March 2006

March 1
One diver, seen flying past at Caliach Point
March 2
Buzzard: 1
Otter: 1 along shore about two thirds of the way between Treshnish House and the point.
March 3
Merlin: 1 hunting
Hen Harrier: male in between Haunn cottages and Treshnish Point (CC saw one on previous day).
March 4
Hen Harrier: male in between Haunn cottages and Treshnish Point
Golden Eagle: 1

Overview Feb 27-March 5
Common birds, as previous week

March 7
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 at Croig
Mallard: 2 at Craig
Shelduck: 1 at Calgary Bay
Goldeneye: 10 on the three Lochs Carnain an Amais, Meadhoin and Peallach (Mishnish Lochs)
Whooper Swan: 4 at Loch an Torr
Greylag Goose: About 50 on western edge of Tobermory on Dervaig road
Hen Harrier: 1 male between Port na Bà and Croig
Buzzard: 2 between Dervaig and Tobermory
Common Ringed Plover: 4 at Port na Bà near Croig
Lapwing: Flock between Dervaig and Tobermory
Redshank: about 10 at Dervaig
Collared Dove: 1 between Calgary and Dervaig
Redwing: 1 amongst a flock of about 15 Fieldfare/Redwing at Port na Bà near Croig
Grey Wagtail: 1 between Port na Bà and Croig
Rock Pipit: 3 pairs between Port na Bà and Croig
Otter: 1 at Croig

Overview March 6-12
Common birds, as previous week, although wintering thrushes rarely seen. There were good numbers of wintering Goldeneye at Mishnish Lochs.

March 13
Greylag Goose: Flock near Dervaig (JH)
Whooper Swan: 1+ at Loch an Torr (JH)
March 14
Diver: 1 at Treshnish Point, unidentified
Red Grouse: 1
Buzzard: 1 seen almost constantly near Haunn from 14-18 at least. Later on in the month one was seen regularly further to the east below Treshnish house
Golden Eagle: 1 on Cruachan Treshnish
Fulmar: There were about 30 seen flying and perched along the cliffs at Treshnish Point. There had been strong winds for two or three days and although it looked as though they were exploring breeding territories they were not seen again on the following visits so presumably they were only sheltering after the storm (first for Treshnish Farm)
Curlew: 4
March 15
Great Northern Diver: 1 at Treshnish Point (first for Treshnish Farm)
Eider: 9 at Treshnish Point
Black Guillemot: at Treshnish Point
(There are small numbers of Guillemot/Razorbill out at sea)
Common Gull: One very tame bird sits on top and in front of East Cottage, Haunn; still present up until 24th March at least.
March 16
Merlin: 1
Golden Plover: Only two; in the previous week numbers were up to about 19
Razorbill: 1 off Treshnish Point
Stonechat: at least 2 males two singing
March 17
Golden Eagle: 1
[Peregrine Falcon: 1 probable at Treshnish Point]
Red Grouse: 1
Pied Wagtail: 1, although brief views on March 6 and 7 were probably this species; after this there are regular sightings of one near the cattle and at Haunn.
March 18
Grey Heron: 1
Snipe: 1 near Ensay Burn, they appear to be less common now than earlier in the month.
Curlew: 5
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1 near Crackaig
Dipper: 2 on Ensay Burn where it crosses the road (my first on Mull)
Grey Wagtail: 1 at Ensay Burn
Fieldfare: 8+ near Ensay Burn

Overview March 13-19
Common birds, as previous week, although no Redwing and Fieldfare was seen only once. No Whooper Swans seen. Snipe were less noticeable. The brief appearance of Fulmar’s at Treshnish Point on the 14th was apparently due to the lull after a storm. Small numbers of auks were seen for the first time far out at sea and may have been present in previous weeks. The Great Northern Diver seen this week may also be due to increased observation coverage.

