Author Archive

The Alams, Ontario, Canada

We had such special time in this magical place...all around the island and Iona as well. Burnside Cottage is a dream - beautifully appointed, cosy, perfect view and great for the kids. We are so sad to leave and eager to someday return. Thank you for providing such a delightful and heart-warming house!


We didn't see any whales last week when we were staying at Burnside cottage on Mull. The weather wasn't great for spotting them, it was windy, choppy and there was a large swell most of the time when we were out in the boat. I did think I saw a fin at one point but it quickly disappeared and I couldn't be sure, it may have been a shark or more likely, my eyes playing tricks on me! The whales are definitely about though and there have been a couple of sightings and news items about them this week. The first one was reported by the BBC, a number of Pilot whales were stranded on the west coast of Scotland near Skye - I always find this so sad when it happens. Thank you to all those who tried to rescue them on Staffin Island. Pilot Whales   The other story I read was covered by STV and this time was about Killer whales sighted off the east coast of Scotland near the Isle of May. A number of years ago whilst on a boat to the Isle of May we saw several Minke whales and were lucky enough to get within a couple of feet of them. As the items says it is rare to see Killer whales in that area. Killer Whales

Birds seen or heard by Guests staying at Burnside Cottage by month

Bird Species November

Basking Shark Tagging Project

Basking shark tagging project

During the summer of 2012, Scottish Natural Heritage and the University of Exeter external site  have joined forces in an exciting new tagging project which will help to solve some of the mysteries about basking shark behaviour. They have tagged 20 basking sharks off Scotland's west coast. And are trying to establish:
  • How long do basking sharks remain feeding in certain areas in Scottish waters?
  • How are the sharks using these areas which are important to them for feeding and potentially breeding?
  • Where do basking sharks go after their summer feeding in Scotland's seas?
  • Do the sharks remain in deeper waters off Scotland over winter?
Only one of the sharks named Cailleach still has the transmitter attached. The name Cailleach  is a Scottish legend of an "old woman", which bears a resemblance to the basking sharks huge, hooked nose. Cailleach has been transmitting now for 128 days and has moved approximately 3000 km from the Inner Hebrides to Gran Canaria. Where will she go next? You can keep up to date with her movements here: