You can support the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust by voting for them to win the National Lottery Award for Education here.
31st: 3 Common Gulls still on the lochan.
Went to see if there were any Wood Tiger caterpillars on the southeast side of the Cruachan where I saw many flying in June. I was probably far too early as they only hatch in August and it will probably take a while for them to get large enough to see easily. My aim is to take larvae in the late summer and rear them in captivity so I can photograph the adults that emerge in June. This is quite a long haul so if I don’t find any I will try looking in the spring when they should be larger and easier to find but apparently many of these will have been predated so will not hatch. Predation is usually by ichneumon wasps and ‘other insects’ although I don’t know anything about these other insects. Ichneumon wasps are not what most people think of as wasps. They come to moth traps quite often and they do give a mild sting.Apparently on the page of Ichneumon wasps in Michael Chinery’s Complete British Insects ALL the photos are incorrectly labelled, so obviously this is a difficult group. There are no UK websites to help with identification.
I did see a enormous Northern Eggar. Northern Eggars have a 2 year life cycle so I presume these large larvae are already one year old. (I am getting this checked). This is only about a quarter of it. I had to trim some vegetation to get the photo and so it froze. I waited for a few minutes for it to start grazing again but it was too midgey and I gave up.
4 Fox Moths.
There must have been a thousand Magpie Moths in this area. Magpie Moths are quite literally everywhere this year in the day and at night. Last year was good for Magpie Moths but this year is spectacular. They can be quite variable.
Also saw 1 Scalloped Oak (first in the daytime),
6 Northern Spinach,
1 Purple Bar (first in the daytime),
1 Dark Marbled Carpet
I also found a new Bog Orchid spot, only saw 1 plant but it was quite midgey and so hanging around was not an option. Last year I discovered a new habitat for this species. In previous year I had been quite successful in finding them on boggy pool in flat areas. Last year I found 2 new spots in pools just before runnels flow over the edge of rocky crags. Today’s was in such a habitat. Because of the runnels they are easy to re-find and handy for taking photos because I can stand on the stones. Some of the sites on the Cruachan are impossible to photograph because of the bog.
Chaffweed doing fine behind our house after all the heavy machinery passage to repair the dam. A plant which makes Bog Orchids look positively gigantic. That is it, in the centre frame.
Chaffweed is supposed to be rare on Mull but I think it is just that it is being under-recorded. Whenever I have looked for it I have managed to find it quite quickly. Wet areas on muddy tracks are the places to look.
The light and shadows before sunset.
29th: Bullfinches at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse (also yesterday), 1 Reed Bunting at the cow-barn, the 3 Common Gulls juveniles are still at Treshnish lochan. The parents seem to be leaving them alone a lot and I am not hearing alarm calls nowadays.
Can’t find the White Wagtail seen on Saturday but after looking at families of the resident Pied Wagtails for the last 2 days I am more certain about what I saw.
At least a couple of families of Twite in Black Park field enjoying the sorrel bounty.
Bog Orchid one of the Treshnish specialities, which is given a special mention in the new Rare Plant Register. Now the Common Gulls are less protective I was allowed to take photos in peace.
Field Gentian in Haunn Coronation Meadow.
28th: I went to listen for the Corn Crake late last night and even walked right down to the field. I stayed around for about half an hour and heard nothing. It may still be around because it seems to be calling much more sporadically now.
I looked through the new Rare Plant Register to see how many species were at Treshnish. The Treshnish contribution to the list is an impressive 26. The only one I haven’t found myself is Little Mouse-ear.
Chaffweed, Little Mouse-ear, Fen Bedstraw, Three-nerved Sandwort, Ivy-leaved Crowfoot, Upright Hedge-parsley, Thale Cress, Bogbean, Oysterplant, Guelder-rose, Wood Bitter-vetch, Sea Pea, White Ramping-fumitory, Thyme Broomrape, Field Gentian, Frog Orchid, Narrow-leaved Helleborine, Broad-leaved Helleborine, Bog Orchid, Bird’s-nest Orchid, Common Twayblade, Greater Butterfly-orchid, Small-white Orchid, Small Adder’s-tongue, Wilson’s Filmy-fern, Juniper and Great Sundew (on Ensay and probably Treshnish).
Brag alert for rest of today’s entries.
