I'm not a massive flower fan, but I can't help but smile at the daffodils around the garden here on Mull, as they shine in the morning sunshine. Even on dull days, they lift my spirits, and they've had to endure some wintery weather over the last few weeks, including sleet, hail and several dustings of snow.
We're in April already, it's my first Birthday here on Mull, and the weather has been somewhat typical of the month. Sun one day, snowing the next. In fact, on some days this month, we've seen four seasons in an hour, let alone a day. But most recently, we've enjoyed some warm sunny days and it amazes me how quickly the island dries out. I've even had to water some of the potted plants.
In March, I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever see a wheatear, envious of those down south reporting sightings, and posting images on social media. Then a familiar flash of white on a small bird flying beside Loch Na Keal stole my gaze, and I realised they'd arrived.
Then just a day ago, I heard that familiar call, when exploring a new area of the loch we now live near, and saw another one, searching seaweed on the shore of a small sandy beach, for food. I had just enough time to line the camera up for a record shot before it took flight, skimming the water as it crossed the entrance of the loch, to continue feeding on the rocks on the other side of the channel.
I'm not really familiar with the north end of Mull, having spent most of my time on the isle during holidays and more recently guiding, either down the south end at Pennyghael or around the centre, focusing on Loch Na Keal and the surrounding area. So I'm exploring the area around home as much as possible, and trying to make a mental note of what species are around, and where, and in the case of migrants, when to start looking out for them.