Another glorious day yesterday with a keen international crowd from Ireland, Scotland, England, Switzerland and Germany. We at last had a full day of rain on Friday and we can all relax here now and wish for sun again !! Anyway sea eagles, golden eagles, joyous sightings of the peregrines again as the male rushed screaming at a buzzard and kept trying to knock him off some rocks and then rushing out to sea while his mate sat grooming herself contentedly. No otters today except the one I saw on the way to get everyone for the trip, short eared owl and a flash of a hen harrier, fallow deer and red deer are looking in good condition again with antlers growing fast. On my current tour which is of course delivering, I am unable to get a good go at many of our smaller birds except the obvious and that’s a pity but I cannot do everything. Visitors must stay here and stop trying to tour Scotland. Instead put down roots to see all of what Mulls varied terrain has to offer.
We had persistant light rain all night but today is gloriously sunny and looking really lush and tropical with not a puff of wind. The sea is flat as a pancake all the way to the south of Mull and Iona, with a single small fishing boat bobbing off the Isle of Inch Kenneth. I am pleased to say that our well is now recovering because I was really worried about the lack of water for our guests and not just ourselves. I understand that rain is forecast again tomorrow but I think that while ever the jet stream is where it is we will continue with easterly winds and therefore get less bad weather than anywhere else in Britain. We are very far west here and protected by the rest of Britain on easterly winds which are often the same in midwinter. South westerlies are our biggest threat as they bring wind and rain always and sun to eastern Britain. Sorry this is just a weather report and not a wildlife one but I am just pleased about the rain !!
I was chuffed today to see the peregrines that I thought were not breeding this year. They were making a lot of noise and one rushed out and chased and then locked talons with a raven which it twirled in the air and then let it go. If I miss anything in this paradise of a place it is ‘being inspired’ by my own species though. The only people tht have ever done that was John Denver when we were thinking of moving to Mull. With his songs about nature and lyrics like ‘Sometimes I fly like an eagle and sometimes I’m deep in despair’. My other hero is Leonardo da Vinci who was a visionary in my opinion. Anyway !! today we saw Sea eagles, seperate golden eagle territories, peregrine falcon, fallow and red deer, red throated divers, no otters, short eared owl, hen harriers, spotted flycatcher and the usual list of smaller Hebridean birds.
I forgot to mention that on both trips we saw Britains most glamorous woodland bird …. The Male Redstart, which is so exotic and colourful with his red, blue, black and white plumage and red tail. He would look perfectly at home in the rainforest of somewhere equally exotic as he is.
I had a lady on the trip today who asked if we might see a highland cow !!?? I have had two really good trips and we have a fabulous calm and sunny evening now with new guests in our accommodation. Both days we have seen otters, adult sea eagles and growing young, golden eagles and young, porpoise, fallow deer, red deer, short eared owls, hen harriers, whinchat, rock doves yesterday, ravens, lots of buzzards of course, seals, kestrels and things I can’t remember ! We have also had a little bit of water and so the rain dance did help.
Well it’s another super day here but the last two or three were a little more iffy as we were promised rain by the BBC again but it was such girlie stuff that it had no impact on our shortage of water. Yes I remember those heady days when visitors actually got excited about all our spectacular waterfalls !! Bring back the good old days I say. However the weather has meant that I could get on with lots of DIY stuff and because I tend to put such things off, this good weather has made me do it and I do feel better at having tackled such things as paint the gable ends of a pretty high roof. I have trips all week from tomorrow and sunny weather all week again which my customers will love but I am organising a rain dance [under the guise of, it will attract the dolphins] at each lunch break and allcomers will be welcome to join in.
Is there anymore for me to say about this incredibly calm and tropical type weather? I have had two good days on the trips, though tougher for golden eagles but we have seen hen harriers, eagle chicks of both species, otters and today mum and two cubs as well as one at Craignure, sea eagles of course and chicks in the nest with an adult sweeping in to check on them from a branch above the nest, short eared owls which are a joy this year after a few pretty lean years of more or less owllessness !! An unusual day yesterday as we were across Loch na Keal looking at the sea eagles when people there came up to me and pointed out a group of people right up at the golden eagle nest across the sea. We rang the police and the RSPB but only got the police when I was over there and confronting these people, who turned out to be officially ringing golden eagle chicks ! Why the RSPB dont keep people like msyself better informed and save a lot of embarassment and panic I don’t know.
Our new guests have just spotted our otter that trots along the grassland and then up toward the house and back again sometime, if you have the patience to wait for him !! Today was greyish and calm and we saw two sea eagles sitting and one flying, two red throated divers, an otter pretty close, a golden eagle on a large boulder below some cliffs with its wings outstretched to dry off, another sea eagle feeding two young and then flying, short eared owl and calling curlews, female hen harrier, another short eared owl closer and then female and male harrier and lots of things in between on this moody Hebridean day.
Last night was like the Amazon here with the mountains and landscape across the sea dark and steaming like the jungle. Today was another tropical type day with odd light showers puthering up and then it cleared to very warm sun and now at 9pm it is gorgeous again with a flat sea and a soft sunny light everywhere. There can be nowhere more stunning than the Hebrides in this sort of weather. It looks like the dolphins or a whale should be out there, for it is calm all the way to Iona, but I dont think so. However who knows, they may be just around the headland. The rain has had no impact on our well and it looks pretty wetless all week on the BBC’s website but they can’t be trusted with their forecasts for here. We have new guests in and like everyone else they gaze out bedazzled at the views and situation of the house. It’s a far cry from the terraced house of my youth surrounded by steelworks and dirt. .
Well its very sunny and over 80 degrees here. We need rain and that would stop me from feeling that I have to do lots of work on the property on my day off. On holiday here it would be wonderful to be out exploring the island and find one of our hidden white sandy beaches and go in the sea and then have some local prawns this evening, don’t you think?