Click here to see some fantastic photos of the Ensay Burn Short-eared Owls.
30th: 1 Short-eared Owl in field north of Haunn
1 male Hen Harrier at raised beach to east of impassable gully at Treshnish Point.
and 7 minutes later presumably the same bird flying out at sea (out from the same field) and looking like it was crossing the bay to Rubha nan Oirean.
a pair of Reed Buntings in reeds below Toechtamhor cottage, Haunn.
2 Mountain Hares to east of Treshnish boathouse and 1 below Treshnish House.
Caliach Point, Rum and Skye from Treshnish Point.
29th: Many people (but not I) had incredible views of presumably the same adult White-tailed Eagle today at mid-day at Treshnish and Haunn although I did see a Golden Eagle (the grey headed male) on Cruachan Treshnish.
Better photos of the mystery corvid shows it to be a hybrid Carrion x Hooded Crow. Probably not first generation going by the small amount of lilac colouration. Carrion Crow is rare on Mull and most are hybrids. It appears to be paired with a Hooded Crow!
This is presumably the bird which has been seen off and on since at least the 20th.
These photos show the mixed plumage
although from many angles it looks almost pure black.
Several hours of sea-watching was unproductive (the constant north wind is not helping). I am trying to photograph Manx Shearwaters but so far I am not having luck.
Only saw 1 Fulmar at the north end of Treshnish Point.
Wheatear singing and showing off his handsome tail.
3 Twite, 2 Linnets and male Reed Bunting in Haunn field,
1 Mistle Thrush at Mornish Schoolhouse (also seen about 1 week ago) and 1 Mountain Hare there too.
During my ‘early’ visit to Loch Frisa for the Breeding Birds Survey: 1 Chiffchaff at Loch Frisa fish farm and another in my survey square and my first Blackcap heard in the survey square. Usually the Sand Martins have arrived back at their breeding holes by now but there was only one present and I am not seeing them yet at Calgary beach or Loch an Torr either. As usual Tree Pipit was easy to find and Siskins were in their highest numbers in the 7 years I have been counting there
Leena saw our first 2 Speckled Wood butterflies in Treshnish wood (1 day earlier than previous earliest or same day if you account for this leap year).
The first flowering Heath Spotted-orchid at Treshnish Point (5 days earlier than previous earliest) and Tormentil flowering at Treshnish Point (5 days earlier than previous earliest), Water Avens almost flowering at Haunn and what looked like flowering Bloody Crane’s-bill on the cliffs (but I was too far away to be sure and this is much earlier than my other dates).
Found a new patch of Scots Lovage just above the sea cliffs out of reach of the sheep.
Today’s fishing boats include 2 trawlers overnighting in Calgary bay,
Jann Denise FR80 (home port Oban)
Crimson Arrow IV N128(home port Mallaig)
and I am not sure what this is.
28th: I was watching a trawler heading from miles away towards Treshnish Point. It had a mass of gulls behind it and so I was hoping it would have a white-winged gull amongst them. As it got closest to Treshnish Point I saw an untagged adult White-tailed Eagle fly towards the boat which was about 700m offshore.
From the photos I can see that within 3 minutes of setting off from land the eagle had already caught a fish (large with pink tail) and was heading back (and that includes the time it took for it to get to the boat).
The trawler was Maryeared TT57 (home port Campbeltown).
I will have to look through all the photos I took to see if there is a white-winged gull.
Saw the Rook/Carrion Crow at Haunn and on Cruachan Treshnish. I will try to get better shots. It has a pale patch on vent side and so it could be a Carrion/Hooded Crow hybrid (F has been seeing it for a few days too).
2 Linnets at Treshnish cow-barn, 2 at Haunn field and 1 by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Cuckoo at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse (my first sighting of the year).
Guests at East and Middle cottage reported both Barn Owls after 9pm around Haunn cottages.
27th: Good news gets better.There were 2 Barn Owls below Haunn cottages at 9pm. The second one today was larger and darker. In order to encourage breeding, please do not disturb them during the day when they are resting. If you see one resting during the daytime please keep your distance (+300m away). In the evening they can be seen very close as they fly around (usually after about 9pm but sometimes earlier). Visitors to Toechtamhor cottage can see them from the sitting room! Lets hope they stay and take up residence in the owl boxes. Maybe they have already!
