Mull Wildlife Photography Workshops
Join Mull-based Pete for a bespoke Wildlife Photography Workshop, focusing on otters or any other species that calls the island home.
Availability for 2022:
- July: Fully booked.
- August: 17th - 19th, 31st.
- September: 1st - 5th, 8th - 11th, 15th, 16th, 19th - 24th.
- October: Available except 4th - 6th, and 13th - 17th when the Mull Rally is on.
- November onwards, email for dates.
Otters (Available All Year)
With over 300 miles of coastline, Mull is one of the places in the UK to see otters, and Pete knows some of the very best locations on the island to see these often elusive mammals.
As well as knowing where the otters' territories are, he also knows the signs to look for when determining if otters are around, how to spot them (in all weathers), and most importantly, how to approach and observe them, without scaring them away.
When tracking otters, you may be climbing over slippery rocks and through seaweed, so be sure you are confident in doing this before booking such a workshop. You may also have to crouch for periods of time, in all weather conditions, so bear this in mind too! It is worth it though, to see these creatures close up.
While Pete is willing to take bookings for otter workshops for just one day, he recommends at least three days, to increase the chances of experiencing a special encounter, or "Golden Ticket" moment with one or more otters.
Having watched and photographed white-tailed eagles on numerous occasions, Pete can take you to the best spots on Mull to see them, and if the trips are running (April - October), include the Mull Charters' boat trip (at the additional cost for the trip) as a part of the tour.
This is one of the finest wildlife experiences in the UK, and is something he tries to experience several times each year, as it always throws up something of interest.
Pete can advise you on how to photograph these magnificent birds from the boat trip, including camera settings and what gear to bring aboard. And with over twenty pairs of white-tailed eagles nesting each year on Mull, plus juveniles and sub-adult birds around, there's always a good chance of encountering them whilst touring around the island.
White-tailed eagles are the UK's largest resident eagle, with (on average) the world's largest wingspan for an eagle. Nicknamed the "flying barn doors" they're an impressive sight on the wing.
Puffins (End Of April - End Of July)
From April to the end of July, Pete can accompany you out with one of the tour operators to the Treshnish Isles where you will encounter a wonderful array of seabirds, including the charismatic puffin.
Puffins breed on both Staffa and Lunga, and photo opportunities are available on each island, with Lunga being the main location for these birds.
Pete will guide you on what sort of images you might try to obtain from the trip, including portraits, behavioural and flight shots, with advice on the settings required for each.
In addition to the puffins, you may see guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars, shags, skuas, ravens, wheatears, and even corncrakes.
During the early part of the season, Lunga is carpeted with bluebells, which can add a splash of colour to the image.
The footpath at Lunga leads right through the puffin breeding colony, so offers the visitor a wonderful view of these comedic seabirds as they dig out and line their burrows, court one another, fight off rivals, bring in their catches, or simply perch around, enjoying the views.
Mull also has a very healthy population of golden eagles, though these huge raptors are usually harder to spot and photograph than their re-introduced cousins. That said, Pete knows of several locations on the island where you're more than likely to get a good view.
While nothing is guaranteed with these birds, Pete has enjoyed some wonderful encounters with golden eagles in recent visits, and would hope to continue this with you during a tour. Just seeing a golden eagle is such a memorable moment!
Workshops for golden eagles are best combined with other raptors, so as to increase chances of a special encounter.
Without ground-nesting threats such as foxes or badgers on the island, and no illegal persecution from humans, Mull offers these otherwise threatened raptors a safe haven, and hen harriers thrive on the island.
That said, they can still be difficult to see, though Pete can take you to some good locations to increase your chances of seeing them.
Both favoured hunting grounds and roosting locations will be watched to see the elegant birds of prey, and depending on the time of year, the dramatic skydance courtship display might even be encountered.
Had the most fantastic couple of days with Pete. Just WOW!! Everything we hoped for and more… His knowledge of wildlife their habitats and behaviours was second to none. His experience enabled us to get the most amazing sightings and incredible photographs of otters, white tailed eagles hen harriers… and the list goes on.
Highly recommended. Sorry Pete, you’ll have to suffer our company some more as we’ll definitely be back.
I highly recommend Pete as a wildlife photography guide. I hired him for 3 days to help me and a friend photograph Otters.
His knowledge of their habitat and behaviour helped us see these fabulous creatures really close up without disturbing them. His knowledge around all types of wildlife on Mull is outstanding and he also helped us to see Hen Harriers, Short Eared Owls, Golden Eagles and Sea Eagles.
If you are going to Mull to photograph wildlife then you need to book Pete, you will get to see and photograph so much more than trying to do it on your own.
