Half way through July…

It is hard to believe that we are already half way through July and still I have not really felt the summer rays of sun

I thought I would give you an update of our geo-caching traveling teddies which I mentioned in last months item.

First let me introduce them, there is Ginger teddy set on his way by Ulva Ferry Primary School,(whom wished to travel Europe) then there is Bob from Salen Primary (whom wished to travel the world)and finally but certainly not least Little Big Foot from Lochdon Primary School.

Here are their mug shots as they were when they left Mull.

little big foot

Little Big Foot from Lochdon

Ginger from Ulva Ferry

Ginger from Ulva Ferry

Bob from Salen

 
And so for an update:

Ginger has travelled 565.6 miles so far first leaving Mull and ending up on the M1 at the Woodall Service Station and from there hoping to get a flight from the Leeds and Bradford Airport, he missed a plane and was picked up by the geocachers ‘Heap Patrol’ and has since be traveling around Yorkshire including going to the Kendal Gold Cup and Kendal Summit.

Ginger travels mid July

Ginger catching the ferry

Ginger stows away on the Isle of Mull ferry.

Ginger makes it to England

Ginger at passport control

Ginger travels mid July
Bob has made it to Mt Hermann in Germany and has traveled 637 miles and was in the care of the ‘Dimo Team’ who have left him there for someone else to pick up.

Bob makes it to Germany

And finally there is Little Big Foot who wishes to travel around Scotland and has made it to Colmonell, Ayrshire thanks to Dimo team as well. He has traveled 106.1 miles

Little Big Foot makes it to Colmonell

On his way he has made lots of bear friends.

Little Big Foots friends

We will keep you posted on their travels, alternatively you can follow them yourself at http://www.geocaching-mull.co.uk/travellers/

Summer holidays and what shall we do?

 

Get out and geo-cache on Mull.

Over the last two years we have had a project involving setting geocaches, producing a leaflet and running a web site, thanks to funding from the Forestry Commission.
There is no better way to encourage youngster to go for a walk, learn a little about their surroundings and go on a world wide treasure hunt. On Mull and Iona there is over a 100 of these caches, the Ranger Services managing 55 of them.

geocaches on Mull
Part of the project was getting the local primary schools to set their own geocaches and also be custodians of them.

So I hear you ask, what does this involve?

The children were all give a plastic lunch box and a camouflage bag and a travel bug, a special tag with a unique number which can be logged on the Geocaching.com web page and then be tracked around the world or what ever the children decided they want it to do.

The children then hid the box near the school, wrote a short description about the site and filled in the rest of the necessary information such as co-ordinates on the Geocaching.com web site.    A geocache hunter would then visits the geocaches having first down loaded the co-ordinates from the Geocaching web site to their phone or GPS. They then go off and hunt out the Cache box, geocaching.com

                  box etclog they have visited it in a wee book, take and swap a trinket with something or equal or more in value or take the tagged bear if they can help it on its travels and when they get home they record their find and actions on the internet.
So for the bit that involves the travel bug the pupils have attached a key ring type object so that the tag does not get lost, The pupils have also given the bears a challenge so meet:

Little Big Foot of Lochdon who is traveling Scotland

little big foot

Ginger Bear of Ulva Ferry who is traveling around Europe

Ginger from Ulva Ferry

and Bob of Salen who is traveling the world

bob
To see where they have got to follow this link. http://www.geocaching-mull.co.uk/travellers/

The children have also asked the people who have transported the bears to the various locations to attach a photo to the Geocaching.com web site from the bear in situ in its new location.

Hopefully the pupils will follow the travels over the summer holidays and also go out and search for some of the geocaches themselves. After the summer I will also visit the other four primary schools and get them to set their bears a traveling.
It is good that the children will also be able to follow the bears from the other primary schools too. Once the bear has gone off on its travels the children can also keep an eye using the website to see who visits their boxes.

So if you are looking for something to do head out and check some of the geocaches, go for a nice walk and learn a bit more about Mull.

For more things to do this summer have a look at the events page for more Ranger Service Summer fun.

April showers?

Another couple of weeks have flown by and it’s April tomorrow, although it certainly doesn’t feel like it should be Spring with the wintery weather we’ve not been enjoying the last few days. I found myself putting out extra bird food first thing today whilst it attempted to snow! It feels like the showery month of April has arrived early, minus the warmer temperatures we’d expect. Hopefully this bad weather snap won’t last long and our wildlife will be able to bounce straight back. We now have all of our events planned out for the season, head to our events page to have a look, we have a few coming up in April including Bunessan Birdsong and a Calgary Beach work party.

Bat Bonanza

I’m running my first event of the season tomorrow evening in Aros Park. Come along to do some bat detecting and to enjoy a nice evening wander around the loch. If it’s clear we’ll have a lovely view over to Tobermory from the old pier. Bat detectors allow us to hear the complex system of echolocation that our bats depend on, not only to catch their prey, but to ensure they don’t crash into an obstacle. You might be surprised to find that here on Mull we have a few bat species, including the most familiar the common pipistrelle. We also my favorite, the daubenton’s bat, also known as the water bat. No need to book, just turn up – I hope to see some of you there.
Where: Aros Park, meet at FCS notice board
When: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Cost: £5 adult £3 children
Bring: Waterproofs and warm clothing

Bat Bonanza Event

Bat Bonanza Event

Mull Eagle Watch

Mull Eagle Watch is open from Monday 13th April 2015 and you can now book in by calling the Craignure Visitor Information Centre on 01680 812556.

Sula and Cuin’s nest site from last year is now playing host to another brilliant bird, the raven! Corvids like crows and ravens happily move into larger disused nests. As our eagles are nesting at another eyrie within their territory, ravens jumped at this highly desirable housing opportunity and are now incubating their own eggs. Ravens aren’t often a favored bird, especially by the farming community as they do regularly cause issues within lambing season but they are a fantastic species. They’re one of our most intelligent birds and can have a repertoire of 70 different vocalisations.
So Mull Eagle Watch will leave the ravens to it. We’ve been welcomed back to Tiroran in Glen Seilisdeir with open wings by Iona and Fingal and we look forward to working with this wonderful pair of eagles again.

Fingal - seen through the telescope at Tiroran

Fingal – seen through the telescope at Tiroran

Geocache galore

The ranger service have now hidden over 40 geocaches around the island, so give it a try if you haven’t already. Or, if you thought you’d found them all, think again! Jan and I had a lovely, albeit very blustery morning at Loch Buie and Croggan to hide a few. This is such a great area with a range of habitats for Mull’s wildlife. If you do head down that way think please think about taking a couple of pieces of litter home with you to recycle, the beach and coastline around here has accumulated debris over the winter. Look out for eagles and otters, I found a well used otter track and some spraint full of fish scales and crab claws.

Fishnish Wildlife Hide

Don’t forget about the community wildlife hide at Fishnish. This is open at all times so drop in to enjoy your lunch or shelter from the weather. We don’t yet have a visitor book or white board for your sightings yet, so if you do spend some time there, please let us know what you see. The location is great for seabirds, otter, harbour porpoise and white-tailed eagles. Look out for the tiny dab chick in between it’s feeding dives too.

Thanks for reading again and check back soon for more, Rachel 🙂