Our first Cuckoo of the year heard this morning which is quite late. The north winds seem to have slowed down the arrival of migrants. 1 Linnet and 1 Twite at Shian/Duill cottages.
2 adult White-tailed Eagles below Treshnish house. One was female yellow tagged C which I think was the one that flew over the bay to Rubha nan Oirean
and the other was white-tagged (probably a male) which was last seen at Ensay Burn mouth.
They had an altercation.
A male Hen Harrier flew right into the Haunn cottages garden between Middle and West cottages, unfortunately I was too far away for a photo.
This morning I saw an adult Robin feeding another adult. I thought this could be extremely early breeding because of the incredibly warm weather we had in March but I have been told it is probably adult pair bonding.
I found 2 ways to get aurora alerts.
By e-mail http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/mailman/listinfo/gse-aa
or by Twitter http://www.softservenews.com/Aurora-Alerts-to-Cell-Phone-Via-Twitter.htm
26th: The Barn Owl is still at Haunn.
1 Golden Plover flew from the field to west of Haunn and probably landed in Haunn field.
1Whimbrel flew north around Treshnish Point (my first of the year).
1 ring-tailed Hen Harrier on Beinn Duill and Graham and Angie at East cottage told me I had just missed a male around Haunn cottages.
There were several Fulmars at sea and 1 seen once quite close to the cliffs but none visible on the ledges.
and I missed a shot of a close in Manx Shearwater.
I wonder what species of moth caterpillar this Skylark has caught.
The leucistic Wheatear is still at Dun Haunn.
Mountain Everlasting at Treshnish Point is flowering a week before my previous earliest.
A beautiful patch of Common Dog Violet to west of Haunn cottages.
A mild aurora borealis is predicted for tonight and tomorrow-night.
I have also been sent these useful links
This might be fun. It is a live camera in northern Sweden
25th: The Barn Owl was still around at Haunn.
1 Hen Harrier at Treshnish Point, 1 Golden Eagle on Cruachan Treshnish and 2 probable Reed Buntings in reed-bed below Toechtamhor cottage.
My first Early-purple Orchid of the year at Treshnish Point. It must have been out a few days (my earliest flowering date is 20th April).
Being able to photograph fishing boats has become my latest fad. This boat UL62 has Atlantia Ullapool on the back. She isn’t a lobster boat.
This one from the 23rd was laying lobster pots in Calgary bay. I could just about male out the number OB5 and from the internet I can see her name is OB5 Ceol na Mara, home port Oban. I haven’t seen this boat before but when we went to Tobermory the next day she was in the harbour.
Today there was also a larger fishing boat heading north around Treshnish Point and it was flying the Swedish flag.
I found a couple of good web-sites for Aurora Forecasting. For example this was from the night of 23rd, when we saw them http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/Europe/2012/04/23 the forecast was ‘Extreme 5’.
You can click on the ‘next’ to choose the day for the forecast or if you want to be quick you can change the numbers at the end of the URL to fit the date you want.
I can see that when we last saw them on the 27th March the forecast was ‘Moderate 3’ and on about 17th March when Carolyne saw them and for days either side it was ‘Active 4’
This also gives forecasts http://www.spaceweather.com/
24th: Very exciting news: Guests at Toechtamhor, Haunn, last week 14-21st, reported seeing a Barn Owl at Treshnish Point at dusk on most evenings. More visitors have seen it in the last 2 days including once at noon. Hopefully it will take an interest in the Barn Owl boxes which were erected early last year.
I went to have a look and it was already flying around the inner cliffs at Treshnish Point at 20.10. It perched on the inner cliffs at 20.15 and stayed there for just over an hour. By that time the sun had set and it was too dark for photography but it was easy to watch with binoculars and I saw that within 5 minutes of hunting it had caught a vole.
It didn’t come close enough for good photographs during daylight.
There was also a Short-eared Owl around Treshnish Point and Haunn cottages at the same time as the first flight of the Barn Owl soon after 8pm.
There was also a Rook in the field north of Haunn field (I didn’t get a good look but I am pretty sure it wasn’t a Carrion Crow).
There were about 200 Shags off from Ensay Burn mouth and a flock of about 80 Meadow Pipits near Treshnish cow-barn, 2 Bullfinches in Treshnish wood.