I am quite chuffed to have found these elsewhere by myself: Sea Beet (Ardalanish), Hedge Bindweed (Calgary & Tobermory), Hoary Whitlowgrass (Tráigh Bhán na Sgrra), Tunbridge Filmy-fern (Penmore), Stag’s-horn Clubmoss (Meall Mhic Dhomhnuill), Corn Mint (Kilninian & new record at Allt Crossapoll), Yellow Water-lily (Caol Lochan, Lochan a’ Ghurrabain), Sea Radish (Ardalanish, Tràigh Gheal), Prickly Saltwort (Ardalanish, Garbh Eilean, Tráigh Bhán na Sgrra, Knockvologan), Field Madder (Calgary, Tráigh Bhán na Sgrra), Bittersweet (Bennan, Leac nam Bà), Common Vetch (Ardalanish), Wood Vetch (Glengorm), Tall Fescue (Torr Fada), Wild Pansy (Torr Mòr a´ Chonairst), Bearberry (Knockvologan, Traigh Gheal), Squirreltail Fescue (Ballgown with Lynne Farrell), Burnet Saxifrage (Ardalanish with Lynne Farrell), Wood Melick (Ballgown – with Lynne Farrell, she must have taken a sample as I only have a dim memory of it!)
Two of my best finds are not in the register I am not sure why: Marsh Fragrant-orchid and Sea Fern-grass, both at Ardalanish.
The following are rarities that I have twitched (known they were there). Most of them I went on instruction to get the grid reference.
Lord’s and Ladies (Tobermory), Sea-holly (Ardalanish), Lesser Butterfly-orchid (Caol Lochan), Cranberry (Loch na Criadhach Mòire), Common Wintergreen (Aros Park), Common Glasswort (Salen) and Narrow-leaved Marsh Orchid.
27th: I have had confirmation that the bird I thought was a White Wagtail at Langamull on 25th and have seen 3 other times this month is good for this subspecies and it is a male.
Strangely enough I found another possible male White Wagtail today feeding a chick at Haunn cottages. It had the clear cut contrast between the black head and the grey mantle. I don’t think this pattern can be confused with a resident Pied Wagtail (subspecies yarellii) no matter how pale. I am slightly uncertain because the grey mantle didn’t seem as pale as some White Wagtails I’ve seen. Again I want to get a photo because it seems like too much of a coincidence. It was feeding cheese (put out by the guests at the holiday cottage) to a juvenile so I should be able to get good photos.
White Wagtail is the continental subspecies of Pied Wagtail but it is normally a passage migrant in the UK although it has been known, rarely, to breed with our resident race in Scotland. According to Birds of Scotland there are only 2 mixed breeding records in Scotland (one in Oban). Birds of Argyll doesn’t mention this record but gives an additional two; one highly probable (a family group) and one possible (i.e. paired but not definitely breeding). Given the rarity, finding 2 in one month during the summer seems most unlikely.
In the evening I went back to try and get photographs but I could only find the juveniles.
Immature White-tailed Eagle flying from Treshnish to the lochan area, possible Short-eared owl flying from cow-barn field towards Haunn.
Carolyne tells me the Corn Crake was heard calling again this morning at 5am (the 20th day since it was first heard). I think it must be slowing down with the singing as I have listened on the last 2 night (although only for a few minutes) and heard nothing.
Field Gentians flowering on dyke before Toechtamhor cottage.
Yesterday I was glad to find 2 White Ramping-fumitory plants emerging in Treshnish vegetable garden. Each week I have been looking for them so I can make sure they don’t get strimmed. Last year I was surprised to see it in full flower on 28th of May whereas in the only two previous years I have found it (2009 & 2010) it flowered in mid to late September. I didn’t find it at all in 2011 so may have strimmed it. The early flowering last year has meant I need to be more vigilant. This is a spot next to a wall where I strim. Last year I accidentally strimmed one flowering stem. I took it home and, just leaving it in water, it produced seed. I kept the seed and planted it pots this spring hoping to create a new reserve population but so far nothing has come up.
Yesterday I took one of the plants which was growing away from the wall which would be too easy to strim accidentally and put it in a pot. I have just seen that most of it has been nibbled presumably by a vole or mouse because it was inaccessible to the hare. There are still a couple of leaves so it should be fine as I have taken it indoors for now.
