Within half an hour of arriving, we were walking alongside Loch na Keal and two White-tailed Eagles flew over, heading out across the loch.
Settling down on a rock on the shore, I started scanning for White-tailed Eagle Yellow Black Spot (so called because of her yellow wing tags with a black spot) or any of her family. I didn't have to wait long, in fact it was minutes. There above the hillside was a juvenile!
|Juvenile White-tailed Eagle|
|Two juveniles soaring by the Red Deer, a great size comparison|
|Three White-Tailed Eagles, note the one on the right has something in talons|
|Four White-tailed Eagles!|
|The male with one of his two youngsters, just perched below left of him|
|The other youngster perched in a nearby tree|
The day was not quite done and we went for another walk, keeping my eyes peeled for the big birds. I spotted a diver on the loch, and then a juvenile White-tailed eagle soaring above the hills, possibly the offspring of a pair I had seen in March, so that was exciting.
While I was reluctantly packing up the tent, my other half shouted at me "Karen, look behind you!". I turned to see the male eagle flying almost above me! He eventually landed in a tree close to his mate (YBS). It wasn't the first time he had caught me unaware; the previous evening while putting up the tent I was shouted at again to look up. I was busy trying to bash in the tent pegs around stones, and right across the loch in front of us he flew. Why I was doing all the hard work and not eagle watching, I don't know...
All packed up, we headed around to Loch Scridain to see if any of the Mull Eagle Watch eagles were out and about. We sat in the car for about half an hour when I realised there was one perched in a tree near the loch. I can only hope it hadn't been there all along, I'm usually good at spotting them!
We had a drive around via Glenmore, and parked at the car park by Garmony Point. As we still had an hour before the ferry, I managed to spend some time watching the wildlife. I saw Gannets diving in the Sound, Red Breasted Mergansers, plenty of Oystercatchers and an Otter. I got the scope focussed on it and saw it munching on something it had just caught. The water was calm, and the Otter was happily swimming along.
Soon it was time to queue at Fishnish for the ferry back to the mainland. Hopefully I'll catch up with the Mull Eagles again next year!
Thank goodness I have the east coast Eagles to give me my 'eagle fix' in the meantime ...
The next morning, I spotted Yellow Black Spot (YBS for short) herself perched in the conifers preening. I stood watching her through my scope as I ate my breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day. YBS has a bit of a reputation as a fiesty lady, but you wouldn't think so to have seen her on that particular morning!
|Yellow Black Spot perched in the conifers. (just see her almost centre of photo)|
|"He's behind you!"|
|One of the Mull Eagle Watch adults (Fingal or Iona?!)|
|Thumb-sized sketch of the adult as it was watching a tractor in a nearby field|
|Spot the Otter! (it's just above the seaweed line)|
|Here comes the ferry|
|Bye bye Mull|
|Female Turquoise 1: "Ever get that feeling you're being watched?!"|
© Karen Hartnell & Graeme Low - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way.