Friday, 1 April 2016

Mulling it over part 1

For the Easter holiday we decided to go on a break to our traditional haunt of Scotland. This time we went to the West coast, to the otter capital of the Isle of Mull. We'd been before so had a good idea of the best areas, but it's always good to find new things.
We set out early on Thursday and drove up to Oban for an overnight stay. Not much to comment on apart from a solid recommendation for EEUsk seafood restaurant on the quayside - really good!!! The hotel was on the seafront as well and we had the delight of a pair of black guillemots pottering about outside.

We got on the ferry around midday for the short 40 minute journey over to Mull.

We stayed in Ardura cottage about 10 minutes drive from the ferry terminal at Craignure. Highly recommended both for location and the cottage which was clean and well kitted out. It was run by the local farmers and was in the wilds. The field outside had oystercatchers, curlews and meadow pipits

an 18 month old bull
and many stags coming into the fields especially when the sheep were being fed.
 The geese by he way are "true" wild greylags as opposed to the semi-feral birds you find down South, which also goes for the "true" rock doves you get here as opposed to the scruffy southern pigeons which everyone stills ticks!!!

During the 6 days on the island we didn't have an itinerary as such, just getting away from the hustle and bustle, spotting wildlife where we could and enjoying the wild scenery. In fact, the scenery is probably the highlight. The weather we had was mixed - some sun, lots of rain, lots of moody clouds and still snow overnight on the tops so the views were always changing. The selection below hopefully give a feeling of what it is like.

The only actual "trip"we did was a short boat trip over to Fingals Cave. This was somewhere we wanted to go before but weather had stopped us. This time though it was fine and clear and a short boat hop from Fionnophort took us to the island, passing Iona on the way.

The island is known for its volcanic rock formations, which are actually three separate layers of different ages almost like a sandwich with the most interesting geometric forms in the middle.

you could also walk along a very slippery causeway to get to the cave itself, which is tidal and goes back about 60 yards. We only went a short way in though.

The rest of the island was fairly quiet but there were some nice shags in breeding plumage on the rocks, which leads us not the rest of the wildlife we saw on Mull, which will be covered in the next blog post.