Well its 8am and we have had a wonderful sunrise and a glorious day now beckons here on the West Coast of the country and its stunning Hebridean Islands.
I perfectly understand that the appalling weather hitting England and its east coast must be covered, but how is it that when we often have such wonderful weather, the UK weather reporters never give credit to this magical Island world. When like today it is the opposite of everywhere else regarding weather conditions?
It is as if we simply do not matter, when it should when people here also have to earn a living like everyone else in Britain.
Here we are with another corker of a day on Mull and still February and I can now understand why Fridays trip was so successful, particularly regarding Hen Harriers and eagles because this is still very early in the season and so they have been tempted north from places like Spain and The Cota Do Nana National Park where I have seen Mull birds at Christmas even.
However the plus is that intense sun all day, or easterly and cold winds, are the two least successful days to be on a wildlife day out, as such conditions usually mean that Eagles and Harriers etc. tend to sit tight. No one has ever given me a good reason for this except that it is for certain in my mind that such sunny weather creates lots of shade and that means that their prey can hide more easily.
So on my next trip which is March the 3rd I rather hope for the best weather, which is sunshine and showers. Dilemma of course is that humans love endless sun !!!!
Well it is only February but we had a really good day out yesterday.
I had an otter eating a fish on some rocks just ioffshore at Killiechronan as I went to collect my customers at Craignure.
We soon had a big male otter across the loch and eventually sleeping on Scarisdale rocks.
Further up the coast we had another otter and a female with an advanced youngster very close inshore
Back to Killiechronan where we had an adult white Tailed Sea Eagle swooping into the trees with legs extended, like big birds of prey do.
Lots of Great Northern Divers but a good view of Golden Eagle eluded us but at least 4 0r 5 Hen Harriers didn’t !! Lots of red deer of course too and a good lunch of scones, soup and sandwiches and chocolate cake to finfish !!
Today is another very clear and bright day but very much colder than yesterday.
I think its going to be a good vole year and probably why the harriers were not too difficult to find.
I haven’t been anywhere in my well travelled world to beat the natural wonders we have here in The Hebridean Islands.
Right now the sky is pink over the South of Mull and Iona and off to the right over The Island of Ulva and probably Coll and Tiree the sky is a blazing gold and probably where the sun will set this evening.
I have been to many Islands but I don’t recall any of them with so many islands and islets waiting just offshore, to be seen and to explore.
I regularly get told, and tell others, that Mull has the most varied landscape in Britain and I know I am not wrong.
In my postings I have searched for the words that do justice to these romantic and magical Islands and here I am again wanting to explain what I see from my office, but I know I barely scratch the surface of how to put it over to other people, who are not lucky enough to live in such relatively untouched wild places.
Strange maybe but its not unusual for Mull to get lovely weather in February. Such as we had yesterday and are going to get today, with the sun already rising over Benmore and its adjoining mountains, at just 7.30.
It is also going to be very calm and windless today which makes for a good time to find otters. However as my well trained groups know, the very best weather for enjoying wildlife is actually sunshine and showers, and why ?? Well that may be for another posting.
I think that the last 24 hours and still going have been the worst weather I have ever encountered on The Island.
I can see only about 100m of landscape from my office and then it looks terrible with a raging sea all the way out to Iona.
The wind and rain are extremely wild and horizontal and no ferry’s are sailing and no one local is out and about.
There is a small glimmer of hope in a few hours time I think, but I feel it will only last the blink of an eye.
Well this is Mull for you with me an hour ago painting this almost tropical look that the Island had.
Now an hour later we have had a big and prolonged snowfall and Mull looks like northern Russia.
However I can see it already passing and the scene looking summery again, but with a dusting of white.
How often have I said to visitors that Mull is forever changing and entertaining !!
Its another one of our visually beautiful days here.
It was black as soot early morning but now in the sweep of an eye the whole scene from the house is of snow capped peaks, blue, white and light charcoal clouds.. There is virtually no wind, every shade of brown and gold you can think of, Red Deer are trotting along the skyline while the birds are going silly on the feeders.
Here we go now with sun blazing into my office and no doubt similar visual invitations all around the Island to come and explore on such a stunning day.
However I have to see how Scotland get on in the rugby against France AND !!! what a goal it was from Sheffield United’s captain in yesterdays Leeds, Sheffield encounter. We won of course and it looks like my team are back in focus to chase promotion to the premiership.
Well its another inspiring day today with the Island looking positively exotic again.
No wind at all, very sunny, flat calm seas, gorgeous colours rising up the mountains from sea level slopes to the snow covered peaks surrounding Benmore.
There are plenty of Great Northern Divers about and otters are not tough on this flat sea. Two adult White Tailed Sea Eagles are nestled together at the top of a tree watching over their territory, to deter other sea eagles that might want a slice of it !!
I have seen February in the past turn into weeks of warm sunshine but of late we have had some snow hail and driving rain !!!! Almost always a terrific sunset though.
Well we have had it all today. It began pretty good again and I got my card machine sorted by our Island expert James Westland, which means I will soon be in action with people booking Wildlife Expeditions again.
Then around lunchtime we had a couple of big hailstone showers and now we could be stuck in here as snow in large quantities is pouring from the sea and over the landscape and the house.
I can see a big sun above The Island of Ulva which is getting bigger and bigger and looks like it is shaping up to do battle with the snow any minute.
It all looks like a Christmas scene from every direction and maybe more so because I still have our big tree up and feeling reluctant to take down now. But I must of course.
I see that the massive low sun is winning the battle and the snow is currently easing and melting.
The people of the past that inhabited this magical place must have been so daunted and both afraid and in wonder at the scenes that they daily lived with here. Its 4.45 and Mull is at peace again with itself and every colour of the rainbow is out from the open door of my office.