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Mull Spring Iolo Williams tour: 14th -18th April 2024

Mull Spring Iolo Williams tour: 14th -18th April 2024

Wildlife Summary:

14th Afternoon - day 1

We all met up at 2pm at our accommodation at the Hotel before heading out for the afternoon. A windy and rainy afternoon was on the cards so we headed to more coastal areas, firstly stopping off at Salen bay finding Harbour Seals, Red-Breasted Mergansers, a Slavonian Grebe and a few of the common wader and waterfowl species.

Next we headed for the west, spotting a few Fallow Deer on route. On arrival on the south side we instantly had a male Golden Eagle flying over the hills giving great views with his mate sitting on her nest nearby. 

Over a slice of cake a couple of Great-northern divers were offshore, a flock of Golden Plovers flew through distantly before an Adult White-tailed Eagle appeared over the woods on the north side. 

Moving on down the loch we found a few Lapwings, Curlews, Redshank and Ringed Plover before spotting a large Otter cub wandering along an exposed shoreline right out in the open! It showed fantastically well, catching a few crabs and having a preen off before heading off.

We then headed back to the hotel to settle in and for dinner.

15th -

A wet and windy day beckoned, so we headed for the SE of the island to focus on water-based habitats. Red-breasted Mergansers displaying was an early highlight, along with Lapwing on territory. Curlew and Rock Pipits were seen along the shoreline and Mistle Thrush were just inland. 

Otters stole the show into the afternoon, as we had one encounter with an animal landing a male lumpsucker and feeding on it for about 45 minutes! On the way back north, we were delighted to watch two Cuckoos sat on the overhead wires and hunting caterpillars. More excitement at our toilet stop in Craignure as we had a low flying female Peregrine overhead, not a common sight on Mull. 

16th - 

A day for the north of the island starting with the Mishnish lochs with a singing Tree Pipit, Willow Warblers, 3 Goldeneye and distant WTE.

Then onto our Adder spot, finding 3 males out basking! A pair of Hen Harriers hunted the moors there, and a Golden Eagle flew high overhead.

Loch Cuin was next with 2 Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper, the best of the gulls and waders.

On a walk on the north of the isle we found a few Grey Seals amongst the Harbour seals, Wheatears and Ringed Plovers on the beach, before an Adult WTE glided overhead.

Calgary bay for lunch with Buzzards and Kestrel on the hills and Great-Northern and Red-throated divers in the bay.

Onto the moorlands… a few Red Deer were out and a pair of Golden Eagles flew over hills distantly. One bird started displaying, alerting us to the presence of an Immature female Golden Eagle. One of the adult pair then pursued it and chased it away over our heads! 

Onto the next section of moorland, a male Hen Harrier and an Emperor Moth flew by!

A brief stop off at Ears Fors Waterfall before heading to the sheltered north shore of Loch Na Keal, where we finished off with great views of an Adult WTE perched up.

17th -

To start we headed down the east side of the island stopping in central Mull finding a WTE perched up in the conifers before it took off and magnificently flew low over our heads! 

Next was further south where around 420 Pink-footed Geese flew over in 2 skeins. A flock of Eiders were out in the bay and a few Turnstones and Harbour Seals on the skerries.

The moors of the SE were next on the agenda, finding 2 WTE flying over and a Male Hen Harrier hunting the grassland, whilst a Willow Warblers and a Cuckoo sang.

Heading into the Glen, the first stopped produced a pair of Hen Harriers and a distant Golden and WT Eagle. Further into the mountains, we watched a Golden Eagle's nest before the male appeared on the near hillside before heading further away and thermalling in the skies above. On leaving 2 WTE coasted over.

Next onto SW Mull we found 3 Otters, a mother and her 2 large cubs feeding in the seaweed. A bit further down over lunch we had a few Great-Northern and Red-throated Divers in the bay and 2 Common Scoters further down the loch.

Up to the north we had distant views of a female WTE eagle sat on her nest before heading down to the coast for a tea and cake where another WTE flew over and Ravens were over the cliffs.

Finally, we headed along the south side of the loch to an active Golden Eagle territory. The male was sat on the nest before he flew up to join the female who was displaying high above. They headed off over the hills together, while summer plumage Great-northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe fished close inshore. The female returned to the nest after a short while, and we headed for home.


18th - last day

A wet and windy day, so we headed to a check a couple of Dipper territories to start with. We got rewarded at the second site with lovely views of one and even discovered a new occupied territory! We walked down Loch Ba and saw 4 Red-breasted Mergansers on the water, along with 2 Common Sandpipers. Siskin were heard calling from the conifer trees. Soup and scones back at the vehicles before we said goodbye and went our separate ways. 

Species: 81 bird species and 7 mammals

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