Monday, 9 July 2012

Road washed away on Mull - but all's well at the nest

Well, after being away on annual leave, I returned to the eagle hide to find two enormous chicks sitting on the nest.  The largest of the two is much more active and has the visitors on tenterhooks as it leaps around flapping its enormous wings.  It obviously hasn't read the rule books as it keeps forgetting to hold onto the nest whilst it flaps, and at one point it actually took off and landed on the branch above the nest.  We watched, horrified, to see what would happen as it teetered on its perch trying to work out how to get back down.  Eventually it did a belly flop and landed on its sibling who was not amused.  A brief squabble ensued but in the end the smaller bird took itself off to the far side of the nest to avoid being trampled again! 

At between nine and ten weeks old the chicks have two or three weeks before they are due to fledge, but it looks as if our larger bird will go first.  We're still waiting to hear what sex the chicks are as they had DNA swabs taken when they were ringed, but more and more it seems that we have a male and a female.  When Fingal (our adult male) flies in this large chick appears taller so is more likely to be female.

Mull suffered a very dramatic freak storm at the end of last week - a huge thunderstorm with torrential rain which lasted less than an hour.  The centre of the storm was around the Ben More area, and when the rain stopped the devastation became apparent.  A large mudslide and a huge landslip where the rocks followed two paths either side of a house, as well as two bridges and a section of road completely swept away.

If you have already booked on one of our trips, or are planning to do so, please check with our booking office before travelling as you will probably need to take the A849 through Glen More and turn right onto the B8035 at the Kinloch turn.  It is likely to be a few weeks before the road is rebuilt. 

Fortunately the storm had no effect on our eagles' nest and when I arrived to check them the following day they didn't even show any signs of being wet, and thank goodness the nest was 100% intact.

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