Guests on Appin Boat Tours have thrilled to see puffins in Airds Bay and down by Eilean Dubh in the last week.
White Tailed Eagles
The White Tailed Eagles are now being seen out at sea more often. The boat tour passengers have had great views at Castle Stalker and the Lismore coast.
Seals - new pups
It has been wonderful to see the first seal pups appearing on the shores of North Lismore and Eilean Dubh.
Shell ducks are now a regular sighting on Eilean Dubh. Their striking markings both on land and in flight are producing some wonderful photographs.
The guests on Appin Boat Tours had a wonderful moment today when an otter at Eilean Dubh slipped into the water and swam towards the boat. Everyone was thrilled as the otter then continually dived and surfaced as if displaying all its skills.
Aaargh its Castle Stalker!
We have enjoyed boat trips to Castle Stalker by sea. The Monty Python fans have been fascinated to see the famous Castle Aaargh up close. It has been great fun exchanging quotes from the Holy Grail film on location. Then we visit the seal colony out at the North Lismore skerries.
The boat tour today had the startling sight of a White Tailed Sea Eagle soaring over the boat just above our heads. Every detail of colour and plumage was evident. Well done to young James who initially spotted the eagle on the 'cormorant rock'. A great day for everyone on the Eriska Hotel boat tour.
In a very unusual event we saw a seal lunge at an Eidar duck this week on the boat tour. The weather too has shown many different faces from Factor 50 one day to rain and lightening the next. The only thing that never changes is the inspiring backdrop of the Appin seascape. Great tours with great guests.
Porpoise and seals
The last couple of weekends have provided excellent porpoise sightings, often in pods of four or five. It is a skilful photographer who gets a good photograph on a boat tour as they are rarely at the surface for any length of time. The seals, on the other hand, are natural performers and swim towards the boat in order to help you get the best photograph possible.
Porpoise and Castles
We had a wonderful sightiing of porpoise within sight of Castle Stalker on Saturday, a perfect combination of history and wildlife on a boat tour.
We enjoyed an excellent sightings of a Shelduck on Glas Eilean. The Eider ducks too are making a good appearance. By all accounts the Eider is the UK's heaviest and fastest flying duck so give it a thumbs up if one shoots past on the boat tour.
We have been enjoying success with seal calling. A guest introduced the idea and called seals in towards the boat. A wild common seal was almost within touching distance, great to engage with wildlife so directly on boat tours.
A wonderful porpoise sighting yesterday by Shuna, almost close enough to touch. Also seals by Eilean Dubh. Appin Boat Tours are approaching the iconic Castle Stalker by sea every morning this week
We have enjoyed regular sightings of a large otter feeding off the Appin Rocks Buoy. The calm, clear weather has been perfect for wildlife of all types. The seals at Eilean Dubh have been particularly popular with all guests on Appin Boat Tours.
Sea Eagles and Seals
This weekend was a wonderful combination of warm weather and great wildlife sightings. On Saturday we saw two White-Tailed Eagles on Shuna and one overhead by the Black Isle. One young girl counted 31 seals on single large rock, well almost an island.
Sea Eagles at sea
The last couple of days have seen a couple of close-up sighting of the two mature White Tailed Eagles. The 'barndoor' wings and flush of white tail is a memorable image. The North Westerly winds have produced a dynamic sea that is combining with changing light for great photographs. The seal colonies out at the skerries and at Eilean Dubh continue to charm us.
Sunshine and showers
The real Scotland is revealing itself in the great combination of sunshine and showers. Wildlife and castles do not go indoors in a rain shower and we have enjoyed wonderful light conditions for great photographs. The sea eagles and the seals have been producing a great show.
Sea Eagle and Seals
There were great sightings of the White Tailed Eagle at Shuna Castle and over by Lismore. The seal colonies continue to provide excellent close-up views of these charming creatures. The changing light of the last few days has produced some magical moments in this unique seascape.
The return of more standard Scottish weather has brought an intriguing selection of light conditions for those taking photographs, from dazzling sunshine to dark brooding mountains. An excellent time to approach Castle Stalker by sea. There is an opportunity for unique views and insightful information from the skipper. In addition the seal colony has produced some wonderful highlights.