Guests at The Studio saw an Iceland Gull north of Iona-Fionnphort. I looked briefly around Tobermory today but didn’t see any.
For the first time found a Dipper at Tobermory beside the roundabout at the top of the hill, 2 Linnets and 1 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly whilst at the dentists.
A fantastic Northern-lights show last night! A good third of the sky was lit up in greenish blue with fast moving waves of cloud like patches rippling upwards and sometimes flashing like lightening. These flashes and rippling waves were mostly greenish blue but occasionally pinkish. Before the clouds moved over there were two long concentrated searchlight-like beams reaching up to the highest point in the sky.
23rd: A pair of Blackcaps in Treshnish wood (above graveyard) were my target species. It took an hour to get these shots and since I didn’t mange a decent shot last year I am quite happy with them.
1 Common Sandpiper at Ensay Burn mouth (my first of the year), 1 Wood Pigeon in Treshnish wood. 2 Greylags are still around Ensay Burn mouth, Bullfinch heard in Treshnish wood. I saw an adult Robin feeding what looked like another adult (there were no stripes on the upperparts). There have been no more sightings of the Grey Wagtails since that first time. Hopefully there is still time for more arrivals.
The nearest Narrow-leaved Helleborine to our house is emerging. You can see last years growth beside it.
For 2 years running this plant has been eaten by something. This year I am determined to try harder to protect it although already it has been damaged slightly. It now has a tree guard and I am contemplating methods to protect it from attack via the soil. There are only 4 plants of this threatened species in this area so every plant is needed for reproduction. One even managed to bare fruit in 2010. I couldn’t understand how it could have become fertilised and then last year I discovered several more plants in another part of the wood. Mystery solved.
22nd: 6 Twite landed on the top of a conifer in Treshnish wood and later 1 came to our garden again.
Many of the Great Northern Divers are in breeding plumage. I watched them eating crab after crab, fattening up for their northern migration.
5 Fulmars of the cliff ledges on the northern side of Treshnish point (visible from public road).
Just before sunset I saw 1 cetacean between Treshnish Point and Rubha nan Oirean. I only saw the dorsal fin once but I presume it was a Bottle-nosed Dolphin.
21st: 1 male Twite at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse came right up to my feet.
and whilst sitting quietly by the farm-road beside Treshnish wood a Willow Warbler came to almost arms reach away.
1 Black-throated Diver off from Tostary, Loch Tuath.
Clouds over Beinn Bhuidhe, Ensay.
20th: An immature Peregrine over Calgary farmhouse/castle and 2 hours later over Lainne Sgeir and Ensay.
same lightened to show longitudinal stripes on belly of juvenile
A pair of Red-throated Divers were displaying with synchronised forward neck stretching at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary. I heard a Blackcap below Calgary farmhouse (my first of the year).
1 Twite singing at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
A possible Carrion Crow flying west over Treshnish wood.
Great Skua at Caliach (I won’t mention this species until the autumn as this species is easily seen in north-west Mull).
Peacock butterfly below Calgary Farmhouse.
There is a patch of Common Whitlowgrass on Calgary machair. It is rare on Mull but according to the Mull Flora this was the site where it was first found on Mull in 1965. It is great that it is still there given the poor state of this SSSI. In Mull Flora there are only 6 other sites on Mull but I am sure the new flora by Lynne Farrell will have some new sites.
19th: 2 male Hen Harriers at a breeding area in north Mull.
and another male on Dervaig Salen rd at (NM4450).
I finally saw my first Jay on Mull. It was in the garden of the cottages just to the east of Killoran, Dervaig (I didn’t have time for photographs).
Yellowhammer at Tostary,
pair of Bullfinches at Ardnacross (NM5448).
The pod of about 6 Bottle-nosed Dolphins was back in calgary bay from the mouth of Ensay Burn and to the north nearer the shore on the north side of the bay.
Peacock butterflies at 2 spots in Salen and also north of Loch frisa fish farm.
18th: There was 1 Lapwing behind Ensay farmhouse, where they breed.
