Monday, 29 April 2013

Visitors from far and wide, come to visit the Eagle Hide!

Easter week came and went bringing with it many visitors to The Eagle Hide. During this time, Fingal and Iona have been keeping their eggs incubated and whilst doing so, have witnessed a number of visitors to their tree! These brave birds have included a Great Spotted Woodpecker which flew in and landed right on the top of the tree, a Hoodie on a fleeting visit and then last Friday, a Siskin even perched right on the edge of the nest. Our eagles were very tolerant and just sat there, appearing to admire the incomer.

The week after Easter we had visit from a lovely family from Conneticut in the USA. Their parents had lived on the Isle of Mull, Mark and Fiona Eden-Bushell, whose daughters were former pupils at Bunessan School.

U.S visitors to the Mull Eagle Hide
Our U.S visitors with Mull roots
  One of the daughters was named after the island of Iona and was with Marie, Jason and Calum. The other family members were Lucetta, Angus, Maggie and Grant.

They brought with them good weather on the day of their visit and it was lovely to see young people thoroughly enjoying their roots and heritage. Thank you for visiting us at the Hide and I hope I got all of the names correct!

The following week brought in plenty of rain and wind. I was a little worried about Iona on the nest but she sat right through the hard weather, determined to keeping those eggs protected and warm.
We had yet more great people at the Hide despite the conditions and Stu Darby was very helpful, sending me some lovely photos of the ‘changeover’ during the week of 15th April.

The changeover. Image by Stu Darby
The changeover. Image by Stu Darby
 This was when Fingal flew in and the pair did some very careful manoeuvring around the nest with their talons turned in so as not to damage the eggs. This is always a very delicate operation and just amazing to watch.

During the week of the 22nd April some agricultural students, a group of Scottish Forest Rangers and Laurie Campbell, a Wildlife Photographer, visited us. It was a delight to meet all these wonderful people and to exchange wildlife tips, information, experiences and stories. The agricultural students were particularly complimentary about the Eagle Hide and staff.  

Iona and Fingal at the nest.
Iona and Fingal at the nest.
Image by agricultural student Claire Holland
 I was privileged again to see another changeover whilst on my own on Thursday and just before the group in the afternoon arrived.

On Friday a young couple, on holiday from Northern Ireland returned for their second visit of their stay and were lucky enough to share their morning with Laurie Campbell. He was there specifically to photograph the Eagles and the people visiting, for an article he had been commissioned to do in relation to Camper vans. What an honour to have him in the Hide.

I got plenty of tips about wildlife photography and he proved to be a very caring, sharing person who was clearly a consummate professional.
His patience and determination were second to none and both John and I left him on site mid afternoon on a cold grey day, sitting tight and prepared to wait for his shot until early evening. The Eagles had changed over with the male hunkered down and as I made my way back to the office, I saw the female flying out over the woods.

What will the week of 29th April bring? If you are coming to the Isle of Mull please come and find us.

Call us on 01680 812556 to avoid disappointment. We look forward to seeing you!

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