Monday, 31 March 2014

Isle of Mull - Day Three: Sunshine, Sand and an Eagle

Monday, 3rd March

A lovely morning, with the sun appearing at last, interspersed with heavy showers.

Cliffs in the morning sunshine, Loch na Keal
First stop of the day, Tobermory.  The town looked stunning in the morning light, casting colourful reflections onto the water.

Panorama of Tobermory - click to enlarge
Our first walk of the day was to Crater Loch nestled in 'S Airde Beinn.
Mishnish Lochs

The Mishnish Lochs viewed from the road at the start of the walk
Crater Loch

View to Tobermory, with Ardnamurchan and Morven areas visible on the mainland

A pair of Ravens near the summit
The views were good, although there was a bit too much cloud about to be able to see Rum or Skye clearly.

It was a very boggy walk - Squelch Factor 10!
After removing saturated hiking boots and wringing out socks, we headed to our next destination: Calgary Bay.  What a beautiful spot, white sand, with patches of black showing through.  The water turned turquoise when the sun was shining.   The tide was on its way out and the shoreline was covered with seaweed.  It was also time for Corbie Labrador to have some fun!

Corbie enjoys the beach 
Calgary Bay

There were Oystercatchers and various gull species on the shoreline.  I also spotted a couple of Rock Pipits.

A hail shower started just as we got back to the car. I was drying off a certain Labrador and had to try and get him to get into the car as quickly as possible, while I got ice blasted by the wind and hail combination!

Our next walk was a short one at Glen Aros forest.  Again, we got caught in a hail shower whilst trying to decypher headstones in the old burial ground of Cill an Alein. 

Glen Aros forest walk
Lunch stop was at Kiliechronan, and I hoped I might finally see a White-tailed Eagle.  I did! You can read a better description of that on my other post here.

White-tailed Eagle high above Loch na Keal
After lunch, and the excitement of a White-tailed Eagle, we had a short walk up to the fish farm along Loch Ba.  I saw a possible Golden Eagle soaring in the far distance above a peak, but too far to really say for sure.  It had turned into a lovely afternoon, so made the most of the sunshine.  After Loch Ba, we wandered down to the shore of Loch na Keal.  There were Shelduck, Mallards and various Gulls on a rocky island.

Loch Ba
Bird life, Loch na Keal
When we returned to the cottage I spent some time in the garden enjoying the view. It was lovely in the sunshine and warm out of the wind. I spotted a few Red Deer stags grazing at the top of the cliffs.  I also saw a Peregrin Falcon fly past.

Red Deer 
Red Deer
Uh oh, the Labrador's found the bread I put out for the birds (to go with
their porridge oats)!  Spotted a Chaffinch and Goldfinch there in the morning
I did my usual scanning with the binoculars and got lucky with a White-tailed Eagle sighted flying over Inch Kenneth.  Not a bad day!

You can read my other Mull Diary Blogs here:
© Karen Hartnell - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way. 

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