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15/05/2018

Garlic galore and nesting Nutties in Millwood

The wild garlic is in full bloom in Millwood. After a long cold winter it is so lovely to see fresh spring growth on the trees and the hint of a carpet of Bluebells to come in the next few weeks. The colours at this time of year are intense, as if Mother Nature has turned the vibrancy button up a few notches.


 The woods were alive with birds busily collecting food for their young.
 Mrs Mallard standing sentry over her three ducklings.
 A Song Thrush fledgling patiently waiting for its parents to bring food.


A pair of Nuthatches had set up home in one of the many nesting boxes in the wood and were working hard to bring insects to their nestlings.
 One out, one in!

We could have watched these gorgeous little birds all day!

Hopefully we will see their young when they fledge.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you've enjoyed the photos.

04/05/2017

A boat trip to the Isle of Muck

We set off from Stag Cottage bright and early to catch our boat, the Laurenca II, from Laga Bay about an hour's drive away. As we drove along the shoreline of Loch Sunart once more, we spotted an Otter on the water's edge. We took that as a very good sign of a great day to come!
Soon we were leaving the jetty at Laga behind, heading out into the Loch.
Glorious blue skies and sunshine with Mount Resipol in the distance.
Common Terns were busy choosing prospective nest sites amongst flower studded rocky outcrops.
Seals were lazily basking in the sunshine.
We headed over to Bloody Bay on the nearby Isle of Mull, to see if we could spot the White-tailed Eagle eyrie. This blurry shot is about as close as I could get with my camera. After watching us for a while the Eagle took off and soared nonchalantly back over to the mainland, in the direction from which we had just come. I'm sure he was laughing at us.
An hour or so later we arrived at the pretty little harbour of Port Mòr on the Isle of Muck, the smallest of the Small Isles group. Muck has a permanent population of about 40, mainly living round the harbour. The island has been owned by the MacEwen family for over 100 years.


Out of necessity the residents are self-sufficient and rely on seasonal tourism to supplement their income. Recent financial ventures include driven grouse shooting and open sea salmon farming.
After sampling  some tasty home made soup and bread at the friendly tearoom, served up by the wife of the Laird, no less, we set off for a short walk across the island.
A small graveyard on an adjacent stony hillside.
Rum, with Skye in the distance.
Eigg
After taking in the scenery and visiting a nearby seal colony it was time to stroll back to the harbour to board our boat again, ready for the return journey to Laga.
 The Laurenca II bobbed against the jetty in the sunshine, awaiting our return.
Back on board and heading to the mainland we had a great view of the Small Isles behind us, with Skye in the distance.
Muck, Rum, Skye and Eigg
Our boat trip had been advertised as a whale watching trip, with whales, dolphins and porpoises often being seen in the area. We had almost given up hope of seeing anything when suddenly a Minke Whale surfaced close to our boat!
The Skipper cut the engine and we drifted for several minutes while the whale swam around and under the boat several times. Talk about exciting!
 
After completing his inspection of the boat, the whale reappeared at a distance, heading in the direction of the Isle of Mull. We waited a few minutes longer until it disappeared from our sight and continued our journey back to Laga, feeling very lucky indeed.
Returning to Laga Bay the skipper pointed out a herd of wild goats living on a small islet.
Our final nature experience was a colony of Shags and Cormorants nesting on the rocky cliffs at the edge of the Loch.
All in all we had a fantastic day with knowledgeable crew from Ardnamurchan Charters. The weather was perfect and seeing the Minke Whale was the icing on the cake.

Thanks for visiting my blog; I hope you've enjoyed the photos.


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