I hope to add a few specific wildlife details in the next couple of posts, but these are some general introductory views. My camera lens, needless to say, has never needed cleaning so much, and you may 'spot' the ubiquitous rain blobs here and there. I suspect the adverse weather conditions meant that we did not see as great a range of wildlife as we have on previous occasions. We had no *definite* sightings of cetaceans this time - and no otters, despite our short first visit to Mull.
The photo above shows the wild and windswept shore at Staffin on Skye's Trotternish peninsula. We were the only souls on the beach, walking in the sunshine, while all around us a huge storm was brewing.
We left Skye and drove through Ardnamurchen to reach the island of Mull, with its iconic coloured houses at Tobermory (aka 'Balamory' by the under 5s). We had really hoped to catch a few special glimpses of wildlife on Mull, and indeed we did; but the blustery rainy weather may have caused some of the animals to 'hole up' away from the reach of cameras and scopes.
I included this photo of Skye to remind myself (as much as anything) of the intensity of the blues in the sea lochs. We stopped here to take photos on our way to the Waternish peninsula ...... where you can see the many lichens that grow on these stones at Trumpan Church - a sign of the pure air in this end-of-the-road part of the world.
It is still possible to hear the Corncrake in this exposed corner of Skye. We listened to the Hooded Crows and watched the wind blowing through the wool-lined fences.
I have mentioned the many Wagtails. Well, we were also amazed by the number of Chaffinches. The one above looks a little overweight on account of his perch by the tea table at Dunvegan Castle on Skye, where we would recommend Earl Grey tea and locally-made lemon cupcakes!
The photo above was taken the day before yesterday at the small fresh-water island in Scotland's only lake - as opposed to loch, the Lake of Menteith. We took a couple of hours out, on our way to the airport, for a picnic lunch in the tranquil setting of Inchmahome. This small island is a nine minute boat ride from the shore, laid on by Historic Scotland, who care for the abbey. Inchmahome is usually a good place for Damselflies, with its nettles and blackberry bushes - but we only spotted one on this visit.
We may have seen a lot of rain, but this sheep, way up in the north of Skye, definitely had the right idea!