Autumn on the River Ogmore

Thursday, October 30, 2014 Adam Tilt 10 Comments

There was a distinctly autumnal feeling on Sunday morning which owed as much to the light drizzle and grey sky as it did the lack of leaves on trees following a week of inclement conditions. I had hoped to get out into the hills but with the day’s forecast not promising much of an improvement we instead headed east to Ogmore-by-Sea. It’s been a while since we last walked the river there and in that time there’s been a noticeable change in channel shape to such an extent that we could no longer negotiate the first meander without having to detour onto higher ground.

P1100071 - River Ogmore

P1100072 - River Ogmore

The estuary roost was pretty quiet with a couple of Oystercatchers and Curlew being the only waders present although another group had earlier managed to pick out two Purple Sandpipers. If ever there was a bogey bird for me here then that has to be it as I’ve never seen one despite checking their regular haunts on numerous occasions. Thank goodness the Aberystwyth birds are more confiding otherwise I’d have been pulling my hair out by now!

A quick glance up the river revealed another relatively quiet scene with no sign of the hoped for Goldeneye despite it being almost November. Presumably the mild autumn has meant they’ve not felt the need to start their migration as of yet. There were though good numbers of Redshank, a couple more Curlew plus a superb Kingfisher which we watched hovering and calling above a small channel. Elsewhere a Sparrowhawk gave brief views as it dived across our path and two Little Egrets spent almost the entirety of our visit chasing each other off. Given the quantity of feeding habitat on offer you’d have thought they could have come to some sort of sensible agreement. As it was I doubt either got much of a meal.


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An Introduction to Harvestmen by SEWBReC

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Adam Tilt 1 Comments

Saturday morning found me on a train bound for Cardiff (environmental win) where I was to attend a course laid on by SEWBReC (South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre). The subject being covered was an introduction to Harvestmen and I was hoping that through it I'd finally gain an insight into this tricky to identify and chronically under recorded group. Regular readers may recall that my previous attempts at putting names to faces have been less than successful so any tips I could pick up would prove invaluable.

28894 - Harvestman Spider, Mewslade
Harvestman at Mewslade, Gower
Our venue for the day was to be Cardiff museum and having arrived in plenty of time I was first on the scene. This was good on one hand as I definitely wasn't going to be late but did have the drawback of meaning that I was first to engage with reception who seemingly had no record of our event. I began to get concerned that I'd turned up at the wrong place but after a few more arrivals decided that we couldn't all be wrong! Fortunately everything was resolved a couple of minutes later and we were led to our room within a normally off limits section of the museum (always a thrill to get behind the scenes). Immediately the sight of microscopes set out on tables took me right back to my school days and I got that same sense of excitement as then knowing that today was definitely not going to be a textbook lesson.


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Fungi and Curlew Sandpiper at WWT Llanelli

Sunday, October 26, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

Last Sunday we headed back to WWT Llanelli for the second time in as many weeks. Our main aim had been to take another look at the recently arrived Wigeon so I was slightly disappointed to find them present in much lower numbers than expected. Only fourteen individuals were visible from the British Steel Hide which I think owes more to a very low tide than any significant changes in their general population. Not to worry as 32 Lapwing and 34 Redshank made up the shortfall, not forgetting of course a stunning Curlew Sandpiper! I first spotted the latter from over at the Michael Powell hide where its smaller size and long bill immediately signalled the presence of something unusual. Being somewhat distant however we had to make a mad dash around to the BSH in order to gain a better vantage point, only to see a large flock of waders take flight as we were literally meters from the door. Even before scanning the group you could sense the inevitability of our situation as, moments later, we confirmed that our target bird was indeed amongst them and by now rapidly heading out of sight. Fortunately after a wide looping circuit of the reserve they returned and from then on gave superb views directly opposite where we were sat. It only took a few moments to nail the key features for Curlew Sandpiper (aided no end by my having swatted up on the species just a couple of days earlier) after which we could settle down and watch it feed. A cracking bird and easily my best views of the species to date.

