Mull and its surrounding island contains some of the most exciting and impressive wildlife to be found in Britain, all contained is some of the most stunning upland and coastline scenery to be found anywhere.

The variation in habitat is the secret to the abundance of animal and plant life to be experienced on Mull. From the high mountain tops to the low lying coastal machair beaches, there is plenty to see at all times of year.

Here we give an idea of what you can see and where to see them.

In The Mountains


The mountainous regions are the domain of the golden eagle and the red deer. Despite being most at home in the mountains, both these fine animals can be seen even right down at the coast. Look along the ridges of mountains and hills for the soaring golden eagle, while the road through the mountains at Glen More is the best area to spot deer.

Red Deer


Along The Lochside


Many of the roads on Mull take you close along the shore of Loch Scridain, Loch Spelve and Loch Na Keal. Both are sea lochs and support ducks such as eiders and shelduck, and waders such as oystercatcher and ringed plover.


It is also in these areas that you have the best chance of seeing two of Mull's most important species, otters and white-tailed eagles (also known as the sea eagle). Both are normally found close to water and the views afforded by the coastal roads give you the best chance of seeing these elusive animals, especially Loch Spelve and Loch Na Keal.


On The Water


At several places around the island seals can be seen hauled out on rocks. Always inquisitive, they often will approach the quiet watcher. Excellent seal watching skerries include one at Killunaig on the Ross of Mull and another just north of Salen.

Seals basking on rocks

Occasionally, porpoises, dolphins and even minke whales can be seen from the coast but the best place is out on the water. The boat trips to Staffa or Treshnish often catch sight of one or more sea mammals and the occurence of basking shark seems to have increased recently. Seeing any of these animals is largely a matter of luck but the calmer the weather the better, as flat seas make spotting them much easier.


Woodlands & Forestry

In a few areas on Mull patches of native woodland have survived and are in some cases now regenerating thanks to conservation policies. Dominated by species such as oak, birch, hazel and willow these woodlands are known as Atlantic Rainforest as the mild wet weather encourages the growth of lichens, mosses and other lower plants that cover the older trees. This habitat is unique to West Scotland and very important in conservation terms.

Bark covered in moss and lichen

Perhaps a quarter of Mull has been planted with non-native trees as part of the afforestation industry. When the trees are young these areas can provide good habitat for short-eared owls and hen harriers, but once they mature the ground become virtually dead underneath the canopy, though a few birds make use of the trees for nesting such as tawny owls and sparrowhawks and red deer use the trees as cover from the worst of the winter weather.


For more pictures of Mull wildlife check out the wildlife photo gallery on our sister site by clicking here.