*I am in the process of redesigning this section*
With a wide variety of habitats including mountain, moor, forest and coastline, Mull is home to an excellent number of raptor species with Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Goshawk, Peregrine, Buzzard, Hen Harrier and Golden and White-tailed Eagle regularly encountered.
Also commonly referred to as the Sea Eagle, White-tailed Eagles once inhabited large areas of Scotland but were driven to extinction by loss of habitat and direct persecution by man. By the beginning of the 20th century, only a few remained and the last recorded sighting was on the Isle of Skye in 1916. A reintroduction program began in the 1970s with a small number of birds from Norway being released on Rum. The project has proved a great success and these magnificent birds have now spread across the Hebrides and emotional areas of northwest Scotland.
This page includes features a selection of wildlife shots taken during several visits to the island over the years. etc*
This juvenile White-tailed Eagle etc*
Loch na Keal
Although Mull is famous for its large Otter population, Mink, which belong to the same family, are also numerous and can be found throughout the island. All are descendants of fur farm escapees and being adept swimmers they can easily reach sea bird colonies on the small islands and skerries that would otherwise be safe from ground predators. These animals kill indiscriminately, taking both eggs and chicks which can have a catastrophic effect on seasonal breeding. Although Mink are extremely efficient swimmers, they are primarily land mammals, whereas Otters, pictured here, are primarily aquatic animals that are content on land.
This Sparrowhawk landed on a large rock at the waters edge as I was walking down to the shore to try and photograph an otter family swimming in Loch Scridain. The bird, which had a full tum, stayed put for around 5 minutes before taking to the air by which time the my original targets were nowhere to be seen.
I had much better luck in November 2021 etc
These shots were taken on the Ross of Mull, late afternoon on a very stormy day in early November. This location, on the south side of Loch Scridain fairly close to the Pennyghael timber pier on the southern shore of Loch Scridain, was a popular spot with seals throughout my short stay on the island given the right tide state.
A couple of White-tailed Eagles flew in and set down on one of the small islands close to shore, albeit they were still too far off for decent photos. It was only when I checked out the grainy images later that I saw that one bird had attempted to snatch what appeared to be a small seal prior to landing. It looks as though the bedraggled bird had a talon on either side of the animal`s head but was unable to lift its intended prey clear of the water!
Red Deer are widespread throughout the island but Mull has only a small population of Fallow Deer. The latter species tends to remain localised with Lochbuie and the Gruline Estate being two of the best places to see them. In summer, the animals have chestnut-brown coats with the classic ‘Bambi’ white spots, but in wild herds, including those on Mull, there can be considerable variations in colour.
These shots were taken in November when this Fallow buck was obviously ready to mate, but the two does were playing hard to get and quickly ran off.
Please bear in mind that all my images are subject to copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.