Thursday, 25 August 2016

June 2016....

Here are some of my wild encounters on Mull and Ardnamurchan during June...

Sanna Bay!
Cuckoo Spit, macro photography

Snipe during an evening tour

2 Oystercatchers...

Rock-pooling on Sanna Bay

Periwinkles on Sanna Bay

Male Hen Harrier on Mull Evening Tour

Female Curlew and chick

Evening tour sunset on Loch Na Keal

Sunset on Mull

Two Otters working the shoreline


Adult Golden Eagle on Mull

Adult WT Eagle waiting for the rain to stop

Common Sandpiper chick shredded by a strimmer 

Common Cottongrass...

Female Adder....

Exuvia of a For-spotted Chaser Dragonfly

A macro of a Wild Strawberry

Eurasian Otter

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Working with Iolo Williams on Mull...

Despite the challenging weather conditions at the start of the tour we had a wonderful five day experience on the island with Iolo Williams and guests. 
Sightings included White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagle, Hen Harriers, Basking Sharks, Minke Whale, Harbour Porpoise, Arctic Skuas, Great Skuas, Storm Petrels, Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, Black-tailed Godwits, Common Scoter, Mountain Hares, Tawny Owls, Red-throated Divers, Harbour Seals, Grey Seals, Red Deer, Fallow Deer and a wonderful array of wild flowers and fungi!
A great team of people all made a huge contribution so I would like to firstly thank Heather, Hugh, Janet, Irene and Tracy for their wonderful company and enthusiasm throughout the week.
I would also like to thank the main man Iolo Williams. I am sure everyone will agree that it is an absolute privilege to spend time in wild areas with him. A hugely inspirational naturalist. 
Many thanks also go to Jane Gordon-Chauvet for the amazing packed lunches along with the Carnaburg Guest House and the Western Isles Hotel for their wonderful food and hospitality.
Special thanks to Stuart Gibson (The-Musky-Mustelid) for his sensational fungi walk and to Rachel Ann French (WildChild Scotland) for her excellent guidance and assistance.
Here is a photo compilation of the experience from team members...
















Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Isle of Mull Experience with Iolo Williams

We only have 3 spaces left in August!

Join Iolo and Ewan Miles on the Isle of Mull to go in search for White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Otters, Hen Harriers, Minke Whales, Dolphins, Basking Sharks and many other birds, surrounded by some of the most beautiful wild places in Europe.

http://www.naturescotland.com/#!iolo-williams/qjcct






May 2016...

Mammal magic on our Ardnamurchan Tour today with Bottlenose Dolphins and a Pine Marten!

This morning we watched up to 10 Bottlenose Dolphins showing very close into the coast on the south side of the Peninsula!

Another highlight was a diurnal hunting Pine Marten in the afternoon flushing Meadow Pipits from the rushes!

Thrift is in flower now around the Hebrides providing a wonderful 'haze of pink' in coastal areas as well as inland on higher altitudes.

I am currently up in North Uist and have experienced a huge veriety of wildlife species so far, which has included this very rare Black-billed Cuckoo!

This species breeds in North America and is secretive in nature, being heard far more often than seen. During the breeding season, this forest dwelling caterpillar-eater often calls throughout the night.

It is a privilege to observe such biodiversity and completed ecosystems in the Hebrides. Some of the wildlife species I have seen in the last few days include...

White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Short-eared Owl (pictured), Hen Harriers, Peregrine, Corncrakes, Arctic Skuas, Great Skuas, Common Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Terns, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Whimbrels, Curlews, Oystercatchers, GN Divers, RT Divers, Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, Auks, Corn Buntings, Twite and many more!

My brother and sister in law enjoying the Hebridean sunset...

If you are impressed by watching birds in flight then you should stop and watch a Dragonfly on the wing...amazing...

Whos eyes??!!

Living Jewellery...

I had a great macro photography session on Mull yesterday with the main focus being, dragonflies and damselflies.

I managed to capture this image of a male Large Red Damselfly resting on Bog Myrtle. What a beautiful animal!

Easter Stargazing Event...

We had a truly wonderful 'Easter Stargazing Event' at Duart Castle last night which was attended by over 30 guests...

After an introduction to the night sky we did some children’s activities and then watched the ISS pass over just before 9pm! As dusk turned to darkness we admired Jupiter and the 'Galilean moons' along with some of the spring constellations showing at this time of the year.

To top the night off we were treated to a memorable aurora borealis display of intense movements, with columns reaching up to around 70 degrees high!!

Along with the northern lights we watched another ISS pass at 10:30pm and a stunning fireball (pictured) burning for a few seconds in the night sky!

Throughout the evening guests enjoyed tea/coffee/cake and soup at the newly refurbished Duart Castle tearoom.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last night to share some fantastic dark sky spectacles!



Time-lapse from the evening...

video

April 2016...

We had a great afternoon yesterday doing reptile surveys in some of the wilder parts of Mull.

'Make the Adder Count in 2016' is a long-running survey aiming to encourage springtime counts of Adders, with the objectives of informing local conservation projects/interests and gathering a long-term surveillance dataset.

We recorded three Adders on our 'reptile plot' along with two Viviparous Lizards out basking in the spring sunshine!

Our Photography Workshop bookings continue to come in for the year ahead. For anyone who is keen to increase their knowledge and field skills on the practice of outdoor photography, you can view our workshops here -

http://www.naturescotland.com/#!photography-workshops/pb960

Golden Eagle working the hillside!

Golden Eagle cresting the Ardnamurchan skyline...

Amazing winterscapes at the end of April!

The island was solid white for a day or two, creating amazing scenery...

A white hawk in a white wilderness...

Last week on a Wildlife Photography Workshop we had memorable views of a male Hen Harrier on the wing, surrounded by the snow-laden mountains on Mull!

I was keen to capture a photo of this bird along with his snowy environment. The crisp morning light reflecting off the snow cover made the Hen Harriers magnificent plumage even more vibrant.

A sensational bird...

We have a very exciting announcement coming soon...