Hedgehogs are nothing like as common as they used to be, we have a resident Hedgehog who lives in the garden. It thinks nothing of wandering through the dogs and hens, they on the other hand are not quite so laid back about it, much squawking from the chickens and Twig our young border collie has a special ‘Hedgehog alert’ bark – the only time she barks with that particular tone.
High Oatfield is located in Lochdon on the Isle of Mull, it is a favourite area amongst birdwatchers and a ‘hotspot’ for wildlife with Otter, Red Deer, many species of duck and waders all present. Red deer, stags and hinds, regularly feed very close to our deer fence and think nothing of staring in the living room window. Of course sightings cannot be guaranteed as is the fickle habit of nature!
The spectacular Sea Eagle can often be seen flying over Lochdon and fishing in Lochdon.
The Sea Eagle is a very important bird on the Isle of Mull and each year the police and local volunteers man a 24 hour watch over the Sea Eagles nests to prevent the eggs being stolen.
We are fortunate in Lochdon to have regular visits from the local wildlife. A White Tailed Sea Eagle (or occasionally a pair) can be seen flying over the house, Hen Harriers ‘quarter’ the field in front of us and Barn Owls, who have taken up residence in our nesting box, can often be seen at night.
Geese, Oystercatchers and Curlews feed on the grass just outside our deer fence and in the ‘Mad March’ season the hares can be seen still displaying some of their white winter colouring.
It’s not all about the big animals and birds, this wee green Lizard popped out of the garden for a sun during the summer and then just as quickly rushed off back into the safety of the undergrowth.
We have a thriving butterfly and Moth population on the moss and near the shore. The Marsh Fritillary is a fairly common sight during hatching and their black furry caterpillars can be found in a protective lacy web amongst the tussock grass.