Friday, 21 June 2013

A visit from Radio 4 as we witness our growing chick

Last Friday the chick was growing at such a fast rate that all of a sudden wings appeared and they started to flap! I managed to catch this on camera whilst Iona looked on. I was amazed by the length of wings and the fine skeletal vision through the scope.
The new chick flaps it's wings as Iona looks on
The new chick flaps it's wings as Iona looks on

The chick is now about 43 days old and being well fed by the parent birds. I have recently seen two shag brought to the nest with several other sea birds and fish . So far this season I have only seen two lambs in the nest.

After the ringing of the chick, the parent birds take it in turns to guard it, perching on a tree at close distance .

On Monday, we had a wonderful day with the children of Lochdonhead school coming to visit us, with the Head Teacher and three other members of staff . Some of the children and staff had not seen a White Tailed Eagle before.

Alongside this visit, we had Yvonne Slater visiting us from Radio 4 who was recording the event and the children's reactions to what they were seeing . We spent about an hour at the forest hide, enjoying the questions asked by the children, whilst John Clare and myself  gave them some interesting facts about the eagles, which the children enjoyed. The School staff were as excited as the children at what they saw and remarked on the size of this large chick with a white fluffy crown and a large beak.

When we came out of the hide to head back along the track, one of the parent birds flew over with its majestic white tail and head.  I saw its under carriage come down ( my technical talk ), with the massive talons and land with ease on a tree behind the hide.

The children were excited and gather round making noises of enjoyment and laughter whilst the teachers took the binoculars and focused in quickly. The staff were taken a back with what they had seen and a resounding wow!! came from our group .

Radio 4's Yvonne Slater with RSPB Ranger John Clare
Radio 4's Yvonne Slater with RSPB Ranger John Clare
At this point I was looking at Yvonne who had the big grey fluffy radio microphone boom. This was now wobbling as she too got so excited. I spoke to her afterwards and you could see from her eyes the emotional connection to these special birds. One of the school staff , who has lived on Mull for many years, commented that they had never seen a White Tailed Eagle, and today they got their wish!
The radio programme goes out later in the year I let you know when it's on ...

Monday afternoon brought a large group of 31 people to the hide. They saw the chick sleep, then wake up to stretch its wings. The adult birds were out of sight although we could hear them calling.

New hide discovered on Mull
New hide discovered on Mull

The next day I was off on a Ranger walk north of the island where 14 very keen people joined me for a fantastic day.  During the trip, I found a new hide to watch the eagles and otters from ...

Back to the office today looking out at Ben More, John Clare and the wonderful chick , speak soon .....

To book a trip to The Eagle Hide please call in advance on 01680 812556

The blog is published by Colin Baxter on behalf of Mull Ranger Cheryl Callow

1 comment:

  1. Hello Cheryl

    We visited the Hide with you on 22nd May. Had a great morning and have been following your blog ever since. How the chick has grown in a month!
    The new hide you've found is on the Glengorm Estate and is part of their wildlife project. We also visited it whilst in Mull and spoke to the wildlife steward at Glengorm, Stephanie Cope, whose idea it was to have the hide built complete with wood burning stove! We think it's great.
    Best wishes to you and John


Please feel free to leave your comments on the blog. We've got a few house rules:
1. We (Forestry Commission Scotland) will review all comments and reserve the right to not publish them at our discretion.
2. There will be a time delay between submission and posting. Comments posted on a Saturday or Sunday won't be moderated until the following Monday.
3. Please make comments appropriate and relevant.
4. If you've a comment or question about Mull Sea Eagles you can e-mail as we might not be able to respond here.
5. We won't publish comments that are abusive, indecent, unlawful or defamatory; published comments may be removed at any time; and individuals are personally liable for the comments they submit.