Mull Wildlife Photography Workshops (Available All Year)

Join Pete for a photography experience on the Isle Of Mull to immerse yourself in the wildlife that can be seen around the island. Workshops can be two or more days long, depending on your requirements, and will be tailored to target the species you're most interested in seeing and photographing.

Pete is available for Mull Photography Workshops throughout the year and after being a resident of the isle for over two years, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience of what wildlife can be seen there, and when.

While he recommends at least three days for a workshop, a basic two day experience will give you a great chance of photographing your target species, and also take advance of anything else found along the way.

You will learn how to find, observe and photograph wildlife, improve on your techniques for capturing the action and more, and as Pete will do all the driving, you also get to drink in the beauty of the breathtaking scenery around Mull.

Last minute availability for 2024 (single-day workshops):

Can't stretch to a two or more day workshop? Keep an eye on this section for dates when Pete is available for single days on Mull.

  • June: 14th, 25, 26th
  • September: 11th or 12th

 

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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 (subject to availability), he recommends at least three days, to increase the chances of experiencing a special encounter, or "Golden Ticket" moment with one or more otters.

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White-Tailed Eagles

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.

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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.

GoldenEagle

Golden Eagles

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.

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Hen Harriers

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.

Short-eared owl

Short-Eared Owls

While there are some resident short-eared owls on Mull, the best time to see them is during their breeding season, which starts mid-March and usually lasts until late August.

This workshop starts a little later than the usual ones on Mull, because it may last until dusk, and that can be late evening on Mull, on a sunny day.

Pete will take you to areas where he knows the owls will be hunting and hopefully posing on rocks and posts. Images of them in flight, perched and hunting will be strived for, and if possible, he will encourage you to use the light in imaginative ways.

Shorties are Pete's favourite subject, so he'll probably be as excited to see them as you!

Additional Subjects

  • Raptors: buzzards, merlins, kestrels, sparrowhawks and peregrine falcons.
  • Mammals: red and fallow deer, common and grey seals, Irish hares, dolphins.
  • Coastal birds: divers (great northern, red and black-throated), grebes, ducks, geese, and waders.
  • Moorland birds: golden plovers, whimbrel, curlew, lapwings, whinchats, stonechats, wheatears.
  • Hirundines: swallows and martins.
  • Lizards, toads, frogs and adders.
  • Pete is a firm believer of taking advantage of any subject that is in front of you, so will happily take time to photograph almost anything during a workshop.

    Included:

  • Advice on clothing for the tour plus what photographic gear to bring along.
  • Transport around Mull in all weathers in a 4x4 vehicle.
  • Collection from your accommodation, and drop off at the end of each day.
  • Instruction and guidance for approaching the wildlife.
  • Assistance with any camera settings if required.
  • Public liability cover via professional photographic insurance policy.
  • Not Included:

  • Accommodation.
  • Transport to and from Mull.
  • Photographic equipment.
  • Packed lunch or drinks.
  • Fee:

  • £275 per day for 1-to-1
  • £375 per day for 1-to-2
  • Fee is for Pete's time only. Boat trips will be an additional cost, which will be included in the final workshop total.
  • Maximum of 2 clients for otter photography
  • A non-refundable* deposit of £50 per day must be paid at time of booking.
  • Balance to be paid 6 weeks before workshop date.
  • Workshops involving boat trips need to be booked well in advance so as to guarantee a place. Such trips are also likely to be cancelled by the operator at short notice because of the weather, in which case Pete will offer an alternative workshop.
  • Book A Mull Workshop

    • Russell H
      I would completely recommend using Pete Walkden. We wanted a tour specifically to locate golden eagles on Mull. Pete took us to his best areas for sightings and on a walk we had sightings of two golden eagles, a white tailed eagle, kestrels, hen harrier and numerous buzzards. He took us all over Mull and we probably drove about 100 miles. Pete is good company and good humoured and we enjoyed talking about the life of a wildlife photographer and guide, life on Mull and the merits of different approaches to eagle spotting. It was great to be able to benefit from Pete’s expertise and commitment to what he is doing. Pete really went the extra mile for us and stayed out later to make sure we had every chance of getting a good sighting but also making sure we would know where we could carry on our exploring at the end of the week. He is completely approachable and ready to answer any questions and made sure we had the best possible chance of success.
      Russell H
    • Andy W

      I have recently had a fantastic 3 day outing with Pete.

