Monday, 11 June 2012

Mull Sea Eagles go green (and silver!)

Following our recent assessment for the Green Tourism Business Scheme (run by Visit Scotland), I'm delighted to say that we have been awarded a Silver award for the Eagle Hide. I'm told that it is not often for a Silver to be awarded at the first attempt so we are very proud.

Although we don't need to generate much electricity, our TV monitor and CCTV camera with all the attendant wiring are run from our bank of solar panels, and we have the option of a small wind turbine if we need any further power.

Over the last two weeks we have been visited by primary school children from all over the island and they have had a great time watching our rapidly growing chicks on the nest, learning the story of the White-tailed Sea Eagles and impressing us with their own knowledge of the eagles and other birds of prey on the island. Before going to the viewing hide the children built a life-size eagle nest out of branches, twigs and sprays of foliage collected from the forest.

Lochdon School sitting on the nest frame
Lochdon School sitting on
the nest frame before building

The children had great fun building the nest and all were surprised at the size of nest needed for the adult Sea Eagles and their rapidly growing offspring. Iona and Fingal's nest is about 2m across by 0.75m deep, and is extended every year the birds use it. By the time the children got to see the eagles through our telescopes they had realised just how much work the adult birds had to do before they could lay their precious eggs.
The hide continues to be as busy as ever, and our two chicks are now five weeks old. Both are doing well, and I hope to have more news of them when they have been ringed.

Ulva Ferry School with their finished nes
Ulva Ferry School with
their finished nes
 In the meantime, if you are planning a visit to the hide please book as far ahead as possible as most of our trips are filling up very quickly, and we don't want anyone to be disappointed.

Stop Press: We have been told that the footage taken by Iolo Williams at our hide will appear on the BBC Springwatch programme on Monday 11th June (or possibly later that week).

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