Saturday, 6 April 2013

Back on Mull, Comet PanSTARRS and Aurora Borealis

I am back on the isle of Mull for my fourth season working with Sea Life Surveys working as a guide on boat excursions focusing on marine life. Enthusing people about wildlife is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I Want to improve on my guiding skills, knowledge on marine life and also boat/crew experience.

My targets for this season include doing more of my own inland guiding/photography trips which I have done on a couple of occasions already this season. Improving and promoting my photography on the isle and continue writing/blogging and providing updates for Sea Life Surveys,  Raptor Politics and FoW. Also working harder in general and being more committed to wildlife all the time. I am delighted to be coming back to SLS which will continue to stand me in good stead for the future.

I leave my native Cumbria again after a few months wintering down there. I love the regions wild areas and the variety of habitats in close range. And I just love It because it is my home. Would love to be based their at some point in the future as the area and its wildlife are close to my heart.

head of LNK...

Flying Barn doors over LNK!

On arrival to the isle on Thursday I headed straight to my favourite site, Loch Na Keal. I did a count at the head of the loch and had 16 Slav Grebes, 14 GN Diver, 50 plus Goldeneye, 8 Teal, 15 Wigeon and good numbers of Shag as well. Two juv WT Eagles appeared very close right overhead and they might of well just said "welcome back to Mull!"
Went to look for the illusive Comet PanSTARRS on the night and got great views in the scope and also a nice photo of it...Went to photograph Rhub Na Gall lighthouse as well and got some nice landscapes with the strong moonlight paining the surrounding area nicely...what a first day!

Rhub na Gall lighthouse at night...

Rhub Na Gall...moonlight painting landscape

The Masts!

Uni of Cumbria students Andy, Dale and Jessie were on the isle for a two week expedition and asked me to guide them round the isle so we headed out covering the southern circuit. 3 Otters together was the first highlight and also a pair of Harriers. More Harriers and Golden eagles going through glen more. The lads were so enthusiastic and keen and seemed to have the Mull bug already! Andrew was having his usual winge about certain things, mainly old people and southerners. We headed up to a view point in the north of the isle as the skies stayed clear and seeing what would unfold for the night. Ruth, Jayne and Andy joined us from the viewpoint as we all enjoyed great views of the comet. A pale band on the horizon was showing and approaching midnight the strength picked up and a sudden two minute burst of dancing columns put us in hysterics! Shooting stars, Jupiter and Saturn added to the entertainment and Dale said it was the best day of his life! :-) 

Lads doing astro-photog

Aurora Borealis...



Guy and Shonna were on the isle for easter weekend so we headed out on the Saturday in continued glorious sunshine. The highlight was defiantly a sky dancing male Harrier in glen more which was one of the greatest things I have ever seen! peaking and troughing at intense speeds!! Golden Eagles and very close red stags were other highlights along with GN Divers. We saw a very pale morph Buzzard in the south of the isle which is known about, which can be confused with rough-legged and I think it could be the same bird Gary and I encountered in 2009 on the isle. Great day with Guy and Shonna. 


Stunning stag...

Buzzard showing well roadside...

Sunday and a four hour trip with SLS and we got Porpoise, Seals and the local Tobermory Otter. Fantastic keen kids on board which is always great to see and that is something else I want to commit more effort to, the important task of enthusing the next generation about the natural world.

Thanks for looking :)


  1. Great photos! Glad to see you back on Mull again this year as I am looking forward to coming to Ardnamurchan again in early June, so your sightings of sea eagles, otters, harriers etc in the meantime will keep me going, and keep the holiday alive for me after we've returned home.

  2. Thanks for the kind comments, Ardnamurchan is a special place and I am sure you will have a great time :)