Tuesday, 12 June 2012
They've just taken receipt of a fleet of Segways. Not sure what they are? Well they are "two-wheeled self-balancing people transporters" and they're all-terrain, and they're great fun. I had the opportunity to have a go on one as few months ago and they were remarkably easy to use and I was quickly addicted.
As Boots n Paddles say 'they produce zero emissions (as they're battery powered), virtually no noise and it is impossible to describe the rush of riding one".
Fancy a go? Boots n Paddles run sessions on the Rothiemurchus Estate, near Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park. Book on the Rothiemurchus website for sessions there or contact Boots n Paddles directly if you'd like to try them somewhere else.
I promise you, you'll love them!
Thursday, 10 May 2012
|Lowering the delicate lighthouse lenses from the Lighthouse|
This is definitely the case for the guys at Seafari Adventures (Oban) last week when assisted the Northern Lighthouse Board, who are responsible for running and maintaining the lighthouse of the Scotland and the Isle of Man to safely extract the antique glass lights from Rubha nan Gall lighthouse, just round the coast from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.
The lighthouse was built in 1857 by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson and became automated in 1960. The glass was being removed and will preserved in a special exhibition.
You can read all about the adventure on Seafari Oban's blog
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Read all about it here.
Monday, 16 January 2012
"Our resident female only produced one kit that survived this year (we suspect there may have been two, but a fine healthy male is the only youngster we now see). Both mother and son could be seen most evenings in front of the Lodge, eagerly lapping up peanut butter. By the end of August, the kit was already bigger than his mother and would rudely shove her out of the way in his attempts to get to the food first. Not surprisingly, she wasn’t having much of this and would unceremoniously grab him by the scruff of the neck and wash his ears out, just to remind him of his place. Feeding times became increasingly acrimonious, with mum becoming less tolerant of the presence of her offspring – she would sit and hiss at him, and emit a low growl whilst feeding. As time has gone on, their feeding times have become more and more staggered, with mum getting the upper hand.
"Now, in January, we seldom see the two together, and if we do there is always the possibility of fisticuffs, but mum has apparently secured her territory (and the food). She waits now for me to feed her, either on the flat roof above the sun lounge, or warming her backside on the bonnet of our car!"
You can keep up to date with news of all the wildlife at Glenloy, near Fort William at www.glenloy-wildlife.org.uk.
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Wild Scotland's members offer a fantastic range of tours and activities, so check out our website for more inspiration.
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Here's RSPB's officer on Mull giving an update on his blog..
Thank you all for your patience and interest in the progress - or otherwise - of Frisa and Skye and all their fellow white-tailed eagles on Mull.
As you can imagine it's been a hectic period throughout incubation and now into the early chick stage. Everyone here does their best to keep them safe and to try and ensure they're all successful but there's always the hand of fate which intervenes to make some pairs succeed and others to fail. This year for reasons we're still not clear on, Frisa and Skye will not be raising any chicks although they are still present at Loch Frisa and still usually showing well. Their incubation period went smoothly but their hatch day came and went - just like last year. It hit everyone here involved with this special pair very hard. We just were not expecting it. They seem to be over their disappointment already so we now must follow their lead.
Thankfully this year we have been able to retrieve one intact but addled egg for analysis which may provide us with some answers - or not. We just don't know at the moment but will keep you posted on any significant developments.
We haven't been completely silent by any means since the last blog and have been trialling Twitter@SkyeandFrisa as a quicker, more instant way to keep you all up to date. It would be interesting to know what you think of this, whether you still like Blogs as well or if Twitter does the job? With only the two of us here there may be periods of apparent inactivity on the social networking scene but rest assurred we'll keep the updates going whenever we can!
So trips to the Eagle Hide continue to be very busy and they now offer a unique 'Forest Drive-thru' experience which has never been done here before. Working with our friends at Forestry Commission Scotland, visitors meet the Rangers at the north end of the Loch Frisa track on the Tobermory to Dervaig road and then head into the forest along a good track, stopping at various intervals to look for eagles, harriers, divers, ravens, deer and a whole host of smaller forest birds. Skye and Frisa are usually to be found on a favourite hill or tree and you conclude the visit at the amazing Eagle Hide where you can learn about their whole story and the saga of Mull Eagle Watch. Well worth the £5 adult/£2 children cost which goes to the Mull & Iona Community Trust to support local projects here. For more information check out the Date with Nature pages on the RSPB main website, Mull Eagle Watch or the Forestry Commission Scotland website under Mull sea eagles. To book a trip call 01680 812 556.
Meanwhile, other eagles on Mull - golden and white-tailed - hatched their eggs during a beautiful spell of calm, dry, warm weather. They couldn't have had a better start in life. They need to be brooded by an adult for a good ten days to two weeks before they can control their own body temperature so they are very vulnerable at this stage. As a result Mull Eagle Watch does not end when the eggs hatch! In fact there's now the long 12 weeks to go before they fledge. But that's a while away for now. We've been seeing several white-tailed eagle nests with two white downy heads of the chicks just beginning to appear above the rim of the nest. It's always a fabulous heartwarming moment and you realise that at least they're through the hazardous hatch stage which is probably the most dangerous time of their little lives.
Some of the chick 'twins' have been having wee battles in the nest to work out who is in charge and who will get the first feed when an adult returns with prey. With golden eagles this can sometimes end in the death of the smaller or weaker chick. White-tails seem generally more amiable and less aggressive in the nest although they do sometimes have a bit of a tussle. At this early stage there is always an adult brooding or nearby so perhaps the chicks have less opportunity to get bored and start a fight. To see the mighty form of an adult with that yellow cleaver like beak tenderly offering morsels of food to tiny chicks is a sight you never tire of witnessing.
So what will the coming weeks bring? The weather has certainly gone down hill since hatching so they're not out of danger yet. We may well lose other chicks but we're ever hopeful that most will now go from strength to strength. For us? Well, we've dusted ourselves down, taken a deep breath and just keep on going because there's still so much to do. It means a great deal to us to know we have such a dedicated troop of RSPB supporters and followers out there who care about the eagles as much as we do. It really is much appreciated.
Once more unto the breach dear friends!
Dave Sexton RSPB Mull OfficerYou can follow Mull Eagle Watch's blog here.
Friday, 1 April 2011
Although the weather on Mull has been mixed at the beginning of March, there has been no shortage of wildlife sightings to be seen on the island, with white-tail sea eagles and golden eagles being especially visible nest building and pair bonding. Buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks have also been very obliging and we have had a couple of great sightings of peregrine falcons and a particularly good sigthing of a merlin.
On the mammal front, otters as always being the stand-out attraction but we are also seeing a number of Arctic hares at the moment. Red deer seem to have survived the winter well and appear to be in quite good condition. None of the deer on Mull are farmed and earlier today I saw 38 mothers and calves in a field.
As the month progresses we will be looking out for the early arrivals of the spring migration with wheatears always being one of the first. Fulmars are already back at their nest sites and the first meadow pipits have been seen displaying.