I like mine with a pair of eagles!!
As Dave mentioned in his last blog, Skye and Frisa have decided on this year's nest and are now well into the routine of incubation. Both adults take turns in sitting on eggs, although Frisa will tend to do a bit more. It's fascinating watching their behaviour. They are incredibly careful when they perform their changeover of duty. The incoming bird will land on the edge of the nest, wait for the bird that has been incubating to gently ease itself backwards off the egg before the incoming bird then settles down. The outgoing bird will then tend to fly to a favourite roost tree and have a good old preen usually followed by some well earned flying time. We have had some incredible spring like weather the last few days and the birds have been taking advantage of the thermals going to some incredible heights.
For those of you who follow the Estonian eagles, you will know that the female laid her first egg today! If you go to the website and look at page 37 on the forum, there is a short video of her laying that first egg. Incredibly, she makes a gentle chirrup-like sound as she lays - something we were unaware of before. It really is a great webcam and I would encourage you to check it out - here is the link. Estonian Webcam
Incubation lasts for around 38 days and of course we will keep you updated with developments.
Estonian female with her 1st egg
photo courtesty Looduskalender website
Bit of housework needed on this nest photo taken couple of weeks ago, thankfully now
thawed! photo courtesy Looduskalender website
One day last week I had a very pleasant encounter on the way to carrying out a shift for Mull Eagle Watch (the 24 hour watch on our eagle nests) - as I turned a corner heading up to the loch, I was met by the familiar profile of a sea eagle gently coasting along and seeming in no hurry to go anywhere. On closer inspection, I could see this was a very young eagle, no sign of white on the tail or paleness of head but a lovely dark chocolately brown. My instinct was to say "Heather" ! Obviously without being able to read her leg ring I cannot know for sure but this bird was huge (like lots of birds of prey, the female is larger than the male) and she certainly looked at home over Loch Frisa and just seemed to linger longer than other visiting youngsters.
Today our visitors to the hide had some other spectacular views. The first sighting this year of our red-throated divers and their rarer cousins the black throated divers all back on the loch. We have also seen our male and female hen harrier along with the familiar sight of the kestrel hovering over the craggy cliff tops. On top of that, a goshawk appeared which is a real rarity on Mull. Our pair of pied wagtails also made a welcome return today, busy collecting material for their nest. It won't be long before the sand martins and swallows arrive - spring really is here (for the moment).
Male siskin at Loch Frisa
photo Debby Thorne
Dont forget, if you are coming to Mull, come and see Skye and Frisa and who knows what else you might encounter. Mull Eagle Watch
If you are planning a visit to the Island, Mull and Iona Wild Isles week takes place between 8th and 14th May. Lots of events are planned and once detail are finalised we will publish a link to the website.
White Tailed Eagle Information Officer, Mull
All sounds lovely and exciting! Will defo be up to the hide over Easter, can you please tell me the best day to see the eagles? :-D ... I am only joking, it is what some tourist places get asked, what will the weather be like etc, what day will the eagle come and play.
Hope to see you very soon.
Thanks Debby what a lovely picture you paint with your words I can almost see it all. Glad everything is going well on Mull. I have been watching the Estonian Eagle Cam but haven't been on for a couple of days. I will go and check it out now. Thanks for the photos too!
Hi Debbie and Dave, just to say thanks for the updates, I'm sure there are many people out there who, like me, are regular readers but don't comment too often. How lovely to know that the cycle has begun again, i'm keeping my fingers crossed for Venus too.
Thank you Debby for the informative blog and great pictures. I AM visiting Mull between 8 and 14 of May and really look forward to meeting you in person (my friend and I are staying in accommodation you let out) and look forward to the link you'll provide about the events taking place.
You don't mention which end of Loch Frisa the Eagles have chosen this year - any chance you could mention that in the next blog please?
I was also wondering like Cirrus about whether the nest is near last years and whether the hide is in the correct place. I know it is difficult to give out too much information as there are always those people who want to break the law regarding eggs.
I also wanted to ask whether from your smaller hide if during incubation time there are volunteers on night duty like Loch Garten but understand you may not be able to answer this as well.
I am so excited that eggs have been laid and hope that you successfully fledge two healthy chicks this year. Love watching the webcam on the bald eagels two eaglets in the Blackwater refuge in Maryland, fantastic pictures.
Are you going to consider having a webcam installed to watch our british eagels one year? Sorry so many questions but it all gets exciting now. Counting the days for EJ to return the Loch Garten as well.
Hi all. We are being ultra cautious at the moment while they settle into a routine and for now the hide will stay in the 2009 position until we feel it's safe to move. That may well be after Easter. Hope everyone understands that the need of the birds are paramount and we can't take any risks. The views from the hide are still excellent and there is often the off duty bird visible on the favourite loch-side tree and frequently flying over the hide. It's a good excuse for two visits this year! Pre and post hide moves.
We are always looking at webcam opportunities but a lack of a reliable power supply in this remote location and the cost of satellite broadband installation are beyond us at the moment. For now, enjoy Estonia and imagine it's Mull.
Thanks to everyone for their support.
Thank you for your reply Dave. Look forward to hearing later on where the hide is going to be re positioned.
Maybe in the future you will be able to have electricity or a generator and be successful in funding and donations like Loch Garten has now been. I would gladly contribute.
Fingers crossed for all the eagels on nests in Mull.
Have a photo my husband took outside the hide looking up the Loch in early August last year, he has put it on as one of my screensaves along with EJ the osprey in a tree and the younger chick standing up on the nest at Loch Lowes. I just love looking to see which picture comes up each time I turn the computer on and it gives me fond memories of last years Scottish holiday. we hope to come up again this summer.
Is the track along Loch Frisa from the Dervaig Roag entrance open for access? Just know some paths or passing places are closed whilst eagle nest.
Heather - access is from the Aros/Salen end to the hide - there is no vehicular access from the north end as there is a locked gate. Assume you are coming to the hide on one of the trips - the meeting point is 1/4 mile off the main Tobermory to Salen Road - it is well signposted - hope that helps
Thanks Debby, meant for bike and walking access. Yep will be coming to the hide. And hope to see you then :)
Debby thanks for the very descriptive blog as usual. Makes me wish I was there. Good to know Frisa and Skye are doing what comes naturally to them and hoping for a successful outcome for you. Good to know that Spring has at long last arrived for you after the long cold winter.
hi all, great news that all's well on mull, and hope there's alot more activity around the island. did'nt realise how close easter was, so im gona have to give this easter trip a miss and be better aranged for may. hope you have good weather over the easter so all visitors get to see the birds in flight.
Debby, sorry, I read this and thought I had commented but hadn't.
Wonderful news, thanks so much and hope the incubation is uneventful:)
So glad to hear everything is going well on Mull. Here in Finland Sea Eagles have made few visits in Nauvo osprey nest (osps not back yet) that eagle pair even mated there the other day (got some fine pics). If someone is interested, there is also a nest cam in Golden Eagles nest in northern Finland. Not streaming but the cam activates when temp is above -0C
Hi Debby and Dave good to know everything going well at the moment,no doubt some drama to come,would like to wish all the Eagle Watch team a successful year and our thanks for all their hard work which those of us who visit during the year get huge benefits from increasing Eagle numbers.What a huge job it must be organising it all.