October

31st: There was 1 Dunlin on Calgary beach,



and the pale Rock Pipit is still present there.

There were at least 4 Redwings at Sunipol, at least 1 Gannet off Caliach Point and a flock of about 40 Chaffinches at Bennan farm.
A Heron was feeding beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.


The Snow Buntings appear to have gone but Andy Mortley saw a Merlin at the road summit.
30th: A flock of 11 Greenland White-fronted Geese flew south at Croig

(zoomed in)

This is the second time this year I have been able to identify this species from photos, the first being a flock of 31 on the northward migration on 18th April.
At Croig there was also a Bar-tailed Godwit.

A drake Red-breasted Merganser is in breeding plumage.

This duck was with some Greylags near Calgary cemetery. I think it must be a domestic duck.

There were 3 Redwings around Treshnish wood and 6 Fieldfares in between the 2 stone bridges on the road up from Ensay, a Reed Bunting at Cillchriosd

and at least 15 Gannets in a feeding frenzy with Kittiwakes at Caliach. This is a week after my previous latest date for Gannet.
Usual suspect: Herons.


No sign of the Snow Buntings but it was late and they may have gone to roost.
The sky at Croig looking over Quinish.


29th: at least 1 Linnet at Haunn cottages.
28th: Found out too late yesterday that there was a Cattle Egret at Croig. Went this morning for a quick look but no luck.
There was at least 1 Redwing at Treshnish cowbarn.
Usual suspects: Curlew

and Cormorant.


At Calgary bay guests Alison and Philip Hanmer saw 1 Reed Bunting, 4 Whooper Swans (flying over) and close to Calgary, 1 Barnacle Goose with the Greylags.
27th: The 2 Snow Buntings were allowing close approach on either side of the road summit.


I noticed one has a white rump. These below are all of that bird.



At night Andy Mortley saw about 5 Short-eared Owls resting at the same summit.
There were also 2 Fieldfares near the stone bridge over Ensay Burn (beneath schoolhouse). Hopefully I can get better shots later.



There were 7 Rooks near the Glengorm turn off, Tobermory with (2 additional?) single birds opposite Tobermory campsite and beside the dental surgery.
I waited an hour to see if a Peregrine would show at the church in Tobermory but no luck although this Sparrowhawk flew over.

A yellow tagged C White-tailed Eagle was near Mornish Schoolhouse



and later possibly same bird at Cillchriosd.

26th: The 2 Snow Buntings were around today at the road summit (SC). In the morning there were about 20 Fieldfares flying around Treshnish wood, where there were also flocks 6, 3 and 2 (i.e. 6-11) Bullfinches  as well as at least 6 Redwings, 2 probable Mistle Thrushes, 1 redpoll species, flocks of 8, 2 and 1 (i.e. 8-11) Common Crossbills,

and 1 Great Spotted Woodpeckerwhich is rare at Treshnish (seen for the first time last winter).

On Beinn Dull there were 3 Golden Eagles which included at least 1 juvenile, a Buzzard with a pale head and what I presumed to be an immature male Hen Harrier. A Sparrowhawk materialised just in front of me in out garden. I must have missed it as I scanned the conifers for Crossbills.
This landing Meadow Pipit shot catches something that we can’t see normally.

usual suspect: Raven.

25th: Mullbirds website showed that Pam and Arthur Brown of Discover Mull tours found 2 Snow Buntings at ‘Reudle’ (actually Pam tells me it was at Reudle Schoolhouse not Reudle) yesterday (they also saw a Great Skua and an Arctic Tern that day! Both late dates).
I went out as soon as I read it and sure enough I flushed a pair just above Reudle schoolhouse. They were joined by 2 other unidentified birds and flew over Ensay Burn onto Treshnish farm. I lost track of them far away and though that is it. I drove up to the summit and saw a ‘ring-tailed’ Hen Harrier and then  drove back down. Surprisingly the 2 Snow Buntings were still around but this time just below the entrance to the drive to the schoolhouse. This is a new Mull bird for me, so many photos!





