We went to the Mull Sea Eagle Hide today. They held an open day for local businesses, and as so many of our guests ask us about it, we thought we should go.
Does that sound convincing? I hope so.. It was a great excuse for a half day out. We had our lovely friend N with us, the others having opted for a climb up Ben More, Mull’s only Munro.
The Hide is in Glen Seilisdeir which is about an hour and a half away from here, so it is a reasonable length drive, but the scenery is so beautiful, even on a cloudy day like we had today. We had to drop something off at Ulva Ferry Primary School on our way past, so took the ‘scenic’ route both ways.
Driving along Loch na Keal we saw ferns in amongst the rocks under Ben More.
And beneath the Gribun cliffs, we saw Moss Campion, which is only found in this area of Mull. It must like the basalt. How beautiful it is. I had not seen it before.
Unfortunately we saw bracken fronds beginning to open up in lots of places during the course of the day. It is too successful a plant, marching as it does across the Mull hills. At Treshnish we do all we can to keep it under control, and have just bought a wand so we can spot treat the plant in amongst more treasured species.
Leaving the beauty of the Gribun road with its intense views out to the Treshnish Isles behind us, and driving down towards Loch Scridain, we parked the car in the small Forestry Commission car park off the main road. It is only a short walk this year from the car park up to the actual hide.
John and Rachel, rangers for the Mull Sea Eagle Hide, were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming hosts. They were quick to point out any activity at the nest, and to move the telescopes so we could all see. They even demonstrated the size of the Mull Sea Eagle Nest! Iona and Fingal, the pair of White Tailed Sea Eagles nesting here, hatched their first egg yesterday, and from where we were standing we could just see one of them on the nest. It was very well hidden though! This year there has been mention of possible disturbance to the sea eagles from wildlife photographers and enthusiasts getting too close, so the hide is a good place to go – and view them knowing that your presence is not disturbing them.
I got quite a good close up of a sea eagle.
There is a good information display and a webcam trained on the nest within the Hide. We were lucky with the weather, it was dry all the time we were there, but it can be wet. The scopes are under cover and there is room inside the viewing hide as well, but best to take wet weather gear just in case!
The bird feeders were very popular with the siskins.
On the way home, we stopped at the foot of Ben More just as our friends arrived back at their car. They had a wonderful walk, but it was cloudy when they got to the top, though the cloud had lifted by the time they got back to sea level! We shared our picnic and the Farmer brewed up some tea on the camping gas stove – the first beach brew-up of the summer!
We saw shelduck – as well as lots of other wildlife along the loch. We passed 4 different wildlife tour operators.. so we knew we were in the right place!
We saw a lovely bit of rowan regeneration, on a fallen tree.
It was lovely to look back across the loch at where we had driven earlier. Our friends stopped off on Ulva for tea and cake on the way home to Treshnish. We had some errands to run, which included Calgary so we had tea and cake there!
All in all, a wonderful day out. The Mull Sea Eagle Hide is definitely worth a visit. Details on how to book are here. There is a charge for entry and the funds raised from visitors entrance fees contribute to a Mull Sea Eagle Fund which has distributed £58,000 since 2003 to local projects, including to the Treshnish Headland Walk Interpretation Board last year!