The Isle of Mull is a dynamic mixture of biodiversity and some of the best Wildlife watching opportunities in the UK. It is the fourth largest island in Scotland and almost half of the UK’s habitats can be found on and around the landmass. Everything from brilliant beaches, rich rainforests, magical moorland, perfect peat bogs and marvellous mountains! With this great variety of rural settings brings biodiversity.
In the summer months a plethora of wild flower species add colour and life to the landscapes. Northern specialist dragonflies and butterflies are on the wing when the conditions are right and Mull even has an endemic moth species, the Slender Scotch Burnet. Three species of reptile can be found on Mull; Adder, Slow Worm and Viviparous Lizard.
Birdwatchers come from all over the world to enjoy the islands Avifauna. The emblematic golden and white-tailed eagle are two of the ‘draw card’ species as people visit the island for the chance to witness avian royalty ruling Scotland’s skyscapes! White-tailed eagles are one of Britain’s rarest breeding species with 130 pairs nationwide. Golden Eagles are regal birds and occupy the wildest parts of Mull including high altitude mountains and inaccessible coastlines.
Hen Harriers are also a flagship species on the island with Mull supporting nearly 10% of the country’s breeding population. The sight of the grey male bird ghosting over the moors is the ‘holy grail’ for some wildlife enthusiasts!
Corncrake is another desirable sight for most visiting naturalists. They were nationwide less than a hundred years ago but more intense agricultural practices have reduced their range to the wildest parts of Scotland. The Isle of Iona is your best chance to see this illusive summer visitor.
The Eurasian Otter is another big target species for island visitors. They are residents on the island, mainly feeding on fish and shellfish in sheltered coastal areas. Perseverance is the most important requirement for increasing your chances of encountering these amazing semi aquatic mammals.
Terrestrial mammals are a bit more limited due to an island location but Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Mountain Hares and Feral Goats are some of the species that can be encountered when out exploring Mull.
The seas around Mull are some of the richest in Europe. Minke whales are the ‘great whale’ species we get on a consistent basis from May – October. Common and Bottlenose Dolphins can be seen from the shores of Mull if you are lucky but a wildlife boat trip increases your chances of encounters with the ‘acrobats of the ocean’. Hebridean waters are also one of the world’s hotspots for the second biggest fish, the Basking Shark.