While on the subject of dogs, the local Deer Ticks are numerous and blood thirsty, so go prepared for your dogs to get a tick or five. And tuck your trousers into your socks if you go into long vegetation! Here's some advice on ticks.
The remains of Hurricane Katia hammered the Island on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, such that the ferrries were off all day Monday and Tuesday. We left Whitley Bay on Tuesday afternoon and managed to find accomodation in the form of a 'Heated Wigwam' near Loch Lomond.Very cosy.
|Wigwam, thank you Mam!|
We arrived into Craignure harbour, on Mull, after a crossing of about 45 minutes. We were disappointed not to see any dolphins on the crossing but did get a Manx Shearwater fairly close.
Off the ferry we drove a few hundred yards to the Shieling Holidays campsite and commenced battle with our 'quick erecting' tent.
It's worth pointing out that Craignure is a very good base for exploring the whole island - everywhere is within an hours drive.
Exhausted after sorting the tent, we went for an evening walkabout along the shore, and got our first sight of an Otter. Needless to say it slipped away as soon as it saw my camera - a recurring theme during our trip.
|Otter waves goodbye as it skeddales|
|Red Deer - you'll see lots of these here. And those you don't see will be watching you!|
|Loch Na Keal and perfect weather.|
|White-tailed Sea Eagle|
Ulva is very tranquil with some well marked routes for walking. The deciduous woodland had Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper to add to the trip list. Speckled Wood butterflies were everywhere.
|Excellent place for a pit stop. The lentil soup was superb!|
|Holly and Dill having a good time on Ulva feeding the Ticks|
|Tobermory at moonrise|
Friday was a day of sunshine and showers (and rainbows) and was initially spent upgrading our accomodation from our tent to one of the large marquee type tents available for rent on the campsite (£30 a night). These tents are very large and the next best thing to a cottage. Included are comfortable camp beds, tables and chairs, and heating.
Later we drove down to Loch Scridain where we watched another Otter feeding on crabs. This one eventually headed for the shore near where we sat. On reaching the rocky shore it vanished amongst the rocks, double drat!
|Loch Scridain - there's an Otter in there somewhere.|
On the way to Iona we stopped off at a couple of quiet beaches, Port of Uisken and Kintra, not far from the ferry port at Fionnphort.
|Port of Uisken|
|More Buzzards than Rabbits|
It was too late in the year for Corncrakes, which at least meant we didn't have to spend a frustrating few hours hearing but not seeing.
|Beaches on Iona are stunning, and deserted|
Passing by Loch Schridain we stopped to see Otters, but with the tide out they weren't showing. Just a few Golden Plover to photograph.
All photos from our Mull trip are in our album - Isle of Mull Trip 2011