shelter with woodchips to protect us from the mud, thanks!
Mull and Iona Community Trust Ranger