Up to yesterday trip I think we had some of our most demoralizing weather, with misty, mizzly days.
However today is tropical from the house and as it cleared yesterday we had steady short eared owl sightings, lots of different orchids now with me insisting that everyone pays homage to the gorgeously scented fragrant orchid, which has suddenly burst on the scene. Lesser butterfly and broad leaved marsh orchids are also now showing and which are probably even more exotic in the softer south of Mull.
Golden eagles in Glenmore have not been easy but after stopping for lunch, there was the sighting we should all extoll about, as a female in her element raced along the skyline chased by ravens. As we followed the event a sea eagle also broke the skyline for a moment. Lots of red deer as usual today and seals etc. However the spot of the day was again in Glenmore when one of my group decided to scan a huge part of the golden eagles territory and duly performed wonders by finding a golden eagle sitting on large boulder with its golden head giving it away, but still very distant in a complex mix of rocks, different grasses and shrubbery.
He did brilliantly to find this.
We have had a few days now of mizzly weather but today it has at last cleared and is now sunny and very calm.
I have a wildlife trip tomorrow and hope for the same, or more ideally sunshine and showers ?
I suppose we should be pleased in these islands that it isn’t as hot as down south right now !!!
On yesterdays trip we had another of those misty days where humans and wild creatures are searching for that break in the weather.
It was some time before we got it, and then we had a female otter with a maturing cub on Loch Spelve and at the same time we had an immature White Tailed Sea Eagle above us. In fact we had another one at Croggan itself gliding along and onto the hills across the water.
We also had lots of orchids on the day, from Fragrant Orchids which I insist everyone gets the scent of, to Lesser butterfly orchids and common spotted, to broad leaved Marsh orchids.
Black Guillemot’s were offshore and a lot of Gannets not far out, were diving into the sea on a regular basis off Grasspoint.
Plenty of red deer trotted out there also as the clouds cleared a little.
Good ending then to a wettish day !!
Today was the first of two Wildlife Trips for the Majestic Line cruise ship company, on a pretty poor weather day. There was also much French being spoken and which I must practice, with so many French people now discovering Mull and The Hebridean Islands.
Anyway !!! we all watched an otter at the ferry point, as the Calmac Ferry came in. On to Lochdon and as we went over the lovely old stone bridge to Grasspoint there was a short eared owl looking pretty white, which passed prey rather roughly to another owl in the air. Then we had a slightly darker owl roaming the landscape and perching also.
Red deer now and a gamble on a white tailed sea eagle, which Thank the Lord was sitting just where I wanted it too, before lifting off and gliding along a ridge and into the mist .
Lesser Butterfly Orchids were at Grasspoint along with other orchids. Loch Buie beckons us now, as we go past the very loud and colourful peacocks on the road to Ardura and Loch Buie. Fallow Deer at Loch Buie, fleeting golden eagle and a red throated diver very close inshore.
Pretty good then for a poor weather day.
Tomorrow I have the second group from The Majestic Line with I think better weather !!
Today could have been a write off with such murky weather, but they were a hardy bunch for the trip and we got the better of mother nature with a short eared owl just after the Grasspoint Bridge turnoff.
Still drizzly I spotted lesser butterfly orchids at Grasspoint along with other orchids and any day now all can smell the wonderful fragrant orchids there.
Off into Glenmore in the hope the rain would lift, but it didn’t,so down now to Loch Beg and a big and close encounter with a male otter and another otter further into Loch Scridain.
Weather picking up a little now and a very good views of a hunting short eared owl on the high point of the Glenmore Road.
Finally going down to sea level on the way to Craignure to drop people for the ferry we all had good views of a young male Hen Harrier as it wafted elegantly across the close landscape before us.
P.S. I forget the very colourful male Whinchat we all saw today.
No trip yesterday but one full one for today.
Yesterday was another day of showers and intense sun and this morning the whole sky is a sort of china blue colour with hundreds of “individual” small puffy clouds.
Not sure what the weather holds for us today but sunshine and showers would be good again.
This morning at 5.30 curlews were calling and wheeling around the house and landscape probably looking for their youngsters. Lapwings have been doing the same in their very dynamic way.
In short, all around the house there has been lots of activity this morning.
PS. Friday was aa bit odd for the west coast and Islands. In that after each shower of rain the sun came out and was so hot that in Oban while I was in the hairdressers it was steaming as if it was the tropics !!
Each day is rolling into the next and I hope therefore that I have Thursdays trip covered.
Well lit was another iffy day regarding weather. However when I took the turn off for Grasspoint we saw a female hen harrier straight off. Then another look down 50 m of the road, and we had fleeting views of perhaps another harrier some distance away. Did we see a short eared owl I can’t remember, but I vividly recall a clearing above us in the forested area toward Grasspoint and the cronking of ravens, as they first chased a golden eagle over our heads and then more ravens chased a white tailed sea eagle also. Top moment really for anyone who had never seen either eagle.
In Glenmore the weather was still pretty murky, until we reached |Loch Beg to look for otters, where it cleared a little and as it did there was an adult male otter on top of a seaweed covered islet, which slowly wandered down into the sea where it took some time for us to find him again and then we watched him from distance from another part of the Loch.
So pretty good with sightings of some of our top creatures.
Today has been verdant and tropical looking, with really intense colours of islands, land and sea.
However on yesterdays Wildlife Trip it was the opposite, despite the BBC’s optimistic weather forecast.
As it turned out it was grey , drizzly, windy and pretty wet for most of the day.
So a difficult day to find things.
‘BUT’ off windy and wild Grasspoint we all glimpsed a few porpoise not far offshore.
We watched an otter for some time in Loch Beg and just missed another one in the same general area. However people were far too close and it disappeared.
On the way toward Craignure and the ferry, we watched a short eared owl as the rain stopped slightly.
Nearly home on Loch na Keal and there were the two resident WhiteTailed Sea Eagles posing for photographs !!!
No Wildlife Expedition today though, as I do my best to have the weekends off to do much needed work around the house and our land.
However this evening we were treat to a super ariel display by two adult White Tailed Sea Eagles that were gliding along the hillside behind the house and subsequently above us.
There was a lot of calling by both birds for about 30 minutes and their call, as some know, epitomises the wild and carries for some distance.
‘Eagle Island’ delivered again then here, without having to go anywhere else than outside the house.
Yesterdays trip had its hiccups at the start from Craignure, as I could not find two people, until I had a phone call from Joy telling me that I had left two at the ferry terminal !! As it turned out they were there but for some reason couldn’t find my vehicle !!
Anyway, I drove back to Craignure leaving the rest of the group having drinks and scones on the Grasspoint road. They were pretty contented having had some time watching a short eared owl. Grasspoint was the next port of call with everyone now accounted for.
We had big views of two sitting and flying adult White Tailed Sea Eagles on the way and at Grasspoint itself we were just about to turn around when we saw a number of Porpoise and so had to watch of course.
Male hen harrier now heading into Glenmore and two separate otters at Loch Beg. The latter one seen by me only as its wandered onshore. Back through Glenmore now and I bumped into friends who had spotted one of the golden eagles on its traditional territory perched on a small but sheltered ledge for all of us to observe, and for some their first golden eagle.