Castle Stalker Tours
The warm settled weather has permitted t-shirt touring for guests. The boat tours to Castle Stalker have allowed us to examine detail and hear stories that are not available from a distance. There has also been interesting sightings of Lion's Mane Jellyfish, the world's longest creature- we saw smaller individuals.
We have been enjoying the most remarkable seal sightings over the last few days. Great photographs have been taken by guests of seals both hunting and basking in the sun.
There have been a couple of boat tours in the last few days that have been wet .. very wet. The guests brought a sunshine attitude and we all enjoyed a great experience. There were sightings of terns diving on fish and more wonderful photographs of the seals.
Sea Eagles Hunting
We watched two sea eagles flying over to Eilean Nan Caoroch yesterday. They were picking up young gulls for their chicks.
Castle Stalker boat trips
We have enjoyed some fascinating boat trips up to Castle Stalker by sea over the last few days. The castle tours are dependent upon the state of the tide and this makes every visit all the more special. The sea approach allows a unique view for great photographs. We then move out to the islands to see the young seal pups.
Mothers and pups
We have had a magical couple of days at Appin Boat Tours. We have been spell bound at the sight of young seal pups swimming on the backs of their mothers. The pups are so small that they can only manage a few yards before mum gently eases upwards. In addition to this touching natural sight there have been beautiful sunny days and calm blue waters. This is the islands of the Lynn of Lorn at their very best!
Seal Pups appear
It has been an enthralling couple of weeks with the appearance of the seal pups. We have been thrilled to observe the baby seals becoming accustomed to the water. Many passengers captured great photographs of baby seals riding on the backs of their mothers. The boat tours will watch the development of these charming mammals over the coming months.
Seal and mountain sightings!
The weekend boat trips enjoyed excellent seal sightings in the warm June sunshine. Many passengers have commented on the striking sight of the Black Isle with the Argyll mountains in the background. The only real way to appreciate the magnificent landscape is from the perspective of the sea, this permits us to 'step back' and allow everything to fall into place. The whole scene will be even more exciting as the seal pups appear.
The last couple of weekends have brought an interesting mixture of weather to Appin. We have had bright sunshine one day and rain showers the next. Of course, the wildlife that inhabits the islands and shores do not go inside when it rains and so we have had some excellent trips recently. There have been two sightings of porpoise around Eileen Dubh and marvellous photo opportunities from the resident seal colony. It is wonderful to see the Artic Terns out by the islands, everyone on the boat was impressed by their delicate beauty. On Sunday the tides were perfect to take the boat right up to Castle Stalker allowing everyone to enjoy a unique view of this iconic Scottish castle.
The weekend saw the great combination of wonderful sunny weather and abundant wildlife. The boat trips, on both Saturday and Sunday, were full of enthusiastic guests who enjoyed the passage to the Black Isle close to the historic island of Lismore. The highlight for most was the activity of the common seals with great photographs of seals basking, swimming in the shallows and inquisitively following the boat. We also enjoyed excellent sighting of Eider Duck, Guillemot, Shelduck and Canada geese. The weather for the first weekend of May looks perfect for more great wildlife sightings.
It has been a great Easter period for everyone at Appin Boat Tours. We had wonderful weather in the run up to Easter weekend and everyone who came on the boat enjoyed the magnificent Argyll scenery and wildlife. There were seal sighting on every trip over Easter weekend and many guests got excellent photographs. The boat trips to the wild and rugged Black Isle allowed close up encounters with a wide variety of birds. We are now doing boat tours at weekends only so pop along to the Appin Craft Shop and book your tickets as soon as possible; or see the skipper on the pier.
We watched a sea eagle being mobbed by gulls over the Black Isle. It must be a long day for these magnificant birds as every other bird sees them as a threat. Everyone on board got a great view of this spectacle.
Today's and yesterday's trips saw a large number of seals: yesterday they were off the skerries at Port Ramsay, today at Eilean Dubh. We're getting to know them, and they're getting to know us. Plus today we caught up with more eiders by Castle Stalker: Great!
We've seen an otter again, right at the pier in Port Appin - most likely the same one we saw a couple of days back directly opposite The Pierhouse. Completely relaxed, on its back and chomping noisily away at a fishy snack...