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...

March 2016...

I was contacted by the BBC Countryfile Magazine last month requesting the commission of my image of a 'Mull Bluebell Woodland' for their April issue.

I hope this photo helps to represent and celebrate the wonderful deciduous woodlands we have on the Isle of Mull!

After an action-packed 'Mull Wildlife Tour' yesterday I stayed out in the field to do some night photography and got rewarded with an auroral display in the early hours of this morning.

A pale green arc intensified at around 1am to produce pulsating pillars over the Ardnamurchan peninsula.


We have had some wonderful encounters with Otters on our wildlife tours this week, in a beautiful prolonged spell of high pressure weather.

Looking forward to the 'Mull Half Day Tour' tomorrow. It is always exciting and a real privilege to share the islands natural heritage with our guests.