Friday, 11 April 2014

Isle of Mull: Day Seven - Golden and White

Friday 7th March

Our final day on the island was very windy, but bright.  I watched the waves breaking on the distant small isles, some crashing as high as the cliffs at times. Hail showers were frequent.

View across to Inch Kenneth, 'white horses' on the loch 
Waves breaking along the shore of Loch na Keal
Parked by Killiechronan for a spot of birding while Graeme took Corbie for a walk up the road.  I was grateful for being in the car as a rather violent hail shower passed over while the other two were on their walk. They got ice blasted by the strong wind!

Looking across Loch na Keal to snow-capped Ben More
Next stop was the stunning waterfall, Eas Fors.

Eas Fors
Eas Fors
After we had spent some time at Eas Fors, we drove the longer way back to the cottage to see some more of Mull's scenery.  It's a good job we did, as in the distance, against the hillside, I saw a familiar dark blob flying - yes, a White-tailed Eagle.  Thankfully, we were near a track where we could stop the car, and I got out and managed to pick it up with the binoculars, confirming my eagle hunch!  I watched as the adult eagle battled against the strong wind, getting further away, and then it turned and looked as if it was heading straight in my direction.  I was in two minds whether to down the bins and try and get a photo, but then I would likely lose track of it. So I kept watching.  It landed in a tree in a nearby conifer plantation, wings and talons outstretched, its bright white tail highlighted against the dark green, as it came into land.  Unfortunately, it sat behind the tree, and I tried to find it as we got further up the road looking back at the forest, but no joy.

Another White-tailed Eagle 'blob' for my records!
The old boats at Salen
There were plenty of Red Breasted Mergansers, Cormorants and Oystercatchers as we drove back alongside Loch na Keal.

After lunch, we decided to have one last visit to Glen Seilisdeir.  Just as I was getting into the car I heard a Tawny Owl hooting from somewhere close by.  A Raven gliding alongside the cliffs.

Parking up at Glen Seilisdeir, I spotted two Golden Eagles soaring above, one of which was a juvenile, it's white wing patches visible.

Juvenile Golden Eagle
View across Loch Scridain, hills finally clear of cloud
I heard the Tawny Owl again when we returned to the cottage.  I scanned the nearby trees for it, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially as they are very well camouflaged.

The following day we headed home, but not without incident as all the ferries on the Oban-Craignure route were cancelled because of the strong wind.  We were lucky enough to just make the sailing due to leave Fishnish within seconds of us arriving. They let us on and the ramp was up and we were off before I had a chance to shed a tear!  So it was home via Fort William and the joys of the A9. Hopefully, it won't be too long before I return to 'Eagle Island'.

Another Eagle hiding - Henry didn't want to go home either!

You can read my other Mull Diary Blogs here:

© Karen Hartnell - all images and text may not be reproduced in any way. 
Photos copyright Karen Hartnell and Graeme Low

No comments: