That title relates to our Half Pint and his/her sibling! We had a beautiful afternoon on Mull today - lovely blue skies, sunshine, bit of a breeze - perfect fledging weather I thought! As I made my way to get a good view of the nest, I was half expecting to just see one dark brown chick sat on the edge of the nest - but oh no - two beautiful sea eagle chicks, sat in the sunshine, looking as chilled as they could be. They looked far too comfortable to consider fledging. As I was admiring the chicks, I received a text message from Dave "Think of me going to a birthday disco for 7 yr olds" (What a picture that conjures up!) - I did chuckle as I sent one back saying "think of me watching eagles all afternoon in the sunshine" - I think he is missing the birds! Well those two look like they are going to have to be evicted - hopefully Mum and Dad will start bringing back food but not delivering it direct to the nest, but trying to encourage them out. They will be 13 weeks old this week so are ready and able. I will pop down later in the week to check progress - watch this space!
Earlier this morning, I had to pop up to Loch Frisa to take some stuff up to the Hide - it was drizzly first thing so didnt expect to see any of the Frisa family - I stopped along the track to the Hide above the Loch where you get an all round view of the Glen - I glanced along the usual spots and was surprised to catch the outline of one of our birds. I ran (not something I do very often) back to the van to grab the scope, by the time I had it set up, the bird was up and flying - that familiar huge wingspan, dark chocolate brown - it was Heather! Fantastic - she did a great flying display before disappearing out of sight. I went down to the Hide and had a fright when I saw someone sat on our eagle bench. The Hide is now open Monday to Fridays so I wasnt expecting to see anyone. It was a gentleman who had been on our trip Friday afternoon but sadly the weather was awful and the birds were hiding. He had walked down the track (2 miles) in the rain to see if he could catch sight of one of these birds. "I dont believe they exist" he said jokingly. I told him I had just seen our chick flying but he had been looking in completely the wrong direction. I grabbed a scope from the hide and within 2 minutes, Frisa came flying across the Loch. Luckily the gentleman was looking in the right direction this time! She did a lovely fly round then landed in one of her favourite roosts. A couple of minutes later, in came Heather, following the same flight path - Frisa took off and Heather landed on the same branch she had been sitting. It was as if Frisa was showing Heather a good branch to land on! Needless to say, the gentleman was over the moon as he returns home tomorrow! If it was possible to hug those birds - I would. To see the joy on his face (and mine too for that matter) was priceless.
After checking Half Pint this afternoon, I went on a drive round the Island, checking some of the other birds and had a beautiful encounter with an adult Golden Eagle and a juvenile. As I stood there watching them soaring in a blue sky, I thought of Alma - how she must have enjoyed similar flights but sadly now, no more. Such a senseless waste of a truly majestic and beautiful bird. Can I take this opportunity to say thank you to you all in your efforts to stamp out poisoning - from signing the pledge to writing to MP's - let's hope Alma hasnt died in vain.
Debby Thorne - White Tailed Eagle Information Officer, Isle of Mull
Bit late but bingo full house so to speak,brilliant
Best blog so far Mex sure everyone who likes wild life agrees.Sweep says very sensible person,I am sure you will decipher that but please keep that to yourself but just because I think it is a really good comment please don't think any clique or triumvirate around.Getting out of my depth with triumvirate but something like that anyway,sure you know what I mean.
Neil NI - fantastic news for Ireland about both chicks making it! Let's hope the now-Irish sea eagle returns from its holidays! It was wonderful to track its itinerary and to see it had crossed to Isbister on South Ronaldsay, the prehistoric Tomb of the (Sea) Eagles. Let's hope it stays away from the estate in Sutherland where the buzzard was poisoned a week or two ago. Shocking though, concerning the Golden Eagle in Eire poisoned with Paraquat, that the Golden Eagle Trust has had to "ask all landowners, in the vicinity of the poisoned eagle and the newly established pair not to leave out poisoned meat this winter/spring... and please, please consider alternative methods of controlling foxes and crows. If one uses poison legally you are obliged to erect poisoning notices, inform the Gardai in writing..." etc. How shocking is it, that it is legal in this day and age to poison wildife as long as you put up notices (that eagles etc can't read)?
Sooty - you could say that but young eagles seem to get around a bit more. Obviously not all have left Ireland and those that have may return just like Breagha returns to Mull after her adventures. Scottish raptors frequently visit Ireland too and maybe now that we have small populations established some might hang around.
Went up to check on Half Pint and Sibling - bit like looking for a needle in a haystack - took my daughter with me as an extra pair of eyes (and younger ones too!) as we got out of the van, we felt spots - the sky was black but we decided to keep going! oh dear - the heavens absolutely opened - two drowned rats doesnt even begin to describe how wet we were! I had Dave's scope with me too - just hope it recovers before he returns! Needless to say, we saw nothing except three inquisitive seals. Just to rub salt into the wound, as we got home, the sun came out. Will have another go later in the week when the weather is due to improve. Off on a Seawatch walk tomorrow - hope we have some good weather for bird and mammal spotting!
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