2 Red Grouse were reported just before the Reudle-Crackaig track heads downhill.
1 Green-veined White butterfly at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse (my first of the year).
17th: A male and female Hen Harrier along Ensay Burn valley (female near the road at Schoolhouse and male high up the burn but still within the plantation). There were Short-eared Owls visible on Carn Mòr, Beinn Bhuidhe and Beinn an Lochain. I wouldn’t be surprised if there 10 pairs or more in the Ensay Burn catchment area.
I think I must have made a mistake with the Pied Flycatcher. I only caught a glimpse and I have seen or heard nothing since so I think I must have seen the underside of a female Chaffinch and then my imagination must have ran riot.
I have collated all our records for whales, dolphins and Basking Sharks.
So far this year has been exceptional for Bottle-nosed Dolphins with almost as many records already as in whole years for other good years. Here are the years totals.
(Dates and numbers in brackets are additional unidentified dolphin record which are also probably Bottle-nosed).
Year Total days First date Last date
2012: 7 31st Jan ——-
2011: 1 (1) 1st Aug (21st Feb) 1st Aug
2010: 6 (4) 14th Apr (3rd Jan) 8th Nov
2009: 3 19th May 28th Oct
2008: 9 28th Apr 8th Oct
2007: 1 23rd Aug 23rd Aug
2006: 5 6th May 27th Jul
The differences in the years records totals may partly be due to observer effort and weather conditions. Basking Shark records were also very poor in 2011 (recorded on only 3 dates) but in 2007 there were 14 dates with Basking Shark records so the lack of dolphin records may be significant.
A third of these records are from vistiing guests so please, keep your records coming!
16th: At least 6 Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Calgary bay. At one point about 3 split off and came very close to the beach,
15th: At 7.15pm a White-tailed Eagle flew west over Treshnish lochan towards Calgary (too distant for ageing). At the Reudle rd summit there was 1 Short-eared Owl flying at 6pm (later at least 3).
I decided to try sticking my head out of the car sun-roof as shooting from the car window restricts the camera angle. As soon as I got my head clear out of the sunroof I could see a Golden Eagle flying towards me, just a few feet away. The camera cannot focus quick enough but I got these. It is the old male.
A quick view of this Buzzard with white at the tail-base could be confused with a Rough-legged Buzzard.
A Tawny Owl was hooting at night in Treshnish wood.
Guests have reported 4 Snow Buntings at Dun Haunn at the same spot where the leucistic Wheatear is usually found. They assured me thye was a more rounded shape than a Wheatear.
I have been informed this skull found on the 10th on the shingle at Ensay Burn mouth is probably a young Red Deer with the front section has broken off.
front (with jaw boken off?)
This Green Hairstreak is the first non-hibernating butterfly of the year and my earliest date. Previous earliest was on 29th April in 2007. Usually my first record of the year is in the first or second week of May.
14th: A pair of Bullfinches in Treshnish wood, 1 Golden Eagle over the Cruachan Treshnish environs, for at least 90 minutes, 2 Twite at Haunn, a small pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins were in Calgary bay, below Treshnish House, sometimes jumping right out of the water. We have been informed by cetacean experts that what we have taken for granted at Treshnish is quite a rare phenomenon in the Hebrides. There is a pod that frequents Barra but otherwise they were thought to be rare. When I have time I will have to check through all my dolphin records and see if there is a pattern.
Guest reported a Mountain Hare around Treshnish cottages and I have been told of a pair ‘boxing’ this last week.
I did some research on Heron‘s breeding behaviour. Although they normally breed communally it is ‘not uncommon’ for them to breed alone (Argyll Bird Report) although Birds of Argyll does not mention any solitary nests. I was also very surprised to find out that in 1954 the largest heronry in Argyll was of 22 nests in Calgary! (Birds Of Argyll). Perhaps there is still a heronry there, I will ask around. That wood is not open access. I am pretty sure there is a heronry on lochside at Quinish and the previous Breeding Atlas (1988-1991) had breeding in 12 10x10km squares which covers almost the whole of Mull except the far northwest corner.
13th: Fantastic news today. Found a Heron sitting tight on a nest even with me and 3 dogs walking underneath. A new breeding bird for Treshnish! Unfortunately too late for the new breeding atlas.
A Merlin flew from Treshnish Boathouse over the sea in Calgary direction. I presume it was hunting migrants although I couldn’t see anything except birds too large for a Merlin.