March 21
Great Northern Diver: 1 at mouth of Calgary Bay (south side)
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 at mouth of Calgary Bay
Goldeneye: 7 (1 adult male) on Loch Peallach (Mishnish Lochs)
Goosander: 6 (4 male, 2 female on Loch Carnain an Amais and Loch Meadhoin (Mishnish Lochs)
Shelduck: 1 at Calgary Bay
Greylag Goose: About 50 on western edge of Tobermory on Dervaig road
Golden Eagle: 2 on Cruachan Treshnish
Oystercatcher: 15+ Calgary Bay
Rock Pipit: 2 at Calgary Bay
There are still flocks of Skylarks around (5-15) and the Meadow Pipits numbers are building up. Stonechats are seen in pairs sometimes in territorial dispute with other males.
Otter: 1 at Loch Meadhoin (Mishnish Lochs)
March 22
Collared Dove: 1 at Dervaig
March 23
Golden Plover: 9
March 24
Great Northern Diver: 1 at mouth of Calgary Bay (south side)
Northern Gannet: 1 at mouth of Calgary Bay (south side)
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 male mouth of Calgary Bay
Eider: 6 at mouth of Calgary Bay
Oystercatcher: 3 Calgary Bay
Golden Plover: 9
Skylark: Flocks of 5-15 still present
Meadow Pipit: increasing in numbers, now common
Rock Pipit: 2 at Calgary Bay
Mistle Thrush: 1 below Ensay House
Common Crossbill: 1 near Dervaig on road from Dervaig to Cuin (CC)
March 25
Great Northern Diver: 2 at mouth of Calgary Bay (south side)
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 at mouth of Calgary Bay (south side)
Eider: 1+ at Calgary Bay
Oystercatcher: 22+ at Calgary Bay
Northern Gannet: 1 at mouth of Calgary Bay (north side)
Herring Gull: Pairs are appearing inland and numbers building up along the shore
Common Gull: 20+ at Calgary Bay
Meadow Pipit: Common now and singing
Song Thrush: singing
Skylarks: Flocks are less noticeable but still present
Starling: A flock of about 30 is still seen occasionally but less often
Marine mammal with large dorsal fin: at least one seen at north side of Calgary Bay near the reef.
March 26
White-tailed Eagle: 1 seen off Treshnish Point (JH’s father). Date needs re-confirming

Overview March 20-26
The wintering Goldeneye were still present at Mishnish Lochs and had been joined by the summer breeding Goosander. Common birds as previous weeks except Song Thrush are in full song and Meadow Pipits are also commonly seen parachuting in song. Skylark and Starling flocks are less noticeable. The Mistle Thrush at Ensay House is uncommon now near Treshnish (the last of the spring?).

