• The bold and the beautiful

    I'm relieved to report that the chick (whichever one it was) was seen back feeding on the red deer carcase after the clash with the golden eagle and the golden eagle flew off unharmed. So 1:0 to Mara/Breagha!  We still have no new satellite data so the ID remains unsolved at this time. It's not that unusual for there to be brief battles between eagles of the same or different species at something as prized as a carcase…

    • 1 Nov 2008
  • A chick meets its match

    The office phone rang late today. An excited, breathless Ricky Clark, from the excellent Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre on the stunning mainland peninsula just to the north of Mull, was on the 'phone. He'd just reviewed the footage recorded earlier in the day from their remote cctv cameras placed near a golden eagle feeding area. They beam back amazing live pictures to the centre for visitors to watch without…

    • 31 Oct 2008
  • Empty nesters

    I couldn't stay couped up in the somewhat compact RSPB Mull Office any longer! I'd done the reports and data entry I'd needed to, the weather had eased (was that the sun out there today?) and so I made a bid for freedom. By now it was late afternoon and I wanted to see if Mara or Breagha might come into roost at Loch Frisa after their trips away.

    Indeed the sun did briefly emerge, casting an autumnal golden 

    • 30 Oct 2008
  • Er, they're back!

    OK, so our sea eagle chicks are not exactly likely to be migrating to Senegal to see Nethy anytime soon (but I'm sure they could if they wanted to!)  Mara and Breagha have come home - they just couldn't stay away too long. Yesterday afternoon, Mara was just north of Ardnacross just to the north of where I'm sitting writing this, riding out the winter hail and sleet squalls. He must have hopped back across the Sound…

    • 28 Oct 2008
  • Breaking News...Breaking News...

    Mara is on his way! The latest satellite tag data from Mara, the young male sea eagle from Loch Frisa on Mull, shows he too has now taken a major step in his life and has left Mull. The data shows he is on Morvern on the Scottish Mainland. Meanwhile, his sister Breagha remains in the same general area of the Argyllshire mainland as previously reported. They have both now gone their own separate ways as they begin their autumnal…

    • 27 Oct 2008
  • Flying into a storm

    The eaglets are never far from my thoughts. It's not that you can do much, if anything, about the challenges they will face now they are well and truly on the move. It's just that you worry about them and that's not going to change. Day by day, week by week they are exploring more of this wonderful part of western Scotland. It's what they should be doing of course. It's what we want them to do. But with every new flight…

    • 27 Oct 2008
  • Breagha makes the hop to the mainland

    While Dave is on holiday, here is a short update on the eagle chicks from the RSPB Data Unit. We’re the people who process the satellite data from the eagles (with the help of Roy Dennis) and assist Dave with updating the map on the web site.

    The first piece of exciting news to report is that Breagha is the first of our two youngsters to make the hop from Mull to the mainland! The latest data we have shows that…

    • 23 Oct 2008
  • Mara on the move

    As ever, it was a report from one of the farmers here yesterday which alerted me to some exciting developments. Many of the farmers help me so much in my field work and monitoring and they also do their bit to protect the eagles and help make Mull the wildlife haven it is. This call came from a farmer on the far south-west tip of Mull, down on 'the Ross'. He wasn't entirely sure what he'd just witnessed but he knew it…

    • 7 Oct 2008
  • From Mull to the Mara - big birds to big cats!

    Some of you may have watched the first 'Big Cat Live!' tonight. Some seem to be a little confused - to say the least! Well, sadly no, I didn't just make a 24 hour dash to the Masai Mara to join the Big Cat team but that didn't stop me re-living a trip to remember from when I was lucky enough to join them for a month as a 'spotter' on the leopard team. It was for my RSPB sabbatical which is a four week study break we're…

    • 6 Oct 2008
  • There can be miracles - concludes

    I checked now and again on the pair during their 38 day incubation. Every time I crept carefully through the dense trees to my hideout, I always expected to find an empty nest with both adults soaring high above or perched together nearby indicating their usual failure. But every time, I could still make out that familiar sandy-coloured head of a sitting bird on the nest. I had to be so careful and quiet, any snap of a…

    • 4 Oct 2008
  • There can be miracles

    For some white-tailed eagles, like Frisa and Skye, things seem to come naturally to them. They are a highly productive pair and take everything in their stride. But for some other pairs, nothing ever seems to go right for them.

    The mature birds which occupy Territory 19 on Mull are just such a case. They are a similar age to Frisa and Skye but try as they might, year after year, they never quite manage to raise a chick…

    • 4 Oct 2008
  • An itch that needed scratching

    Despite the great news that Scratchy was alive and well and teasing sheep dogs with fish bones in Roybridge, it had been a very long time since we'd heard any news of his brother, Itchy. In fact the last confirmed record I'd had was from one of our wildlife tour operators here on Mull. He was seen down near Loch Spelve, looking fine but that had been nearly 18 months ago. Where was he now?

    One late winter's 

    • 3 Oct 2008
  • Itchy and Scratchy - legends in their own lifetime

    I know many of you are thinking of the loss of Deshar tonight, as are we all, but as has been said, it's also time to think of the many positive things that have come out of this summer. It's time to concentrate our thoughts on Nethy, Mara and Breagha and to realise what an amazing, dangerous, wonderful and beautiful natural world we have around us. We are all focussing in on a tiny handful of very special birds - but…

    • 2 Oct 2008