b&b birdwatching mull
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What will I see when I get there?
Mull is a wildly beautiful place. Accessible by ferry from Oban, Lochaline, or Kilchoan, there is plenty for visitors to see and do. Mull boasts attractive villages and mountains, and there are beaches and castles to visit for those wanting a more relaxing time.
The largest settlement on Mull is Tobermory, originally founded as a fishing station. It lies on the east coast towards the northern end of the island. Today it is a favourite tourist halt, its many coloured buildings making for an attractive seaside picture. Yachts grace the harbour and there is a Museum and Distillery on the waterfront.
West of the main road from Craignure to Tobermory, northern Mull can be wild and remote, and the roads narrow and single track. A twisty six miles from Tobermory is Dervaig. Further around the coast is the beach at Calgary, widely regarded as the best in Mull. Mull's central areas are surprisingly mountainous, being home to Ben More, the only Munro (individual mountain over 3000ft) outside the Scottish mainland or Skye.
If Tobermory lies at one end of Mull, its other destination for visitors lies at the other. The island of Iona sits less than a mile off the south-west tip of Mull. Iona has been a place of Christian worship for more than 1400 years. St Columba fled here from Ireland in 563 and established a monastery. The conversion of most of Scotland and most of northern England to Christianity followed. Such religious significance makes Iona a place of international pilgrimage.
There can be few places in the world which have such amazing and diverse landscape. In fact, many observers feel that the Hebridean Island of Mull is unique in its diversity. The terrain is so unusual that even the weather forecasters struggle to give accurate predictions. Whilst the centre of Mull is hugely mountainous and the third wettest place in Britain, the South of the Island has European sunshine records, along with the Isles of lona and Tiree. This area is also studded with gorgeous white sand beaches.
Mull is one of the best places in Europe to see the Golden Eagle and White Tailed Sea Eagle. It is also home to the elusive European Otter ( Lutra Lutra ). You can go on a Whale Watch and see Minke Whales and Dolphins and sail among fascinating islands steeped in history.
The keen birdwatcher can see all three members of the Diver family here. Great Northern Divers spend Winter and Spring around the coasts of Mull and the birds are usually seen in their magnificent black and white summer plumage.
Black Throated Diver from Mull Birds The Red Throated Diver breeds on Mull and it can be a very noisy bird on certain lochs in early Summer. Many Birdwatchers feel that the Black Throated Diver is Britains' most handsome bird and although it it is a scarce bird, it can be found on at least one sea loch throughout the summer, in its magnificent black, grey and white plumage.
The Hebrides has huge amounts of woodland where Warblers and Songbirds are abundant in Summer. The Crossbill is rather like a small Parrot and the male bird has bright red plumage and a parrot-like bill, and he can be found in the pine forests of Mull. There are nesting Golden Plovers and Ptarmigan in the mountains, and waders on the estuaries, particularly during the spring migration. Seabirds abound, and the colourful Puffin is easy to see and get close to, on a visit to the uninhabited Treshnish Isles or Staffa. Staffa is also famous for Fingals Cave and Mendelssohns' Hebridean Overture. Seabirds that are usually seen are the Guillemot and Black Guillemot, various members of the Skua family, Shearwaters, Razorbills, Gannets and Kittiwakes, which are often seen associating with Whales. Storm Petrels are around and a good blow from the sea can produce rarer sea birds such as Corys Shearwater and Great Shearwater.