Unfortunately I will be unable to do any postings for a couple of weeks.
Sea eagles delivered immediately today at one of my favourite sites.
Hen harriers were also seen as were golden eagles.
No sign of otters but we covered a lot of the island to make up for it.
Latterly a golden eagle sitting on a ledge on Loch na keal
Also today goosanders, wheatears eider duck, common sandpipers, stonechats, lots of orchids, seals and red deer females with young and stags on the high ground of Glenmore.
A good day yesterday then with short eared owls at last, in fact interacting with harriers.
The weather was so much better than the actual BBC weather forecast and so we had sea eagle early on and a good list of species including grey wagtail, the short eared owls, hen harriers, red deer, seals, red throated diver, super views of golden eagles, guillemots, siskins, rock doves, butterfly, broad leaved marsh and fragrant orchids and many of the obvious species including stonechat, wheatear, kestrel, buzzards etc.
The weather helped a little today in my knowing that gaps in the light drizzle would get creatures moving.
So early on as I left here, a jay, rock doves and a grey wagtail,
Collecting people at Craignure we then had something that todays humans are fast losing, and that is patience ! They were keen though today and so after around 20 minutes of patience one of the white tailed sea eagles came gliding in with legs out to land on a favourite perch.
Off into Glenmore and looking for hen harriers which have been very good to me this year, no sign of golden eagles though but good views of an otter just offshore which was swimming out and back to get food on Loch Scridain, watched by two hungry looking hooded crows.
lastly then after more patience a golden eagle broke the skyline on loch na Keal and flew onto a rocky platform to clean itself up and then was off along the crags and peaks.
I have a wildlife trip tomorrow and I am hoping for my perfect wildlife spotting weather, which is sunshine and showers.
But who knows, It looks like much needed rain is heading our way right now but even the BBC weather programme acknowledge that Mull has its own climate and so it could be sunny in half an hour.
I can hear snipe calling in front of the house and curlews worrying about where their youngsters are. As like all children they want to do their own thing, when they just aren’t ready yet and Mum knows that ! It is also impossible not to endlessly gaze at the sea from here because it always looks like dolphins should be bounding toward us on these very calm seas, that we have had for some time now.
To be honest the last few month’s have been like being in Costa Rica again, where you are endlessly changing into fresh clothes because it is so humid there.
Really the only difference is, that in Costa Rica right now, monkeys would be pinching our toothbrushes and scarlet macaws would be clattering through the trees outside our villa and making a hell of a noise.
Cute I think that out there they have ‘tropical’ rain forest and we call ours ‘temperate’ rain forest !!
I see no rain yet for here, instead I can see it getting brighter ??
I am lumping both days together on this posting because I am swamped with all sorts of things at the moment and trying to keep up.
I am hitting a pattern regarding the route I take lately, with super views both sitting and flying, of white tailed sea eagles and which is probably because of their awesome size. They are pretty spectacular when they leave their perch or come back to one.
Orchids are plentiful and all of my people have to smell the fragrant orchid.
Hen harriers have never been better for spotting, with views of male and female from all angles. I am also getting some help from visitors I know, who are always happy to impart a bit of knowledge, such as pointing their finger and saying ”David there’s a male sitting just over there”.
If only humans were so pleasant to each other.
Golden eagles, like the hen harriers, are pretty reliable for me now given reasonable weather.
Otters seem to be tough for many at the moment, which I suspect is probably to do with photographers simply getting far too close and causing them to be less open in their behaviour. But If I am lucky and have the time we get the otters as well. In fact one at the ferry point the other day.
It is simply glorious here again today and I believe water is being delivered to certain places in the Hebridean Islands, such as the Uist’s.
Just for once I would ike the BBC to forecast rain for up here please.
No otters today but 3 bottle noised dolphins 100m off Grasspoint in choppy water yesterday, Lots of Hen Harrier sightings, both male and female, with two adjoining males having a disagreement over territory and one of them eventually chasing the other off. We also had another male gliding along the crags very close to a Golden Eagle nest.
We had golden eagles late on and sea eagles early on, with a sea eagle sighting worth waiting for after some patience. I have found we humans are not good at patience anymore ! The white tailed sea eagle soon winged in, flashing its white tail and its legs out, to land nearby.
Our second very high sea eagle was being chased by two ravens, which by the way are unusually thin on the ground this year.
Plenty of orchids around the islands now with a ‘must do smell’ of the fragrant orchid.
The dolphins were exciting to see today and never easy here from land.
Its yet another fantastic day for humans here with warm sunny and dry weather.
However we are increasingly needing rain and tomorrow may bring some.
I have a trip tomorrow and of course sunshine and showers would be best but I don’t mind rain on an expedition, provided we get some dry slots. If not, otters it is, as they don’t worry at all about the weather. In fact they can get pretty excited if it gets really wild.
wild flowers are everywhere with orchids abundant. Great swathes of the island are covered in brilliant white cotton grass, which looks as if there has been many falls of snow. I remember this scene as one of the main reasons why I vowed to live on Mull one day. I remember walking through this ‘fall off snow’ to look at the vast seascape before me and thought, with the artist inside me, this has to be the most amazing place.
And here I am !!
It continues to be very dry here with just a few droplets of what I remember as water, yesterday. However it must change soon and I will wish it hadn’t !
yesterday was another successful trip with harriers flying and calling, golden eagles flying and sitting. White Tailed Sea eagles were tough initially, until one flew right over our heads chased by hooded crows and ravens, as we watched a female otter with a cub doing the lovely mother and child fun things that all human mums will recognize.
It was a delight to see the male and female whinchat again, as they were not around much last year. In the scope and like so many UK birds the whinchat looks like some exotic rainforest bird.
Orchids are everywhere now and I enjoy everyone getting down on hands and knees to smell the gorgeous scent of our fragrant orchids. I know I miss a lot around the island in my quests to find the big species for my guests but I know that they are what inspire people, as Blue Whales did for me in the Pacific and Tigers in India, when I must also have missed many of their other species.
I cant be everywhere though and seeing the otters with the help of my friends Noel and Sue with a White Tailed Sea eagle sailing over us, is surely as good as it can get?
Yesterday I had one of my regular tours with people from the Majestic Line Cruise Company. They have 3 converted trawlers, done out in a classy way. They also have very good cuisine I am told. The boats ply the waters of the Hebridean Islands with Mull and Iona one of their main ports of call, weather permitting !! But what terrific weather we have had this year. On yesterdays trip we had super weather again and as usual topped up to my 11 customers with a couple of people from Hideaway lodges and a single lady who met us at the ferry point.
Off we go then with pretty immediate and very good views of two white tailed sea eagles that I know well. Lots of orchids now to find too.
We also had a young sea eagle settling on Ben Taladh where a couple of other birds were feeding on some carrion it seems. Hen harriers gave top views again yesterday with various encounters with them at different localities. What a good looking and glamorous bird the white male is. Not to say she isn’t !!!
Golden eagles gave more super soaring and sitting views, but as usual I was bombarded with ”we want to see an otter” So down to Scridain and I immediately caught sight of movement on top of a small seaweed covered islet. Sure enough it was a male otter that proceeded to give lots of ‘ottery’ views and after all of his performing he settled to a nap after a long tidy up of its fur across the small estuary.
Everyone yesterday were very satisfied then, with our top creatures doing their thing for the Ecotourism industry on Mull !