Baliscate


Mull Eagle Watch

MULL EAGLE WATCH NEWS!!!
We can now let you know our plans for the 2015 season.
The meeting point is just off the B8035 road in Glen Seilisdeir. You can travel via the scenic Salen route or head round from Craignure.
Please look out for green Forestry Commission signage.

We’ll hopefully be working with our springwatch and webcam eagle pair from last year, Sula and Cuin. Obviously, things rely heavily on the eagles using the same site and so this is open to changes later in the spring!
Our start point will have lovely views over Loch Torr, giving us chance to see waterbirds, hen harriers, buzzard and short-eared owls as well as white-tailed eagles. Look out for a blog post soon with some more information and a winter update


Mull Eagle Watch trips

Mull Eagle Watch
We are open seasonally (usually from March-Oct) and run trips twice daily Mon-Fri. Trips begin either at 10am or 1pm and usually last around 2 hours. Trips must be booked and are subject to availability.

Please call 01680 812556 for booking and other information.
Prices: Adults £8, Children £4, Family (2A 2C) £20, free to locals.

Please check out our blog and facebook to find out more about us and for recent sightings.


Santa Dash around Tobermory

This year will see the second ‘running’ of this crazy local event.  All are welcome and Santa Suits are provided.  Walk, run or just fly around the chimney tops.  Poster of details below:

Santa Dash around Tobermory


Calmac change ferry fares

Good news for all of those travelling to Mull, and have a flexible arrangement about when they travel. Calmac, the ferry company, have been persuaded to abandon their cheaper five day return fare and extend it to nine days. This means that visitors are not tempted to leave in a shorter period of time due to qualifying for a cheaper fare. Visitors should however, be reminded that these tickets can’t be used on the peak Saturday sailings from Craignure. (some early and late sailings are not peak) If you travel midweek to midweek, then this is quite a saving. Currently visitors have to pay more if staying for 6 days or more. (£11 extra for a car and £1.70 for a passenger). Visitors, look out accommodation that will do mid week to mid week bookings.


Summer visitors return to the Hebrides

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) have received the first reports of the year of minke whale and common dolphin off Scotland’s west coast.  While some species, such as the harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin are resident year round, other species migrate to the area, usually arriving in the Spring, to take advantage of the increased food stocks available.  The first common dolphins of the season were sighted in the Sound of Raasay on the 13th April. The following day, Susannah Calderan and Russell Leaper, who sit on HWDTs Scientific Committee, reported the first minke whale sighting of the season and a group of common dolphins, off the Isle of Canna. Susannah commented, “It was great to see our first common dolphins of the season. The group was at least 100-strong, and the animals were bow-riding our yacht for over half an hour. To see a minke whale too really made our day. It’s good to know our summer visitors are back again.”

If you spot a whale, dolphin or porpoise (cetacean), HWDT would be very keen to hear of the sighting.  Moreover, if you manage to take photographs of the animal’s dorsal fin researchers can attempt to identify the individual from image profiles in HWDTs catalogues of bottlenose dolphin, minke whale, killer whale, white-beaked dolphin and Risso’s dolphin.  This technique is known as Photo Identification and allows HWDT to better understand population dynamics and the home range of the species present off the west coast of Scotland.

HWDT encourage people who have spotted cetaceans (and basking sharks too) to report their sighting using their online sightings form at www.hwdt.org.  HWDT are also keen to learn of any stranded animals, please contact the office directly if you come across an animal on the shore by contacting 01688 302620.  By getting involved you’ll be helping build a better picture of the local marine environment and our understanding of particular species distribution.  HWDTs Biodiversity Officer, Olivia Harries says, “By getting members of the public to report their sightings, HWDT can build up an extensive spatial and temporal data set that is invaluable to the management of the diverse range of species that inhabit Scottish waters. Without our supporters we would know a lot less about these animals.”

These sightings coincide with the NATO exercise Joint Warrior, which occurs bi-annually in the waters off western Scotland.  HWDT raised concerns, in particular on the effects of sonar on cetaceans, following an unusual encounter with a minke whale in 2009.  HWDT asks that the public be extra vigilant during this time and report any unusual behaviour.

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) is dedicated to enhancing knowledge and understanding of Scotland’s whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) and the Hebridean marine environment through education, research and working within local communities as a basis for the lasting conservation of local species and habitats.
  • For more information please contact HWDT on 01688 302620


Brockvill B and B wins Trip Advisor’s most prestigious award

Helen ChalmersBrockville Bed and Breakfast and Helen Chalmers in Tobermory received recognition as a top tourism performer in the prestigious TripAdvisor 2012 Travellers’ Choice Awards. Brockville has been listed as one of the Top 25 B&B’s, not only in the UK, but in Europe. Many of their guests are aware of their reputation from reading TripAdvisor reviews from fellow guests.   This award is very justifiable recognition for years of dedication to her hospitality

www.brockville-tobermory.co.uk


Mull and Iona say a big ‘Yes’ to Hydro Scheme

The results of the Garmony Hydro vote are now in and the islands have said a very big yes to its going ahead.  The result is even more amazing as the vote had a very large turnout.  Voting apathy was the big danger that the project had, but the fears were unfounded, as the results below show:

1650 people voted YES

53 people voted NO
2 blank papers
96.7% of those who voted are in favour.
70.6% turnout.
68.3% of the electoral roll are in favour.
Thanks to everyone who voted and to all those people who helped to promote the ballot to get such a high turnout rate. 70.6% is a massive compliment to the residents of Mull and Iona and the “yes” vote means we now have to work hard to take the project forward, negotiating a land agreement with FCS, getting planning permission appointing a contractor and securing the loan finance to build the scheme.
Well done Mull and Iona!!