Its been very wild and wet here and on our way to Sonny’s birthday in Glasgow on Thursday it was the same but what an encounter 5 minutes out with our two local golden eagles looking black against the sea and mountains, as they swept across the road and wheeled around really close and dramatic, as if to say, don’t go, you’re missing all this David. The children are always excited at seeing us and we had a great night out seeing Tin Tin, having a meal and staying at a hotel where I had got Sonny a Natural History Dinosaur Excavation Kit which I have to recommend, as they get to assemble the ‘bones’ after digging it out. I don’t agree with the view that grandchildren are only lovely because you get to give them back. If you love children being with them every day would be one big adventure as it was with our own children as they grew up here.
Really windy and wet all day for the trip today. However really dramatic sightings of sea eagle showing as white as anything 100m away with her feet down and big white tail spread out as she swept onto a tree mobbed by other birds to shelter from the rain. Otters also were really good with a male swimming and also on shore on Loch na Keal. At Pennyghael we saw a mum and cub really close at times. In fact at one time maybe 20 feet away from us. Long tailed duck today and great northern divers but it was all very cold and wild.
The most beautiful sunny day today with a golden sky shining on a golden sea and black mountains rising in between as I set off to get people for todays trip. We saw a few hen harriers today with lots of kestrels and buzzards, a sea eagle and then two more together off Grasspoint. Suddenly an otter was up and marking its territory on a big boulder a few feet to our right, another otter trotted across an open field in the south of Mull and put up lots of oystercatchers. Numerous eagle sightings today and two adult golden eagles chasing a youngster off their territory in Glenmore. A group of about 10 porpoise in the Sound of Mull. Winter is best on sunny days like this and no other humans seemingly for miles.
Mull has 300 miles of the most varied possible coastline and today was lovely at Loch Buie which has about 20 miles of it. On the way there was a sea eagle, male and female hen harriers, great northern diver and all the more common birds you might expect. The golden eagle was where it should be at Loch Buie, gliding around some misty peak. These are immense places in scale and emptiness and I know for certain that there wasnt another single person anywhere along it’s 20 miles of raised beach coastline, which was created after the glaciers here melted. On the way back I had only my second sighting this year of a Jay which is rarer than a Sea Eagle here !
The weather has not been so good the last couple of days but its OK and does not seem to matter here. Stepping out of the house yesterday there were two seperate sightings of sea eagles and while I was cleaning the windows inside today a young female sea eagle came as close as I have ever seen one out in the wild, as it came within 20ft at most of the window and then sailed along the landscape. The Hebridean Islands are powerful and emotional places off season. It all feels truly truly wild and for the free spirit only. I love every season here but it is still good to get away and see other places and I have seen lots anyway. The Hebrides is the best.
It was a ‘normal’ day for me today and off to Oban to get a hair cut [ not that I have much to cut ] and buy some undercoat for the eaves of the house. Maintaining your property is one of the few negatives of life here, as the elements do take their toll on the exterior fabric of buildings. Ours being modern makes it quite easy to maintain but I still think there are probably technologies out there yet to be invented that could give you an almost maintenance free property. On the way out a golden eagle came gliding along the ridge harassed by a score of hooded crows, which meant they were almost certainly feeding on some carrion and the eagle wanted part of the action. Interesting always that eagles never harm birds that pester them endlessly. But I know why !!
Well it’s a beautiful calm sunny day here and I have the usual incredible winter effects of light, sea, clouds and moutains, to attempt to convey !! It feels like something compulsory that I should do each day when it is so utterly beautiful to behold. The mountains across the sea are grey and black and thick white clouds are hugging the whole of Benmore very tight like a giant fluffy duvet. Above the clouds it’s very sunny and as it shines on the clouds below it looks like an alien land. Across the landscape in front of the house a hen harrier has been patrolling for some time seemingly with no luck, yet voles are abundant this year. Winter is best alright here and an inspiring place to spend the winter away from all of that down there. If you don’t need to be there that is!!. I am going to collect some oysters now. Luv em !!
Well been away in Glasgow having lots of fun with our two grandchildren Sonnie and Charlie while their Mum and partner are in Jamaica on a late honeymoon. It was the usual hurly burly in the city and dark grey skies from Glasgow until the West Coast and Loch Linnhe where the sun was shafting through dozens of distant mountains and blue islands onto a silver sea. But even better when we arrived on our West Coast and clear blue sky with mountains dappled with cotton wool clouds and feeling as always, that this has to be the most magical place in the world. Of course my grandchildren are magical too and what chemistry they all have when they get together with Mull.
No official wildlife trips in the near future but we got up this morning to see a young golden eagle within 30ft of the house and then 3 sparrowhawks wafting around as well. Its a lovely morning here and its always inspiring to have nature all around you every day. It feel so special to be at the very heart of such a genuinely wild place.
Things change very little here and at times its like stepping back a 100 years. Each time I go to the mainland it is changing for the worse I feel. People seem more hostile and less courteous than they were. Many young people appear to have no rules now. Everyone drives far too fast on the inner roads or on motorways where everyone young or old drives over 70 miles an hour and it isn’t policed seemingly. What chance then of it being policed with the new idea of an 80 limit ? It does feel very safe and secure here. Its very healthy with no pollution and maybe the cleanest rain in th world. There are plces like this all over the world which need people to live and to do things. Why don’t they?