Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Home on Mull

After years of camping and holiday cottaging we finally moved to Isle of Mull and it is wonderful.
Just spent a busy and fairly short week moving in and making it homely but needn't have worried about being too busy for going out to see wildlife as the wildlife is all around
Daily views of hen harrier from living room window! We were treated to cuckoos calling every day from 4.00am til at least 10.30pm and had great views of them - including a regular three cuckoos who seemed to be constantly chasing each other around.

When we reluctantly returned to work we were delighted to find that the regular pair of kestrels have 4 chicks doing very well.

Home again very soon for the long long summer. Can't wait,

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Short-eared owls and Adder

Great to see shorties on Uist and on Mull!
Also this year on a regular walk from Fidden Farm near Fionnphort on Mull - the dog was merrily bouncing in a ditch at the side of the road when we heard a plopping sound and Simon noticed an adder drop into the water seeking the dumb, oblivious dog.  We managed to get dog our of the water and grab a few shots of a beautiful adder.

Berneray Otter ; White tailed eagle Benbecular; dolphin near Iona

Summer migration 2016: Cornwall to Outer Hebrides

We have just returned to reality and the promise of a long long academic term ahead after our annual summer migration.  This year saw us spending three weeks down in Cornwall via Exmoor each way and then north to Outer Hebrides - Berneray, Uists via Kielder Forest, Cairngorms, Applecross and Skye and then back via Raasay and Arisaig before a final lovely week on Mull.

We have had all kinds of weather including dreadful rain and storms with gusting winds of up to 60 mph.

Mainly what stands out for us this summer is the many wonderful people we have met along the way.  Most notably the craic at the Bernaray Hostel (as usual!)  This time we were joined by Davey and his young son Stevie from Dunfermline, a reet pair of characters! Also Becky and Brett a couple of young pals from Oxfordshire with a great sense of humour, Welsh sisters from Carnarvon who were inspirational -cycling all through outer Hebrides and keen kayakers and mountaineers as well.  A lovely chap who was making his 3rd attempt to get to St Kilda (We so hope he made it this time)  Also a fab Dutch couple who shared our love of cheese, wine and wildlife.

Also down at Kilbride Campsite on South Uist so many stalwarts who all helped each other and us through the storm of the summer.

Finally, on Mull, the awesome Fidden Farm Friends: Caroline, Jill, Davina and Michael who were so open and quick to invite us for drinks and shared stories of wildlife encounters and travels.-  We really enjoyed meeting you all- so funny and easy-going- we hope you chaps enjoyed the remainder of the summer.

Secondly the wildlife was fairly awesome in terms of the range of species we were privileged to see.  

A basic list would include: otters, white tailed eagles, golden eagles, slow worms, a fox, mountain hares, short eared owls, bats, adder, red deer, roe deer, bottlenose dolphins, porpoise, seals, sail by the winds, peregrines.  Pretty awesome!

To start the photo roll call some starlings for sister, Dr Jess Walkup -Base Leader at Halley Research Station, Antarctica - who did her doctorate research on these chatty bright little birds and may be missing them now she has been in the frozen south so long.