March arrived like a lamb, and it appears to be sticking with tradition, going out like a lion with gales and heavy rain. In fact, the last few days have seen hail, sleet and even snow falling here.
The weather might not seem very spring-like, but the wildlife is definitely showing signs of it. Our walks along the forestry tracks, once remarkably silent are now accompanied by bird song. I heard goldcrest, chaffinch, robin and even crossbills calling earlier.
But one of the sights I had hoped to see during spring was that of hen harriers sky-dancing. This is where the male and female court in some spectacular displays in the air, with the male soaring high, then diving down in steep swoops, before rising again, to repeat the "dance".
A male caught my attention as he hunted beside the road I was driving along. With his grey and black plumage, and flash of white on the base of his tail, he's hard to miss, but annoyingly flew away over the hills before I could park up for a shot. But knowing he was around encouraged me to spend some time in that area, and that resulted in some incredible views of two pairs dancing.
Initially I watched from the car, and at a distance too far off for anything worthwhile on the camera. But returning the following day, I walked into the hills, and tucked myself away behind a large rock, and waited.
It wasn't the sight of the male that alerted me, but their call. I knew one was around, and scanned the slopes with my bins.
A male and female, and they were flying close together.
I say "almost", as I did see another raptor in the distance. A golden eagle, and when the harriers failed to show on yet another visit, I saw that there was a pair of golden eagles hunting over some moorland. Annoyingly, given the lack of people on Mull at the moment, when I tried to race to a spot where I could be close enough for a decent image of them hunting low over the ground, three cars materialised out of nowhere, and I had to wait, by which time the eagles had moved on.
But I tried again, on another day, and after watching several white-tailed eagles soar over the hills, I spotted the pair of golden eagles circling high, and they started to head in my direction. My imagination, for what might be a magical encounter, is pretty creative, so you can guess how I felt when one of the eagles read my mind, folded back its wings, and went into a stooping dive, right down towards me.
I think it's safe to say that I'm enjoying living on Mull, and can't wait to share some of its treasures with clients coming to join me here, when allowed to do so.