Elsewhere everything else was pretty much as it had been though both Greenshank and Shoveller numbers had increased to 13 and 33 respectively, whilst over on the Millennium Wetlands a very active Kingfisher was doing the rounds. What really grabbed the attention though were the sheer quantity and variety of fungi species on offer, starting with this impressive Macro Mushroom (Agaricus urinascens) on a bank amongst the ornamental bird collection.

P1100014 - Macro Mushroom (Agaricus urinascens), Llanelli WWT
Macro Mushroom


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Friday Sunset

Friday, October 24, 2014 Adam Tilt 8 Comments

After a long few days it was nice to see the sun pop out from behind the clouds this evening, even if only for a few minutes. Though brief the sunset's colours were similarly strong to those of a week ago and I was once again able to capture these images from my bedroom window. So much for struggling to find a vantage point locally when I'd not even considered our own house.

P1100053 - Sunset


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Worm's Head

Thursday, October 23, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

By Sunday the 12th our Mull withdrawal symptoms were really starting to bite having spent over a week away from the ocean. Clearly this state of affairs couldn't continue so after a quick check of the tides we headed down to Rhossili with the intention of walking across to Worm's Head. With a good weather forecast we clearly weren't alone in our plans with the path along the cliffs swarming and car parking prices higher than they had been during the summer! Fortunately there's plenty of space to swallow the numbers and it was relatively easy to find ourselves walking along unaccompanied.

P1090932 - Worm's Head

P1090931 - Rhossili Beach

The views looking out to Worm's Head were still as impressive as on our very first visit here some seven years ago now, as was the sweep of Rhossili Bay off to our right. Interestingly there was a new line of posts sticking out of the sand which at first glance appeared to be another shipwreck exposed as a result of the beaches ever changing profile. Closer inspection however revealed them to be far too linear for those origins and suggest perhaps some remnant of second world war defences, possibly barbed wire intended to prevent invasion.


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Seasons Collide at WWT Llanelli

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Adam Tilt 8 Comments

If you read my last post here you'll know that I managed to squeeze in a short stint out on patch before a few spots of rain turned into an absolute deluge. Needless to say I was forced to take shelter beneath the very Beech trees I'd been observing until, with conditions steadily worsening, I was forced to head for home. The next couple of hours saw visibility drop down to fifty meters or so with water cascading off the roof and a newly formed stream taking up residence down our street. It was scarcely believable therefore when early afternoon brought a clear sky and warming sunshine which rather nicely coincided with my arrival at WWT Llanelli. Some kind soul has been feeding birds in the centre's car park of late allowing me to take some rather nice close-ups of this Blue Tit. It was perfectly content to sit just above my ahead, periodically flying down to grab another seed.

P1090911 - Blue Tit, WWT Llanelli

Walking out into the reserve proper saw conditions continue to improve bringing a Red Admiral onto the wing whilst overhead a flock of Jackdaws gave their typically raucous welcome. The usual commoner species such as Dunnock and Blackbird were quickly ticked off before meteorological conditions once again grabbed my attention with a powerful rainbow off towards town.


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Beech Birding Bonanza

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments

My local patch may not be able to offer any Golden Eagles (more's the pity) but that's not to say there hasn't been plenty of interest since our return from Mull. We've had two Red Kites overhead, Long-tailed Tits and Goldfinches in the garden plus a rather extraordinary collection of life centred on a small strand of Beech trees. I've mentioned previously that the patch isn't exactly overflowing with wooded areas so this small collection, together with a neighbouring group of Silver Birch and Pines, has always been worth a look. Green Woodpeckers used to be a regular sight for instance (though their population seems much diminished of late) but nothing has ever come close to the quantity of species currently feasting on a bumper crop of Beech mast.

