Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sunday 29th August 2010 Take a little time!

Summer today on the Isle Of Mull with a strongish breeze if your sat in the wrong place.

First sighting of the day x2 WTSE's circling overhead enjoying the early morning sunshine.

A Golden Eagle sat proudly on the cliff the light was fantastic and the bird looked majestic through the telescope. The Golden head clearly visible with the sunshine adding to the effect.

Chaffinches well i counted around 60 in a flock today and then another 30 a little later in the day.

Took a trip into Glen More. A pair of Golden eagles circling overhead this is a favourite place for me it really has a special place in my heart. I often wonder what the scene would look like in the distant past as glacial ice carved its way through the glen.

Couldnt help taking a picture and trying not to get run over in the process!

It was quiet and it appeared i had the glen to myself very quiet just the sound of the wind and distant birdsong.

Its really is an inspiring place and sometimes nice to sit down and allow the scenery and mood of the glen to enter your body and soul.

Glen More  Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

On the way back through the Glen i looked up and yes more Sea-Eagles
Another two up and away Mull really is the best place to see these magnificant

The Tide was very low when i arrived back at the loch time for a spot of Otter
watching. Camo gear on and a nice secluded hole amongst some rocks. Well
all was very quiet just the sound of the lapping tide 3 hours passed. Then yes a
Otter at last came into view heading straight towards me.

The wind was in my favour everything perfect hidden and just a little bit of luck
required. The patience had been worth it great views of an Otter in the western

Isles of Scotland. Had it picked me up? Obviously not as it fished and dived
around me sometimes within 4 feet of me.

The Otter stayed with me for a good 5 mins or so and then headed out onto a
spit to dry itself and have a good roll around. Managed a couple of snaps during

this encounter. I am a great believer of letting wildlife come to me and never advocate

running down the shore or chasing Otters. Yes sometimes it takes time and patience

but overall the results are worthwhile and fantastic.

Only managed a couple of pictures. One heading straight towards me and the other as it made one of its many fishing dives.

Couldnt risk taking any more or the Otter would have picked me up.

Sometimes its better to sit back and enjoy rather than taking pictures.

Otter Swimming  Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

Heres the other Picture. Their tails look so odd when they dive!.

Otter Diving Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

The days are growing shorter and there is a chill about the air tonight. Wont be long and the Autumn will be upon us once more.

But when something ends on Mull theres always something new and exciting waiting in the wings.

Thats what makes Mull such a special place.

Michael Leigh-Mallory

Mull In Focus.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Saturday 28th August 2010. Whats next on the menu!

Today has proved to be a challenging day. Sunshine showers, Then Wind then back to summer it really has been hard to keep up!.

Started the day with great Otter spots Bitch and 2 cubs and then a little later another family Bitch and x1 cub so that was the Otters sorted.

Managed to find a Golden Eagle sat high on the cliff not sure if he or she was enjoying the rain just sat there waiting for the skies to clear.

This Red Deer hind posed for us just the other day, very relaxed and not bothered by us at all. The stags have shed their velvet and the colour of the antlers on Mull are very dark compared to the Red Deer found in places such as Exmoor and the Quantock hills in the Southwest of the UK.

The peat helps to darken them and this darkens even further as the year progresses. During th rut in October stags are continually scent marking and rubbing their proud weapons in the wet peaty soil.

Red Deer Hind. Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010

Our Local Sea-Eagle family put in a great show as they soared over the house at low level. Its the first time i have seen them all flying together.

Lets hope this chick has a better future than (Oran) the Male chick that fledged from this nest last year.

Oran is still missing and no data being recieved from his satellite tag.

The Hares put on a great display a couple of days back as well. We counted x6 in one field they really are one of my favourites.

Mull Hare Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

Carl Zeiss sponsored Mull In Focus earlier in 2010 and since this we are able to supply all of our customers with the best optics available.

In a small box unopened a Carl Zeiss Fotoadapter has been sat there waiting, crying out to be used.

