Monday, 26 August 2013

Fungi and forestry

Last week was a very busy week for me. The hide walks continue out to Loch Scridain and we often see the birds out the back, either on the mountains or in their favourite trees.

This recent photo shows Iona in the tree overlooking the Loch in the rain. I have often seen her back at the nest site in the tree there especially when it’s raining hard. August has seen rain most days, and it’s felt more like April.

I have noticed also there has been so much fungi around in the woods - some lovely macro photography to be had if you are keen on nature, like I am.

On Thursday we had a visit from the Forestry Commission and their senior managers who were looking at our hide and site to see in what way we could improve the signage and experience.
A lot was discussed, all for the better and I was very pleased to meet Louise who helps me with this blog!

On Friday, although it was very wet, I had a great day we saw the birds all day and the group of people that came were great fun and lovely people.
I love meeting all those who come from all over the world to this hide it such a great place to work.
Last week I also did a ranger event called Fun with Doggies which went very well in the local woods. Part of my job as a ranger is that I have to do about 15 events through the summer on other subjects and in the north part of the island.

Next week is my last day at the hide. My contract ends then, and John Clare from the RSPB will be about for another three weeks.

If you want to visit the hide please make sure you book as some days we are not open all the time so I do not want you to have wasted journey, call us on 01680 812556.

Until next time, have a good week. I am off for a photography ranger walk this afternoon…

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A busy week on Mull

This week we have seen Iona a couple of times up on the hill, but we have had a lot of rain over the last ten days. It has become harder spotting the birds, but they are about and some days we have some great views - just like the picture below with Fingal sitting in a tree.

 Today I am off doing a bird of prey walk down at Loch Frisa at the old hide to see what we can find with about 14 people, should be good fun and interesting. The naming of the juvenile will now be on 5th September at Tobermory School and I am revisiting the class I met earlier in the year, really looking forward to it. John and I will spend the afternoon together today, writing up the final report for the steering group meeting at the end of the season. In my next entry I’ll be looking back reviewing the season and all the people who called in to see us at the eagle hide…until then keep safe!

Blog published by Louise Boyd on behalf of Cheryl Callow, Mull Ranger

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Juvenile is doing well

The day started with seeing Iona back on the nest and I had not seen her  for 10 days, so it was so good to see her again.

The juvenile bird has been seen many times this week flying about the side of the hill and mountain .

Today we saw the juvenile flying about, and it came out and roosted on a tree that was dead.

The bird was there until a buzzard flew over with its young juvenile bird. The buzzard has  also been out  practising this week flying and hunting over the local fields.

Today I was joined by the two Doreen's as my assistant rangers in my van, we followed the large group around just behind them.

The walk is along the track past the nest and out the other side over looking the Loch where the male bird Fingal hunts.

The two Doreen's were very lucky as they saw the birds in good views followed up by the golden eagle with its juvenile.

The larger group also saw eagles flying in the distance.

As we were standing on the track,  we noticed what look like a small vole but as I got up close you could see it was a shrew. I called John Clare the RSPB Ranger over and he told us it was a pigmy shrew - quite unusual, another golden moment for the groups.

I took the two Doreen's back to the reception hide, where I finished off the talk and tour with them.

When I got back I was greeted by Mark and his wife who had visited  the hide earlier in the year. He is a very keen photographer and is a judge on the Country File Calendar Competition, he’s a very generous man and always willing to share his pictures and photography knowledge. I stopped to have a chat with him about the eagles and wildlife on the island. I took them both back up the path near to the waterfall in case the birds were about, but sadly they had gone ...

If you are considering coming on the trips, remember you need to be able to walk about a mile out and a mile back to the reception hide over a two hour period. You also need to wear sturdy shoes and have a coat incase we get a shower or two.

Trips leave at 10am or 1pm each day, but we are not there on Thursday 8th August as we are both at the Salen show on Mull. 

Written by the Mull Ranger