Monday, 29 July 2013

The chick has fledged...

Last Saturday morning the chick fledged from the nest, and there have been reported sightings of it on top of the tree and it’s been heard calling in the local fields and woodlands.

John the RSPB ranger heard it on Monday and Tuesday. Today we heard the chick on our morning trip but did not hear it or see it on the afternoon trip…

Iona has been seen on the nest tree on Monday of this week.

We are still open but we have changed how we do things by walking out and looking for the birds but sticking to the footpaths. We are still giving the talks about the WTE and showing some of the pictures from this season, if you want to join us we travel out at 10am and 1pm the tours are about 2 hours long.

Please remember to book, and call ahead for opening times. We are not open this Friday 2nd August or Thursday 8th August due to the local shows that are on. We will have a stand at both shows Bunessan and Salen so do pop in and see us.

This was the last picture I took of the chick on Friday 26th July 2013, enjoy ….

Written by the Mull Ranger

Monday, 22 July 2013

Our chick is desperate to get up in the air!

We have had a mixed week of weather from sunshine to mist to rain and the chick has sat through all of this and at the same time wings flapping like mad !

During this week there has been a very International flavour at the hide with visitors from Wisconsin USA, Australia and families from from Austria & Germany.

Our male bird Fingal has been around a lot more this week flying in with food at regular intervals. Many small gosling have been eaten and often the nest if covered with white fluff and feathers! When Fingal lands on the nest, its like a hover craft coming in and blowing all the feathers up in the air, a sight to behold!

Iona watches over her chick at the nest
Iona watches over her chick at the nest

Iona has been sitting on the branch very close to the chick, to the right as you look at the nest. On Thursday, she sat there for five hours without flying off!

The hide will be open all summer until the end of August as the chick will stay in the area and they often come back on the nest for about a month, so please still come and see us.

Once the chick has fledged we will walk you through the Glen to observe all three birds.
Booking is a must and can be done by calling 01680 812556 or visit for more info.

Blog published by Colin Baxter on behalf of Cheryl Callow, Mull Ranger

Monday, 15 July 2013

Glorious weather on Mull - great for eagle viewing trips!

Parents and chick all at the nest together
Parents and chick all at the nest together
I returned from a few days off to find the chick nearly fully grown. It is very big  and beautiful.

There is much wing flapping and many poo’s over the side of the nest! John and I have gasped many times when she does this and we think we should have safety around the top of the nest next year!

In the early part of the week all three birds were on the nest, a rare sight.

We have had some wonderful guest to the hide including wild life.I was helping an elderly couple view the Eagles near the hide with their daughter when a dragon fly came down and landed on my brand new van.

The colour of it against my very clean van stood out. It was a golden moment we both stood still and took pictures and marvelled at nature and its beauty.

The weather has been excellent with wall to wall sunshine, but in the morning we have been having a sea mist. The same day I was at the hide with the elderly couple and the dragon fly, I had to go off for five minutes to check some mist/smoke that was rolling in. It was sea mist and when I drove down the drive away from the hide it had  dropped 6 degrees in temperature.

The next day we had a group of gentlemen from Israel visit us. Also in the group were Lyn and her mum Dorothy. During this visit, a parent bird came in with a large object. Dorothy asked to see the back play on one of the Isreali gentlemen's cameras and we all saw it was a large fish they had brought into the nest which the chick eat straight away…. Great shot, great timing .. thank you Dorothy for asking ……

It was a small group that day, but plenty of questions were asked, whilst there was lots of camera activity, which was so fast it sounded like ticker tape off the old teleprinter machines , if you remember them !!!

I met Lyn and her mum again yesterday on my ranger walk at Calgary where I had 22 people. It was a stunning day of weather and we had great fun.
Well I must go to the hide. John is off today and I am on my own so I will have some private moments with the chick on the nest to cherish. What a privileged job I have helping the public see this rare bird , speak soon……

If you have not visited us yet, or your back on the Island do come and see us, we run trips at 10am or 1pm. If you are passing at these times and you have not booked, just check with us at the lower car park.

To book please phone 01680812556. Just to note, we are at the South of the Island at Glen Seilisdeir and not at Loch Frisa as in year's previous.

Blog published by Colin Baxter on behalf of Mull Ranger Cheryl Callow.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Back to work to find our chick almost full size!

Mull eagle chick at almost 10 weeks
Friday’s chick is now in it's 10th week of life as I return to work after a few days off to catch up with Mull life.

This week I have returned to find that the chick has grown even more and looks full size!

We are still waiting to find out what gender the chick is and hope to hear soon.

The weather this week is outstanding, so hot with bright sunshine.

As I came to work this morning, there was a wonderful mist over the Glen from Dervaig. It was stunning, a landscape photographer's dream.

If you are visiting the island in the next month please do visit the hide.

Book now or if you are passing the south of the island do pop in and ask…..
The trips go at 10am in the morning and the next tour is at 1pm to make sure people coming over on the ferries for day trips can link in. It’s a guided walk of two hours. Call on 01680 812556 or pop in to the Visitor’s centre at Craignure as you get off the ferry and book your place!

Blog published by Colin Baxter on behalf of Mull Ranger Cheryl Callow

Friday, 5 July 2013

Our chick is nine weeks old today!

The chick is nine weeks today and is growing very fast.
It’s been amazing to watch the female Iona, who has been bringing in afterbirth from seals.
I have now seen this three times, it’s been a bit messy and Iona’s tail has been blood red instead of white!
The chick has been eating it very much like a piece of elastic at times, pulling up on stringy pieces of flesh like material.

I spent a private half hour on Friday on my own at the end last week, watching this wonderful sight. The feathers of the chick were drying out, after a morning of rain, and then sea mist. The feathers were just fluttering, in the slight breeze, so delicate to watch.

Our growing chick flapping
Our growing chick flapping
it's wings

The sharp beak is working well, and the chick is feeding itself. I realised that I have become very fond and very attached to this wonderful chick. What an honour it is to be able to watch this beautiful bird grow up.
My heart is in my mouth every time it flaps it's wings, building up its strength. It tends to move to the back of the nest and very close to the edge, if it was to fall out now it may not survive and could spell disaster!

I have got to say the groups that have been in the last week have seen some great views of the wings flapping. I am keeping my wings crossed that when I return from my holiday the wee young bird I have given the name 'Friday’s Chick’ will be safe and well. The chick will be named formally soon by a local school.
We are still waiting to hear what gender it is.

I thank every one who has visited us so far this season and thank you for all your emails, blog comments and trip advisor entries.

Please keep coming to see this wonderful chick and parents. John Clare ,the RSPB Ranger will be there ready for you. He likes chocolate and do laugh at his beak joke!
Bye for now Cheryl back on Monday 8th July 2013.
To book now please phone on 01680 812556

Blog published by Colin Baxter on behalf of Mull Ranger Cheryl Callow