P1090895 - Local Beech Trees


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Isle of Mull 2014 - Cruachan Treshnish and Glac Gugairidh

Monday, October 20, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

Written on 03/10/2014, Isle of Mull

Like all good things our fortnight on Mull had to come to an end, a concept even harder to accept following one of our most successful and enjoyable trips to date. We'd spent two weeks revelling in multiple Otter sightings, watched up to three Golden Eagles for hours at a time and walked some of the most unspoiled wilderness that I've ever had the privilege to encounter. It's probably no surprise therefore that all who sail on the MV Isle of Mull view her with mixed emotions. At the start of a trip she's your gateway to wildlife nirvana but just a few days later has the onerous task of transporting you back to normality.

Thankfully we still had one last day to enjoy before our appointment at Craignure and we certainly intended to make the most of it. Yes the weather had once again taken a turn for the worse, although still far better than we could have expected for October, but that didn't stop us heading off over the hills towards Cruachan Treshnish. As the name suggests this hill sits behind Treshnish farm to the north-west of Crackaig making it a familiar sight but not one we'd ever climbed. Standing at 216 meters the actual gain in height from our starting point was limited but the nature of the terrain made for hard going. Short, cropped grass would quickly give way to heather and bracken hidden amongst which were numerous streams and treacherous bogs. Needless to say my foot disappeared on more than one occasion but we eventually made the peak in one piece.

P1090848 - Cruachan Treshnish, Isle of Mull


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Isle of Mull 2014 – ‘S Airde Beinn, Crater Loch

Sunday, October 19, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments

Written on 02/10/2014, Isle of Mull

We’ve yet to find the best ‘next day’ activity following a strenuous walk but thought that the short climb up ‘S Airde Beinn sounded as good an option as any. As its alternative name of crater loch suggests this was once an active volcano and even today its dolerite plug and crater are still easily discernible.

P1090763 - ‘S Airde Beinn, Isle of Mull

P1090758 - ‘S Airde Beinn, Isle of Mull

Up at the top a short half hour walk takes you around the entire perimeter, a stroll that today at least was accompanied by gale force winds. The views on offer, when it was possible to hold the camera still at any rate, were both spectacular and far reaching. I even got to pick out the setting for a couple of blogs I follow over on the Ardnamurchan peninsula.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree, Burg

Friday, October 17, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

Written on 01/10/2014, Isle of Mull

Walk number seven in the essential ‘Walking in South Mull and Iona’ booklet grabbed my interest from the very start. Anything whose description includes the words untamed, hard going, fossil tree and steel ladder was almost purpose built to awaken my inner-child and today we finally got to turn those pages into reality.

P1090726 - Walk to MacCulloch’s Fossil Tree, Isle of Mull

Signposts from the main road above Kilfinichen Bay lead you first along a metalled surface, then gravel, to the National Trust for Scotland’s car park nestled in amongst the trees above Loch Scridain. On such a gloriously sunny day and with an almost perfect forecast we were somewhat surprised to find our vehicle the only one present. As it turned out this was only a foretelling of the remoteness that lay ahead of us, ten miles through some of the most broken and untamed scenery on Mull. And yet the start could not have been more welcoming as we wound our way along a well-made track through pleasant forests with almost unrestricted views across to the Ross of Mull at our left.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – Potting the Reds

Thursday, October 16, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments

Written on 30/09/2014, Isle of Mull

Sheets of rain lashing across the valley kept us cooped up until late afternoon. By then my Kindle was protesting ever louder that its batteries were about to expire (never a problem with paper) so when a break in the weather appeared we went for it whole heartedly. It appeared as if the improving conditions, which did not include a drop in wind speed nor an increase in brightness, had also brought the locals out of their respective shelters. First up was a male Yellowhammer on the feeders, its vivid colour standing in sharp contrast to the gloom cloaking everything and everyone. Even the Golden Eagles appeared as mere silhouettes though by flying right over the sun porch they still achieved an impressive showing. It’s not often you look up from a good book to find yourself literally meters from an approaching eagle.

