Isle of Mull
Last friday I made the trip over to Mull with my wife and some friends. Having visited briefly once before about 10 years ago I was really looking forward to returning. Although definitely not a photography holiday my cameras were as usual packed just in case.
We spent a week on the Island and although the weather was far from perfect it was once again a fantastic wildlife adventure watching some terrific species on this beautiful island despite hardly taking any photographs.
Otters were very elusive and difficult to spot due to the rough water but we did get very good views of two during the week with one eating a large eel 15m in front of me, unfortunately it was one of the rare moments that we had bright sunlight and it was mid afternoon so the sun was making it almost impossible to get the shot I wanted so rather than spook it with the shutter I just watched, another memory that will last forever as I watched my first Sea otter at close quarters.
Golden eagles sightings were plentiful on this day too as the weather was almost perfect for them and we watched 5 separate birds during the morning. We had also had distant views of the White-tailed sea eagles too when suddenly one dropped to the loch we were driving besides and was mobbed by hooded crows, the eagle was just about to land on the foreshore but was once again forced on and it flew close to us giving fantastic views.
Our accommodation also boasts Pine Marten in the grounds with a live video link to the feeding station and although I never stayed awake long enough after a few Ciders I did get to see the video footage the following morning and I believe this to be the only place on the island.
Eider ducks, Red-breasted merganser, Great northern divers and the usual wader species were to be found in many places.
Another highlight for me was pulling in to let a car past and seeing an Osprey sat on a post about 5 metres away before it took to the skies.
A trip to Iona gave me a chance to look for Corncrake whilst the women visited the Abbey, within a minute or so of reaching what looked like a likely spot I heard the unmistakeable call, sitting down quietly I scanned the flag Irises from where the sound came and soon spotted one, this time I had a bit of time and a break in the weather so out came the camera. These birds can disappear in front of your very eyes as you are watching them skulk around and can appear some metres from where you last saw it. I came away with a couple of acceptable shots considering the bird did not once break cover in the time I had.
For anyone that has never visited I would highly recommend it and I hope to return next year, this time with a lot more shots under my belt!
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