October 202321st November 2023
December 202310th January 2024
At the end of October I travelled over to Mull for a fortnight. The first week was spent with a friend who had wanted to photograph otters on Mull for many years, so I was glad we managed to align our diaries for a break, and Mull did its thing for him, with a little bit of help from me.
The second week was mainly spent guiding clients for otters, but during the first week my car had been making a funny noise. I thought it was the tyres initially, but it turned out to be a wheel bearing, and after Harbour Garage diagnosed the fault, I was unable (and unwilling) to drive the car for the workshop. Thankfully my clients were able to share that task and I was whisked around Mull in the luxury of a Range Rover!
On the final day of the workshop, late afternoon, we were drifting along the shore of one of the lochs when I spotted a small raptor perched on a grassy mound. Being brown in colour I questioned if it was a buzzard, but the size of it was way too small, and as soon as I was able to get my binoculars lined up, it was obviously a merlin. We had seen one earlier in the week but it had flown off before we could get any images.
We watched this one for a few moments before it took flight, and my Canon R5 retained focus on it for almost every single one of about eighty shots as it flew off, low over the moorland.
It's a shot I'd not have been able to get had I been driving, as I would have been on the wrong side of the car for it. So not only was I grateful for my clients for saving the workshop with their car, but also for this fortunate moment with a stunning little raptor.
After three consecutive winters on Mull, this will be the first away from the island. That said, being in the Highlands with all the wonderful winter wildlife around and about, I'm sure I'll cope!