After looking at some of the cracking images posted by keen birders using the Carl Zeiss Victory Diascope 85* I just have to get out there and give it a go.

So just awaiting my mount so i can connect my Canon 7D (DSLR) directly to the scope and i will give it a go!.

The blog will consist of pictures taken exclusively with the Zeiss equipment  Digiscoping style once i work out how to use it properly.

Digiscoping is a real art and it might be a bit of time before i work out the best settings but hey we like a challenge.

So watch this space for some Mull wildlife with Zeiss digiscoping.

Mull In Focus.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Friday 27th August 2010 You are my sunshine my only sunshine!

Well its Sunny here on the wonderful Isle of Mull. The last days have provided sunshine and well more sunshine.Its funny how photographers moan about the weather.Its rainy and too Dull its sunshine and too bright!.

Dont think the conditions are ever perfect for us!

The last few days have been great Otters, Red Throated Divers, Golden Eagles, White Tailed Sea eagles, Mountain Hares

The list is kinda endless but it really has been great.

Also did see my first ever Golden Eagle sat on a telegraph pole not by the side of the road but a little off of the beaten track but hey on a pole!

Caught This WTSE Soaring a couple of weeks back so i have posted the best image below.
Sometimes you are lucky to have a bird soaring beneath you or turn slightly and angle its wings for you.

This is a welcome relief from an overhead shot.

White Tailed Sea Eagle Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

Loch Scridain has looked at its very best during the last few days hardly any wind and the water like a Mill pond.

Loch Scidain Isle Of Mull.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Tuesday 24th August 2010. Otter feast!

Well the rain has given way to a breezy and Sunny afternoon.

Just sat chatting with a friend when an Adult White Tailed Eagle came to say hello!.

Flew over our heads and very low!.

The contrast between the bird and the trees was just amazing. She really is a magnificant and regal bird and why anyone would ever think of poisoning them is beyond me!

Spent a lot of time filming a family of Otters and just trying to go through some of the film archive.

All pictures on todays blogpost are stills taken directly from film,

These are the views our customers get using our modern equipment and High-Definition screen.

Tommorrow i promise something different than Otters but they are one of my favourites.

All images Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

Playtime this session last for over 5 minutes and its easy to see why Otters are firmly one of the nations favourites.

This Mum and her cub really do seem to have a special bond.

The closeness and warmth and affection shown for each other is plain for all to see.


Give me a break trying to have a sleep!

Oh what big teeth you have!

I never wanted that Crab anyway.....!

Here i am Otter surfaces from a dive.

Back to the food larder for some more tasty fishy things!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Monday 23rd August 2010. Singing in the Rain its glorious if your a duck but maybe not a Heron!

Well today the rain started falling and well continued and didnt stop all day so it was kinda difficult.

The views of the rivers and waterfalls are however outstanding.

Small trickles turn into raging rivers very quickly.

Creates an intense atmosphere of vision and sound!

So not much to report really this evening.

A couple of WTSE eagles flying a short sortie as the rain eased this evening.

Couple of Red Deer stags with some strands of velvet hanging the Autumn Rut is approaching fast!

Nice display from a passing flock of Redshanks.

Picked up a very wet Heron looked like it had just been through a wash and then spin cycle in a washing machine looked very fed up with the whole situation.

Didnt seem to be having much success fishing. Being so wet i think it was kinda thinking of jumping straight in after the fish.

A local Otter 25 metres away wasnt bothered by the rain and just looked happy as ever going about its business of fishing and very successfully i might add to the Herons dismay!


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Saturday 21st August 2010.

No Customers today so a chance for me to catch up with filming the local Otter family.

Over a peroid of around 6 hours the total number of spots was 8 Otters but i must admit some of these were of the same animal.

The Otter archive is building so watch the website later in the year when i put the Otter clips together.

Today i was thinking about my friends down in Devon. The Badgers in particular, we used to feed up to 10 Badgers every evening and i suppose operate a lazy mans badger watch. Just lie on the sofa upon the patio doors and well they just turn up like clockwork and have provided many years entertainment for visitors and friends.

