Well - I cant believe how quickly the time has flown this year. It doesn't seem like 5 minutes that we were announcing Iona (our female) and Fingal (our male) were incubating and then the great news we had a hatching! Over the last 11 weeks we have watched their two chicks develop from 2 little white fluff balls into a pair of very healthy, almost full grown white-tailed eagles. And what stunning birds they are!
This week, they started taking those tentative steps to leaving the nest. One of the chicks has been doing some incredible wing flapping and bouncing on the nest. It's breathtaking to see them with the wings outstretched just itching to take off. They have also been edging out to the branches leading out from the nest. Fingal and Iona, in an effort to encourage them to leave, ease off on the food supply. The chicks do not fly straight away but instead hop down the branches eventually landing on the ground. From there they will start with small hops, skips and jumps building up their confidence before taking short flights to the sky, usually following an adult.
Peter Barden, who has been filming our family at Glen Seilisdeir for the Discovery Channel has very kindly sent us this wonderful clip. This was taken on Thursday and shows one of the chick practising its wing flapping skills. Then Iona, mum, appears with a fish which is promptly snatched and eaten. Thank you Peter for sharing - cant wait to see the final programme!
Strict copyright Peter Barden
Dave is taking a well earned holiday at the moment but I will keep you posted on the chicks. Dont forget you can follow us on Twitter @skyeandfrisa and also find us on Facebook at Mull Sea Eagles
To book a visit to Mull Eagle Watch, dont forget you need to book via our friends at the Craignure Visitor Information Centre, telephone 01680 812556
Until next time,
White-Tailed Eagle Information Officer
Isle of Mull
Wow, that video is amazing, absolutley enormous. Looks a bit of a tight squeeze now, stunning shot of Iona too, just beautiful :) Good luck to all Mulls Fledglings x
Guess it will be a worrying time now that all the WTE youngsters are close to flying for the first time.
Great video - be sure to let us know when it is to be shown on Discovery.
Thanks Debbie. I though you were going to tell us the chicks names on this blog?
Lovely to see the video of two healthy chicks ready to explore their surroundings.
We will be touring Scotland in our motorhome before staying at a hotel on Mull then Bute. Will you be around when we visit between the 5th to 8th August as we dont want to miss you this year?
Hi Sooty - it is a nailbiting time for our youngsters - as you may recall, we have had one fall out the nest and was killed as he tried to fledge - fingers crossed they will all be safe this year.
Jillian - sorry - will have to make you wait a wee bit longer for the names
Fantastic video and blog thank you Debby...there was no way he was sharing that fish LOL!!
So pleased to see the WTE "chicks" looking so healthy and ready to fledge, and it made me wonder if amongst all the excitement at your new hide anyone has spotted Kellan recently. It would be great to hear some news of him after his epic journey to survival from his injuries.
Fantastic video. Would love to know when its going to be on TV. Everything crossed for a successful fledging. Any news on Skye & Frisa - have they had a better year?
Awesome film, I like the way he/she shoves mum off the nest. Thanks for the blog Debby and good wishes for all youngsters to fledge safely.
Heartstopping moment today - the larger of the chicks, probably a female, hopped down below the nest and stayed there for about half an hour - my heart stopped - was it going to venture further afield and head for the ground - no - hopped back onto the nest - any day now!