Yet another rainy and sunny mix of weather along with near gale force winds greeted us on our decent of the “Bridge over the Atlantic” to the Isle of Seil. Seil, one of the Slate Islands, is a small island on the east side of the Firth of Lorn, 7 miles southwest of Oban, in Scotland. Heading towards it’s most south-westerly point, Easdale we stopped off at Ellenabeich Bay for some photos.
There were some big waves coming in from the Atlantic, which revealed a rather wet looking creature bobbing up and down. It was an Otter! Only on day one of our trip and we’d bagged an Otter already! After some careful creeping about the rockpools we set up and waited for it to come ashore.
On the sweeping drive up to Glen Coe from Tyndrum on the A82 you pass the huge expanse which is Rannoch Moor. This desolate plateau is like a woodland graveyard, made up of ancient forests, lochs, peat bogs and streams that cover over 12800 acres and at points, reach elevations of over 384 metres in height. The major lochs of Rannoch Moor are Loch Laidon, Loch Ba and Lochan na-Achlaise.
Travelling up towards Glen Coe we stopped off at Blackrock Cottage on the link road to the GlenCoe Ski Centre. This lovely little self catering cottage lies at the start of the Buachaille Etive Mòr. It is a very photogenic viewpoint and a scene that’s been captured a million times by passers by.
Further along you take the left road down towards Glen Etive. This road meanders for some fourteen miles to the head of Loch Etive (where we captured the Red Deer.) Near the beginning of this “Road to No-where” the River Coupall crosses, and it’s here where there’s a series of cascading waterfalls in the shadow of the mighty Stob Dearg mountain at the head Buachaille Etive Moor.
Caught the earliest ferry over to Mull from Oban at a very dark 7am. Lovely calm crossing watching the sunrise over Oban but with winds being Northerly, the addition of an icy jag to the wind to keep you awake. The ferry route goes through the Sound of Mull passing the very fresh looking, Duart Castle along the way. The name Duart comes from the Gaelic words “Dubh Ard” (black point). This castle dates from the 13th century and was probably built for the MacDougalls. In the late 14th century, it became the seat of the MacLean Clan when the tower house was added.
Looking East towards Linsmore Island at sunrise.
Ariving at Craignure we headed south to Grasspoint to try and see any Otters and/or Sea Eagles. No otters but did have two passes by what looked like a Juv. White Tailed Sea Eagle! After coaxing a stubborn Highland Cow out of the road, we continued west towards Loch Buie & Loch Scridain always on the look out for wildlife & birds.
Heading over the Ardmeanach Peninsula, through the onslaught of torrential showers then intense autumnal sunshine we descended down to Loch na Keal. One of Mull’s largest sea lochs and a hotspot for Otters.
No Otters unfortunately but did catch a Snipe nestled between some pebbles and saw some of the best rainbows we’ve ever seen!
We then travelled via Gruline up to Tobermory. A lovely little fishing town at the foot of a very steep road down to it – and more rainbows!
That pretty much was the end of our day on Mull, headed back to Craignure to catch the ferry back to the mainland in some lovely evening light.
We will be back, not only as we missed some of the island out due to time constraints, but more for the wildlife & landscapes. The sheer abundance and beauty of it all never fails to amaze you. The light and weather changes every second and shows something all to familiar in a whole new light. I think you could probably never get enough of Mull, there’s always something and somewhere new to explore and for that it never fails to meet it’s expectations. Magical & Magnificant Mull.
Wildlife photos on this page taken with Canon EOS 7D with 400mm f/5.6L and Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Lee Filters and either 17-40 f/4L or 24-105 f/4L used for the landscapes