White ramping-fumitory is very rare on Mull. According to the new Rare Plant Register there have only been 2 records for the whole of Mull, Tiree and Coll and the only other was at Loch Buie in 1988. The fumitories are very difficult to identify and I had to send a specimen piece to a professional botanist to get it identified and even then she said she would have to wait until the seeds emerged next year to be 100% sure.
It is also a very unusually structured flower. Here is a photo from May last year (right now it is only in leaf and a couple of inches tall).
26th: When I arrived at Langamull at in the evening the Arctic Tern family were there. They all flew off but came back along with the Common Tern family at sunset. It can get confusing sometimes because the Common Tern juvenile likes to hang out with the Arctic Tern juveniles and at sunset the Common Tern juvenile would fly around with the whole Arctic tern family.
Adult Arctic Tern
3 Dunlin at Langamull (1 adult & 2 juveniles).
An Otter to the west of Langamull at 8pm when I arrived
and 10pm when I left and presumably the same at 9.30 at Langamull.
Mountain Hare on our lawn
and at Langamull.
25th: No Arctic Terns at Langamull (they all flew off at high tide yesterday so maybe they have left for good), adult Common Terns
with 1 fledgling.
Just been fed and still wants more
So now I am sure there were 2 Arctic Tern chicks and 1 Common Tern chick.
Again the elusive wagtail was there
but flew off before I could get close.
I am still pretty sure it is a White Wagtail. but I didn’t see it do any parenting.
3 adult Dunlins at Langamull.
There was a pod of at least 6 Bottle-nosed Dolphins at Langamull heading east (they must have passed Treshnish earlier). Dummkopf here had his camera on 1/80th of a second.
Last night guests Helen Bibby and family put out the Charringtons moth trap. They caught several Garden Tigers,
a new moth for the farm Middle-barred Minor
but best of all 1 Grey (a real rarity). Helen and I found it when I went to look at the Middle-barred Minor. I have only caught the Grey twice before and didn’t recognise it until I got home (in retrospect I realise I identify difficult moths from photographs so fail to recognise some in real life. As soon as I saw the photo I knew what it was).
Helen also caught an Archer’s Dart which is only the third record for Mull. The other two being one she caught on a previous visit to Mull and one I caught previously at Treshnish.
24th: At least 2 Dunlin at Langamull (1 ad & 1 juv and a flock of about 10 flying).
I am still not 100% sure about how many tern juveniles are at langamull. I know for certain that today there were at least 2 Arctic Terns (and probably no more) and at least 1 Common Tern.
These are Arctic Terns.
Here an adult Arctic Tern is offering the sand-eel to the juvenile on the right but it wasn’t hungry so it was given to the hungry one.
Adult Arctic Terns
I didn’t get any close ups of the Common Terns.
Juvenile Common Tern.
A Gannet was fishing very close in at Langamull.
I saw the bird I think is a White Wagtail again at Langamull and this time with a telescope. I need to get a photo for verification. Apparently the two subspecies do occasionally interbreed, presumably when the White Wagtail fails to complete its migration.
I listened for the Corn Crake last night/early morning and I think I heard it at about 4am but the wind was in the wrong direction.
23rd: The Common Tern family have moved to the same site as the Arctic Terns at Langamull. I could see 3 fledglings and I think they were 2 Common Terns and 1 Arctic but they are very difficult to tell apart and were quite close together. I was here late in the evening so didn’t see any feeding by the adults which would be the easiest way to identify them.
It was very poor light so the photos are not great.
This is an Arctic Tern fledgling (white secondaries and dark tips to primaries).
The one on the right is a Arctic Tern juvenile but I am not 100% sure about the juvenile on the left.
10 Dunlin at Langamull (9 adults & 1 juvenile),
2 waders about the same size as a Oystercatcher which were probably Whimbrels at Langamull, possible White Wagtail with Pied Wagtail male at Langamull (I need to get closer to be sure), yellow tagged C White-tailed Eagle at Langamull, family group of about 6 Bullfinches (including recently fledged) in Treshnish wood (which would be proof of breeding in an atlas year) the down on the head is still visible,
the Heron chick is still on the nest, here it is showing the typical frozen posture of the heron family.
