August 2009

On the 31st moth-trapping resulted in only 7 species coming to light!
On the 30th there were 6 Sand Martins and 1 Common Whitethroat by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 29th a Golden Eagle was seen from Haunn over Beinn Duill, there was a Sparrowhawk was near Toechtamhor cottage and a flock of about 10 Twite also at Haunn.
On the 27th there was a flock of about 30 Twite between Treshnish and Haunn cottages and another 20 at Haunn. A large dragonfly at Haunn was probably Golden-ringed.
On the 25th at Dun Haunn a Great Skua flew over the coast heading south and from here 15 minutes of sea-watching (binoculars only) produced, 26 Kittiwakes flying southwards very close to the shore, 2 Manx Shearwaters flying south further out and 3 Fulmars close to shore and many Gannets. A little later, south of Port Haunn, the cry of gulls alerted me to the sudden appearance of a Golden Eagle, which was cruising behind a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Fulmar. A Basking Shark was very close to shore at Lòn Reudle, where there were also 2 juvenile Kittiwakes and several diving Gannets. SC saw a covey of about 10 Red Grouse beside the road between Reudle Schoolhouse and the summit. RH a guest at Duill cottage saw a Turnstone at Dun Haunn stony beach.There was 1 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Green-veined White between Treshnish and Haunn cottages. Another poor night for moth-tapping with only 21 species coming to the light-trap.
Marsh Cudweed beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse is still not in flower but a plant beside Treshnish House looks like it has been flowering for a few days (-22). This is of particular interest because I am hoping to re-locate an old record in Aros Park of the threatened Heath Cudweed, which should have a similar flowering period. A small sheep eaten plant of Scots Lovage was found on the stone beach at Port Haunn. (This plant is only able to flourish were there are no sheep in the mid-summer, to the east of Treshnish boathouse is an excellent spot.) Spear-leaved Orache was fruiting at the same spot. Further to the south there were a few spots of flowering Skullcap. Although I know botanists have found this species at Treshnish Point, this was my first record at Treshnish farm.
On the 22nd there was a family group of 5 Linnets at Haunn, 1 Grayling and 2 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 possible Small Tortoiseshell butterfly at Haunn.
On the 20th there was a covey of 12-14 Red Grouse on Cruachan Treshnish and a flock of about 20 of what I think were Lesser Redpoll flying above Treshnish wood, 1 Scotch Argus, 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Fox Moth caterpillar on Cruachan Treshnish. Bog Orchids were found at two more of last year’s locations, one patch of 30 pseudobulbs was also in a similar state last year. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for them to flower. The largest population is on Cruachan Treshnish at an elevation of 840 feet, which is apparently high for this species.
On the 17th there was 1 Sparrowhawk and a Mountain Hare at Ensay Burn mouth and another or the same below Treshnish House and there was 1 Green-veined White butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
At Ensay burn mouth there was a orache species which I photographed and identified as Spear-leaved Orache. The Mull Flora does not include this species and implies that it does not occur at all in the Hebrides at all (the old name Atriplex hastata is used) but I have had the photographed checked and confirmed. The Flora has virtually all records on Mull as being Babbington’s Orache with Common Orache given as rare with only 9 sites on Mull. I think Spear-leaved Orache is fairly common on Mull and the error in the flora may be due to lack of recording in the late summer when the plant is fruiting, either that or the flora is using a completely different criteria for separating these species. Nearby to the orache was a beautiful flowering Sea Rocket. I have only seen this plant flowering on the Ross of Mull. It occurs on Calgary beach but the overgrazing with sheep never allows the plant to flourish.
On the 16th there was 1 Green-veined White, 1 Painted Lady, 6 Scotch Argus butterflies and 2 Highland Darter dragonflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse
On the 15th 1 Garden Carpet moth was found inside one of the Haunn cottages.
On the 13th there were 2 adult Whinchats with recently fledged young and at least 1 Stonechat in front of Toechtamhor cottages and 4 Sand Martins at Treshnish House and later at Haunn. There were also 4 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish House/Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages and 1 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, all butterflies.
On the 12th there was at least 1 Sand Martin by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 5 Twites over Ensay, 2 juvenile Stonechats with adults at south side of Calgary bay NM3649, 1 Grey Wagtail near Calgary beach NM3650 and 2 Fulmars and 1 juvenile Guillemot deep in to Calgary bay. Field Gentian