      If you are looking for the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonderful wildlife out there then Pete is your man. He has a clear passion for wildlife and their habitat and ensuring their welfare is primary to him . We were particularly after otters and Pete's fieldcraft that he practised and passed on to me was superb. It allowed me to get into some excellent positions to enjoy the natural behaviour of the majestic animals in their home surroundings. The opportunity to smell the smells and feel the wet seaweed that the otters were sharing with me, to me made the experience all the better.

      Using Pete's great knowledge and experience we were nearly always the first to locate otters and on one occasion spent over 2 hours shadowing it and moving to a safe and suitable position to grab some great images. Unfortunately this experience was shattered by less informed photographers running down onto the beach while the otter was feeding. Pete quite rightly said time to leave and I stand by that.

      Skilled photography tuition was on hand all the time and advice on settings etc was very useful. Pete even managed to get me to switch over to manual ISO to increase my creativity.

      If you want a great experience, to learn loads and know that the images you take were of your subject in a relaxed and natural environment then Pete is the man.

      One other thing that I noticed about Pete is his passion to help others experience the wonders of the wildlife, particularly if they can’t get out there themselves. When we were at a location looking at eagles and short eared owls he could have ignored other people trying to enjoy them but actively assisted them in locating them and providing information about them.

      Highly recommended

      Andy W
    • Mark J

      Ever since I was a kid I’ve been drawn to photography and for many years I’ve simply enjoyed playing with cameras and photography and at the height of it all (era of film) I even did some equine portrait work 😲

      Recently though I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to have a photographic mid life crisis? I totally get professional photography, it has a reason and purpose, I understand it’s powerful use when we want to use images for education and awareness, but when it comes to simple pleasure what’s the purpose? Are images I share simply yesterday’s chip fat, what is the point?

      I’ve been responsible for many disturbing images of equine suffering in my latter years and I’ve always felt I should redress the balance whenever I can with images that please and are uplifting even if only for a short moment but is that enough? It’s been sufficient thinking this way to make me back off for a time, a very strange time of reflection on my part so, a huge surprise for me when, for a VERY BIG birthday I’m given as a present from my sons of a days photography workshop on my now beloved Isle of Mull

      My guide and instructor for the day was the quietly spoken, highly ethical (some photographers I’m sad to say are disrespectful barstools towards wildlife) but NOT Pete Walkden! Pete apart from doing his job superbly of being a guide, was able to not only help me achieve my long time ambition of getting a “proper” shot of Otters, but he made me look again and appreciate sooo much of what previously I just hadn’t paid enough attention to and showed me a delicacy of our British wildlife that was an absolute dream to become immersed in

      Pete had unbounded patience and time for me and the wildlife we observed in equal measure, ESPECIALLY! Having got ourselves established at a respectful distance from the Otters and having got more amazing shots than I could shake a stick at, we did not withdraw from them until they left, so we didn’t spook them, unknown to Pete I think that gained him more admiration from me than anything else he could have done

      All in all yesterday on Mull under the guidance of Pete was an amazing, unforgettable and privileged experience and if anyone is so inclined, I can’t recommend him highly enough!

      Mark J
    • David M
      During a recent week long visit I spent three days on Mull with Pete whilst looking to photograph raptors: specifically eagles, owls and harriers. We had a very successful time and spotted all of our target species other than the short eared owl who had yet to make an appearance on Mull. Watching the hen harriers displaying and viewing five golden eagles soaring together over the mountains were particular highlights. We saw a wide variety of other birds, adders as well as deer and of course the otters. Pete is an experienced professional and has an an amazing insight to the location and behaviours of the birds and animals of the island. He is knowledgeable about wildlife, provides a wealth of technical tips for improving your photographs and all laced with his dry sense of humour. Professional and punctual and patient, Pete was a joy to spend time with. I’m already planning my next trip!
      David M
    • Steve L
      We had a great time with Pete. He was prompt, great company and a fountain of useful information. Best of all, he knew where to find wildlife, respected their space and understood their behaviour which allowed us to get close, but not too close to upset the animals. We had some fantastic encounters with otters and I was rewarded with some amazing photographs. I’m still buzzing from the experience several days later. It was much better to travel with an expert who knew where to find otters than wandering aimlessly around the island. I would certainly go again with Pete and recommend him highly.
      Steve L
    • Sue and Vicky

      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.

