Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Scotland Day 10 (Monday 3rd June)

Hi

Monday was another sunny and bright day up here on Mull.  However the late Spring has affected things here too, with masses of Bluebells out at the same time as Primroses and earlier flowering plants, mixed in with orchids and later flowers.  The bracken which should be much taller by now has hardly grown at all and the result is a profusion of colour on the mountain slopes.  Quite stunning and perhaps Mull at its best.

The huge sea lochs are full of both breeding and non-breeding auks.  The locals say this is very unusual and another sign of a cold and late (but dry) Spring.  There seems to be plenty of life in the water with the terns and Kittiwakes continually catching small fish; there are good numbers of jellyfish in the water too.

Plenty of birds to watch in the stunning light, with Sandwich and Common Terns joining the more numerous Arctic Terns at key points around the island.  There must be hundreds of pairs of Common Sandpipers and Oystercatchers on the island, every waterside stretch seemingly hosting a pair of each.

We explored the small coves and beaches west of Tobermory and then went up on to the Mornish headland to watch for activity along the cliff-tops and out to see towards the island of Coll.  The sea was flat calm and it was possible to see every surface movement for miles.  Grey Seals and Porpoise continually bouyed to the surface and the water was littered with diving auks, Manx Shearwaters, terns and Kittiwakes.  Gannets, Arctic Skuas and Great Northern Divers were all in single figure numbers, but it was a memorable experience with the awe-inspiring peaks of Mull and in the distance, Rum and Skye adding to the splendour of the spectacle.

Regards 

Eleanor and Neil



Common Gull

Red-breasted Merganser

Whinchat

Eiders

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