March 27
Woodcock: 1 in Treshnish Wood (my first for Treshnish Farm)
Common Gull: 20+ at Treshnish, 20+ at Calgary
Auks: Small numbers (up to 10) at mouth of Calgary Bay
Starling: Flock of 30+
Skylark: 10+
Northern Wheatear: 1 at Iona (JH). Date needs confirming
Chaffinch: singing
March 28
White-tailed Eagle: 1 seen over Ensay Burn (WM). Date needs re-confirming
Herring Gull: By now there are large numbers along the coast with smaller numbers wandering in land. Towards dusk large numbers (over a hundred) past Treshnish Point gained height and headed towards the Treshnish Isles.
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 1 off Treshnish Point NM3348 (first for Treshnish Farm)
Kittiwake: 1 first winter off Treshnish Point (first for Treshnish Farm)
Goldcrest: 1 in bushes near the shore
March 29
Greylag Goose: 4 at Dervaig, 6 to the east of Dervaig, 22+ at Glengorm Castle, 20+ to the west of Tobermory
Common Teal: 8 at Dervaig
Goldeneye: 1 at Loch Peallach (Mishnish Lochs)
Goosander: 1 at Loch Carnain an Amais (Mishnish Lochs)
Greenshank: 1 at Dervaig
Redshank: 1 at Dervaig, 1 at Tobermory
Curlew: 1 at Dervaig, 5 at Glengorm Castle and 4 to north of Tobermory
Lapwing: 1 at Treshnish House (LD remembers seeing a small flock earlier on about March 14th at Haunn but it failed to make it into my notes)
Northern Wheatear: 1 at NM431575 near the Dun to north west of Glengorm Castle (first of the spring)
Meadow Pipit: a flock of 20+ to north west of Tobermory near Cheese Farm
Chaffinch: Singing briefly
Common Crossbill: a pair to west of Tobermory (AE)
March 30
[Red-throated Diver: I seen calling as it flew inland over Treshnish House in the early morning was thought to be this species (SC)]
Fulmar: 3 pairs and a single sitting on ledges on the west side of Treshnish Point, which may have been overlooked on previous visits as they are quite hidden. Please be careful not to disturbing them.
Grey Heron: 1 between Haunn and Treshnish Point
Snipe: 1 between Haunn and Treshnish Point
Starling: flock of about 20 and also first pairs apparently forming
Skylark: flock of about 20 and flock of about 10
Rock Pipit: 1 or 2 in song flight near the shore on the west side of Treshnish Point, which were probably overlooked previously
Reed Bunting: 1 male on tree beside Toechtamhor cottage at about 10am, (first of the spring)
Otter: 1 at Haunn
March 31
Great Northern Diver: 2 at mouth of Calgary Bay (south side)
[Black-throated Diver: 1 of either this species or Red-throated Diver calling in flight and heading towards Calgary beach and gaining height. Thought to be Black-throated due to the dark throat and horizontal neck]
Eider: 5 in Calgary Bay
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 male, 1 female in Calgary Bay
Sparrowhawk: 1 on south side of Calgary Bay
Merlin: 1 stooping in shallow dive to the east of Treshnish Point and 10 minutes later seen perched on the raised hillock inland for about 10 minutes after which it flew fast and low over Haunn
Buzzard: 2 along the shore north of Treshnish House, usually only one is seen
Oystercatcher: flock of 16 on Calgary beach
Snipe: 1
Common Gull: flock of 29 on Calgary beach
Razorbill: 10 Guillemot/Razorbill at the mouth of Calgary Bay definitely included Razorbill, no Guillemot were positively identified.
Starling: flock of 16
Skylark: flock of 30+. Very little singing although two were apparently pairing up
Meadow Pipit: Many are spread out occupying territories and singing but some were seen in flocks of 30+, some in mixed flocks with Skylark
Stonechat: many more seen today, there are now several pairs although some may only be passing through. One heard in song flight
Song Thrush: despite the warm damp day there was little singing heard
Reed Bunting: 1 female on tree beside Toechtamhor cottage at about 11am
Northern Wheatear: 4 males in the low-lying area between Haunn and Treshnish Point NM3348 (first for Treshnish Farm)

Overview March 27-31
Starling and Skylark are still in flocks. Although the occasional Skylark will burst into song this has not increased over the past 6 weeks even though the weather is warmer. Singing occurs mostly when there is sunshine. The returning Meadow Pipits immediately spread out presumably occupying territories, as there was some squabbling observed ands singing was common. The Golden Plover flock has not been seen since the 23rd March. The lack of ducks on Mishnish Lochs (1 Goosander, 1 Goldeneye) may be related to the two days of strong winds immediately before the visit. Herring Gull are now extremely common and is now by far the most common Gull. Great Black-backed Gull numbers have not noticeably changed in the last six weeks whereas the Common Gull flock of 20-30 birds has not been seen for several days at Treshnish but a flock of c 30 is still present at Calgary beach. The flock of Oystercatchers is also still present on Calgary beach. Auk numbers are still low in Calgary Bay and Great Northern Diver is seen on all visits to Calgary Bay and it is definitely not always the same two birds. Calling divers were heard for the first time but have not been positively identified.