Mulling it over

Our last full day on Mull and again the sun has been shinning. Roo, Stu and Sprocket were up with the lark and out hunting for otters, sadly no luck! We spent the day at Lochdon, Ian and I went for a local walk this morning before the sun got too hot.

The week has been lovely, the cottage is in the perfect setting and I am happy to recommend it to anyone heading this way. The local views change so much with the tide as seen here.

The position on the island is good too and tomorrow the journey to the ferry is a short one. The cottage has been very comfortable although I suspect anyone tall my have difficulties, even I have banged my head!!!

We have been out for a couple of walks, and we have seen a new butterfly, unless we are wrong it is a Small pearl-bordered fritillary and lovely it is too!

We also got a short view of this little butterfly but sadly only closed, we are fairly sure it is a Holly blue. IMG_5747 holly blue

Next we found a new dragonfly, a more subtle fella than the Golden-ringed dragonfly earlier in the week but in my opinion just as spectacular! A Keeled skimmer a totally new one to me (once again if I am wrong on the ID please let me know).IMG_5767  Keeled Skimmer

This afternoon, as seems usual for Mull, the skies were blue and today we were treated to a fly by from a couple of Buzzards. Also today we saw a Buzzard in a small wooded area just up the road from us. On our first walk, on the day we arrived Stu spotted a bird also in the wooded area by the time we were all looking in the right direction there was much wing action and he was off through the trees thus not giving us a clear view. All we knew was it was huge! We were left with the frustration of not knowing but wondering, could it have been a Golden eagle? Now a few days later we saw a pair of Goldens so as far as lists are concerned it doesn’t matter but it would have been good to know. The reaction when we saw the Buzzard was that it seemed half the size of the other bird…we will never know for sure.

Well it is 8pm and we have just enjoyed our meal, Ian and I are heading for the conservatory to see what may fly by tonight. Roo and Stu have just gone off on a Kayak again so I thin I will grab a camera ready for any eventuality!

They are going well but way over the far side of the Loch, too far for pictures.

So I am sitting here mulling over our time on Mull, it has been brilliant. Not a lot of bird ticks but the quality makes up for the quantity, two types of eagles and a crake, not too shabby! Also been the best place, I think for invertebrates, with moths, butterflies and dragonflies. Of course lovely wild flowers thrown in for good measure

Mull is just so beautiful and we have certainly been blessed with fantastic weather, our only problem has been getting too hot and especially making sure little Sprocket keeps cool so we really can’t complain at that!

They have come back nearer our side of the loch so time to get the camera on the go!

Having Roo, Stu and Sprocket with us on Mull has of course been the best part, nothing beats time with family, thanks for joining us.

Mull here we come!

 

Our five days in Nethy bridge were enjoyable if not very productive! As we were getting ready to leave we learnt in conversation that the tower of the hotel, where our room was, used to be suites and they ‘belonged’ to old celebrities. The ground floor was Cary Grant’s, the first floor was Mae West’s and the second was Lauren Bacall’s. We had been staying in Mae Wests and I did wonder if looking down from the tower was where the “Come up and see me” was first thought up!IMG_4843 hotelTravel can be boring but with views like these yesterday it certainly kept us interested. We had allowed ourselves plenty of time so were able to stop and stretch our legs and look around.

Ian managed to sniff out a golf club to stop for coffee, he liked the look of the last hole but suspected the others maybe a tad more challenging!

On to Oban to meet up with Roo, Stu and Sprocket and then after lunch and shopping for provisions,off on the ferry to Mull. We got a tick on the journey over with Black Guillemot in the harbour, not as many as we had seen on previous trips but enough for a year tick and bird 226. What a beautiful day to be doing the ferry, lovely views all the way across.

Our house was just a short drive from Craignure where the ferry docks and having arrived I don’t mind if stay put for the next week, although of course we will be adventuring further afield. In fact it wasn’t long before we were out walking exploring the locality and beautiful it is. We spotted some new friends on the way.

We had walked just a very short way when Stu spotted an enormous bird in a wooded area but by the time the rest of us saw it, off it flew through the tree and we couldn’t identify it, hopefully it will be back.IMG_4946 sign

Also spotted by Stu was this stunning, dragonfly which unless anyone knows differently is a Golden ringed dragonfly, brilliant. By far the largest one I have ever seen.

We walked for a couple of hours and when we got ‘home’ it looked as though someone had pulled the plug out, of course the tide had simply gone out which gave it all a very different look. Second tick of the day was the hooded crow, better picture to follow I reckon.

The swan with her cygnets was of course taken before the tide receded but later she got herself slightly stranded in the mud. She was so funny, she was pushing herself through the mud using one of her feet while the cygnets walked happily behind. We weren’t really sure why she didn’t just walk too!

I think we can safely say this looks a good place to spend time so we will see what the week brings. So far this morning two of our group (naming no names) have been out for a run whilst the other two just watched the tide go out again and birds fly in, its a hard life!