I went back later when the light looked better and although Arthur had just seen them at the summit a traffic jam there probably disturbed them and so I couldn’t find them. Then at about 5pm I tried again. First I saw a ‘ring-tailed’ Hen Harrier (I am pretty sure it is an adult female but need to check my books)


then a male Merlin on the summit cairn. It flew to an outcrop nearby

and then to another and although I could get close the light was against me.



I missed the shot of a lifetime when it hovered about 10 feet from the car, but the camera’s autofocus could not find it. I didn’t even know Merlins ever hovered. The light was behind me so it would indeed have been a fantastic shot.
Then found the Snow Buntings a little over the summit (probably what the Merlin was after)






and after several photos drove back and saw another or same pair just up from Reudle Schoolhouse.
Also a flock of at least 30 Chaffinches near Ensay farmhouse, where I am told there was a flock of 24 Goldfinches ‘before the storm’ (not sure which storm she meant).
Alison and Philip Hanmer guests at Middle cottage, photographed a White-tailed Eagle between Port Haunn and the ‘whisky cave’. Their photograph shows a coloured leg ring and from that David Sexton tell us it is a west coast chick from 2010.
I have just found out that the colour-ringed Twite I saw at Treshnish Point on 20th of September was ringed by the Grampian Ringing Group on the Ythan at Foveran, Aberdeenshire (which was only about a mile from where my father and his father were born!). I hope to find out a bit more soon. This is the third colour ringed Twite that has been seen at Treshnish: on 16/05/2009 Tony Gibson photographed 1 at Toechtamhor cottage, which was ringed at Raggra, near Wick, Caithness, between November and March 2000/2001 (Hugh Clark in litt.) and 1 at Haunn cottages on the 11/04/2010 was ringed at Melrose in the winter of 2008/2009 (Raymond Duncan in litt.).
Another ring recovery from Treshnish was a Great Skua ring found at Lòn Reudle on 23/06/2008 which came from a chick ringed in 2001 on an uninhabited island off the Kyle off Tongue, Eilean nan Ron (Clive Craik in litt.).
24th:  1 Redshank, 3 Turnstones and 1 Whooper Swan at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary.



1 Black-headed Gull at Calgary beach and 1 juvenile Gannet at Treshnish Point. This is my latest date for Gannet, my previous latest was on 23rd October in 2006.
23rd: At least 21 Common Crossbills in Treshnish wood


(possibly about 40 because a second flock of about 20 birds was seen after the first flock of 19 flew to the south, although the flock may have circled around. 2 were also present a little later in the wood).


I have only seen Common Crossbills once before at Treshnish (2 on 27 Feb 2010) and guests Andy Stoddart and Maja Passchier also saw one here (on 14 Aug 2010). There were also 4 Bullfinches and at least 1 Lesser Redpoll in the wood.

There was 1 Black-headed Gull feeding beside the road in the field below Ensay farmhouse

and a flock of 5-10 thrushes near Ensay farmhouse were thought to be Fieldfares.
Today we received some photographs from a Treshnish guest, who found a large pile of what were originally thought to be bat droppings at the entrance to the large cave at Lòn Reudle. Later it was shown to a bat expert who was sure it wasn’t from bats. I wonder if it could be from Otters. She also took a photo of an Adder nearby, both on 5 September.
I found out that our neighbour also saw Orca(s) in Calgary bay on 16 August 2007 and I saw 3+ in the sound of Coll on 19 May 2008.
22nd: 3 Twite and 1 Reed Bunting in Black Park field.
21st: At least 1 Greenfinch at Treshnish House. Tawny Owls calling as usual at night in Treshnish wood.
20th: Leena saw 6 Whooper Swans flying south over Black Park field.
19th: 6 Lesser Redpolls flew into Treshnish wood. There was 1 Black-headed Gull along the shore below Treshnish House. It ended up flying towards Haunn.