Wren in the Tawny Owl box.
Corn Crake calling at 01.30am last night below Treshnish House.
2 Mountain Hares at Langamull.
Broad-leaved Helleborine (1 plant near Tawny Owl box) has at least another week before flowering.
22nd: Whitethroat still singing and Bullfinch heard near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
Corn Crake calling at 01.00am last night.
Synchronicity: I was asked by a passing tourist about Adders which he was worried about. I said that yes they were around but that I only saw them a couple of times a year. Immediately afterwards I sat for a few minutes on some nearby rocks that always looked good for Adders but I have only ever seen lizards there. Then I wandered back to our garden just a hundred yards away. Without looking I saw a young Adder moving through the grass on our lawn. It was only a little more than a foot in length.
It went into our potato patch.
Pretty sure I saw my first Scotch Argus of the year in our garden and also another very probable Common Hawker.
21st: Corn Crake calling at 00.30am last night.
2 Bullfinches & 1 female Blackcap around Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 3 Common Gull chicks on Treshnish lochan could swim but I am not sure they could fly (that makes at least 8 have been reared successfully this year). They are extremely vulnerable in the open like this and there was only one adult to defend them.
I photographed a Lesser Redpoll feeding beside our garden. Later I saw it has a metal ring but I can only make out the numbers 02.
My first Common Darter of the year by our water supply.
I had a quick look at the lochan for dragonflies and only saw a lot of Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies although I didn’t stay long because of the Common Gull chicks.
Magpie moths are flying around in the daytime everywhere for the last 3 days. I occasionally see them in high numbers at particular spots on the moors but I have never seen them so widespread and in such numbers. They were flying around Haunn cottages yesterday and around our house for the last 3 days.
The vegetation on the lochan has recovered, I would say, completely, after a long period of no water whilst the dam was repaired. I thought it would take a couple of years. Obviously aquatic plants are adapted to extreme drought but now I remember the digger operator said the floor of the lochan was like jelly and it was too dangerous to drive on.
20th: Corn Crake calling at 01.00am last night and Carolyne heard it in the morning.
White-tailed Eagle flying over Treshnish House in Calgary direction, 1 Grey Wagtail on our garden gate, 2 Bullfinches in our garden (haven’t seen one at Treshnish since the spring), at least 1 pair of Common Gulls still showing agitated behaviour at the colony at Treshnish lochan.
19th: Corn Crake calling at 10am this morning at usual area below Treshnish House.
Carolyne and I both heard the Corn Crake last night at 11.55pm and 01.00am respectively.
18th: At least 42 Oystercatchers,
12 Common Sandpipers, 21 Redshanks,
1 Greenshank, 9 Dunlin , 1 female Eider with 3 very small ducklings, 1 Kittiwake, 4 Lapwings at Croig oyster-beds joined another 3 Lapwings plus about 5 fledged Lapwings on an islet off Quinish.
Whitethroats still singing at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
This is an adult Oystercatcher with 2 young (lacking the red legs and all red bill).
Juvenile Meadow Pipit.
During gathering 5 Red Grouse were flushed (presumably on the Cruachan?).
First Speckled Wood at Croig. This is my first of the year which is extremely late. I must have missed what there was of a first brood entirely. From my records, now is a typical date for the second brood.
These are my Speckled Wood records from 2006-2010.
Incidentally I haven’t seen ANY Green Hair-streaks this year and it is now too late (although I know Andrew and Helen Mortley saw some near Frachadil in late May/Early June).
17th: Good news. I was wrong about the tern nests failing. Both have at least 1 chick.
Now they are safe I can reveal that both are in the Langamull area. The egg of the Arctic Tern seen on the 15th did not hatch (incredible that it hasn’t been eaten yet) but now I realise that the one I thought was a Common Tern on the 15th is probably not a tern egg at all. I was wondering why it was so large but now I think it must be a Oystercatcher egg. How it got to within a few feet of the tern nest is a mystery.
This is the Common Tern chick. It was on a tidal rock so I presume it must be able to swim or fly a little. This is taken from a couple of hundred yards away.
Common Tern parents.
I couldn’t see the Arctic Tern chick(s) but I saw the adults bringing fish to at least 1 spot.
Arctic Tern parent.