P1090472 - Golden Eagle, Isle of Mull

With only a couple of hours until dusk, and probably even less before the next storm arrived, we set off to explore the hill directly behind our house. Standing wide and squat its mixture of peat bog, moorland and rocky outcrops makes for a challenging walk at the best of times though almost minimal human visitation means that anything found is often being done so for the very first time. So it proved today with the remains of a young Red Deer foal located just below the summit, its short life a mystery for now and evermore. Based on recent observations there are plenty of Red Deer which did make it into adulthood though and it didn’t take long to spot signs of their habitation. For most of the week we’ve been finding shallow, muddy pools which up until now had remained a mystery. They looked almost as if they’d been dug to provide a watering hole though for what and by whom we couldn’t fathom. That was of course until Emma remembered reading that stags will often roll around in such pools to spread their strong rutting odour across the entire body. Suddenly all those little details started to make sense with hoof/antler marks visible in the mud and material thrown wide in the process scattered across surrounding vegetation.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – Trig Bagging at Quinish

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 Adam Tilt 3 Comments

Written on 29/09/2014, Isle of Mull

It was all go this morning with an early outing to retrieve the remote camera (which captured absolutely nothing overnight, not even a sheep) finding us slap bang in the middle of a battlefield. To our left on the far side of the valley stood an impressive Red Deer stag, antlers thrust forward, sun shining from its sleek coat and voice clearly in very good working order. For the first time in days there was hardly a breath of wind allowing his bellows to travel clearly across to where we stood. What, or perhaps who, were they aimed at though? We didn’t have to wait long for an answer with another stag moving into view on the horizon up to our right. He too bellowed a warning across the valley before moving further up the hillside with his harem. Dispute seemingly settled that was the last we saw of either animal but let’s hope for some more direct action before the week is out!

P1090428_2 - Red Deer, Isle of Mull

Testosterone induced antics weren’t the only delights to be had on this first truly sunny morning in several days. Oh no. First up was a male Hen Harrier giving more superb flight views as it quartered the hillside before heading off in the direction of the deer (a rutting fan perhaps?), followed by a female Yellowhammer on our bird feeders. They’ve usually been a reliable fixture but had been strangely absent this year so it’s good to finally have one turn up. Also of interest were a family of Song Thrushes and four fly-over Mistle Thrushes, a new species for us in the valley.

It was a tough decision as to whether or not we should stay and watch for anything else to unfold but with no further sign of either stag we figured it would be safe to slip away. The walk we had planned would take us from Dervaig out to Quinish Point, one of our regular jaunts and a decent outing at just over nine miles. As usual on Mull the route offers endless possibilities for just about anything to turn up with this Slow Worm being our first surprise of the day.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – Deer Stalking and Dun Aisgain

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Adam Tilt 5 Comments

Written on 28/09/2014, Isle of Mull

Having recently purchased for myself an army surplus camouflage jacket there were really only two ways that things could have gone down. Either I’d end up sitting in hides talking loudly about past sightings but lamenting the lack of birds currently on view, or else I’d go all Rambo and start creeping about through the undergrowth (though preferably without the death and bloodshed). Thankfully I’ve chosen the latter route and have spent much of the past week standing against various types of vegetation and asking Emma how well she can see me. Apparently this can get rather annoying after a while, especially when the person asking said questions is stood no less than two foot away. Who knew? My new undercover look has certainly been working its magic on the local Red Deer however allowing me to creep in closer than ever before. Their numbers around the valley have been increasing steadily since our arrival with this group found grazing on the hillside opposite.

P1090406 - Red Deer, Isle of Mull


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Blazing Sunset over Llanelli

Monday, October 13, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

There's not much that was going to divert me from my Isle of Mull posts, but last nights sunset put in an extra special effort and has managed to do just that. A little after seven o'clock the sky lit up in a blaze of glory with a richness of colour that I've seldom witnessed. Such was its beauty in fact that the local paper was even moved to publish a gallery of readers photos so I thought I'd put my contributions up here to add to the expanding library already being shared through social media.

