For the past couple of days I've been exploring the Southern end of Mull, roughing it. I headed down to the Ross of Mull on Friday night, it was a beautiful warm, calm night, in a beautiful place covered in white beaches and sandy fields. An Irish Hare was encountered crossing the road and feeding amongst the seaweed as I past Fidden. A quiet beach held a Raven family, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Curlew and a few Hooded Crow.
I parked up for the night, read a few chapters of 'Mountains of the Mind' and fell asleep to the sounds of at least 2 Corncrakes. My wake up call wasn't as relaxed, the car suddenly began to rock, and I sat up to find a cow scratching itself on my wing mirror! One Corncrake could still be heard.
Saturday saw me crossing over to Iona, in search of more Corncrake, and to explore the island. As I knew before heading over, finding Corncrakes this time of year was going to be difficult, and that it was, hearing 5 + but seeing none, although I still enjoyed my visit (apart from the mass of tourists)
On return I began heading for Loch Na Keal, stopping off at a White Tailed Eagle viewpoint on my way, luckily I caught a glimpse, and a pretty terrible photograph, hopefully this week will hold some close encounters.
Parking up on the South side of Loch Na Keal, I continued my book, learning how the imagination and perceptions of mountains had become. Lulled off to sleep by the unique and deeply wild call of the Red Throated Diver.
Sunday mornings bathing pool, under the bridge, was a bit fresh to say the least.
Heading back North I travelled through Glen More, breath taking.
I spent a good hour with this 'gang of hoodies', a bit more skitish than our Carrion Crow, but after a while I felt to be 'one of the gang', although keeping myself within a respectable distance.
I headed on towards Grasspoint where I picked up Red Deer and Snipe on the marshes. It was also here where my perception of some so called wildlife photographers was reinforced. Parking up in the small car park I could see a figure walking into the field towards a big stag, out of curiosity I lifted my bins, and there he was, a wildlife photographer in his finest, walking directly towards the stag with no respect to the animal or his surroundings. He would stop now and again to get his 'shot' but never happy, eventually forcing the deer back into the long grass, unfortunately he never came down towards the car park.
Off the point out to sea a large number of birds were feeding on the tideline, mostly Kittiwake, Gannet, and Black Guillemot. Two Arctic Skuas harassed some of the Kittiwakes for a while before heading North.
Back on the boat tomorrow, missed Common Dolphins on Saturday, so fingers crossed.