• Waiting in the wings

    I've seen that look before and it worries me. At Loch Frisa today as the hail, sleet and snow storms raced through, I found a stranger lurking in the woods. I've seen her before. She's doing the rounds. Last time I saw her at Loch na Keal eyeing up the territory there. Then she moved north and then back south to Loch Frisa. She was there a month ago but I didn't particularly think anything of it. But today…

    • 29 Nov 2008
  • Sat tag update

    Just a little more detail on the latest data from Mara and Breagha. On the 16th November, Breagha was on the south side of Loch Buie in the south of Mull at 1005. Her brother Mara was just north of Salen on Mull's east coast two days later on the 18th at 0648 so he had probably roosted nearby - and not a million miles from his old nest site at Loch Frisa.

    The sat tags are now on their winter timings which means, I…

    • 24 Nov 2008
  • ...ford every stream!

    I didn't just retrace my steps in the mud. I pretty much jogged as fast as my exhausted legs and aching body could manage. Admittedly that probably wasn't very fast but it felt like a Herculean effort to me at nearly 6 o'clock in the evening.

    I arrived back at where I'd started; checked the phone message and grid reference again, set up the 'scope and aimed it at the point my informant had told me he'd seen…

    • 18 Nov 2008
  • Climb every mountain

    There are some days which put you on top of the world and for me, one day earlier this year was one of them. There is a pair of sea eagles on the Scottish mainland which is just so elusive you wouldn't think they had eight or nine foot wingspans! I mean how could anyone miss them? And yet, year after year, they have proved very difficult to track down.

    They have now had three or more different nest sites, all many miles…

    • 17 Nov 2008
  • White G - RIP

    For a brief update on recent developments please see the Comments under this blog. For now, for various reasons it's important that this story stays here as the main posting. A new blog will be coming in the next few days but meanwhile any news will be under Comments. 

    After the unfolding events of this week, there could only really be one subject for the blog at the moment For details of the case of White G, please see…

    • 11 Nov 2008
  • Silence is golden


    In The Guardian newspaper today, Monday 10 November, there is an article relating to an ongoing police enquiry after a young sea eagle hatched on Mull in 2007 was found dead on an estate in Angus.

    The eagle (a male, wing tagged 'White G' from Scottish Territory no. 29) had died from eating an illegal poisoned bait.

    Whilst this is not one of Frisa and Skye's chicks or one of the two satellite tagged eagles…

    • 9 Nov 2008
  • Sunshine in the rain

    A warm welcome to any new visitors to this Blog who have just dipped their toe in after watching 'Autumnwatch' this week. Tonight's your first night without Bill, Kate, Simon and Gordon! How will you cope? Well hopefully you'll enjoy catching up with our wonderful white-tailed sea eagles here on the Isle of Mull and perhaps have a glance back through some of the archive Blogs from the last few months to get an idea of…

    • 8 Nov 2008
  • A worrying time

    I got the call from Strathclyde Police this morning at 1100. A local lady driving near Tobermory was sure she had just seen a sea eagle by the side of the road - the main road into the town. She thought it was struggling to take off. I wasn't too far away so quickly made my way to the scene. When I had passed this spot an hour or so earlier I was surprised to see several ravens hanging around by the road. I assumed some…

    • 7 Nov 2008
  • The story behind the cliffhanger

    Earlier on 'Autumnwatch', we saw Mara make his maiden flight and Breagha wasn't too far behind, both unaffected by their satellite tags. Both are now doing well as you can see from the current map. But that time of joy at seeing the two chicks in the air was short-lived. As you can now see on the full unedited version of Wednesday's Mull Eagle Diary on the BBC 'Autumnwatch' website (click on 'Meet the Animals…

    • 6 Nov 2008
  • Young hearts, fly free

    When the dawns are as bright and autumnal as we've been having this week, there's really no argument about the plan for the day. A quick breakfast, make a packed lunch, a flask of coffee, into the landrover and away into the glens. At this time of year, just when some people think life is slowing up on the islands, we're actually full on trying to establish which pairs of sea eagles are where, what has happened to this…

    • 5 Nov 2008
  • Peace and tranquility...restored

    As we'll see tonight on 'Autumnwatch', the process of fitting the satellite tags can be a stressful one for all concerned. We were very fortunate this year to have Justin Grant, who is very experienced and careful with handling young sea eagles in the nest whilst on the ground Roy Dennis was waiting to fit the tags. He is one of the few people in the UK able to do this and has decades of experience of handling…

    • 4 Nov 2008
  • Stress city

    We had already postponed the fitting of the satellite tags to the two sea eagle chicks at Loch Frisa at least twice. The weather just wasn't good enough. We needed dry, settled conditions. You wouldn't think that was too much to ask in June but the perfect day remained elusive. Not only that, but I was also trying to coordinate the date with our expert tree climber Justin Grant, our world renowned bird of prey specialist…

    • 3 Nov 2008
  • Home of the Haggis

    Following in the wingbeats of Itchy and Scratchy (the Springwatch stars of 2005) was never going to be easy. The following year, Frisa and Skye produced two more healthy, bouncing twins. They were named by the children of Lochdon Primary School during one of their visits to the eagle hide. The chicks already had their wing tags on: yellow was the colour for 2006 and the letters were H for one male chick and O for his brother…

    • 2 Nov 2008