Blazing Sunset over Llanelli

P1100003 - Blazing Sunset over Llanelli

Next up, back to Mull for a spot of Red Deer stalking.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – Otters but no Manxies

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Adam Tilt 6 Comments

Written on 27/09/2014, Isle of Mull

After yesterday’s exertions we chose to take things at a slightly more leisurely pace today, starting with a sea watch from Caliach point. With the wind blowing strongly from the west the hope was that a decent passage of birds would be on offer including those so far elusive Manxies.

P1090353 - Caliach, Isle of Mull

A couple of hours later and our wave skimming friends remained conspicuous by their absence but as a consolation prize a quartet of diving Gannets is always going to take some beating. There was a mixture of adult and juvenile birds in and around the coastal waters, most diving close enough to see each splash and almost feel the resulting impact. Keeping them company were a decent number of Kittiwakes (again adults and juveniles) plus Common Gulls and the occasional Guillemot/Razorbill. More unusual were a female Red-breasted Merganser and two Mallards, the latter perhaps wisely retreating back towards the farm instead of heading out to sea. Speaking of which the farm proved to be a goldmine for harder to find Mull species including our first Linnets of the trip as well as two overflying flocks of Golden Plovers. There was even another Snipe which again managed to evade detection until we were literally within touching distance before erupting into the air. I swear they’ll give someone a heart attack one of these days. Best of all though was an Otter which swam around from the bay before hauling out onto rocks beneath us. After finishing off whatever juicy morsel hung from its jaws it spent the next ten minutes or so fishing in a large rock pool before disappearing after one final dive.


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Isle of Mull 2014 - Climbing Ben More

Saturday, October 11, 2014 Adam Tilt 4 Comments

Written on 26/09/2014, Isle of Mull

Today we bagged our first ever Munro. After years of finding excuses not to climb Ben More conditions this morning finally meant that we would be waylaid no longer. Admittedly the force five to six winds and changeable weather were perhaps not ideal for reaching Mull’s tallest summit but sometimes you’ve just got to say to hell with it and get stuck in.

P1090254 - Climbing Ben More, Isle of Mull

Standing 966 meters tall Ben More is the only island Munro outside of Skye and dominates the landscape as you travel down Loch na Keal. What makes it all the scarier however is the realisation that you have to climb that height from sea level. No starting from half way up here a la Snowdon. Oh no. Every one of those meters is there for the taking and that’s exactly what we did.


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Isle of Mull 2014 - Marooned

Friday, October 10, 2014 Adam Tilt 4 Comments

Written on 25/09/2014, Isle of Mull

Or at least that’s what it’s felt like today with the entire valley enveloped in a thick, impenetrable fog. Our one saving grace perhaps has been that the forecast strong winds have been largely absent but that doesn’t improve matters much on an island where almost all activities involve being out of doors. At least the feeders have remained active and just about visible with Blue Tit numbers now up to five and our first House Sparrow of the trip making a brief appearance. Once again I remain both perplexed and impressed at their ability to zero in on such a localised supply of food in such vast areas of wilderness.

P1090246 - Isle of Mull

We did manage one trip down to the beach during a brief respite where visibility at least had picked up enough to allow a short spell of sea watching. Gannets seemed to be the main protagonists with a mixture of adult and juvenile birds making their way out of the loch. Several were seen to dive though how they can spot anything amongst the tumbling waves is another mystery in itself. Small groups of Kittiwakes were also on the move whilst along the shore a hardy group of Rock Pipits went about their business.

By the time we’d made it back home even that little spell of clarity had been whisked away leaving us to enjoy another evening in autumns grey embrace. 


