Day three saw us on the Ullapool Stornoway ‘Cal Mac’ ferry as foot passengers. We took the journey over and came straight back and at £20 for the round trip it was a perfect opportunity for a bit of sea watching and to take in some of the coast from a different view point.
Mellon Udridgle holds some great memories of time spent with a couple of Red-throated Divers in the lochans on the peninsula behind the settlement. It was the middle of June then and now I was here in early November.
Mellon Udrigle is a small crofting settlement strung along the western shore of Gruinard Bay. Suilven and the mountains of Coigach dominate the view from a turquoise sea and a pristine beach of broad white sand.
There are a few iconic species you hope for when heading to Mull and we were fortunate to see them all. The Otter showed on our last day and the Hen Harriers gave great scope views but were always a little far for photography.Â Both species of Eagles didn’t disappoint and Red Deer were numerous but better at dawn and late evening.
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.
Heading Towards Lockdown
Mull, capricious, at times turbulent and always always changeable. This is an island of light and shade, of brilliance and foreboding often shifting between these extremes within minutes. It is a place that draws you in, holds you and tugs at you as you leave.
Handa is an island that simply tugs you back. It has it all; a wonderful evocative sense of loneliness (no Skomer hoards here – although it is still possible to get a quiet spot if you walk in the opposite direction to the Wick); a chance to get close to the ‘pirates’ of the bird world; archaeology and ancient history and a landscape of low coastal reefs to seriously imposing 100 metre Torridonian sandstone cliffs.Continue reading
This was a place we found by simply driving to the end of what was possible. We’d been down all the small roads off the road north from Kinlochbervie; Oldshoremore, Droman, the wonderful Bagh a’ Phollain.
When we last visited Blairmore, hoping to do the walk to Sandwood Bay (map), we were in a spell of dreadful weather, with the wind whipping up the sea and very heavy rain. It would last for seventeen days!!
You sometimes get days when everything seems to be just right, I remember one at Firemore SandsÂ some years ago when the dramatic weather played back drop to ten Black-throated Divers, Gannets diving in the bay, terns all around and surfing Red-breasted Mergansers. I had another one recently on our journeys around Scotland.
A Star Speicies
One of the star species on any trip up to the north of Scotland must be the Divers. The small lochans around Lochinver can be productive for the Black-throated, whist the Red-throated can be virtually relied upon to be in Scourie Bay. It’s not uncommon to encounter up to four at the same time here.Continue reading
Colour, age and weathering
A last post on the Kylebhan series and a one unashamedly celebrating colour’s relationship with age and weathering. The next series of posts will not be necessarily chronological, but will all be related to the five weeks we spent in the high north after the Kylebhan experience.
A Trawler with Character
Our home for the week was MV Kylebhan. It had a character all of its own and one that will stay with us all for many a year. It was built as a trawler in the 60’s but converted to carry 12 passengers soon after.