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Monday, October 20, 2014

Isle of Mull, Scotland

One of the thing that we decided to do before we go over was to go on a "wildlife expedition" trip. So after some research, we signed up for one on the Isle of Mull, a place that is renown for its wildlife.

The trip to the Isle of Mull was an adventure by itself with beautiful scenery. We had to drive a long distance from Glasgow after which we had to take a ferry across. Along the way, there are the usual beautiful landscapes both on land and in the sea. Unfortunately, the Isle of Mull by itself is quite a boring place with nothing much to do if you are not into nature. 

This is Tobermory, the main town of Isle of Mull. It is also a "ghost" town after 6 pm when all the shops closes. 

We drove 20 miles to this place to find everything closed. Our consolation was that the only remaining place still opens for business happens to serve the best seafood in the whole of Scotland!  More of the food in another blog post later.

Back to the wildlife expedition. We were picked up at our hotel the next morning and driven around together with some other nature lovers to look for porpoise, eagles, otters and deer. We drove all over the Isle stopping at strategic spots where everybody will rush to bring out their super binoculars and telescope and long lens. We had brought along a binoculars but soon put it aside after realising that what we had was totally inadequate for the task it was supposed to perform! We found this out when everybody was going gaga over a sighting of porpoise in the sea. Me with my 200mm camera and M, with the binocular saw nothing! We put aside our gear and borrowed the spare binoculars from the guide. And the whole world changed!

Here we are staring out to sea. What did they see?

This was what I captured on my camera's 200mm lens.

See anything? How about this cropped photo?

Yes seal. They were just a speck in the sea and the guide saw them while driving and stopped so that everybody can get a "closer" look. Its amazing how he navigates the small narrow road and yet see birds and all sort of animals.

What do you think this people are looking at here?

Inland and up in the sky. What I saw was this

A beautiful sky. But there was something there. Like this eagle soaring high up in the sky. 

Oh pardon me, did you say what eagle? There, that speck in the middle of the photo just between the 2 trees in the middle of the photo. And to be honest, almost all the sightings of wildlife were like this. The animals and birds were far far away and only visible via the powerful binoculars and telescope. Like this sighting here for otter.

See the otters? No? Neither did I until I borrowed some of the more powerful binoculars and telescope.

And with the powerful equipment it was like we were up next to the animals and birds! No wonder these people got so excited every time they spot something. 

About the only animal we can spot with our naked eyes other than the cows and sheep were this pair of Red Deer. Unfortunately we were in the van and could not get down to watch them close up. 

But overall, while we were disappointed that we did not get to see the animals closed up like what we imagined in an African safari, we were happy that we still managed to spot almost all the animals that were present on the Isle of Mull, although abide from a long long distance. Still, it was a great experience for newbie birdwatcher like us. The guide from Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions, David was warm and friendly and very knowledgeable. We enjoyed ourselves very much despite it being a long long day and counted this as one of the highlight of the trip to Scotland!

More photos on FB here.

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