Flock of exactly 50 Dunlin flying south at Langamull and earlier 3 at Calgary beach, 1 Whimbrel and 1 immature Black-headed Gull at Langamull.
Couldn’t hear the Corn Crake at 00.30 (19th) and didn’t check properly on previous night but couldn’t hear it from our window.
1 Mountain Hare and 1 Otter (getting harassed by Common Terns) at Langamull.
Leena saw 2 Mountain Hares on our lawn (we haven’t seen them there for a couple of weeks).
16th: 5 adult Sanderlings (different ones from yesterday – only one yesterday was very orangey),
3 Dunlin, 15 Redshanks and 1 possible Whimbrel at Croig. 1 Greenfinch at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and heard on 14th along the shore (I won’t mention it again this year it has obviously over summered here).
The Corn Crake was calling last night at 1.30am.
I have often wondered why we see Swifts more in late June to early July. Swifts do not breed on Mull.
These are my personal records at Treshnish 2006/2012. I will later add this years records of 2 on the 9th July and 1 on the 21st June which will only emphasise this graph.
I am no further forward learning the reason for this late June/early July peak but I did read recently an interesting fact; Swifts fly 900km or more per day during the breeding season so the birds we see could well be breeding birds. One of the best places to see swifts on Mull is on the Treshnish Isles and also here at Treshnish. As far as I am aware Swifts in Argyll only breed on the mainland and I know they breed in Oban so it is strange that the northwest of Mull has such a high number of records.
15th: 5 adult Sanderlings at Langamull.
Corn Crake still calling below Treshnish House at 12.30am (it has been present for over a week).
The Common and Arctic Terns nests in north Mull are still active. I had a quick look and could only see 1 eggs of each. They should have hatched by now so I wonder if this could be a second clutch after a first clutch failure or perhaps there were hatched chicks that I didn’t see. To avoid disturbance I didn’t looked thoroughly.
I took a photo the Arctic Tern nest with 3 eggs on the 19th of June and the nest of Common Tern with 1 egg on the 1st of June. Incubation should only be about 21 days after the last eggs has been laid so the Arctic terns should have hatched on about the 10th and if the Common Terns laid more eggs then they should have hatched by at least the 3rd of July.
I will try and watch from a distance next time to see if there is any sign of feeding of chicks.
14th: Corn Crake calling below Treshnish House at 1.30am and later at 5.30pm, Grey Wagtail by Treshnish House water supply, 1 adult White-tailed Eagle flew west along the coast to Treshnish Point, it looked as though it was looking for nesting birds, 1 tern species off Treshnish Point.
There were 3 fledged Swallows in the Nissen hut by Treshnish wood. I can’t figure that out. Either they have been breeding there under my nose (I checked a couple of times and have seen no adults going in or out) or fledged young have flown in to rest. Fledged young often return to their nest area to roost sometimes many days after fledging but I never imagined that birds from another building would go into the Nissen hut as the entrances are so small. I’m annoyed with myself for not being sure.
A juvenile Dunlin flew west along the shore below Treshnish House (rare at Treshnish). My camera was very slow to get on it.
Mallard with chicks at Ensay Burn mouth.
Robin in classic pose.
1 Mink to east of boathouse, it came towards me and the dogs.
The dogs didn’t see it because of the wind but the Mink was probably curious as to where the almighty stench was coming from, i.e. Cap. I got a clue as to why dogs roll in the smelliest stuff they can find, presumably it disguises their scent. Cap had just a few minutes previously found (another) one under a boulder.
Cows at the sculptures at the boathouse (see entry for 1st).
13th: Corn Crake calling below Treshnish House at 5.30 pm, the Golden Eagle pair were patrolling the hillsides behind Haunn cottages, Alison and Malcolm Ward saw a male Hen Harrier around Treshnish House.
2 Kittiwakes on the rocks below Treshnish House.
This Heron at Ensay Burn mouth was making a lot of noise. Presumably it was alarmed by the dogs and as this has never happened before I think it means the chick must be about to fledge.
I can see from the photos that it has been ringed. I shall have to try and get closer but I doubt I will be able to get close enough to read the ring. Although I think I can see the number 88 or 89.
One of the recently fledged Common Gulls
Dead adult Puffin on rocks (above the hight tide).