I do miss them lots!.

Heres a picture of a few of them.

They become very tame and i used to sit right next to them only a couple of feet away.

No Badgers here in Mull Though or Foxes so the chickens look a liitle more relaxed!

Otters however do enjoy a bit of  the Colonels KFC every now and again though.

Sat chatting with a fellow tour operator Brian this afternoon always good to catch up. With that the Juvenile White Tailed soared over the trees behind us nice to see the bird is now adventuring more and spreading its wings.

Wont be long before we can all track this Eagle as this bird has a satellite tag fitted and we can all watch progress at the RSPB Mull Eagles website.

Just a picture i took a few weeks ago whilst out and about these birds really do look magnificant against a dark background such as trees conifers or the slope of a nearby mountain as a backdrop.

White Tailed Sea-Eagle Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010
Makes a change from the dark shape of an overhead eagle, very dark against an often very bright sky.

Road leading into Glen More the gateway to wildlife paradise!

Over many years i always enjoyed at this cattle grid for me it was the entry point to the Wildlife paradise that Mull Offers.

Friday, 20 August 2010

So you want to see a Sea-Eagle up close Introducing Mull Charters!

Many visitors to Mull have Sea-Eagles as their main viewing objective!.

Well now you have the chance to get up close and personal let me introduce Mull Charters based at Ulva Ferry.

Martin and Judith take parties out to a location where Martin offers a pair of Sea-Eagles fresh fish.
The Male birds swoops down sometimes as close as 50-60  feet it really is amazing.

Mull Charters operates with guidelines set by the RSPB.

Its professional and an amazing experience and has to be on the must do list when you visit Mull.

Its a photographers dream a chance to photograph a wild Sea-Eagle swopping down and taking a fish from the water.

I have been a few times now and have taken a few pics i am not saying its easy the action is very fast but a challenge and very worthwhile when you get that magical picture.

You can contact Martin at
Tel 01680 300444
Mobile 07788 677131


White-Tailed Sea Eagle Copyright Michael Leigh-Mallory 2010.

Mull In Focus Offering Live Action In HDV!

Mull in Focus offers it customers live HDV High-Defintion images as standard. We use the equipment to view distant wildlife and provide excellent image quality.

This is a first for a wildlife Tour operator and probably the first in the world!.

The equipment produces an image that far exceeds what can be offered by a telescope alone.

We are also kindly supported by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics UK and offer a range of their binoculars as standard on our excursions as well as top quality Zeiss Telescopes.

Live Screen Images in Full High Defintion (Colour).

Below is an image taken with our Live viewing technology it shows a Female White Tailed Sea-Eagle known locally as (YBS) Yellow Black Spot.

Hello Summer Hello Rain!

Thursday August 20th 2010.

Well its back to rainy and very dull weather this morning but hey we have enjoyed some great sunshine over the past few days.

This Female Adder was found on a nearby footpath as we took a walk a few days back she stayed long enough for a few pictures before making her way into the undergrowth.

Female Adder ( Vipera berus).

A customer asked me the other day what an Otter spraint looked like so heres a piture i took when we found one. You can clearly see the undigested shells of Crustaceans and other scales and skin etc.

(Otter Spraint).

Otters also produce anal jelly but i will spare you those pictures.

Welcome to the new Mull In Focus Blog!.

Mull In Focus offer Wildlife Tours & Digital Photography Experience days based on the Isle of Mull In Scotland.

This Hebridean Island is world renowned for its whildlife and scenic beauty.

Species include White-Tailed Sea-Eagle, Golden Eagle, Hen Harrier, Short Eared Owl to name but a few.

Mull In Focus operate Wildlife Tours and Digital Photography experience days. For further information see our website


Tel 0845 519 5042      Mobile 07824 568 456

We offer Daily Tours, Evening Tours and also family days.

We will be using our blog to keep you updated on the sightings and whats happening here on Mull!