Tag Archives: deer

Mull ‘Raptor Island’ says BBC’s Autumnwatch

No doubt, if you’re a fan of all things nature-related you probably caught last week’s episode of Autumnwatch on the BBC. Presenters Chris and Martin headed up to Mulll, ostensibly for the sea eagles, but it was actually quite a bit more than that. They also checked out the coastline and other interesting fauna dotted across Mull’s shoreline.

BBC Autumnwatch presenter Martin Hughes-Games hits paydirt on his search for Mull's wildlife. In this case he spots Otters.If you missed it, you have seven days to catch it on the BBC’s iPlayer service after it’s broadcast or, if you download the WMV file instead (under the Download button and click for Windows Media Player) you can view it up to 30 days after.

News to me, they mentioned that Pine Martens have been verified as back on the island and breeding, possibly sneaking back on Mull courtesy of a lorry and the CalMac ferry. Unfortunately badgers and foxes are totally absent on Mull, the presenters explaining that they were probably there until they were eradicated in the Victorian era. It’s odd that such recent events as what happened on the island during the Victorian era were never recorded for posterity.

An Otter caught by the BBC's Autumnwatch cameramen visiting the Isle of Mull, relaxing on top of the seaweed after perhaps one too many crab. Time to relax and digest.Presenter, Martin Hughes-Games explained why he felt Mull was such a good place to visit for Wildlife watching. “I can honestly say I haven’t see so much wildlife in such a short space of time ever,” adding, “Now is a really brilliant time to go up there and do wildlife watching. There are three reasons for that. One is the midges aren’t there. The other is there are less people so it’s much easier to get around and the third thing is that the days are much shorter and the animals have to pack in their lives into a much shorter space of time. So they’re more obvious. They’re feeding, they’re playing.”

So, if you thought a holiday on Mull was limited to the summer months… well think again. Certainly not if one of your reasons for visiting are to see the raptors like the eagle and hen harrier, plus many other birds, deer and otters.

Ralph
Beach House Self Catering, Isle of Mull
Twitter: mullescape

Ron’s Red deer rut photos from Mull

Here’s another rather good set of photos from enthusiastic wildlife photographer Ron McCombe. Ron was on holiday on the Isle of Mull for the rutting season, when you can see the male red deer establishing dominance and mating rights.

Based in the Scottish Borders, Ron was out to try to capture these events on camera. I think he’s done a pretty good job.

Ron McCombe captures a Stag in mid-bellow, creating a steam cloud in the air.As Ron explains, “I have been on the Isle of Mull all week looking for the red deer rut. The deer were all around and as the day ended they could be heard roaring as the rut took place. The challenge was to find them during daylight hours roaring and fighting. I concentrated on the south side of the island, Grasspoint, Pennyghael, and Carsaig. I encountered most of the deer I came across in these areas. Grasspoint was the main site and in particular Achnacraig. I visited the same sites every day. the best day for seeing action was Monday 18th.”

We’ve been fortunate in being able to see and hear the ruts right from the front of Beach House armed with nothing more than a pair of binoculars and a hot cup of coffee. Roughly evenly between Pennyghael and Bunessan, Beach has about eight acres of grounds surrounding the house with a pine forest to the west, which acts as a windbreak and a convenient sheltering area for local wildlife. From our vantage point we’ve been able to see all the action laid out before us, as if it were a play which the deer were personally putting on for our enjoyment.

Of course, it’s not like this every year as the deer can roam far and wide. But we’ve been lucky that the deer have literally come to our front door on many a rutting season. So full admiration to Ron for clearly being persistent. The results speak for themselves.

Ralph
Beach House Self Catering, Isle of mull
Twitter: mullescape