Monday, 7 February 2011

Welcoming Wildlife Whisperer!

Well it's nearly time to start making the Mull in focus blog active again and we can bring you news from the Isle Of Mull.

Our White-Tailed Sea Eagle Photography Days are proving a huge hit and we look forward  very much to meeting those who have already booked in 2011.

So if your looking for an action packed dedicated Sea-Eagle experience day then go to the website for further details

Mike is also pleased to announce that he has been invited to join the team at Wildlife Whisperer. This exciting new venture can be found at

This brilliant new venture was created by Simon King OBE and Jason Alexander. Its a fantastic venture and I suggest you go and have a look and see what its all about!

I am very honoured and looking forward to working with Simon and the dedicated team at Wildlife Whisperer.

There are a number of filming projects planned over the coming months and these will all be available exclusively to Wildlife Whisperer members.

Exciting times ahead!

Michael Leigh-Mallory

Mull In Focus.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Tonight i go to bed a happy man Waxwings at Last!

Until this morning one of my birding goals was to see a Waxwing alive in the flesh. After 41 years i had never managed to catch up with one today things were about to change!

The last few days i have heard reports of Waxwings coming in and think lucky people who spotted them.

Today i managed to see some up close and personal and was just blown away with just how beautiful these birds are.

They seemed to like Rowan Berries in preference to Hawthorn which are second best the pallette of a Waxwing.

During the days a total of x24 Waxwings were spotted. The Birds this afternoon had very full crops and you could visually see a big bulge!.

Also they seemed to be passing the berries very fast as well. Just like a production line.

Waxwing Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

This Waxwing briefly came into a garden and around 8-9 Birds cleared the remaining berries in a matter of minutes.

They continued in the local area in their quest for food.

The Colours are just simply stunning from the vivid red, Yellow markings to the delicate pastel shades of the main plumage colouration.

So a brilliant day really and a first for me.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tuesday 25th October 2010 In search of Waxwings!

Well today broke with a hard frost and a bit of defrosting required abut this gave way to another lovely day although a bit on the cold side!

The Stags are beginning to settle down with the majority of the work done after a long hard Rut!

They really do look mean but also extremely lean rutting takes it out of them, sex is the only thing on their minds and sleeping and eating take second place during October.

Curlew, redshank, greenshank, wigeon, teal, mallard, red-breasted
merganser, great northern diver, little grebe, greylag, grey heron. all species making an appearance of late.

Adult White tailed overhead this afternoon with a lone Adult Golden eagle in Glen More.

This afternoon i went in search of Waxwings a few flocks have been sighted on the island. Not in luck today but never give up trying the best sightings come when you least expect it in the world of wildlife watching.

Brilliant sighting this morning after observing a large number of gulls on the water in Loch Scridain the scope came out and there amongst the action were x2 Minke whales. They put on a magnificant display for around an hour. Always check out large numbers of Gulls they are there for a reason.

Well you never know what might turn up next so stay posted.

Mike & John.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday 15th October Our New Logo!

As mentioned in our last blog Mull In Focus has been awarded a 4 star rating by the Visit Scotland Quality Assurance scheme,

We can now proudly show our new logo we are legally entitled to use for promotion and advertising our business.

A 4 star rating Wildlife experience considers our business to offer an Excellent service.

So if your travelling to Mull In 2011 we are looking forward to welcoming you to a magnificant island its scenery and fantastic wildlife.


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Stars in their eyes! October 12th 2010

Mull In Focus subscribes to the visit Scotland Quality assurance scheme. We have just recieved some fantastic news our business has gained 4 stars which ranks us as (Excellent).

We are very proud of our ranking and fully committed to giving our customers a quality wildlife viewing experience.

I recommend customers to look for the Visit Scotland Quality Assurance logo when visiting websites etc.

Well the rut is now in full swing and mornings and both evenings provide a great atmosphere in the glens and moorland.

It really is very special and we love listening and enjoying the atmosphere.

John had a nice outing today with great views of a Bitch Otter and two cubs in the water fishing, playing and well dozing on the rocks close to shore.

Weather great here on Mull Heatwave! Only joking but very nice.

A while later a couple of adults White-Tailed Eagles soared over the horizon and gave us a great display.

One of our local sea lochs produced a few Great Northern Divers. Red Breasted Merganser, Shags and Comorant.

Loads of species of fungi around at the moment and quite a few Dragonflies still around.

A trip to a favourite spot just a few days back produced a mixed flock of around 20 Rooks, Hooded Crows and Ravens in aerial jousting. Some of the birds seemed to be carrying stones pieces of wood in their beaks.

So is the nice weather the calm before the storm? Only time will tell but Mull is great whatever the weather.

John & Mike.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Wednesday 29th September. Its a hard life being a rutting Stag!

