Relaxing on the quayside on Iona - that's a Corncrake under Kev's coat (Photo: Jeff)
Back on Mull we travelled immediately to Loch Beg (which is basically the eastern end of Loch Scridain). We pulled over behind a Mull Wildlife Tours vehicle. Mick, the tour guide, was very generous in sharing his knowledge about where to find birds on Mull - particularly as we weren't paying customers. Good bloke!
A very distant speck on the horizon was generally thought to be another Golden Eagle. Almost as far away was something that looked like a dirty brown fur coat laid out on a distant little islet. Mick told us it was an Otter. It never moved and, without the aid of the Hubble Telescope, we had to take his word for it. Sadly, despite constant searching, this was to be our only 'view' of an Otter throughout the trip.
Eider at Loch Scridain (Phot: Jeff)
We moved on and, within a couple of miles of the north shore of Loch Scridain (along the B8035), we pulled in at our first White-tailed Eagle (WTE) nest site. And there it was! Piece of cake.
White-tailed Eagle near Loch Scridain (Photo: Jeff)
Having filled our boots on the WTE we drove further north along the B8035. The scenery along this road is absolutely stunning - and it's eagle habitat the whole way. Seeing some birders parked up on the side of the road, we pulled over to see what they were looking at. It was a Golden Eagle nest and within a couple of minutes of our arrival a Goldie flew in, collected some foliage from the mountainside and flew up with it to the nest. Spectacular!
The Golden Eagle nest site was somewhere on this mountain. Loch Na Keal in the foreground.(Photo: Wayne).
A few miles further north east we stopped on the shore of Loch Na Keal at another WTE nest site. It's here that we met our second cagey birder of the trip. "All I can tell you is that the nest is over there somewhere" he said, sweeping his arm in the direction of about 5,000 acres of wooded hillside. Thanks mate. With none up in the air and with no idea precisely where the nest was we dipped on WTE at this site. But we would be back! We sought solace 'scoping the loch shore where we found Greenshank, Redshank, Ringed Plover, a pair of Common Sandpiper (they're everyhwere on Mull) and a couple of Whimbrel.
A quick visit to Grasspoint on our way home, just to confirm that there was bugger all there, rounded off Day 2 of our stay on Mull. With both eagles and Corncrake already on the list, even with two days left, it was very 'much mission accomplished'.