No trip today but I had to go to Tobermory to sort a few thing out so it was a nice change to be back among city life for just a short while.
Its 8am now though and I am back in my enjoying what looks like another huge Turner Painting across the sea toward Iona.
The sea is as flat as it will ever be and the distant dark blue landscape of southern mull and Iona is rippling like huge chunks of red hot coal along the low skyline. Above all of this there is dusky blue sky interspersed with a dappled pinkish red with grey sky above that and shafts of silver sky trying to burst through all of it.
It’s been a strange few days for me and Mull with plenty of sunshine and then plenty of rain.
I had nice keen people yesterday, but no otters !! However we had big sightings of three separate White Tailed Sea Eagles in the Gribbun area. I spotted one in if fact, sitting on the top of the cliffs and with scale being so confusing for all here in Scotland, I had to check it in my scope.
Then it was suddenly airborne and obvious as an adult sea eagle, with it’s white tail flashing in the sun, and then it was off across the Sea to visit The Island of Ulva it seems. !!
Then another adult followed from on high and this is how it was for the day with hundreds of smaller birds along the northern side of Loch na Keal.
The sun was terrific this morning but now a big shower is passing over the house but already looks as if it is clearing over Iona and coming this way. In fact I can now see the white sands and beautiful northern headland of the Island.
Well todays weather forecast looks pretty good and the mornings drizzly rain is clearing over Iona and the south of Mull and heading our way.
There is little wind and Loch na Keal still has lots of gannets feeding there. While ever there is food in any one place they are less inclined to head South to their wintering grounds.
So I am also hoping for a good day today with lots to do here.
From my office I now see more gannets out over the sea from the house.
Have a good Bank Holiday everyone.
It is 12.03 here and Mull as usual looks a sensationally colourful place.
I have travelled a lot in the world and seen some equally sensational places, particularly Islands. BUT I really don’t see how anywhere else can beat Scotland’s Hebridean Islands for sheer variety and spectacle from mother nature.
I guess a big factor is that most other oceanic destinations don’t change that much from day to day ? But here every single day seems different, whether it is evening, morning or mid day !!
Humans are so fickle aren’t they ?
Here on Mull every visitor at this time of year seems intent on ‘doing Mull’ in a day and miss so very much. Even a hint of rain such as the misty start of yesterday means they all head for the ferry and assume it must be better somewhere else !! It usually isn’t and we and the eagles persisted and it turned into another super day when Eagle Island delivered handsomely, with lots sightings of White Tailed Sea Eagles and Golden Eagles.
We also had a female hen harrier, wheatears, rock and meadow pipits and an early but fleeting sight of an otter.
Off on another trip today with a further group of customers including the people staying at the house and I can see the rain clearing to be sunny for us, in about an hour.
Looking out from my office window today everything I see is golden. From the luxurious golden green vegetation 10m away from me, to an entirely golden flat sea all the way to Iona and the South of the Island.
We have had so many foreign visitors to the Islands this season and lots of islanders would now say ‘too many’. Is it so much cheaper, or is it our better climate, with a nice balance of rain and sun, because the beaches have been stunning and our waterfalls have been spectacular and tropical at times.
I have a wildlife trip this Tuesday but only 3 people at the moment and then another tour on Wednesday which is full already.
These are odd times for my Wildlife Expeditions as the clientele is completely different, to say April, May and early June, when everyone is very focussed and passionate about nature. At this time of year visitors are usually just looking for something to do.
Well yesterdays Wildlife trip was dominated by big showers and big sun and I had the cutest little French girl of about 11 years of age on the trip with her Grandmother. Her enthusiasm should have put some grown ups to shame as she romped off regularly, with a pair of binoculars had I loaned her to look at this and that and explore some more.
I have a feeling she will grow into a top female environmentalist. Well I hope so !
Off then to our National Scenic Area with my little friend and her Nan, who obviously encourages her.
I had a full minibus for the day and gambling for a moment, I hoped we would get an early sighting of the Sea eagles. Other enthusiasts along with my own customers were there and all had top views of a pair sitting together, as well as Joys very nice scones and tea or coffee, and for my little friend orange juice.
Across Loch na Keal there was one of those ‘cuddly moments’ as a female otter and her youngster rolled around on a short seaweed covered rock before rolling off into the sea again.
Another otter now with a large fish 100m from the track up Benmore and where it appeared to go under a small bridge and into the vegetation the other side of the road.
Over the mountain into Glen Seilesdair next and red deer stags on the horizon and guess what, another otter and a photographer a bit too close on Loch Scridain.
Creatures are on he move now and beautiful birds like the hen harrier can end up wintering as far away as The Cota Donana National Park, by Seville, where I have seen them myself
SO !! I was pretty chuffed at finding a a male harrier dancing in the landscape 50m out between the mussel farm on Loch Spelve and the Grasspoint turnoff. He is becoming so rare and may go extinct on mainland Britian soon, if the big estates don’t become more caring about the other creatures living around them.
I have a feeling that The Dance of the Seven Veils didn’t originate in the Far east, but here on Mull because it is at it again here, with a misty drizzly morning for the pessimist and then lunchtime warm and sunny for the optimist. What next ???
Every day is different and yes it makes for great entertainment, but not reliability.
We have had long spells of wonderful weather this season, glorious sunrises and sunsets just like last night, with star filled skies and more.
I would cancel that trip to Iceland I think and come to the Hebridean islands, where Islands like Mull can make Aurora Borealis look tame !!
What does Tuesday bring for me tomorrow and the days Wildlife Trip I wonder? Yet more things to wonder about !!
Off to Oban today to see a few people AND pick up a few things for my new recipe entitled King Prawns and Crab with Chilli.
Boy was it delicious, but you do have to like prawns and crab and of course red chillies and some white wine for the dish and your own pleasure also !!
No Tours today or tomorrow but Tuesday 15th I am out looking for otters and eagles again.
doing this posting, I was lucky at 6.30 to see a White Tailed Sea Eagle loping low across the grassland in front of the house and then out toward The Island of Ulva.
Motto is that if you don’t look you don’t see !!!
There is a beautiful sunset now shaping up for this evening.
It is another simply glorious day here, with little wind, calm sea and the white sandy beaches of Iona beckoning !
Our German guests left today, so there is much to be done preparing for more guests later in the week.
Also fruit bushes to check on and water, minibus to refuel for next trip and now things to do in Oban tomorrow. Interestingly we had bats cruising around the house and our small woodland this morning. Unusual of course because it is very sunny !! However I think they were probably youngsters, as I have seen young tawny owls sitting out on tree branches in the height of the day. No doubt mum would give hem a rollicking later when she explains that they are supposed to be secretive and nocturnal !
Everyone is awed by the view from here. As I am awed again right now, just looking out to another vast golden sea.