was found on south side of Calgary bay, where there was also a large patch of Tufted Vetch with many in full flower. There were also 5 Scotch Argus, 1 Green-veined White, 1 fresh Painted Lady, 1 Speckled Wood butterflies and 2 Highland Darter dragonflies near Ensay Burn cattle-grid.
On the 11th there was 1 Red-throated Diver flying over and calling in Calgary bay. Field Madder was found on Calgary machair but the miniature Field Gentian shows the extent of the overgrazing due to the neglectful management of this SSSI, which is owned by the council. Frog Orchid used to be found here and both this and Field Gentian are threatened species. Take a trip down to Ardalanish to see what Calgary and Langamull machair could look like! Common Stork’s-bill was found on many spots on Calgary machair.

On the 10th 1 Spotted Flycatcher was in Craignure car park. At Langamull there were many Gannets fishing offshore and at least 15 Kittiwakes right up to the shore, which could be heard calling to each other and 12 Redshank. A Golden Eagle was seen diving in or behind Treshnish wood (it may have been hunting the rabbits by Ensay burn). Tawny Owl young were heard at night by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was also a Basking Shark very close to the beach at Langamull, 1 Painted Lady at Port Langamull NM3753 and 1 Green-veined White was by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
There were only 21 species of macro-moth coming to the light-trap but the best of these, Anomalous (3 in 2007, 1 in 2008), Crescent (3 in 2007, 1 in 2008) and Scotch Annulet (1 in 2007, 2 in 2008) are uncommon at Treshnish.
On the 9th 3 adult Greylag Geese were with 9 goslings at Port Langamull, a Basking Shark was offshore from below Treshnish House. Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill and Lesser Meadow-rue were found at Langamull. The latter was minute, highlighting the plight of this over-grazed machair.
On the 8th a Sparrowhawk was between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 3 Twite were at Haunn and 1 Linnet was near Treshnish cow-barn. 5 Scotch Argus was by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Green-veined White was at Treshnish House, both butterflies. Equal-leaved Knotgrass was found on entrance to Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 7th an adult White-tailed Eagle flew west below Treshnish House and there were 2+ Scotch Argus, 2 Green-veined White butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Equal-leaved Knotgrass was on the track in front of Shian cottage.
On the 6th there was 1 Painted Lady butterfly and 1 Silver Y moth in Treshnish greenhouse.
On the 5th on a walk along the shore to south of Scoor, Ross of Mull there were at least 10 Common Terns at Tràigh Bhàn, 10+ Scotch Argus NM4118, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Dark-green Fritillary, 3 Green-veined White butterflies at Tràigh Bhàn, 2 Fox Moth caterpillars near Scoor, 1 Common Hawker dragonfly at Scoor.Plants noted (at new sites from 25th July) between the dun to southwest of Scoor and Tràigh Bhàn included: Greater Sea-spurrey, Grass-of-Parnassus, Bog Pimpernel, Ray’s Knotgrass, Knotgrass sp., Common Stork’s-bill, Prickly Saltwort, Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill, Scots Lovage, Lesser Meadow-rue, Gypsywort, Sea-milkwort, Marsh St John’s-wort, Hairy Rock-cress, Field Gentian, Dwarf Juniper, Common Centaury, Purple-loosestrife, Crowberry, Skullcap, Hemp-agrimony, Gypsywort and White Beak-sedge.
On the 4th during a walk from Reudle Schoolhouse to Burg there was a Great Skua at Lòn Reudle. An Adder was photographed between Crackaig and Reudle schoolhouse. There was 1 Painted Lady, 5+ Green-veined White and 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterflies and 1 Common Hawker dragonfly at Lòn Reudle and 30 Field Gentian, Agrimony and Common Centaury and Oysterplant at Lòn Reudle.
On the 2nd at Frachadil NM3851 there was 1 Mountain Hare, 1 Painted Lady, 10+ Scotch Argus, 10+ Green-veined White butterflies and 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly.Another poor moth night with only 15 species coming to the light-trap. The least common being Light Arches and Minor Shoulder-knot. Bittersweet was found at the entrance to Bennan. This plant appears to be rare on Mull. I have only found it elsewhere at Kilninian shore. The Island of Mull, a survey of its Flora and environment (Jermy & Crabbe 1978, British Museum) gives only one site at Carsaig-Nun’s Pass.
On the 1st 15 Twite were near Toechtamhor cottage and guests Colin & Linda Graham have seen up to 70 here within the last week. Lesser Redpoll were also heard at Haunn.