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Isle of Mull 2014 – Langamull: Eagles, Eagles Everywhere

Thursday, October 09, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

Written on 24/09/2014, Isle of Mull

A few early morning showers quickly cleared away leaving us to enjoy breakfast in the presence of our three Golden Eagles. Once again they were patrolling the valley mouth, silhouettes clearly visible against a shimmering sea, their relief at improved conditions no doubt similar to our own. Earlier Emma had watched a female Hen Harrier (presumably the same individual as seen on Sunday) quartering the hillside opposite and with a Peregrine Falcon spotted on the way to Calgary, the tone for the day had pretty much been set. Indeed we’d only seen the Peregrine on account of having stopped to watch three White-tailed Eagles soaring above Cnoc Udmail, an unexpected and impressive tally even for Mull. The hope was that they’d follow the coast to our destination at Langamull where forestry work in the last year or so has completely opened up what was once a dark and forbidding landscape.

P1090236 - Langamull, Isle of Mull

Upon leaving the car we almost immediately spotted a White-tailed Eagle being harangued by two Hooded Crows, the actions of which quickly took all three below the horizon and out of sight. Moments later though and the former was back, this time with two more White-tailed Eagles as backup. All were untagged and gave a staggering display as they flew circuits low overhead, often close enough to be able to hear the wind rushing through their wings. Of course close is a relative term with birds this big but they certainly made it easier than normal to get a frame-filler.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – Sodden in Balamory

Wednesday, October 08, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments

Written on 23/09/2014, Isle of Mull

By dawn this morning the fog had thankfully lifted though a blanket of cloud left conditions rather on the dull side. There were however spells of brightness, some may even have called it sunshine, so we set off in the direction of Tobermory with fingers well and truly crossed. Amongst miles of stunning scenery passed en-route Calgary, the very definition of a pristine Hebridean bay, stands out above all else so it’s perhaps no surprise that we chose to spend a little time in its company. Even on a day like today the white sands shone brightly and it was good to see Common Gulls and Oystercatchers making the most of the deserted conditions. So quiet was it in fact that we had the place pretty much to ourselves, unheard of during the summer months, with just a group of Rock Pipits and distant Curlew for company.

P1090142 - Calgary, Isle of Mull

Another short drive brought us to our next stop at Dervaig. Although the tide was still relatively high there were plenty of waders present including six Ringed Plover, four Dunlin and my first pair of Greenshanks seen anywhere this year. I’m not quite sure how that particular barren patch had been allowed to continue but perhaps more importantly they represented only my second ever Mull record, the first coming over at Loch Don several years ago. Also present were a vast array of Rock Doves, some with increasingly dubious plumage, plus three Little Grebes and a cracking Dipper. The latter was feeding around and under the road bridge, another good record for the area. Out in the loch a female Red-breasted Merganser made a somewhat inelegant entrance but gave a good show as she set about some intensive preening.


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Isle of Mull 2014 - Eagle Valley

Tuesday, October 07, 2014 Adam Tilt 1 Comments

Written on 22/09/2014, Isle of Mull

Famous last words and all that but today was anything but sunny. Still at least it was dry, in the main, meaning that a canoeing trip to Calgary seemed just the ticket. Unfortunately for us we are without a proper roof rack at present and the easy fit foam substitute we’d purchased was far from up to task. Slightly dejected we packed everything away and sat down to reconsider our options, only to spot an eagle heading directly for us across the valley. Obviously we assumed it to be one of our Goldies but as the distance closed its build started to look all wrong. A photo snapped as it passed directly overhead confirmed our suspicions that it was in fact a White-tailed Eagle! I’ve never seen one in our valley before and with a pair of Golden Eagles sat down on the cliffs that made for two separate eagle species visible at the same time. Where else can you get that from your front door?

