Eagles & Electricity
Almost two months into my seasonal position here at the Ranger Service already, and it’s been a busy start with some wonderful weather. Most of my time is given to providing daily guided tours at Mull Eagle Watch – I’m based primarily at West Ardhu, in the North West Mull Community Woodland. This is so handy and environmentally friendly as this area is my home patch, and I’m lucky to be driving a fully electric van (thanks to the Mull & Iona Community Trust/Sustainable Mull & Iona). The van, running completely on electricity is so enjoyable to drive, whilst being better for the planet. So far at the eagle viewing hide we’ve had a great start and our adult eagles Hope and Star are very busy raising two eaglets/chicks in their nest.
For my first main event of the season I led a guided walk on the stunning Isle of Ulva. I was joined by the knowledgeable, retired Wildlife Ranger Steve Irvine and twelve guests for a lovely woodland walk on the peaceful, car free island.
Annoyingly, after having glorious sunshine for days before the walk we were provided only with thick cloud but never the less we still had a great time and spotted plenty of wildlife. Sadly, the numerous butterfly species the island has to offer weren’t active. A few days before the walk I’d visited to check my route and enjoyed lovely views of the tiny, but beautiful green hairstreak butterfly.
The woodland on Ulva is brilliant and much work has been done by the owners to improve the habitat by deer fencing and management, and the higher slopes have recently been replanted with native tree species. We marveled at the variety and the dense undergrowth among the trees – something missing from many overgrazed woodlands.
Flower species we spotted included;
Yellow pimpernel, bugle, ramsons (wild garlic), lousewort, water avens, wood anemone, lesser celandine, birds-foot trefoil, dog violets, bitter vetch and of course bluebells.
The bluebells were out in full force throughout the walk and were a real treat. Did you know that bluebells were used back in the bronze age to fletch arrows and that they’re poisonous? On Ulva there are standings stones dating back to the bronze age – so they could well have used the island’s bluebells for many things!
Other wildlife we noticed included a family of grey wagtails with recently fledged chicks, heron, greylag geese, tree pipit, wren and willow warbler.
We all finished off with either a delicious lunch or a tea and cake at The Boathouse.
Plastic Beach Workshop – become a “plastic-free person”
You can join me on Wednesday May 24th for my next event! I’m running a ‘Plastic Beach Workshop’ on the shore of Loch Buie. We’ll have a pleasant walk to reach our picnic site, whilst enjoying the local wildlife and chatting about the global impact of plastic on the our planet.
We’ll munch on our picnics – can you bring along a plastic free lunch? I’ll then talk you through easy, cost effective ways to reduce your reliance on plastic at home, with some of my alternatives on hand for you to look at.
Plastic is one the biggest global threats facing our planet, it’s wildlife and us.
Petrifying Plastic Facts:
* Did you know that 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans every year?
* By 2025, 10x more plastic will end up in oceans each year.
* Plus 70% of that plastic sinks, so we’re seeing only the tip of the iceberg!
* Each day we throw away 100 million plastic bottles across the world – every day!
* 80% of the plastic in the oceans leaks from land based sources like landfill sites
We should all be doing the simple things to reduce our reliance on plastic – especially, the one-use “disposable” items like plastic bottles, straws and cutlery. Plastic lasts forever, yet we use it to make things we use once!
Join me on our Plastic Beach Workshop – call 07540792650 for more information.
I’m looking forward to next few months with lots of exciting summer events and great wildlife to spot around the island!
Thanks for reading – back soon!