At mid-day male Golden Eagle was over Treshnish wood (here being harassed by a Buzzard)

and towards sunset the female was over Cruachan Trreshnish and the Point.

At sunset the Starling flock on their way to the roost cave at Treshnish Point.


Other usual suspects: Rock Pipit

and Heron.

Leena saw a flock of about 50 geese flying out of Calgary bay.
18th: 1 Arctic Tern on Calgary beach and in the nearby bay


Around sunset a Golden Eagle stooped down from hillside to below the cow-barn..
There were at least 5 Gannets in outer Calgary bay.
17th: 1 Arctic Tern on Calgary beach and in the nearby bay, 1 Whooper Swan on the middle of Mishnish lochs and about 6 Fieldfares between Penmore and Dervaig. Short-eared Owl head at night in Haunn field.
15th: Just after sunset a Short-eared Owl came very low around Middle cottage, Haunn, probably checking out the dogs. Guests in west cottage heard it in the night.
14th: 3-5 Fieldfares over Treshnish wood and a ‘ring-tailed’ Hen Harrier flew north over Calgary bay from about Treshnish boathouse.
Buzzard ballet. During this display I head a soft cooing noise that I think was coming from these birds (nothing like the usual loud begging and contact calls).




13th: A yellow tagged adult White-tailed Eagle flew over Calgary bay for half an hour,

Here the ‘barn door’ metaphor is obvious

where there were also 2 Golden Eagles one of which was a juvenile.

Also there, 2 Arctic Terns fishing, often near the beach. I like terns…













and 1 Black-headed Gull in the bay near Lainne Sgeir.
Flocks of c100 and 30 Fieldfares passed over Treshnish wood (some settled near the lochan) where earlier a Merlin flew.
Usual suspects: Heron

and Common Gull and Kestrel fighting.


12th: A Wigeon flew in to Calgary beach. Although not uncommon in other parts of Mull I have only seen it once before in the bay, at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary (3) on 18/11/2010.

There were Bullfinches and at least 4 Long-tailed Tits in Treshnish wood. They may be continental birds but I need better photos.
There were 2 Otters coming to shore to the east of Lainne Sgeir, Calgary and another about half way from there to the beach.

There was a Mountain Hare below Ensay farmhouse.
Margaret and Marc Debeuf who saw the Orcas on the 9th at Port Haunn have been able to identify one of them by the photograph they took of the fin. He has been named John Coe and you can read more about him here.
And I got this from Discover Wildlife
‘John Coe is named after a character in a poem. He was given the epithet in the early 1990s by the skipper of a sailboat on a Sea Watch Foundation survey of cetaceans in the Western Isles. But he was first identified in 1980. John Coe, or W01 as he is also known, was already an adult when photos of him first appeared in the fledgling British Orca database three decades ago. That makes him at least 40 years old now.’
More photographs of John Coe 1 2 3 4 5.
11th: As soon as we got out of the car at Cillchriosd a White-tailed Eagle flew over us.

I didn’t even have the camera switched on but then after a couple of shots a second flew behind it and again I was completely off guard and missed it as it approached.

They both landed on the hillock to the west of Langamull.
10 Whooper Swans flew west over Langamull (my first of the season)

There was 1 Black-headed Gull at Calgary beach and a Great Northern Diver at Treshnish Point still in breeding plumage.
6 flocks of Barnacle Geese were seen flying over Treshnish, totalling about 100 birds and a flock of 22 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Treshnish Point.
There were at least 2 Linnets at Haunn cottages

and at least 2 Twite. The dark centre to the throat of the top 2 shots is unusual but I think I am correct.



Treshnish wood was teaming with birds. There was a flock of at least 5 Long-tailed Tits (my first of the season).