1 Arctic Skua (my first of the year) far out from Treshnish boathouse.
At 7.30pm a White-tailed Eagle flew over Treshnish lochan area towards Calgary (unfortunately I was at the boathouse).
I wonder if this is another Scandinavian Rock Pipit.
The Swallow has now been joined by a second bird, 1 Willow Warbler at Ensay Burn cattle-grid but still not singing, at 7.40pm 1 Short-eared Owl just above Treshnish House.
12th: 1 or 2 silent Willow Warblers above Treshnish boathouse (my first of the year).
I finished a days birding to discover that the camera had been on the shutter speed I used in the wood (1/125 sec) so 300 photographs wasted. I would have had nice shots of both eagles species, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine and a male Hen Harrier. Oh dear!!!
I watched a Buzzard attacking an eagle near the Ensay coast and a little later saw a Buzzard there go into dive but to my astonishment it started spinning as it dived. I have never seen them do this before. I wonder if this is called a corkscrew!
1 Peregrine over Treshnish wood,
1 male Hen Harrier flying over Treshnish wood to the lochan. It had something like grass in its talons. Presumably it also has a prey item,
1 Sparrowhawk behind Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 3 sightings of White-tailed Eagles (1 in morning over Beinn Bhuidhe summit, 1 adult flying east over Treshnish wood area, and half an hour later an immature flying east below Treshnish House),
2 sightings of Golden Eagles (1 sub-adult over Treshnish wood was watched but NOT attacked by a Buzzard,
and possibly same 3 hours later flying over Treshnish wood)
8 Greylags in sea below Treshnish house, about 80 Meadow Pipits above Treshnish boathouse.
1 Mountain Hare to east of Treshnish boathouse.
1 (Common) Lizard by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse
and 5 minutes later a green one ran across the farm road.
Seeing Kestrels carrying food items on the last week made me read up on their breeding behaviour. The male does provide all the food for the chicks until feathered but also brings food to the female in the pre-laying period. If the 2 Kestrels I saw bringing food to females on eggs then this would be earlier than average even for a good vole year so perhaps they were bringing food to the pre-laying female. According to research the male increases the amount of food brought to the female about 30 days before laying and bringing 6-8 food items per day during egg incubation. In one study of 27 nests in Scotland, the average egg laying occurred on 28th April in good vole years compared to 11th of May in poor vole years. The overall average for all years was 3rd May.
11th: Unbelievably, 1 male Pied Flycatcher in Treshnish wood. Pied Flycatcher is a scarce summer visitor to Argyll and very scarce on Mull. Nest box schemes by Argyll Bird Club and more locally the Mull Bird Club at Killiechronan have been undertaken to encourage the species.
1 Chiffchaff singing and 1 male Bullfinch in Treshnish wood, 1 Lapwing on the rocks at Ensay Burn mouth, 1 Peregrine flying from Treshnish lochan down Ensay Burn, 1 Redshank at Ensay Burn mouth, 10 Greylags off Ensay Burn mouth, 1 adult untagged White-tailed Eagle carrying a fish (flew west below Treshnish wood and then soared on thermals above Ensay),
1 male Golden Eagle on Cruachan Treshnish and another Golden Eagle on the cairn of Beinn Bhuidhe. My first definite Siskin in Treshnish wood.
3 Goldcrests were out in open beside Treshnish wood (usually they are well hidden).
The Song Thrushes have been quiet around our house for about the last month. I think they must be well into there breeding cycle.
Goat Willow flowering by Ensay Burn mouth. These trees and one beside Treshnish graveyard are the only ones I have found at Treshnish. They are easy to find now as they come into leaf before most of the other trees. I think these are the female catkins
I took better shots of the Thale Cress.
10th: Our first Swallow was seen today. It looks like it is one of our residents at it was seen perched around the farm buildings. This is 3 days after our previous earliest date. We have also passed the previous earliest migrant dates for Common Sandpiper and Willow Warbler so we should be seeing those any day. Today is also the earliest arrival date for Blackcap and Arctic Skua so I shall keep an eye out for those too. Spring is pretty much normal so far and the early Chiffchaffs were the only exception.
