White-tailed eagles on the Isle of Mull are thriving with 20 pairs now nesting on the Scottish island. The Mull Eagle Watch Partnership said 10 chicks had fledged from seven nests during last year’s breeding season. It also said 6,000 people a year were visiting the island to see the birds also known as sea eagles, which had boosted the local economy by £2m. The birds of prey originally colonised Mull in 1983 and produced the first successful fledglings in 1985 after being reintroduced to the nearby Isle of Rum 10 years earlier, BBC
Across Scotland a total of 46 pairs of white tailed eagles managed to successfully rear 36 chicks.
The Isle of Mull is one of the best bases for watching whales and dolphins in Britain.
These people offer excellent short whale watching breaks:
This popular weekend break gives you two days on the boat exploring the islands (Eigg, Muck, Coll, Tiree, Staffa, all with their own character and charm). You will sail through the whale and dolphin grounds and land on islands with colonies of puffins, razorbills, gannets, shearwaters, and otters…The people who run these trips carry out marine research and they work closely with local charity the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
One client wrote:
The most memorable part of the holiday was the surveys trip … seeing Minke whales and basking sharks on such a beautiful day – I will remember this for many years to come. We even moored on a tiny island close to Coll and Tiree – it was like being on a Pacific atoll … seals swimming, white sand, clear blue sea – just perfect. More
The Guardian has put together this list of the best whale watching locations in the UK. It mentions the follwoing sites.
- Moray Firth: as was shown on Springwatch you can watch the most northerly known population of bottlenose dolphins right from the shore – often only a few feet from the shingle. No binos needed! The best place to view them is Chanonry Point on the Black Isle. Humpback whales can also be spotted in the outer Moray Firth. Visit seawatchfoundation.org
- The best place to watch Killer whales is the Shetland Isles, especially at Esha Ness. They are becoming commoner.
- Isle of Mull – minke whales. Mull was the first place in Britain to offer dedicated whale-watching More here wspa.org.uk
- Cardigan Bay has a population of 130 bottlenose dolphins which can be seen from the shore at New Quay. The pods feed here from April to September.
- St David’s Head in Pembrokeshire: dolphins and possibility of fin whales in the summer.Here new-quay.com
- Common dolphins can be seen at Durleston Head in Dorset.
- Sites in Cornwall: Lizard Point, Gwennap Head and Cape Cornwall for dolphins, pilot, killer and minke whales marinediscovery.co.uk