David\

Postings

I know lots of people follow and enjoy my diary postings about Mull and its willdlife but I must apologise because my diary will be out of action for just a couple of weeks from today.

However I will then be in full flow, as usual !

 

Another super day

An early sighting then of short eared owls with one of them scrapping with a a female harrier and eventually coming back carrying a vole. Down to Grasspoint and one of the resident sea eagles sitting on a favoured  islet and 20 minutes later its mate gliding by us and onto another islet nearby. Black guillemots and seals offshore but otherwise an empty sea. However lots of seals, reed deer in various places and lots of orchids now. Into Glenmore and down to Loch Beg where we saw  a female harrier crossing the loch and hunting on the other side. I then found a big male otter that I know having a nap on a bed of seaweed just up from the shoreline. In Glenmeore today we also had a few sightings of a male harrier repeatedly taking the same journey up a mountainside to come back to its young with prey very dramatically, as it tumbled from the sky in a ball of white and black.

Laterly and at last, 3 golden eagles in Glenmore as the light drizzle finally cleared the golden eagles for take off !!

Another very good day with happy customers which means that I am happy too..

BBC weather forecast

Needless to say the BBC got the weather forecast wrong again, with their pretty bad forecast that turned into a limited amount of ‘townie’ rain, which changed nothing regarding our trip today. However it initially sent me on a different journey but I corrected my plans like an eagle would.

We thus had short eared owls early on sitting and hunting and then carrying a vole,  a male harrier with another male rising high to clear a mountain later in the day, as we watched a golden eagle soaring along the rugged skyline and which had found sitting 10 minutes earlier as we had lunch.

We also had a female otter with a cub at Garmony, another at Pennyghael and another on Loch Beg alseep on an islet.

Arctic terns, buzzards, seals, red deer, stonechat, kestrel, pipits always in summer, reed bunting, black guillemot, shags, orchids. I ran out of time to find the sea eagles but the weather was not bad at all and all of the  sightings were very good.

 

 

Best job in the Britain

Gorgeous weather today, singing along to John Denver on the way out and a really nice group to meet up with . What more could I ask for?

Lots of buzzards, kestrels, a cuckoo calling and flying and two adult white tailed sea eagles gliding along the hillside and then close and being mobbed by crows. About three male hen harriers today also and in Glenmore long term sightings of two golden eagles doing all that they could do to show us the skills of an eagle, whilst we had lunch. No short eared owls today but a friend did see them.

To top the day off I wanted to fnd my group an otter and so off to Loch Scridain but nothing on the Pennyghael side, however I glimpsed movement on a very small seaweedy rock about 600m out and off slid a shiny creature, only to disappear. However I had a second opinion as my sighting was fleeting and she also saw it as it dived. Off to get closer and after some searching we found the otter working along the shoreline and then up onto the shore, mark its territory and eventually a nap on the seaweed.

I know that everyone learned a great deal today about how to spot wildlife in The Hebridean Islands and they will be richer for the experience.

 

 

Top of Mull

It was a clearing day and so it seemed a good day for a trip up the National Scenic Area on Mulls West Coast, to head for the most north westerly point on the Island Calliach Point, with its gigantic vistas of mainland, ocean and many islands.

As we got there the rain was easing and so not a big surprise to find a sea eagle, a human or a red deer posing on the top of a high hill. Needless to say I expected a sea eagle and sure enough there he was with wings outstretched drying himself off, which is typical of both eagles as wet weather clears and in ten minutes they usually fly, as this one did. If they fly when still wet it wastes a lot of energy and so they dry off as best they can for around 10 minutes and then off they leap, happy and a bit warmer.  You know the feeling even as a human !!

Kittiwakes are having a bad time of it but there were a few offshore as were gannets and manx shearwaters.

Howevere the setting of Calliach steals the show and there is always anticipation there with such a large expanse of calm sea.

