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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Isle of Mull

With my Doctor giving me a short Chemo holiday a last minute decision we decided on the Isle of Mull as we have never been in winter. Lots of snow on the way up and temperatures of minus 4 and from our Hotel in Oban we could see plenty snow on Ben More. Next morning woke to a glorious day wall to wall sunshine and 11 degrees. Ferry over to Mull was on a mill pond calm sea even managed to see  2 Porpoises. The next 3 days were the same so all snow melted and spotting life on calm waters was easy. Day 2 we had a total of 8 close up Otters others could be seen at long distances. These included a Mum and 2 Kits which were very happily playing along the beach even catching a crab and bringing it onto the beach for the Kits to rip apart. Noted that the adult shows a tail on diving but the 2 youngsters did not. As we decided to return to our house Val spotted a Sea Eagle coming down the valley so we stopped and waited as it flew slow and low over the car a great day.  Day three gave more Sea Eagles and male Hen Harriers ( no females seen)  and Otters, finished the day down at Grasspoint expecting Sea Eagles but an adult Golden Eagle displayed wonderfully probably the best views I have had of this beauty.  Day 4 dawned cloudy with the odd showers which remained till we left the Island . Today we passed one of the Sea Eagle nest areas and found 3 eagles sitting in the forest further on at another regular Sea Eagle Spot we spotted a large shape on a road side tree, Pulling up we saw a Sea Eagle dozing in the tree showing its huge bill. Essential I know but view was spoilt by the Tag attached to the wing. Waited in the car and ate our lunch and after 45 minutes the bird was still there even getting out and getting right up to the tree did not disturb it.  Total number of birds recorded was 64 good birds seen were Merganser , Gooseander, slav grebe, whooper swan, Great Northern diver ,Raven ,Peregrine and tawny Owl outside the house .Bird numbers down on what we get in early summer and with the roads to ourselves birding was more pleasant.
Not many red deer seen and we wanted a mountain Hare which eluded us.
A great break with a nice house and stunning sunny weather for the first few days made it special.