P1090116_2 - White-tailed Eagle, Isle of Mull

With that the plan for the rest of the day was pretty much made for us so we headed off down the valley. Almost immediately we spotted the White-tailed Eagle again, this time passing from right to left between two headlands before putting the frights up a group of roosting Shags. Creeping closer the hope was that it had landed somewhere on the wave cut platform below but clearly our approach had not been as stealthy as it could have been. Even before we’d popped our heads over the cliff edge it was up into the air though we never could have anticipated the way in which it turned back and practically hovered directly overhead. Though the lighting was terrible they were the best ever views I’ve had of a bird that even here can make a Goldie look small.


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Isle of Mull 2014 - Otter Potter to Treshnish

Monday, October 06, 2014 Adam Tilt 21 Comments

Written on 21/09/2014, Isle of Mull

Our first full day on the island and the weather gods had chosen to treat us with blue skies and blazing sunshine. The cool breeze of yesterday had died away under cover of darkness leaving us to greet our morning visitor’s safe in the knowledge that we were in for a scorcher. Why is it that no one back home believes me when I tell them it’s always sunny up here?

P1090053 - Sheep, Isle of Mull

P1090055 - Red Deer, Isle of Mull

Today’s walk would take us along the coast to Treshnish and we’d barely got going before our first Golden Eagle sighting of the day. Soaring up from the cliffs it was soon joined by a second bird and together they climbed high up into the sky. A Kestrel was doing its up-most to harry them along but as expected this minor irritation was having no noticeable effect. On Mull even Golden Eagles sometimes have to play second fiddle however as my attention was drawn to a disturbance in the millpond like sea, one which quickly resolved itself into two Otters. They were busy fishing some distance off shore and gave great views as we worked our way along the cliffs. By the time we’d dragged our eyes away the Golden Eagles had taken their leave but I had no doubt they would be back again soon enough.


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Isle of Mull 2014 – A Golden Arrival

Sunday, October 05, 2014 Adam Tilt 2 Comments

Written on 20/09/2014, Isle of Mull

In hindsight having building work done to the house on the same day as setting off for Mull was not one of our brighter ideas. Packing clothes and stocking up on supplies is normally bad enough so adding curtain hanging and furniture moving to that list helped to make Friday more than a little stressful. It was with some relief when all went off without a hitch and we found ourselves at my parents house ready to grab a few hours kip. And by a few I really do mean a few as by four this morning we were in the car ready to devour the five hundred miles that lay between us and wildlife nirvana. Of course these days any journey in the wee hours seems subject to the roadwork trolls and today was to be no different. First the M42 was closed meaning after twenty minutes we were back exactly where we’d started from, then the M6 threatened closure but reopened just as we arrived, a feat repeated only a few junctions later. Then there’s the endless average speed camera’s which now seem to feature 40 mph limits. Until you’ve tried maintaining that speed on a completely deserted three lane stretch of road you will never know the true meaning of the word tedious. All that said by far the worst item of travel news came courtesy of BBC Scotland with the fateful words ‘ferry services between Oban and Craignure are subject to delays and disruption’. Bummer. A couple of frantic phone calls later and we’d managed to establish that although sailings were running the mysterious ‘technical issue’ had not been solved but this morning at least was not effecting service. Given our booking wasn’t until that afternoon we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

Several hours later we pulled into Oban just in time to see the MV Isle of Mull head off on her midday sailing. The sense of relief was palpable and after a quick dash around Tesco for last minute supplies we headed along the seafront to see what was about.

P1090038 - Oban


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Late Summer Sunsets

Friday, October 03, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments

I find this time of year almost perfect for photographing sunsets. Not only are they timed just right for a jaunt after work but around here the sun also sets in what is probably its most photogenic location over the Burry Inlet. Needless to say I've been out and about on many an evening recently but have made a concerted effort not to just rehash old images. This has involved the hunting out of new locations and also the furthering of an experiment into some close-up work which I first attempted during our holiday in Snowdonia. Those photographs got some very favourable responses (many thanks) so I had another go from up the hill behind our house. The view from there is somewhat spoilt by man-made obstructions meaning that this type of detailed work is far more suited.

P1080878 - Sunset


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