Frankly I am getting a bit brassed off hearing that yet someone else is copying my trips. There is no one in charge of anything here of course and so innocent visitors not so keen or clued up and  probably just ‘looking for something to do’ go out on boats and in vehicles with people who may have no real knowledge of the area and may have only bought a boat or vehicle the day before !!! Moral of the story is that if you go out in the wilds of any place, including the Hebridean Islands, make sure you do your home work first.

On a roll

It’s that time of year for me with each Wildlife Expedition rolling into the next. However nature and wild creatures behaviour being so fluid, means that you are always learning or questioning something a bit odd, or new to you each day. Its what makes the natural world so fascinating, doesnt it?

Really good long term views of short eared owls again today on two seperate sites, hen harriers are also showing generally around Mull in the right habitats and if you are lucky the dramatic food pass between the male and female is still to be seen, with exclaimations of WOW !!!! coming with it.

We had sea eagles today and much long term entertainment with 3 golden eagles interracting with each other and my guests needing the 100 degree head turn of a barn owl to follow them at times.

Mulls wild and wonderful natural environment and wild creatures doing their thing was what it was all about yesterday.

By the way did I mention the summer plumaged red throated divers on Loch na Keal the day before?

I have a feeling that certain creatures are so thrown by the climate that they think this is April or May because of the weird weather we have all had this year and maybe some golden eagles may yet breed, but late.

 

 

 

Poor weather today

Poor weather and no golden eagles or otters today but still a good trip with an enthusiastic group.

Short eared owls pretty quickly and of course an owl in the daytime is always a delight. Just leaving the scene and there was the handsome male hen harrier coming to join the fun. What a stunner he always is and so rare elsewhere today. Off he went up the side of a hill to no doubt delight other people.

Up the road from Grasspoint and more short eared owls and then off to Glenmore in misty weather, but more hen harriers as the female got pretty excited and rushed across the hillside to meet up with her partner, where both engaged in the dramatic food pass that only they can do. Onto Loch Scridain and a super shot of one of the adult white tailed sea eagles sitting in the trees and then gliding across the wood.

Onto Loch na Keal but no sign of otters today but we did get two twite, wheatears and two summer plumaged red throated divers and a probable two golden eagles but I wasnt a hundred percent certain that they were not sea eagles in the misty weather. However because of where they were they were probably golden eagles.

 

 

Terrific day

All on the trip had a great day yesterday with a sea eagle coming over us on the way out. From Craignure we had another bird very close in a small wood. Onto the Glenmore road and two short eared owls giving long term views, a male harrier on the other side of the road sitting and another very white male dancing  past it and us, and also the seals on a small islet.

Well into Glenmore now and two golden eagles close, both flying and sitting, then another male harrier crossing the road and passing prey to his partner in the spectacular way that they do. On to Loch Scridain now and impressive views of the two adult sea eagles from that area sitting on top of trees.

Just the otters to find now and we duly found mum and her cub on Loch na Keal.

A big day then with lots of other things as alwsy including glorious sunny and calm weather

Fabulous weather

Another wonderful day today making everyone smile after such a poor May.

On the trip sea eagles sitting and different sea eagles flying and sitting,  great northern divers, black guillemot, porpoise , seals and red deer stags, a few hen harriers again both male and female and fab views of golden eagles soaring above and along the mountainside and then alighting together and being harassed like yesterday by the same male hen harrier.

Brilliant Day

This morning is the most wonderful expansive scene from my office with clear sky and a flat calm sea for miles out.

Yesterdays Wildlife Expedition was also very very good with Golden Eagles in Glenmore and one silhouetted on the skyline bombarded by a diving male Hen Harrier. In fact we had a number of harriers today. Are they all trying to escape the murderous shooting estates of England and mainland Scotland I wonder !!

We had a buzzard putting up a short eared owl, which then  flew around for some time before landing. Got the otter for everyone which was rolling around on a seaweed spit and on the way back to Craignure we all followed a very close adult sea eagle gliding over our heads with a buzzard doing its best to chase it off.

Cuckoos again today.