First of all, major apologies for the delay. Debby and I are flat out at the moment with monitoring the eagle nests on Mull and trips are also running daily at the hide. There never seems to be a spare moment. I suppose too, if I'm honest,  I've been putting off having to write this news. How can I put this? Things are not going according to plan for Frisa and Skye - or us.

Despite a good, normal incubation and all the right signs in the run up to the magical Day 38 and the hatch, something looks like it went wrong for Frisa and Skye very soon after. There was the expected fidgeting and restlessness; the looking into the nest cup and even on Sunday afternoon, signs of a likely attempted feed. Sunday night was horrible here with gales, sleet, snow, rain and very low temperatures. By Monday morning, despite an early hopeful sign, there have been no observed feeds since. We now strongly suspect the first tiny eaglet which would have been small enough to rest in the palm of your hand, succumbed to the rigours of the hatch and perhaps the wintry conditions. The hatch is probably the toughest test in the life of an eagle. It can take up to 48 hours for the eaglet to break free and in this case it may all have proved too much. That, for now, is the theory and the bad news. But there is good news too - or at least some more hopeful news.

Since Monday, Frisa and Skye have resumed incubating their second precious egg. It might not hatch for another day or so so we are still just about in the time frame for egg number two to hatch successfully. We can only watch, wait and pray that they succeed after all this effort. We will of course let you know the outcome, either way, but please bear with us. We're possibly more stressed and exhausted than Frisa and Skye are at the moment. For them, it's a loss they can't really comprehend and they still have work to do - an egg to try to hatch. Where there's life, there's hope.

Dave Sexton

RSPB Scotland Mull Officer

 

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