Early Departure

Up at 5.30, away at 6.30 on a lovely Mull morning. Soft silvery sunshine on lit yet shadowed, cloud - shrouded mountains and reflective lochs. Almost the first bird we saw on leaving Bunessan was a Golden Eagle, didn't expect them up this early. We needed thermals rather than the land producing them.
A last stop at Loch Beg, no brown log this time but then, a 'plank' appeared, spiralling lazily upwards before gliding fast out of view. Was it the same juvenile White-tailed Eagle? I didn't notice missing feathers yesterday.

The roads were empty, only one car travelling towards us before Glen More. The latter had heavier clouds and no sunshine giving a louring atmosphere - just like Glen Coe always seems to be. Fantastic, a male Hen Harrier flew across in front of us. No-one else we met had seen one and it's the third sighting for us.
The short detour partway to Grass Point to hear the liquid trill of a Wood Warbler before queuing for the ferry. Last book-in time is 30 minutes before departure, we ate our sausage sandwich and drank orange juice whilst waiting. We weren't the first on and we're always apprehensive about getting out of the car and reaching the stairway. The cars are packed on like sardines and stantions get in the way of doors. A gap of a few inches between cars is a tight squeeze for getting through to the central stairwell. Joy. We were guided to pole position, right in front of the exit door with plenty of room either side.I took a couple of photos through the windscreen......

The 40 minute journey was very calm , a few distant Auks but little else.

The 200 mile plus drive to Mellon Charles via Fort William and Beauly seemed to be endless to-day despite the spectacular scenery and a handsome Red Kite near the Glen Ord Distillery.
Welcomed by Pauline and Phil, settled into our familiar bedroom with a spectacular view over loch and mountains before 5.30.
A later start to-morrow.........

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