Mull’s big eagles wing it to the small screen

The photograph shows a chick at ringing time in June 2019. Photograph by Justin Grant

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Mull and its eagles are on TV today as part of a new series called Wild Animal Rescue.

The Channel 5 show, that began earlier this month, is being aired every day, Monday to Thursday, and is being shown twice each day at 11.15am and 7pm.

Today’s January 23 programme features Mull’s sea eagles and RSPB  Scotland officer Dave Sexton.

Viewers will be able to see Mr Sexton  monitoring the Mull Eagle Watch chick at Craignure Golf Course.

The film crew from Daisybeck Studios in Leeds, Yorkshire, had only one day to film on the island so the pressure was on.

Mr Sexton said: ‘The crew wanted nice weather, some action and a story, and above all else, white-tailed eagles – so not too much to ask! The plan was to check the nest to see if the chick was okay and if there was no sign of it, to go searching for it.

‘I know from past experience that things can go badly wrong with eaglets, even when they seem fit and healthy. That first flight is fraught with danger and we sometimes have no idea what we might find. Sadly, in the past I’ve found eaglets dead at the bottom of the nest tree where they have fallen out.

‘So it was with a heavy heart that we entered the nest wood as we hadn’t seen the chick for some days.’

To find out what happened next and how Dave and the team got on, tune in tonight.

The series sees the return of Bill Oddie, now 78, to wildlife TV. The familiar face last presented a nature show in 2008 when he helped front Springwatch. Wild Animal Rescue’s other presenters are Steve Backshall, Lindsey Chapman and Miranda Krestovnikoff.

Meanwhile, back on Mull, Mull Eagle Watch has funds available to help support other projects in the community. The funds are raised from charges and donations at its eagle viewing hide.

Mull Sea Eagle project is a partnership between Nature Scot, Forestry and Land Scotland, RSPB Scotland, Police Scotland and Mull and Iona Community Trust and they all agreed that some of the funds made in 2019 should be used to bring more social and economic benefits to islanders.

Grants of between £100 and £500 can be applied for and the money will be distributed in March – the deadline for bids is end of February.

To find out more contact Jan Dunlop on 01680 300640 or email jdunlop@mict for an application form.