Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Loch Na Keal

A trip out on to Loch Na Keal with Mull Charters. We were made very welcome and a had a great time with 4 approaches by the eagle followed by a look around the rest of the Loch. Nice to see things from a fresh perspective and also nice to see an eagle that isn't a black speck 5 miles away.

Route of the whole boat trip

Later we had a very close encounter with a marauding mink, killing rabbits and frogs. It was harder to track than the eagle!

Finally a drive around Calgary Bay with its spectacular views.

Grey Heron

Lade Jayne heading in to pick us up

Waves on Loch Na Keal

Lady Jayne picking up the passengers

Ben More and other mountains

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle with fish

White-tailed Eagle with fish

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle with fish

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle

White-tailed Eagle ready to grab a fish from the water

White-tailed Eagle with fish

Black Guillemot

Herring Gull





Hooded Crow


Calgary Bay

Herring Gull stealing bait

Juvenile Common Gull

Mink with dead rabbit

Mink with dead rabbit

Greylag Geese

Gill at the edge of Calgary Bay

Monday, 29 April 2013

Duart Castle

As we'd spent days looking at it across the bay we thought we should at least go and see what Duart Castle was like. It was supposed to be gales and rain so something to do indoors would be useful. The rain didn't really appear (apart from a brief hailstorm) the wind was howling and gale force alright, especially on the top of the castle. Otherwise nice weather and the scenery is spectacular.

View up the Sound of Mull

Duart Castle and cannons

Duart Castle

Duart Castle from the shore

It's only a model... Shhh!

Across Duart Bay towards Craignure

Chimney Pots on Duart Castle Roof

Calmac fighting the gales to get to Craignure, slowly passing Lismore lighthouse

Calmac heading back to Oban
Calmac passing the castle shoreline


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Loch Buie & Loch Spelve

Making use of our extra day (staying in the same cottage for two weeks we get a bonus Saturday in between) we headed over to Loch Buie, taking in Loch Spelve on the way there and back. Curlew and Common Sandpiper were in the scrub overlooking Spelve. At Loch Buie there is a flock of very tame Chaffinch, perching on car mirrors and windows waiting to be fed, even straight from the hand. Very little else around, plus very bright sun in the middle of the day.

Chaffinch on Gill's hand

Spot the Curlew Competition

Common Sandpiper

Male Pheasant


Heading back we took the turning to Croggan, which was fortuitous as we spotted a family of Otters playing and eating fish at the edge of the Loch (looks like mother and two offspring). Annoyingly they were mostly hidden behind a fringe of tall, red grasses at the edge, hence very poor photos. Trying to slide down to get closer was also difficult as the ground was waterlogged after heavy rain and with a stream running through the middle. Eventually the otters finished their meal and swam slowly up the loch to disappear forever around a bend, leaving us with a mixture of excitement and frustration.

Otters eating fish



Juvenile Gull (with a faulty neck)

Red Deer
A house on the way to Croggan keeps, amongst many things, ducks and chickens, many of which make use of the natural bounty of the Loch, dabbling and scratching around in the seaweed.




Curlew exiting stage-right

Willow Warbler

Herring Gull with the angriest eye we've ever seen
Back on the north side of Spelve we saw two Greylag Geese, hissing and posturing at some sheep. They seemed to take exception to them being there, eventually attacking a mother and lamb (the actual attack hidden behind a rock, naturally), driving them off. A lone sheep remained, settled down to chew cud, and no amount of hissing or aggression was going to shift it.

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose posturing

Greylag bullies with the phlegmatic sheep that would not move



Should've gone to spec savers!