A pair of Grey Wagtails at Ensay Burn mouth which is great news after seeing none of this fairly common birds last year. An adult yellow tagged White-tailed Eagle flew over Treshnish graveyard to coastal hill behind Ensay farmhouse (looked like the same bird as yesterday)
and a minute later it was joined by a white-tagged adult. 2 Linnets flying over Treshnish wood.
There was a Heron perched in the trees in Treshnish Wood. It flew but landed close by and nearly 2 hours later it was still there. Could it have a nest?
The Ensay Burn Short-eared Owls were active in the evening with at least 4 in the air at the same time
and also 1 ring-tailed Hen Harrier and a Kestrel carrying a food item in the direction of the Beinn Reudle. I also saw a Kestrel carrying a food item on the 6th to Treshnish Point. I presume they were both bringing food to their females on eggs but I need to read up on this,
A new plant for me. It looks like Thale Cress. I have forgotten how to use my macro camera so this is the best photo from today. It was down by Ensay Burn mouth. Thale Cress is rare on Mull with only 5 other locations in the Mull flora.
Bluebells are flowering at the side burn beside Ensay Burn mouth. This is the first place they seem to flower and they must have been out a few days. This is 3 days earlier than the previous earliest date.
9th: I went to Port Haunn to try to re-locate that Scandinavian Rock Pipit. It took a while but eventually I found it in exactly the same spot that I last saw it flying to on the 7th.
1 immature White-tailed Eagle flew from Port Haunn to the Treshnish Isles (which took 5 minutes)
2½ hours later an untagged adult flew south just over my head when I was along the shore under the cliffs at Port Haunn (I only managed 2 shots but for once they were good)
then half an hour later another adult (yellow tagged presumably from Langamull) flew south above the raised beach as I was photographing the leucistic Wheatear.
The old male Golden Eagle also flew over the cliffs at Port Haunn.
The leucistic Wheatear is in the same spot. I think it must be a female. It is paired up with a male.
At least 4 Fulmars around cliffs at Treshnish Point. 1 male Twite at Treshnish cow-barn. The pink rump is just visible.
1 Great Skua out from Port Haunn.
This Vole was inside a trailer load of cow-dung.
1 Peacock butterfly at Port Haunn.
8th: After 10 minutes at Caliach saw 1 Manx Shearwater flying north around the point (my first of the year and I think the first for Mull), 10 minutes later another flew south, 1 Great Skua at Caliach Point, 1 Sparrowhawk at Caliach, 1 female Hen Harrier at Ensay Burn mouth and a few hours later a ring-tailed Hen Harrier at Reudle road summit.
A pair of Buzzards were flushed from the cliffs above Sunipol road. One was carrying a thin branch. After soaring for a while (one with talons lowered) they landed on the ground and copulated. Presumably the nest item was part of the courtship ritual.
Short-eared Owls didn’t start flying until 6pm and the second bird didn’t start until 6.45pm.
There is a sweet letter on www.mullbirds.com from three kids who have been bird-watching with their grandparents on Mull. At Loch Ba they saw a Grey Wagtail. I am eagerly waiting to see Grey Wagtails again. I don’t know of any one who saw one last year on Mull. Being a UK resident species I presumed that, like the Stonechat, they had been hit hard by the previous 2 cold winters. Today I read in Argyll Birds that it is a know fact that they ARE susceptible to cold weather and the book even cites declines in the previous cold winter of 1981/1982 ‘especially on Mull’ but that ‘there appears to have been a rapid recovery’. I hope so.
7th: I photographed the Scandinavian race of Rock Pipit (littoralis) at Port Haunn. I have just found out that it is only the second accepted record for Argyll. The only other accepted record is also from Mull on 13/05/2011 at Langamull beach, reported by David Hatfield (www.mullbirds.com).
I didn’t get a great photo but it has unofficially been passed by one or two of the Argyll Rarity Committee but it will have to be passed by the whole of ABRC to be accepted. Knowing all this I will definitely try later to try for a better photo.
Malcolm and Alison, guests at East cottage, Haunn have been telling me about a leucistic Wheatear at Dùn Haunn and they are going to send me their photographs. I went yesterday but couldn’t find it. Today I was more lucky but mist and drizzle weren’t the perfect conditions.
The tail is important to photograph just in case it is one of the vagrant wheatear species.