There were at least 3 Bullfinches which are probably the residents

1 Lesser Repoll and many (probably too many to be resident) titsGoldcrests and Treecreepers.

10th: At least 4,500 Barnacle Geese flying south over Treshnish (probably at least double that figure as many passed inland and others silently out at sea). They are heading for Islay from which some will head back northwards to other wintering sites like Tiree, Coll, Inch Kenneth and the Treshnish Isles.



which included at least 4 Pink-footed Geese,

and 3 Greylags probably from Iceland!

also 1 Golden Plover and 2 Arctic Terns off Treshnish Point.This is a juvenile and the latest record for north mull (previous being 27 Sept 1981 at Salen).



and 1 Great Skua off Caliach Point (I thought we had seen the last of the latter 2 species for this year).
I accidentally caught a Raven upside in a half roll. Not totally in focus but good luck anyway.

9th: 2 juvenile Pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Calgary beach,





3 Swallows over Treshnish wood and 4 Bullfinches along the edge of Treshnish wood.
A Hooded Crow was hassling a juvenile Herring Gull.


Usual suspects: Oystercatcher

Highlight of the day was that visitors at West cottage saw at least 2 Orcas (Killer Whales) close in at Port Haunn,heading towards Lunga.
8th: 7 Barnacle Geese flew over Lainne Sgeir, Calgary coming from the beach direction.

I gather there is a flock that winters on Inch Kenneth but otherwise it is an uncommon species on Mull. The earliest date I could trace for north Mull was over Tobermory on 6th October (in 1998).
There was 1 Black-headed Gull at Calgary beach, 1 Swallow around Treshnish cow-barn and a flock of about 50 Twite and at least 1 Goldfinch in Black Park field and a sub-flock of about 8 larger birds nearby which contained at least 1 Reed Bunting.
7th: 3 Swallows around Treshnish House, 1 Sparrowhawk in Treshnish wood, 40 Twite in Black Park field and a pair of Golden Eagles long the coastal strip from Haunn and Treshnish Point to Treshnish wood.
They both came close overhead but my camera settings were wrong.
This is the old male

and this is the female being mobbed by a Kestrel.

At night a Tawny Owl was heard as usual in Treshnish wood.
6th: Again flocks of 10, 12, 11 and what I think is a single Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew south around Treshnish Point and also a flock of 7 geese (Pink-foot, Greylag or Bean).
This the single Pale-bellied Brent Geese which flew under the cliffs.




There was 1 Black-headed Gull and Sparrowhawk at Calgary beach and a possible Arctic Skua off Ensay Burn mouth and later at Treshnish Point.
Usual suspect: Kestrel,

and Gannet.

5th: Flocks of 51 and 20 minutes later, 17 Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew south around Treshnish Point,

and zoomed in

where there were 8 Twite and 1 Redshank and out at sea 1 Great Skua chasing Gannets.


I think I also saw 1 Manx Shearwater. There were 2 Swallows going to roost in Treshnish farm buildings. It was getting dark but I think they were juveniles.
Usual suspect: Curlew.

4th: There was 1 Ruddy Turnstone at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary, 1 Golden Eagle, 1 Sparrowhawk and at least 5 Swallows over Treshnish wood (1 day past my latest date which was last year).
3rd: There was 1 Great Northern Diver (my first of the season) in Calgary bay. The Rook was still at Calgary beach along with 2 Dunlin but no sign of the Black-headed Gulls. At least 2 Swallows still over Treshnish wood.
2nd: There were about 12 Lesser Redpolls in Treshnish wood.



One of the Redpolls had a very pale grey head. I couldn’t see further details but I presume it was either Meally Redpoll flammea or Northwestern Redpoll rostrata.
A flock of 5 Fieldfares flew south over Treshnish wood and later about 8 flew out of the wood.
There were at least 4 Bullfinches in Treshnish wood.

Along the farm road beside the wood there were 2 Red Admirals,

1 Speckled Wood, at least 1 Common Hawker and at least 1 Common Darter.
1st: There was a pair of Golden Eagles on Cruachan Treshnish, over Haunn Cottages and Treshnish Point and 3 Greenfinches and at least 2 Swallows at Treshnish House.
At night Tawny Owls were heard (as they have for the last 3 nights at least).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s