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GUEST BLOG - My Wildlife Experiences with Nature Scotland by Henry Day (aged 10)



Hi! My name is Henry and I’m 10 years old and love nature! I spent two days with Nature Scotland and here’s my blog about what we did and what we saw.


DAY 1 - MULL NATURE EXPLORER


We met our guides, Jack Waldie and George Hassall, in Tobermory and headed off to a nearby Loch.

Almost straight away we saw a White-Tailed Sea Eagle soaring along the ridge line. It was heading for some carrion, which we knew was there because the Ravens were swarming around it already. I was so excited to see the Eagle, one of the species I was really hoping to see on Mull.



Then Jack drove us over to the South shore of the Loch, and we stopped to watch a mother and baby Otter feeding out in the Loch. We watched them playing, while gradually coming closer to the rocks.

Eventually they hauled themselves out, and found a comfy patch of seaweed and cuddled up

together to rest. Jack and George made sure we were well hidden, and downwind from them so we didn’t disturb them.



We carried on our drive around the island, stopping at a Community Forest, where I found a Dor Dung Beetle and spotted Red Deer and a Feral Goat on the hillside. Most White-tailed Sea Eagles fledge at around 12 weeks old, but we were able to watch one on the nest who was still there after 14 weeks. The parents were still hunting and bringing him food, so we think he was just a bit lazy!



With the rain starting to fall we drove to the far side of the island, Jack and George provided us with information on the way and we stopped to see Harbour Seals hauled out on the rocks. When the rain stopped we had Hot Chocolate and then went to try and spot Hen Harriers. We succeeded, and saw a female quartering over moorland hunting for food. While we were here George found some Large Round Leaf Sundew on the edge of a ditch.

We made one more stop at Loch Don to try and see the Osprey as a squall blew in. We managed to see the osprey flying over the loch, but once we saw it we hurried back inside the van and headed back to Tobermory amazed with how much we’d seen in one day!


DAY 2 - ARDNAMURCHAN EXPLORER


Up a little bit earlier to catch the Ardnamurchan ferry, Jack and George were with us again, but the weather was ‘dreicht’… that’s Gaelic for grey and wet!

On the Ferry Crossing we stood on the observation deck and saw Gannets, Guillemots and Manx

Shearwaters flying across Tobermory Bay. We shortly arrived at Kilchoan and disembarked the ferry.

Despite only being about four and a half miles from Tobermory, the scenery changed to a more

craggy and hilly environment. This is because Ardnamurchan is based around the huge caldera of an extinct super volcano! With only 300 people living on the peninsula, it’s also very quiet!


Our first stop was near the campsite to try and spot Otters, but with no luck, so we headed on to

Sanna Beach. Here we saw Dunlin’s and Ringed Plovers near where we parked the van, and then

from beach we saw Grey Seals and Otters, but then had to hurry back to van as the rain swept in.



We headed to the Ardnamurchan Lighthouse, which is the most Westerly point of mainland Britain, for lunch and some sea watching. As we walked up to the lighthouse, I saw a Weasel scamper across the road! From the observation point we saw an Arctic Skua and lots of Gannets and Manx Shearwaters.



Our driving route took us through the middle of Ardnamurchan where we White-tailed Sea Eagles, and the others on the tour saw a Golden Eagle, but I sadly missed it! We then followed the coast road along side Loch Sunart keeping our eyes peeled for Otters, and stopping for the all important Hot Drink break! Just before we got back to the Ferry we saw them feeding and eating near Kilchoan.

With the weather getting worse, we stayed in the ferry cabin on the way back to Mull, comparing

photos and stories with the other guests and guides.

Overall, my two days exploring the area with Jack and George were amazing. They had great

knowledge of the wildlife, plants, geology and history of the island – I can’t wait to come back and visit again!



Henry

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