Tuesday, May 25, 2021

πŸ“– Staycation Part 2 ~ Scotlands West Coast

The Isle of Mull leaving Oban
Wednesday, May 19th: Today was the highlight of our week on the West Coast with a day trip to Mull. As luck would have it this was forecast to be the last good weather day before things changed. Unfortunately, as per usual, the weather forecast wasn't quite as expected and although we did enjoy some sunny periods we also encountered even longer periods of heavy rain.


The sailing takes around 45-minutes and offers the chance of a short spell of 'pelagic birding'. With the sea particularly calm today the birding, in general, was quiet during both crossings with just a single Manx Shearwater and the usual selection of sea birds Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Common Tern and of course Black Guillemots around the harbour. However, we noted several pods of Common Dolphin and a possible sighting of Minke Whale, which was just too far out for a positive ID but appeared much larger than any Dolphin!

White-tailed Eagle ~ photographed in heavy rain

On arrival, we took a clockwise route around Mull with our first stops on the southern end of the Island overlooking Loch Scridain and Loch Beg. Notable sightings here were several Great Northern Divers, a male Hen Harrier, Peregrine and our first sighting of White-tailed Eagle, which Dazza spotted from the car as it passed overhead during a heavy rain shower.

Otter ~ Dazza's spot of the day!

Of course as well as Eagles, Dazza was also permanently on the lookout for her favourite Otters and as per usual came up trumps as we skirted our way northwards. A wonderful dog Otter who we spent a good while with, at one time watching him demolish a large lobster!

Always at a distance another Great Northern Diver

At Loch na Keal and Loch Ba a number of summer plumage Great Northern Divers along with a few waders Common SandpiperWhimbrel, Ringed Plover and the ever-present Oystercatchers.

White-tailed Eagle at Ballygown

A few further sightings of White-tailed Eagle, including the above specimen along the shoreline at Ballygown. Golden Eagle was a little more difficult to pin down today with a few distant sightings but our best view was literally a few miles from the ferry terminal at Graigmure when one soared close by across the treeline, once again in the pouring rain.


Despite the weather, It was an excellent day with plenty of stops to enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife and naturally included fish & chips at Tobermory. Other species of note today included: Raven, Whinchat, Stonechat, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and Red-throated Diver.

A Few More Images of the Day..


Ringed Plover
Another view of White-tailed Eagle
Brute force Raven