Mull, the Small Isles and puffins at Lunga – 6 night cruise
|Availability||Sat 19th to Fri 25th May||0 places (Fully booked)
Twin cabin £1250 per person
A gentle cruise where we take advantage of the natural shelter of the islands. Walks planned daily. This is a great time of year for a variety of seabirds, raptors and cetaceans and we’ll include a visit to the Treshnish Isles and Lunga, home to fantastic colonies of Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots.
The itinerary is dependent on weather – balancing shelter with reaching our preferred destinations – but may include, for example, some of the following places: Mull, the Small Isles (Rum, Canna, Eigg and Muck), the west coast of Skye, the Treshnish Isles, Gometra, Iona, Coll and the Garvellachs, etc. Expect sea and golden eagles, lots of different seabirds, puffins of course, and hopefully a variety of cetaceans.
On the final day we head back into Oban for your departure after brunch on Friday 25 May.
Wildlife highlights we’ve enjoyed on previous cruises:
Cetacean encounters most commonly with Minke, Humpback’s are a less frequent visitor, occasional sightings of Fin and Sperm whale – the Hebrides have a resident Pod of Orca and the area is occasionally visited by an Icelandic pod – frequent encounters with Common, Bottlenose & Whitebeak dolphins, Risso & Whitesided dolphins are also occasionally sighted – Basking sharks have been scarce the last few years but are still seen and seem to be returning, we know the hot spots!
Birds of prey like Buzzards & Kestrel are widespread, the dashing Sparrowhawk & Peregrine needing more patience & luck is needed to catch sight of the diminutive Merlin – Black Guillemots (known as Tysties) in their striking plumage – Rasping Corncrake heard & sometimes seen if we’re lucky, in Flag Iris beds or our traditional hay meadows – Smart Dippers & Grey Wagtails bobbing along stream sides– Strikingly plumaged Red & Black-throated Divers on sealochs – Responsible viewing of Golden & Sea Eagles as they afford privileged views on their territories, hunting for prey to feed their chicks in spring, with sightings of successfully fledged young ending the season – Charming Eider Duck creches of ducklings – Gannets plunge diving for food – Hooded Crows, strikingly different from their southern cousins – Insects such as the striking Golden-ringed Dragonfly, astonishingly beautiful Fritillary & Scotch Argus butterflies, or the rare Great Yellow Bumblebee found only on a few Scottish islands – Haunting calls of breeding waders on the Machair, meadows & moorlands, with significant numbers of Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Snipe, Redshank, Ringed & Golden Plover, Oystercatcher & Lapwing – Spectacular wing-clapping displays of raptors like ghostly Short-eared Owls & sky-dancing Hen Harriers over their moorland breeding grounds – Kittiwakes calling their names at breeding colonies or roaming the Minch on feeding sorties – Scarce moorland breeding birds such as Twite, Whinchat, Tree Pipit, Stonechat & Wheatear, all strikingly different – Rum’s massive Manx Shearwater colony allows incredible views as they raft offshore around the Small Isles or shear the waves in feeding parties – Incredibly acrobatic Ravens giving everything else in the sky a flying lesson –overwhelming sight, sound & smell of seabird colonies with their breeding Puffins, Guillemots & Razorbills – Skuas, both Arctic and Bonxies, vigorously protect their young on islands or shadow the boat, parasitizing other seabirds of their food – scattered colonies of sensitive breeding Arctic & Common Terns – Scotland’s Sessile oakwoods shelter significant numbers of breeding Redstart, Wood Warbler & Spotted Flycatchers during the spring and summer.
Please Note: Weather and the interests and abilities of guests influence the skipper’s final decision. Sightings and findings are examples from previous similar cruises; the list is neither exhaustive nor guaranteed.
DID YOU KNOW?
The first signs of habitation on Hirta (the largest island in the St Kilda archipelago and the only one you can really land on) are thought to have occurred c. 600 AD.