      Thank you

      Sue and Vicky
    • David Z

      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.

      David Z
    • Gary D
      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.
      Gary D
    • Marie and Steve S
      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!
      Marie and Steve S
    • Ian B

      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.

      Ian B
    • Stephen H

      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!

      Stephen H
    • Ian I

      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!

      Ian I
    • Cathy G

      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.

      Cathy G
    • Marianne & Malcolm

      Hi Pete,

      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!

      Regards,

      Malcolm & Marianne

      Marianne & Malcolm
    • Ruth R

      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! )

      Best wishes,

      Ruth

      Ruth R

    Clients' Images Gallery

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    Click to view clients' images from workshops run here on Mull.

    Mull Workshop FAQs

    1Are workshops available all year?
    Yes, but as Pete is now based in the Scottish Highlands, the minimum length for a Mull-based workshop is two days. If Pete is already on Mull, and can offer single days, he will advertise such dates at the top of this page.
    2What is the duration of a workshop?

    Unless stated otherwise, a workshop on Mull will need to last at least two days. Pete is available for single days occasionally, and such dates will be made available at the top of this page.

    Typically a workshop will begin at around 8:30am and end whenever the light is lost or the client chooses it to. Workshops focused on subjects such as short-eared owls may begin later, and extend until dusk, which in the summer can be past 10pm!

    3Are subjects only available at certain times of the year?
    Yes. Puffins for example are only around on the Treshnish Isles from late April through to the end of July. Raptors such as short-eared owls and hen harriers are more active and hence visible when they're breeding, so workshops targeting these should be booked during their breeding season. Pete can advise you on this.
    4I want to photograph white-tailed eagles, which trip with Mull Charters do you arrange?

    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.

    5Can I go on a Photo Special for the white-tailed eagles?

    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.

    6Can I book a private charter with Mull Charters, as a part of my workshop?
    Yes, of course, if they have availability. Pete will ask for you, and confirm if the trip can be run. Bear in mind that this will be costly - significantly more than the standard trip.

    Also, please note that this is still effectively the same trip as the standard wildlife trip, albeit with fewer people aboard.
    7What happens if the wildlife doesn't show up during a workshop?
    Pete will do his utmost to find whatever subject you want to photograph during the workshop, but if it fails to show, or the weather is poor, or luck is against you, nothing much can be done. Unfortunately this is part of the "joy" of wildlife photography.
    8What happens if a third party trip is cancelled during the workshop?
    If the weather or some other reason means the operator of a trip booked as a part of your workshop cannot provide the trip, then the cost of the trip will be refunded in full to you. Pete will substitute something else into the workshop if desired, to ensure the time isn't wasted.
    9What do I need to bring for a workshop?
    Pete will send you a checklist of suggested items for a workshop, which covers off most of the subjects photographed on Mull.
    10How fit do I need to be for a workshop?
    At the time of booking a workshop, please convey any fitness concerns you have to Pete. Typically for otters, you might have to scramble over slippery rocks or along a shoreline, so you need to be able to do that, and also sit or lie down, often on uncomfortable ground to get the images.

    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.
    11How much is a workshop?
    Please see the section for costs above. The daily rates for one or two people are detailed, as is the possibility of gaining a discounted rate.
    12Are midges a problem during workshops?
    If the weather is calm and warm, from mid-May until September, then yes, midges may be an issue. Pete recommends Smidge as a product to be worn to help prevent bites, though it's not any sort of guarantee - the buggers find somewhere to bite eventually!
    13How do I get to Mull?
    Driving, head to either Oban or Lochaline, and take the ferry over. Public transport, ideally take a train to Oban, and then walk over to the ferry terminal (across the road) to take that to Craignure on Mull.

    Mull has buses and taxis if needed.
    14What accommodation is available on Mull?
    Mull has plenty of hotels, B&Bs, campsites and hostels, but please try to book early, as they fill up rapidly. Watch out for cancellations though, as you can grab a bargain, late in the day.
    15Do you provide accommodation for workshops?
    No. Clients are expected to source their own accommodation and make their way to it. Pete can collect you from your accommodation for the workshop, but he's based in the north of Mull, so if you book somewhere at the other end of the island, he may arrange a meeting place instead.
    16Can a friend or partner come along for the workshop?

    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.