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Photographer Leslie Cater
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My Wildlife Images

Mull Wildlife Trip 2018

After a three year wait we returned to Mull  for our wildlife trip.The expectations were high and the weather was indifferent, but this did not stop us enjoying the time spent here, but as a friend put it to us mull is a moving picture of nature that is for ever changing and those changes are, the movement of clouds, tree's and water being blown by the wind and all the wild life that is moving about the island. This makes Mull what it is, a beautiful place to be alone with natures wonders.

Mull Wrecks.

These Boat wrecks are well known and appear in many travel books about Mull

The Dipper ​One of my reasons for returning to Mull, to see and photograph this amazing bird. This particular Dipper was in a stream that flowed under a very old stone built bridge down to the sea loch. It would arrive early morning down from a place upstream where it roosted for the night. The first thing it did was to scare off any other dippers that might be there because this stream that flows down to the loch was it's feeding area where it spent most of the day. When you watch a dipper feeding it is an amazing sight, as they spend most of their time with their heads under water amongst the rocks and large pebbles. They would dive in off a rock and swim under water just like a penguin looking under the rocks for food such as aquatic life. It was a wonderful thing to see and observe and I was lucky to spend the whole day laying in amongst the rocks, sometimes on the bank of the stream or on some occasions actually in a rock pool to get this photo.

​The White Tailed Sea Eagle One of Mull's most majestic birds of prey. When you first see these raptors close up you realise how they got the name flying barn doors, the wing span is about eight foot and very broad hence the name. These birds of prey became extinct on Mull about four hundrd years ago and were only seen per chance if one flew into the area. So a conservation plan was set up some years ago and there are now about twenty two breeding pairs on Mull. The survival rate of the chicks is not high even if most pairs succeed in breeding, the numbers can be quite low due to bad weather or being attacked by other eagles and ground predators.They are increasing slowly in numbers every year so that's great news. The white tailed sea eagle feeds on fish  and carion that is found on land or in the water, so in fact they are birds that rely on all these things to survive and not just the fish.

Otters on Mull This is also a very good reason to visit Mull, as Otters can be found in most places, but you do need to know where to look and if you are lucky sometimes they will appear out of no where on a waters edge. This Otter mother had two cubs to feed, so she left them safe under the sea kelp on shore while she was in the loch fishing. Two white tailed sea eagles came down and made her life very difficult indeed by trying to steal the fish from her that she caught for her cubs. This persistant attack lasted about fouty five minutes and was just to much for her, so she left the water and collected her cubs and ran right past me, such was her panic to get the cubs to safety. She looked unharmed, but it shows how hard life can be here on Mull for the wild life. The experience was amazing and to witness such a struggle for the Otter mother trying to feed her cubs, is most likely not seen everyday so I was very lucky indeed.

Rock Pipit This is a lovely little bird from the pipit family and you will find them near a river estuary, beaches, rocky area's and like this one on the loch shores anywhere on Mull. This particular rock pipit landed near to me when I was in a pool surrounded by rocks, so it did not notice me there at first and I got this wondeful photo. These pipits are often in small flocks or on their own with other birds which they follow around when feeding. This pipit finally saw me and flew off with a loud peep-peep as most pipit's do. Like most birds photographing them is not easy, but on this day when I was photographing the dippers, this unexpected visit of the rock pipit, with a lovely back drop and light makes this photo a good capture, so I am very pleased with the result, as I was planning to photograph the rock pipits while I was on Mull.

​Thank you for looking and reading my blog about our trip to Mull, I hope you found it interesting and factual but most of all enjoyed the photos, short descriptions and stories about the wonderful and fantastic wild life on Mull. 

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RSPB Minsmere nature reserve
 

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Monday, 10 December 2018

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