A week at this time of year on Mull can bring all seasons!
On the Saturday we arrived, whilst in the hide at Fishnish we got onto a second winter Iceland Gull whilst scanning the 80 or so gulls around the fish farms a couple of hundred meters or so off shore. It gave fine scope views but was far to distant for any photography.
The wind had been up, it had rained for the last few days and we were not hopeful that our longed booked trip over to Bass Rock would go ahead.
An Island one mile off shore in the Firth of Forth and three miles from our departure point at North Berwick, Bass Rock is a place like no other Iâ€™ve ever been to.
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is not an easy bird to see or photograph. I’ve been to quite a few locations over the years where they are known to breedÂ (and it’s never easy to be 100% sure of that!) but never even caught sight of them. ‘A shy bird of the high canopy’ is often how bird books will describe them.
When Tom Kistruck, the RSPB warden at Ynys-hir, told me that the most recent count of the Greenland White-fronted Geese on the Dyfi estuary, not far from the town of Machynlleth, had grown from the eleven that had been reported before Christmas to thirteen, I had a feeling that the number might prove to be as unlucky as Iâ€™d been the previous couple of days. Iâ€™m not generally a superstitious person but at times like this you sort of begin to wonder.
A few days up around the Lakes saw us once again visiting Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin. Not only is it full of artwork from Ruskin and his contemporaries, along with all sorts of paraphernalia related to an incredibly eclectic life, but is spectacularly situated on the shores of Lake Coniston.
Sort of Chronological from the time spent in Iceland. Second set today. These give a little more context to the images that are making up the folio. A bit of a flavour as to where both Brendan and I were working.
For all the spectacular and heady wildlife Mull has to offer, the photographs I’m perhaps most pleased with from my last trip are those of a bird I always enjoy working with, and one that continues to challenge; the swallow.
My brother Phil had just come back from Mull and had told of a golden eagle eyrie very close to the single road that runs through Glen More. He’d also been lucky enough to see it takeÂ a liveÂ lamb off the hillside in front of the eyrie and return it to the then small eaglet sitting tight and out of sight in what had become known as the â€˜smiling rockâ€™, due to the shape of the crag under which the eyrie lay.
Itâ€™s been a good while since I last posted a blog but a recent trip to Mull, and devouring â€˜The Eagles Wayâ€™ by a favourite nature writer of mine, Jim Crumley, has made me think about getting â€˜something out thereâ€™(funnily enough another title of one of Crumleyâ€™s twenty five or so books!)
One of the things that has helped me during my period of depression was having to do some work on a project that I was committed to prior to my illness. At times I had absolutely no interest in going out with the camera but forced myself to do some work.