crofting holidays mull
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There can be few places in the world which have such amazing and diverse landscape. In fact, many observers feel that this Island is unique in its diversity. The terrain is so unusual that even the weather forecasters struggle to give accurate predictions. Whilst the centre of the island 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.
This is one of the best places in Europe to see the Golden Eagle ( Aquila chrysaetos )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. Being an island it has to be said that certain wildlife species are not to be found here, such as the Pine Marten and the Scottish Wildcat, but that can make for an excuse to take the 30 minute ferry crossing to The Ardnamurchan Peninsula which is the most westerly point on the British mainland.
However, like most people, the reader will probably not wish to leave the island!! The keen watcher can see all three members of the Diver family here. Great Northern Divers spend Winter and Spring around the coasts and they are usually seen in their magnificent black and white summer plumage.
Black Throated Diver and the Red Throated Diver breeds here and it can be very noisy on certain lochs in early Summer. Many people feel that the Black Throated Diver is Britains' most handsome example and although it it is scarce, it can be found on at least one sea loch throughout the summer, in its magnificent black, grey and white plumage.
Puffin on Staffa Wildlife watchers will also be interested to note that despite what most people think, the Hebrides has huge amounts of woodland where Warblers and Songsters are abundant in Summer. The Crossbill is rather like a small Parrot and the male has bright red plumage and a parrot-like bill, and he can be found in the pine forests. 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.
Cetaceans like Killer Whales have been seen more regularly and the occasional Humpback Whale is now recorded. Basking Sharks are around the Western Headlands at the end of the summer, and there are various species of Dolphins in our waters. A school of Bottle Nosed Dolphins entertained thousands of people on their way to lona this summer. The same Dolphin group came regularly into Tobermory Bay. The Holy Isle of has its own very special atmosphere and apart from having some beautiful beaches, it is also undoubtedly the best place in the area to see, or at least 'hear', the very rare Corncrake.
Mull however, is really noted for its Birds of Prey. Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Short Eared Owl, Kestrel and, of course, the two eagle species are expected to be seen by any wildlife enthusiast visiting Mull. However, wherever you are, in the remoter parts of the world, you should consider going out with a local guide, because this will obviously maximise your chances of seeing the more unusual species in any area.