A WILDLIFE tourism initiative on Mull, which allows visitors unrivalled views of the island’s population of iconic white-tailed sea eagles, has become only the second five-star wildlife experience in Scotland.
Male Sea Eagle
Mull Eagle Watch has been a major tourist attraction on the island for the past decade. The giant birds – dubbed “flying barn doors” because of their rectangular-shaped wings that can span to 8ft – already attract almost a quarter of the thousands of annual visitors to Mull, and are responsible for a tourism spend of between £5 million and £8m.
But the 26 eagles are set to increase tourism even further following the announcement that the eagle watch initiative has now gained VisitScotland’s highest Quality Assurance grading award.
A spokesman for RSPB Scotland said: “The rating further secures Mull’s reputation as a premier wildlife-watching site.” One reason for this is because there is no red grouse shooting on the island of Mull and all birds of prey, including the hen harrier with currently 44 breeding pairs, are doing very well as a result. Significantly the 44 pairs of hen harriers on the island of Mull represents an increase of 440% on the number of hen harriers which successfully reared any young this year in the whole of England.