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  • Writer's pictureSpeyside Wildlife

Isle of Mull – A Wildlife Bonanza

Lochans, Glen more (Sue Healy)

The Isle of Mull is truly a special place for anyone that appreciates breath-taking scenery and unmissable wildlife experiences. Located off the west coast of Scotland, known as part of the Inner Hebrides, this island can only be accessed by ferry, which makes a visit here even more special. Catching the ferry from Oban to Craignure in under an hour, passing the Sound of Mull, the wildlife begins with seals, seabirds and maybe even Harbour Porpoise. Once on Mull, the mainly single-track roads mean you must take your time to explore the island and its surrounding spectacles.

Blue seas of Iona (Kate M)

Why is Mull so special?

There are so many reasons, but the first is the outstanding scenery and views around every corner. Driving on the few roads on the island you pass many sea lochs and white sandy beaches to meet you at the end. Mull has its own Munro, Ben More, sitting central in the island and hugging Loch na Keal. On the east of the island there are views over to the mainland and Morvern peninsula and to the west the Isle of Iona, Treshnish isles and Jura on a clear day.

Otter (Craig R)

It is of course the wildlife that many visit for and it is often not long before you see your first eagle. Mull offers a diverse selection of wildlife from the sea, to the sky, the heathland and lochs and will have you returning again and again to explore all it has to offer. Look out for the local celebrities too, they may cause a bit of a traffic jam!

Local Highland Cow (Kate M)

It is easy to get away from civilisation here, with only small communities and roads leading to quiet spots for a walk or a picnic joined by wildlife. Tobermory it the main town with shops, cafes and the whisky distillery, with good transport links from the Craignure ferry.

Tobermory (DS)

Wildlife you may see on Mull

It would be too long to list all the wildlife you could see on this island so here are a few highlights. Often known as ‘Eagle Island,’ if you spend a week here you will see why. The hills and coastlines hold a healthy population of Golden Eagle which could be seen anywhere round the island. White-tailed Eagles successfully breed here every year since being reintroduced in 1985 and can be seen flying overhead or from a local boat company where they dive for food. Other raptors, such as the Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Buzzard can all be seen regular too, with Short-eared Owl a regular sight at dusk. The island doesn’t have many mammals, but Otter are most prominent and a few deer roam here. Along the coastlines there are many waders and seabirds like divers, Gannet and Black Guillemot. A short boat trip from mainland Mull can take you to the Treshnish Islands where Puffin, Shags, Guillemots and cetaceans are all possible.

Diving White-tailed Eagle (James Stevens

Male Hen Harrier – Isle of Mull (James Stevens)

When to visit

Mull is a fantastic all year-round island, with raptors such and Hen Harrier and White-tailed Eagle resident all year round here. In the Spring you will add to your bird list with returning summer species such as the Puffin and warblers as breeding begins. In Summer, eagle activity increases as they feed chicks and the island of Iona is home to Corncrake. Autumn is a key time for raptors as all the young are on the wing and Short-eared Owl search heathland for food.

Puffin – Treshnish Isles (Kate M)

At Speyside Wildlife, we visit Mull all through the year with each holiday having its unique specialities. 2020: Mull at Easter, Mull and Kintyre, Mull in the Summer, and Raptors of the Highlands. Come and explore this fantastic island and all its wildlife!

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