1 Great Skua at Port Haunn (my first of year),
1-2 Fulmars at Port Haunn, 6 Ringed Plovers at Port Haunn and 2 at Dùn Haunn (breeding birds displaying)
and non breeding plumage
2+1 Twite at Haunn (my first of year), 1 Linnet all afternoon at Treshnish cow-barn (my first of year)
1 male Hen Harrier coming out of the mist at Haunn cottages.
The Fryday’s, guests at Toechtamhor cottage told me there was a White-tailed Eagle perched at Treshnish Point (I was there but missed it or rather mist it).
An unwelcome Red Deer stag in Treshnish wood shed his antlers on our lawn, 12 points too!
Haunn guests saw 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins at Port Haunn.
6th: 26 Whooper Swans flew low over the sea, north passed Treshnish point from the Iona direction.
5th: I have just found out that for the last fortnight as I approached my Picasa storage limit my uploads have been automatically shrunk to 800 pixels width. This didn’t effected the photos on the left hand blog but did if you left click on the image. I have now remedied the situation and these top 2 owls should be a better quality when viewed from the album.
A good Short-eared Owl day (at least 4 flying) at the usual place and I am told by guests, yesterday was good too.
These 2 distant shots show the rapid wing clapping display.
After watching this bird high up I saw a White-tailed Eagle flying away from me anmd realised it must have flown right over my head. It was a sub-adult and flew towards Beinn an Lochain. Also 4 Hen harrier sightings along the Ensay Reudle rd (a female near the hair-pin bends and 2 female & a male at the road summit). In the evening a Bullfinch was heard at Treshnish Old schoolhouse. I haven’t seen them since the autumn so it is hopefully they will breed again. This was later confirmed by Malcolm Ward who saw a pair in in the wood near the graveyard. Malcolm also reported 2 adult male Hen Harriers above Toechtamhhor cottage, Haunn and a Short-eared Owl in the evening over East cottage, Haunn.
At least 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins at the mouth of Calgary bay.
4th: 1 drake Goosander at Dervaig.
Long-tailed Tit heard at Quinish farm buildings, heard a possible Wood Warbler and Chiffchaff at Quinish entrance.
Views from Quinish Point.
Muck and Rum
Muck and Rum
Ardnamurchan Point, Muck, Rum and Skye
Ardnamurchan Point and Skye
3rd: 2 sightings of a Merlin hunting (1 at Reudle rd summit and 1 an hour later at Reudle Schoolhouse), 1 Short-eared Owl hunting at mid-day a little way down Reudle valley and only 1 in the evening when it got up to chase away 2 Hooded Crows below Reudle Schoolhouse, 1 Golden Eagle.
Guests Kelly and Brian saw a Swallow at Tobermory.
Red Deer on Beinn Reudle
Iona behind Staffa from Lòn Reudle
Gometra, Little Colonsay, Ross of Mull and Jura, from Lòn Reudle
South Uist behind Coll from Beinn Reudle
Barra? behind Coll from Beinn Reudle
2nd: yellow tagged White-tailed Eagle adult pair on Rubha an Àird rocks were joined by a female immature (which I think I saw briefly an hour previously at Port na Bà). I was surprised they tolerated it but after a couple of minutes the male chased it off. This is the immature.
The adults then copulated and soon after one of them flew to Langamull forest, soared high and drifted to the south end of the forest and continued soaring at which time I think it was joined by the other adult and I lost sight of them. Also 1 Hen Harrier over Langamull forest and Lapwing heard towards Langamull forest on east side of Sunipol road.
There were at least 3 dolphins swimming south around Caliach Point. They were probably Bottle-nosed Dolphins as they were so close to the coast but I thought the dorsal fin looked small. Unfortunately they disappeared around the point before I could get a distant photograph.
1st: Walked up Ensay Burn to see if I could see Dippers (haven’t seen one since 18th December at the burn mouth). I have been checking the burn mouth and the nest site but today walked the burn from Treshnish wood upwards. Found 1 about 300m up from last years nest.
4 Purple Sandpipers at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary.
3 Wood Pigeons in Treshnish wood (and I am pretty sure I heard the call). In the last few days Greenfinches and 4 Graylag Geese have been in the nearby area. I was glad to hear the Tawny Owls hooting last night in Treshnish wood.
1 Otter at Lainne Sgeir.