Most infant’s get no privacy for the simple reason that they need feeding, supervision and tuition for a period at the very start of their lives.
But four year-old Mara, a male white tailed sea eagle chick hatched on Argyll’s Isle of Mull in 2008 has never escaped from the eagle eye of Big Brother.
He was quickly fitted with a satellite tag – part of a research programme involving other of his species – and must hear a certain song in his ears with every wing stroke: Every move you make; every breath you take, I’ll be watching y0u’.
He is the first to have been watched from hatching, through juvenile life and into maturity, finding his own mate and establishing his own nest. Every metre he has flown, every landing place, is known and recorded.
His flight pattern to date shows an abundance of time spent hunting on the wild and remote Ardnamurchan peninsula just across the Sound of Mull; with the aerial and land territory of the Small Isles and the Isles of Skye bis next faves in that order.
He has paid scant attention to the mainland of north Argyll and Lochaber – and he has ignored the isles of Tiree and Coll altogether. Not one single visit,.
He must have heard about the plan to site several hundred 200 metre tall ‘offshore’ wind turbines around Tiree’s south and east coasts and has voted with his wings, investing elsewhere.
The project is another feather, so to speak, in the cap of the collaborative island organisation that is Mull Eaglewatch, with expert attention from RSPB Mull officer, Dave Sexton and the support of a dedicated team of volunteers.
The sea eagles contribute hugely to the local economy of Mull and their sound establishment on the island and its surrounding areas means that the sight and sound of these huge birds with their 8 foot wingspan can now be seen and believed in Argyll skies.
Do we know how much Mara had to drink last night? He deserves a dram for the marketing coup he has given Mull to start 2013.