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Mull
12 – 19 July 2022

Scottish wildlife at its best

The Isle of Mull has a growing reputation is great place to see wildlife, with many good reasons. The second largest island – after Skye – in the Inner Hebrides, it’s a short ferry ride from the mainland at Oban. Mull’s reputation is often on account of white-tailed eagles and otters, though the reality is a lot broader than that, including a fine selection of flowers, butterflies and seabirds that lend themselves to Honeyguide’s interest in all kinds of natural history.

Tobermory
Tobermory, the main town on Mull.

Our choice of mid-summer is to enjoy that broad mix of wildlife when the days are long and, we hope, the weather is mild. A week on Mull gives a good chance to see much of the island, plus a visit to Iona, best known for its abbey and corncrakes, and to take a boat trip to the seabird-rich Treshnish Isles.

With 22 pairs of white-tailed eagles on Mull, you can understand why the island has quite a reputation linked to their presence. Golden eagle, hen harrier and countless buzzards are the other big birds of prey.

Mull is also known for its otters, and Ruth of Mull Magic runs regular events to see them. We'll take advantage of this experience, naturally, and the places where otters live also have lots of other good wildlife.

Iona

The island of Iona has hay meadows with corncrakes, and the distinctive Scottish coastal habitat of machair on its western side. Machair is low-lying grassy plains where thyme, birdsfoot trefoil and clovers grow on its lime-rich shell sand, here and there with heath spotted and northern marsh orchids and an attractive range of other flowers. Ringed plovers and oystercatchers are the commonest waders; passerines include twites, skylarks and meadow pipits. The abbey on Iona is a distinctive part of this landscape.

Iona
Iona, from the ferry.

Tobermory, and the Treshnish Isles

Mull’s main town of Tobermory is known for its colourful painted houses. From Tobermory there is a nice walk to Aros Park for a range of coastal wildlife.

It’s also the starting point for the boat to the Treshnish Isles, including Staffa. Confiding nesting puffins are inevitably a big draw here, plus guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, shags and fulmars.

Treshnish Isles
Lunga, in the Treshnish Isles

Other wildlife

Butterflies are quite a feature of various unimproved habitats. In high summer there are fast-flying dark green fritillaries, and we might see a late marsh fritillary. Wall brown, common blues and graylings on the machair and speckled woods in among open woodland are among other species.

Golden-ringed dragonfly Graylings
Golden-ringed dragonfly; spot the graylings.

Boggy areas can be botanically rich, with bog asphodel, marsh lousewort, brookweed and sundews. Small areas of open water may have beautiful demoiselles and golden-ringed dragonflies. Yellow rattle is common.

Bog asphodel and heath spotted orchid
Bog asphodel and heath spotted orchid

Itinerary

Four days in various parts of Mull. One day on Iona; one day a boat trip to Treshnish Islands. These are included in the guiding price.

Travelling to Mull

Our suggested arrangement to travel by train via Glasgow and Oban, then as a foot passenger on the ferry from Oban to Craignure. Then by bus or taxi to Tobermory. Travel by car is also possible (the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry will cost more, and needs booking well in advance). Flying: flights to Glasgow might may also be possible, though we are not offering a flight-inclusive package for this holiday.

Hotel

Our base is the Western Isles Hotel in beautiful Tobermory. We have rooms held here for Honeyguide/Mull Magic: please ask us for the special Honeyguide/Mull Magic rate for bed & breakfast and evening meal. You then book your room, which is held against a credit/debit card, with the hotel's standard conditions.

Lunches: the itinerary includes places to buy lunches while out, or lunch may be provided by Ruth of Mull Magic on occasions.

Holiday details & how to book

Days/dates: the dates above are full week, Tuesday to Tuesday, with six days in the field.

Price: £150 per day fee for your guide. This includes guide's expenses, travel, ferries, the boat trip to the Treshnish Islands and conservation contribution.

Deposit: none to Honeyguide. You will be invoiced after the break.

Booking: no booking form is needed. Just keep us informed!

Local travel: by Mull Magic's minibus.

Maximum number (one guide): 6 plus one guide.

Conservation project

£40 per person will be donated to the RSPB's work to protect white-tailed eagles on Mull.

Guide

Ruth Fleming runs Mull Magic, offering wildlife walks on Mull, Iona and Ulva. She is an all-round naturalist and, living locally, knows Mull as well as anyone. This holiday is run a collaboration between Honeyguide and Mull Magic.

"Mull Magic is a small, family-owned business, and has a well-earned reputation built on the dedication and knowledge of its owner, who has 30 years' experience of walking and wildlife tours." Regarded as the friendly face of Mull’s wildlife, Mull Magic takes pride in the quality of the experience offered to guests. Cheerful, chatty and blessed with a sense of humour, Mull Magic aims to take guests on an unforgettable natural and social history journey."

Black guillemots, Oban

If you have time in Oban, look for the black guillemots that nest in Oban's harbour wall.

White-tailed eagle

White-tailed eagle [Christoph Müller (www.christophmueller.org) via Wikipedia]

Iona

On Iona.

Staffa

Staffa

Fingal's Cave

Fingal's Cave, on Staffa.

Shag

Shag, on Lunga (Treshnish Isles).

Razorbill

Razorbill on Lunga (Treshnish Isles).

Puffins

Puffins, on Lunga (Treshnish Isles).

Aros Park lake

Lake at Aros Park, near Tobermory.

Greater butterfly orchid, Tobermory

Greater butterfly orchid, Tobermory.

Oblong-leaved sundew

Oblong-leaved sundew.

 

Photos

Mull, July 2021 on Facebook

Photos on this page by Chris Durdin unless otherwise noted.

Create your own Mull break

Our guide, Ruth Fleming, runs Mull Magic, offering wildlife walks on Mull, Iona and Ulva.

Chris Durdin from Honeyguide says: "Ruth's tours are brilliant. She is an excellent all-round naturalist, knows Mull inside out and our family loved her trips."

Contact Ruth via her Mull Magic website.

Honeyguide always likes to offer local expertise. That's why the holiday on this page has been set up as joint project between Honeyguide and Mull Magic.

Customer protection

Honeyguide normally offers customer protection through our Air Travel Operator's Licence (see our ATOL page). There are no flights so that doesn't apply.

Your accommodation contract is with the hotel and with only guiding provided by Honeyguide/Mull Magic, there is no holiday 'package'.

If you are flying to Glasgow and finding buying flights is outside your experience, we may be able to help.

Shallon

Shallon Gaultheria shallon an introduced member of the heather family, at Aros Park, Tobermory. It foxed me (Chris), so added here as useful reference!

tree lungwort lichen Lobaria pulmonaria

Tree lungwort lichen Lobaria pulmonaria. This was on Ulva.

Facebook Honeyguide
... where there are many holiday photos to enjoy.

Atol protected

The air holidays shown are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 3253. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom. Click on the ATOL logo if you want to know more.

Helping you enjoy wildlife – Helping you protect wildlife