Words and images from 31/03/2018
It’s hard to believe that another month is about to slip away into the annals of history but slip it will and honestly, I don’t think we could have gotten much more out of March if we’d tried. Well maybe just a little bit as today we held our Easter celebrations complete with full roast dinner and chocolate egg hunt. The latter was based on a series of ingeniously Mull themed questions, the answer to our second leading us directly to an Adder! Now that’s the kind of additional element of danger all Easter egg hunts should contain. With minimal warmth on offer the Adder had flattened its body almost doubling its width in the process, a photo opportunity just too good an opportunity to miss even with a competition at stake.
I’m happy to report that not only was the Adder successfully photographed but we were soon devouring Cadbury Creme Eggs as well.
Next on the agenda was less about exploring this magical island’s wildlife and more about repairing some of the damage wrought by its harsh climate on our accommodation. Whilst painting both stone and wood is akin to keeping the Forth Road Bridge going today’s task was to replace the capping shingles on the roof. Not my favourite of locations in which to perform a bit of DIY especially considering the sun had chosen that exact moment to vanish and be replaced by a freezing cold wind. Nevertheless we persevered and through some excellent teamwork (I avoided going onto the roof itself) were left weatherproof once more.
With that out of the way it was time to explore our valley a little further, finding no more Adders but disturbing two Common Snipe in the process. One of the Golden Eagles was also on the wing and finding a recently deceased Sheep we chanced our luck and set the trail-cam to watch over it. Fingers crossed for some results in a couple of days time. From there it was down to the beach, finding a Mistle Thrush in the process, where we settled in for a spot of sea watching. The loch was almost mirror smooth making it easy to spot anything on the move. First in the bag were at least four Black Guillemots, all in breeding plumage, as well as the usual assortment of Shags, Common Gulls and Rock Doves. The best news though was that there was finally a Rock Pipit present feeding amongst the seaweed, probably a new arrival along with the increased number of Meadow Pipits around the house.
Off in the distance conditions were beginning to look a tad stormy but as with the weather generally this week, who knew what was about to transpire. Already today we’d had sun, rain, hail, cloud, hot and cold. Asking a couple of inquisitive Harbour Seals didn’t shed much light so we thought we’d better play it safe and head for home.
Along the way I was surprised to find a couple of caterpillars hiding amongst the long grass. If we were on the same scale one might almost describe that face as menacing.
The evening was spent on more maintenance tasks and finished with a roaring bonfire until the stars came out and we called it a night. Tomorrow the wilds of Mull beckon once more.