Autumn is in full swing - beautiful shades of red, gold, orange and brown are everywhere; the rowan trees are laden with berries which are being picked off by the fieldfares and redwings that have recently arrived on the Island. Autumn is my favourite season - a chance to reflect on the season just past and time to look ahead as the evenings draw in - wondering what lies ahead.
The Mull Eagle Hide has had a fantastic season this year. Fingal and Iona successfully raising and fledging two healthy chicks, Gorme and Buidhe (named by the pupils at Bunessan Primary School). We had several film crews visit us including BBC Springwatch, John Aitchison for a BBC series on the Hebrides (hopefully due to air in March), Ray Mears filming for ITV1's Wild Britain and a crew from the Discovery Channel. Some fantastic coverage for Mull and its wildlife.
We had 3000 visitors to our new location this year at Forestry Commission Scotland's Glen Seilisdeir forest and everyone was blown away by the view and its location - fingers crossed we will be back next spring so if you didn't manage to visit this year, come and see us in 2013 - the Year of Natural Scotland.
And to confirm how fantastic it was - we were graded by VisitScotland with 5 Stars as a 'Wildlife Attraction' - 5 Stars means 'exceptional' - we were over the moon as we were only 1 of 2 wildlife attractions in the whole of Scotland to receive 5 stars. As you know Mull Eagle Watch and the Hide is run by 5 different organisations - Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Strathclyde Police, Mull & Iona Community Trust, RSPB Scotland plus volunteers both visiting and from the local community. The award confirms how well we can work together, each adding something different and with the end result: eagles nesting successfully and a great wildlife experience.
A big thank you to all our visitors and to our many supporters, who though may not be able to join us in person, are with us in spirit - we couldn't do it without you.
Just a quick reminder that BBC Autumnwatch starts tonight - based in Scotland this year at the fantastic Aigas Field Centre. The webcams are up and running with fantastic footage of the beavers and pine marten.
Until next time,
White Tailed Eagle Information Officer
Isle of Mull
Well done all connected to the Mull Eagle Watch and thanks for the update Debby.Look forward to visiting Mull next September.
Well done to you all.....you deserve all the accolades and VIP's who visit you. You do a fantastic job and as you say we might not all be able to get there to see you often but we are with you in spirit and love hearing all the news...so thanks.
Thank you Debby and well done to all concerned you deserve it. I shall be with you in spirit over the winter but back in person next spring. Keep us updated over the winter months please we so look forward to the blogs.
Well done, you all deserve it.
Can you let us know how many chicks fledged successfully this year and also what has happened to Midge as there are no tracking details since July I think??????
I know you will also be upset like me about the loss of beautiful Alba in Africa, thank goodness the white tailed eagles don't migrate as well.
Thanks again Debby and Dave for all your wonderful posts. Really pleased to hear you've had such a successful year and you've had so much interest in the sea eagles from TV companies etc. Can't wait to see John Aitcheson's series on the Hebrides, he's a fantastic wildlife cameraman with wonderful narrations, very much missed from Spring/Autumnwatch.
We will be back to Mull next May for the first time since 2009. Looking forward to visiting the "new" hide at Glen Seilisdier. Finally, congratulations on your 5 star rating. You deserve it!
Congratulations on the 5 star grading, well done to everyone working with the Mull Eagle Watch. We look forward to visiting, hopefully, next May, and seeing the hide at Glen Seilisdeir. Thanks for the updates Debby, such good news that everything is going well,.
Sorry, never seem to see the latest blog until long after it was written, but I am still reading - and wishing you all the 5-stars and young eagles that you could hope for!
I would like to wish a very happy Christmas and health and happiness in the New Year to all who regularly read this blog. Best wishes to all on Mull for another successful eagle season next year, wish we could join you again to see all that Mull has to offer.
Happy New Year to all! A friend said that the WTEs, plus Dave, were on ITV tonight - I never check what's on ITV! Perhaps others saw it? The filming must have been done in early summer?
Yes the WTEs and Dave were on a programme at 8pm this evening, with Ray Mears. I think it must have been filmed early summer. it was great to see them. Much of the programme was about Basking sharks and Minke whales, around Mull, so still interesting. I would have liked to have seen more of the eagles though!