Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Latest season update

Well it’s time for our monthly update and what a good month it’s been. Whilst the rest of the UK has been suffering flooding and gales we have survived largely unscathed. That is until last Thursday; the day started off beautifully with light winds and sunny skies. By mid afternoon the clouds were building and by the time work finished there was thunder and lightning all around. It was fun watching it in Tobermory, however for those up Ben More and along the road to the South side of Loch Na Keal it was much more serious. As the heavens opened the rain poured down the mountainside and was so forceful that a number of little bridges along the road that runs along from Knock to Gribun were washed away. This road, the B8035 remains closed for the time being whilst the bridges are rebuilt. Luckily everyone trapped between the bridges were quickly rescued.
Photo courtesy of Mull Charters

Now on to some better news regarding the recent sightings. With the Scottish Schools breaking up over a week ago the island has been busier meaning that the trips have been going out more frequently and with more people on board, these extra pairs of eyes always help with spotting the wildlife. The Minke Whales are still here and are being seen almost daily on the longer whale watching trips and just last week people on board for a 2 hour Ecocruz were lucky enough to see a Minke Whale in the Sound of Mull. It is very rare to see whales that close to the Harbour, but if conditions are right you never know it might stick around.
We’ve also had 3 separate reports of Orca within the last week and although none of these sightings have been from the trips, it’s great to hear that these animals, the largest of the Dolphin species are hanging around in our waters. Another Dolphin species that has been putting in an unexpected appearance has been a group of White Beaked Dolphins that were seen a number of times around the middle of June. This is a species that is quite numerous around the east coast of Scotland, but was last seen off Mull in 2008. We’ve also had regular sightings of the Common and Bottlenose Dolphins around the island. As well as that the Basking Sharks have been showing well.
White Beaked Dolphins Copyright Sea Life Surveys

In terms of bird life we had an unusual sighting of a Red necked phalarope a couple of days ago, these birds are seen occasionally, however it tends to be later on in the season. There has also been another sighting of a Long Tailed Duck, there was an individual seen on a number of occasions  earlier in the season but this was the first one for a couple of months. Other than that we have had the Sand Martin chicks leaving their sandy burrows for the first time, a Red Breasted Merganser with 10 fluffy ducklings and even the first Guillemot and Puffin chicks have been seen bobbing about on the water, waiting until it is time for the whole colony to leave in a few weeks time.

Well that’s all for now from Mull, we are coming into our very busy season and who knows what that will bring. Don’t forget to look us up on facebook and keep us up to date with your sightings on Mull.