Monday, 1 October 2012

Severiano Borealis...Northern Lights on Mull

An incredible day all round yesterday as I got up early to cover one of my local sites up here and after sitting patiently from a vantage point for nearly two hours I watched a juvenile Golden Eagle in the distance as it enjoyed soaring in the strong westerly winds before suddenly turning my way and came within 150 yards of me as I watched it all the way in my scope been able to see its eye moving! It then started yelping continuously before heading back north from where it came an association with a 6 month old Goldie!

The rain came in the afternoon so ironically I finished off my Focusing on Wildlife article about Aurora Borealis potential in the UK this wintertime. The evenings main event was defiantly watching one of the best sporting events there is, the Ryder Cup. Europe were 10-6 down against USA and had been outclassed throughout and had a slim chance of taking the cup back home. I went to the local pub to watch it with Jayne and Ruth and the 'Miracle in Medinah' happened as unbelievably Europe won 8 1/2 points out of 12 to win the cup outright! 

Headed back home thinking that it was the end to a great day and after watching American Office on DVD and about to snooze off I got an Aurora alert and after seeing clear spells in the sky when we were walking in Tobermory I jumped out of bed and headed to a local vantage point to see if anything was happening. As soon as I arrived thick cloud came in and heavy showers so I left after five minutes and on the way back I encountered a stunning Tawny Owl sat in a roadside tree so I stopped and wound down the window watching the bird scanning for prey. I got a nice photo (below) which was meant to cap the night off but a few miles down the road the showers cleared in classic Mull fashion and I noticed a pale shade to the north so stopped and did a long exposure on my camera and picked up the green of Aurora Borealis! I headed to another view point further east and stayed for a couple of hours watching an amazing show which topped the Cumbria display back in April! 

It peaked at 2am just as it did 6 months ago and it was 'Storm level' solar winds striking the earth's atmosphere making the spectacle visible this far south. Incidentally it was also a Harvest moon last night which is the first full moon closest to the autumn equinox. Before electronic lights, farmers relied on the light of the full moon to help them gather ripening crops. The strong moon helped me light up all the landscape when taking this photo.  

Click on photos for a larger scale...

Amazing scenes...6 second exposure, F5.6 ISO 1600

dancing lights over Ardmore and Ardnamurchan...

Nice effect with thick band of cloud rolling in...

Here you go said you wanted more pictures of me from Mull so how is this for size?!

Tawny owls don't cross water you know!

Team Europe with the famous trophy!
Spirit of Seve...
Thanks for looking, the 'Miracle on Mull' must of been from Seve Borealis! 8-)


  1. Fantastic photos Ewan.
    What time exactly did you see the display?
    At Treshnish I saw it from 2.15 to 5.45 but i think i just missed the peak. Took my first photos

  2. Thanks for the kind comments, great blogging as always, i think you must of meant Haweswater not Geltsdale for the last eagle in England mentioned on yr blog, I wish we had eagles at geltsdale :)
    Well done also for getting the Aurora as well, it peaked at 1:30 - 2am and luckily there was a clear spell in the sky. fingers crossed for more activity this winter! cheers