I have become increasingly fascinated with wildlife photography, and in October I had the absolute pleasure of taking part in a two-day Otter Workshop with Pete on Mull. Cannot speak highly enough about Pete! His knowledge and expertise are truly breath-taking, and I had the most amazing two days, where I learnt SO much. Without his guidance I doubt I would have got anywhere close to an Otter, far less be in the position to photograph them in their natural habitat at close quarters! What was obvious was Pete’s love of the outdoors, and in particular his respect for the animals we were photographing. I would highly recommend one of Pete’s workshops for anyone interested in wildlife photography. I hope to get back soon and put my newfound skills to the test, and photograph much more of Mull’s amazing wildlife with Pete.
We have had three absolutely amazing days with Pete as our guide. While mainly focussing on otters, he is very knowledgeable about the wildlife and Mull in general. We feel we have learnt a lot about the island, and much more about the otters. Learning how to respectfully get great photos, without disturbing these beautiful mammals, is a privilege. Did we pick some of the wettest days of the year? Probably. Did we get drenched some days? Definitely. But Pete made it an absolute pleasure with his lighthearted relaxed guiding. Great company and we already have him in our sights for a return trip!
I completed a 5 day guided workshop with Pete recently, and the trip and the results were beyond anything I had expected. I stayed near Pete and each day we spent all our time with Pete imparting knowledge on Otters, birds of prey and everything Mull.
The outcomes for me were learning a huge amount about otters, their behaviour, how to photograph them without causing them any distress. This trip culminated in a platinum hour with a mother and two cubs, where they wandered so close to us that we could hear them breathing. My biggest problem, the sheer number of great images that I have to find the time to process and get some printed.
My only recommendation to anyone contemplating a visit is to give yourself enough time to enjoy yourself with Pete, and make sure to do two trips with the brilliant Mull Charters to see the White Tailed Sea Eagles.
Thanks for a fantastic day photographing such an entertaining family of otters. Your knowledge and experience gave me the halcyon otter day I have been looking for on Mull, yet had previously failed to achieve despite several attempts over the years. The fieldcraft and in-depth knowledge you possess resulted in some photos I will treasure for a long time. Despite the apocalyptic rain you were cheerful throughout, even with boots full of seawater. Looking forward to catching up again on Mull. I might even have gone mirrorless by then!
I have visited Mull on a number of occasions over the last few years and have always had patchy luck with regard to Otter sightings.
Having followed Pete's excellent wildlife photography over the years I was pleased to hear that he had moved to Mull and would be offering his services as a guide. Our guided day could not have gone any better, we found Otters quickly and Pete's advice and guidance was excellent. I was able to get so many photos that I was over the moon about. All the while feeling like we were not intruding into their world, causing them any stress or making them alter their behaviour.
All in all a fantastic day that I would thoroughly recommend!
If you have a bucket list, put a day with Pete on it right now.
His knowledge of photography is outstanding, but his passion, field-craft and care for his wildlife subjects is what makes this a truly outstanding experience. He will make sure you get the best shots, but the best part of the time spent with Pete is just sitting together and smiling at the absolute privilege of being allowed into the life of an otter. Lovely day with a special human being.
Thanks to you for being such a cheery guide! Not only did we enjoy the wildlife and the landscapes, we also had fun spending time with you. We thought we would have posted something already, but we have so many photos its taking some time to sort through! But we will post fairly soon and tag you when we do!
We wish you a good summer season!
Malcolm & Marianne
Many thanks for all the effort and patience yesterday, I had a great time. Especially lovely to see the otters playing again. I shall sort out a couple of pics over the next few days and send them to you; hope you are enjoying your holiday,seeing lots of hen harriers I hope. May your Unkindness of ravens turn into a Convocation of eagles…(looked it up! )
Mull Workshop FAQs
In terms of each day, then the workshop can start early morning and last until the evening. It depends on the subject. Otter workshops tend to be based on tide times. Workshops for birds such as short-eared owls might begin mid afternoon, and extend until dusk.
Mull Charters offer a range of options here, and Pete will ask you for a preference when booking your workshop.
The cheapest option is the Wildlife Trip that involves the eagles, but also looks for other wildlife around the coast.
There are two photo specific trips called the "Photo 6" and "Photo 4". These are more expensive but are limited to 6 or 4 clients per trip.
Finally there is a private charter whereby the trip is solely booked for the workshop.
Yes. Pete will check when you book if you would like to go out on a Photo 6 or Photo 4 trip, and see if Mull Charters are running such a trip during the period you have requested.
As a fallback, if no Photo Specials are being run, Pete will try to book you on to a Wildlife Trip, and make the best of it.
Also, please note that this is still effectively the same trip as the standard wildlife trip, albeit with fewer people aboard.
The puffin trips can also involve a small amount of clambering over wet rocks when the boat arrives at Lunga. There is also a short but steep climb up to the colony of puffins.
Mull has buses and taxis if needed.
If the person wants to also take photographs, then yes, but only if the fee is updated to reflect the additional person.
If the person simply wishes to come along for the day out, then yes of course, but there may be a fee charged to reflect the experience they are receiving.