A very cloudy start to the day yesterday as we made our journey to collect the days guests. On arrival we met a happy go luck group all keen to explore Mull and the great outdoors.

Heading off our first sighting of the morning A White Tailed Eagle overhead i think the Greylag Geese flying in total panic helped us there!.

If the birds go up suddenly its a matter of looking around 360 degrees and finding the predator in the sky.

There it was gliding across towards us and the Geese heading in the opposite direction. Sometimes i wonder what if must feel like being an eagle you walk in the room and everyone else walks out!

Great sightings of x2 Hen harrier before we left great to see them a bit scarce this year. Flying across a loch instead of grassland for a change.

We moved on and spotted a Grey Seal in the shallows as well as Common seals and loads of  Herons yes they really are everywhere.

Coffee and Biscuits came next as we discussed the finer points of life and a host of various interesting subjects.

A single Merlin was next on the menu and we captured a brief glimpse of one which took off from a nearby rock as we passed.

After finishing too many biscuits again! i drove our group along the lochside and we quickly spotted our first Otter of the day. Great views diving and fishing, two of our guests had only seen a brief glimpse of a live Otter once before so glad we could put that right.

Our next spot a Golden Eagle flying across the cliff face distant views i must admit and cant say it danced for us, it didnt and we lost sight as it glided over the ridge.

A few moments laters we were busy in discussion Corvids was the topic and talking about Ravens and how clever they are when a local Raven peformed an upside down display for us. Almost shouting out look how clever i am!

Next up a large group of Hinds below us a relatively large group for Mull and i am sure this number of hinds will be guarded very shortly with an impressive stag. A small upright stag was present but nothing majestic and no signs yet of an impressive Autumn Stag moving in.

They havent quite warmed up yet although some stags have started roaring the hormones havent peaked and they are not in full flow.

Odd groups around with 3-4 Spring stags always happens in early rut. Later as time moves on a dominant Stag generally moves in and will not tolerate any young pretenders around his girls!

Lunchtime stop and views of Curlew, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Oystercatcher and Redshank. Heron another Common Seal floating around in the bay.

Throwing in a few Buzzards the list was growing by the second.

The guests were in wildlife spotting mode and all eyes again scanned the loch looking for more intimate views of Otters.

Just had a hunch that the tide was perfect and i wanted to go back over the ground we had just covered once more.

Yes over there x3 Otters rolling playing around on an exposed weedy rock just offshore brilliant views. Suddenly the telescope was busy and suddenly the guests turned into digiscoping mode using their cameras and some real innovative methods of taking a few snaps through the scope.

Sometimes Otters appear like magic!

Quite impressed as i didnt have a digiscoping adapter with me.

Delighted with great views of Otters we moved in search of more Eagles didn't take long to find our local female perched in a favourite place and both telescope and live screen gave excellent images.

Then a few minutes later on cue we had x2 WTSE overhead and an adult perfomed a fantastic low level display for us to the gasps and wow sounds around me.

We moved through the glen looking for more Golden Eagles and sad to report that we couldn't find any. No birds flying and a systematic search of the area we couldnt find a perched eagle either.

Last Stop a well know rutting stand and an impressive sight of around 35 Hinds and 4-5 stags again smaller but no real signs of aggression and activity. The stags looked quite happy with each others company.

The Rut is a game of stamina and fitness i think they are just drawing breath before the long month ahead.

They hardly sleep, feed and certainly only have one thing on their minds.

Staggering how a well conditioned stag can enter at the start of October and at the end of October has lost a considerable amount of weight and well looks completely knackered.

Well it was a great day and we all enjoyed ourselves the wildlife sightings made up for the grey sky which shrouded us for most of the day.


Monday, 20 September 2010

Monday September 20th 2010 Wow that was just amazing!

Today i made my way past the local loch all was very quiet no cars no people. I spotted the local Otters swimming together they seemed to be enjoying themselves too!.

Slowed down but never intended to stop. Then something caught my eye yes a White Tailed Heading straight towards me.

Well i had to stop and have a closer look. The Otters carried on Swimming and fishing and one of them surfaced with a nice fish to eat!.

The White-Tailed headed closer and then closer and then a stoop Wow!. The Otters Both dived the Eagle turned and circled.

Otters Popped up and again in came the Eagle. I had heard about this behaviour before but never managed to see it for myself.

The Eagle tried three times in vain to take the Otters prize but the Otters won the day.

Reckon the cub must have said what was all that about Mum!

The Otters came straight into the shore with their prize and just vanished.

The White Tailed Landed on a near by rock and stayed observing the scene. I think we both wondered how two Otters vanished into thin air!

Well after 5-10 mins the Eagle gave up and gently took off and flew back across the loch.

It was all over in a few minutes but what a spectacle and one i will remember forever !.

Guess i just got lucky!

Local Mull Otters Close Bond.