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.
2021 Availability: Workshops in late October, November and December.
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, 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.
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!
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.
Marianne & Malcolm
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.
Please note, this is not a Photo Special Trip, so conditions for photography might not be perfect. If this concerns you, please let Pete know when you're booking the workshop, and he'll see if he can register you for a Photo Special instead, at a higher cost to you, and with the risk of the trip not being run.
However, you must also be aware that these trips are not guaranteed to be run when you're on Mull, so you might not see any eagles. They are only run if conditions suit, and they have enough people interested. Also, if too many people are registered, as they're run on a first-come-first-served basis, there might not be room for you to go out.
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.