Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A quick visit back to Mull...

I couldn't stay away from the isle for long as a couple of weeks after leaving I was heading back to Mull joined by Cain the Hollywell Birder and also Ashley Howe a student at Penrith studying Wildlife and Media. My main purpose of the visit was to do a RYA Powerboat course with the Hebridean Sea School. Cain was focusing on some night sky star trails and Ashley was doing some media work for his course.

We headed up early on Monday 12th after a traditional late arrival by Cain. On his funeral his coffin is going to arrive half an hour in with a post it note on top saying sorry I am late. Anyway we headed north in solid rain with the wiper blades doing overtime and we made it to the Green welly stop for some food before continuing through Glencoe which was still stunning even though we couldn't see any of it!
we safely arrived after seeing a GN Diver from the ferry and a great way to finish the day by borrowing Braveheart DVD from Cat next door. Best film ever along with Dumb and Dumber and Batman Begins.

Tuesday and poor forecast and constant rain as we headed out. We started at Tobermory harbour to look for the local Otter and as we were scanning Ashley got a Firecrest by Ledaig car park which ended up being the first record for the isle! Well done Ash a great find and hell of a start to the week. No Otter but we moved onto do a circuit of the north of the isle. As we stopped to admire the view near Loch Na Keal we had 2-3 Waxwing trilling overhead and 5 minutes later came one of mine and I am sure Cain and Ashley's best wildlife encounters as we watched a juvenile Golden Eagle circling back and forward before going into hunting mode for Rabbits over Killiechronan. It dropped onto one having it in its grasp before dropping the lucky bunny which ran back into its warren! Immense.
On the evening we did a night drive owl prowl to see what nocturnal beasties we could see and got rewarded with Barn owl, 4 Tawnies, Mountain Hare, Red and Fallow Deer. Watched Pirates of the Carribean 9 on DVD and pretty similar to their other movies to be honest with an action packed dramatic start all happy...a kerfuffle in the middle until it ends up great and everyone lives happily ever after!

Tobermory with Northern Lights taken a few weeks back during Octobers Aurora Season!
Wednesday was the start of my Powerboat course with Jimbo and a good first day focusing on safety and handling work of the RIB. The local Otter was seen in the pontoon and a few Waxwing overhead along with a Jay calling in Aros park. Clear spells in the sky meant it was essential to take advantage of so we headed to Glengorm where we got a faint aurora on the horizon, some great meteor displays and the milky way stretching from right across the sky! brilliant night! Greenstreet was the movie selection which is quite good actually all about football hooligans swaggering about kicking the crap out of rival firms.

Thursday and back to the pontoon for the Powerboat course completion with passage planning and anchorage sites. I passed the course and really enjoyed it. A female Sparrowhawk and the usual Ravens overhead were the pontoon sightings today. Ashley got some fantastic Otter footage for his project so that was great. Another very average predictable american film on the evening cant even remember the name. Thats why I love wildlife...so unpredictable and impossible to ever call what is gong to happen next. :-)

Friday and the plan was to get the last ferry home after exploring the isle a bit but it it was solid liquid sunshine flat out so we headed down the ferry terminal and were an hour and a half early for the next ferry so we just sat it out listening to Cains chav tunes with the rain coming down. As the ferry pulled up on the slip and with us first in a long cue, HB attempted to start the engine with no joy as the radio had drained the battery! We let everyone by and then tried to jump start it on the slip but it didn't happen so we watched the ferry depart without us on board even though we were over an hour early! Every attempt to start her sounded better as we eventually got it going in time for the next ferry. WT Eagle and Guillemot form the return ferry and a successful trip back to Cumbria after a great few days with excellent company!

Thanks for looking 8-)


  1. I bet it was amazing to see the Golden Eagle. From Findlay

  2. I like this idea a lot, but it also scares me. I wonder how long it would be before my re-read stack was just as big.
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