Posts Tagged ‘Mull


A Hair’s Breadth.

A walk locally earlier this week gave us some sightings of Green Hairstreak. Thanks to friend Mark. They were flitting around the tops of the trees so didn’t offer brilliant views but they were good to see never the less. Especially so for Tania. Almost everything that’s new for my year lists is brand new to her.

The event reminded me of a trip to Mull a few years ago when I took a small party of people on tour. Exactly six years ago to the day to be precise we’d been watching White tailed Eagles under a beautiful blue sky and had got back in the car only to be joined by a Green Hairstreak which landed on the dash. Probably my best ever views of one of our most beautiful butterflies. It was carefully extracted and shown it’s true environment non the worse for its visitation, but not before it had been photographed of course!



Back to Black

The trip to Mull this year gave us some pretty good wildlife encounters; not least with Black Guillemot. I particularly liked this shot in bright sunshine of an individual swimming below us. There are still places available on next years tour


Crex Crex

The number of calling Corncrake on Mull this year was not as many as I’ve seen in previous years. I have a feeling numbers are again declining but this may be anecdotal. However, a little careful waiting aside a very friendly lady’s garden gave us good views of this very secretive bird.


Some you loose some you gain

Some great seabirds up in Mull. Interestingly very few Great Skuas but BIG flocks of Manx Shearwaters.

Bonxie Manx Shearwater



One of the reasons I take a tour to Mull each year is to see the amazing wildlife that resides and returns there. The eagles are understandably a big draw; and most people get a kick out of seeing them. They are undoubtedly magnificent beasts. We had five sightings of White tailed Eagles including this one.

White tailed Eagle


A bird with expensive taste

On Mull last month we watched a Hooded Crow fly upward and drop something onto loch-side rocks. The bird would then fly down, pick up the object and drop it again; Lammergeyer like. Upon closer inspection the object was seen to be an oyster. The crow repeated the process until the oyster cracked open; it then ate the contents and then started the procedure all over again with another. Damn clever these corvids.

Hooded Crow Hooded Crow 1


What’s it all about

Do I get enjoyment from leading tours? Of course I do. Sure I love seeing birds and other wildlife but the best value I get is showing a guest something they have never seen before. When whatever it is shows well then that’s when I get really excited for them. Strongly imprinted memories live long in the mind. When something shows well those memories are well and truly burned into place. For me it’s always more about the people than about what they are looking at.

I always ask my guests after a tour what was their best moment. Sometimes it’s hard to filter out what was best among a throng of bests but on the latest Mull Tours the sightings of Corncrake more often than not came out on top. Some really good sightings this year of this enigmatic species both on the ground and in the air. Long may that continue.

Corncrake 1



Amid a cauldron of Mountains

Driving down to the south of Mull on our second tour to the western Isle this spring the mist was hanging over the peaks. The mountains surrounded us. We were driving through a cauldron of rock and scree that rose imposingly from the undulating valley bottom. It was just after the second time of asking my guests to keep an eye open for raptors that the shout went up.

I pulled in and immediately saw two large birds of prey. It didn’t take long to put a label on them as our second and third Golden Eagles of the trip. We were delighted when one bird started to sky dive and display to the other. Impressive birds these; the kings of raptors. We spent a good ten minutes watching the birds before the rosettes of Common Butterwort that surrounded us took our attention and the birds disappeared behind distant crags.

Golden Eagle


Jockeying for position!

This Male Black Guillemot was trying his best to mount a proposed mate last week. She was having nothing of it! Every time he raised a leg in anticipation of getting on board she changed position … in the end they decided to just sit together and look out to sea. Lovely birds these, so uncommon here in Norfolk but up on Mull and the west coast of Scotland last week we saw plenty.

Black Guillemot_Z5A9114


Over the top

One of my guests on the Mull Tour last week said these were her favourite ducks. I see what she means; we saw several in Yorkshire on our way north … but I prefer something less brash and subtle than a Mandarin. Bit over the top these Orientals!


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Apr 2023


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