Between 4 and 6 Mountain Hares in graveyard field and below Treshnish House.
I was surprised to see the first Opium Poppy flower has already dropped its petals.
12th: Corncrake calling at 2am last night and at 9pm this afternoon.
17 Sand Martins at Treshnish House, 1 Common Tern off Treshnish boathouse, 1 male Hen Harrier on Cruachan Treshnish.
1 Mink to west of boathouse.
Alison and Malcolm Ward saw 2 Lapwings at Treshnish Point and 1 Porpoise far out at sea.
Found 2 Opium Poppies in field below Treshnish House (rare on Mull with only 3 sites in the Mull Flora but not native)
and at same place 2 brassicas which are probably Rape. They probably came in the off island hay.
We had an incredible cloud display today as the haar hit the headland on opposite side of Calgary bay. Alison Ward (nee Scoon) got a shot, see here.
11th: Corncrake still calling at 6pm.
Corncrake calling last night at 2.00am (11th) at least and Owl seen at about midnight but I think it was a Tawny not a Barn Owl.
Wood Pigeon calling in Treshnish wood and seen virtually every day, 1 House Martin at Treshnish House.
David & Felicity Pollard found 7 Fulmar and 5 Razorbill nests at Caliach Point. This is the first record that I know of, of Razorbills breeding on Mull proper (mullbirds.com).
Adder on farm road through Black Park field and Alison and Malcolm Ward are pretty sure they saw a Basking Shark off the north shore and later 3 or 4Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Calgary Bay.
A medium size yellow dragonfly on the road by our house was probably a Common Darter and again 1 probable Common Hawker.
I have just heard about the publication of an interesting new plant book, (click on) Plants and Habitats by Ben Averis. Apart from the review and page views which can be seen at the following the SNH bookshop link there is a very favourable review here. Ben Averis and his wife surveyed the whole of Mull for SNH and have mapped out the whole of the island in vegetation communities and have lists of plants in hundreds of hot spots. I have seen the maps of Treshnish and the detail is incredible. The surveys are sitting in a cupboard in a SNH office somewhere!
10th: Male Hen Harier flying from Treshnish Point to Haunn field.
Leena heard the Corn Crake calling from same area at 9.00am.
The Corn Crake could be heard as far away as our house last night up until at least 2am (10th) and all I had to do to hear it was open a window wide.
This bird has obviously only been here a few days, I have been along the shore a lot this week with the dogs and I would have heard it. Our neighbour to the south thought they saw one around their house on the 7th and one was heard on Ulva on the 5th (Liz Airey at mullbirds.com). These 2 other records could be of the same bird or perhaps it is normal for un-mated males fly around at this time of year looking for a last chance to mate.
Presumably if a lone female flew over Treshnish in the next few days then they would mate (second broods are normal at this time) but it seems highly unlikely. Incidentally the 2 males which over summered in 2010 stopped their continuous night-time calling on the 10th of July.
First Large Red Damselfly of the year in Black Park and first Greyling butterfly of the year at Treshnish Point.
More Six-spot Burnets with merged rear spots. This time a pair mating in field to west of the boathouse.
Haar beginning to lift.
9th: 2 Swifts flying south out of the haar over Treshnish wood, 1 wagtail (probably Grey Wagtail flew to Treshnish lochan).
There were at least 5 pairs of Fulmars on the cliffs at Treshnish Point but I couldn’t see any eggs or chicks and the pair on the old Raven’s nest were not there any more.
11 Black Guillemots at Treshnish Point.
Corn Crake still calling below Treshnish House at 8pm on 9th.
Last night went below Treshnish House to get a cleaner Corn Crake recording. It worked better with my camera (not sure why, my tape recorder is high quality). It called a couple of times at 11pm but stopped and only started calling continuously from 11.30 (on 8th) until I left at just after mid-night (on 9th).
1 possible Keeled Skimmer close to where I saw it yesterday. Today it was beside the fence and gate going from Treshnish cow-barn field to Black Park. I am pretty sure there were also 2 Common Hawkers there too.
I keep finding Six-spot Burnets with merged rear spots. These were at Haunn field (too black in the wing and legs for Slender Scotch).
I can’t find any Frog Orchids at all at Treshnish this year and also no Small-white Orchids in Black Park or on the new site across the road from Toechtamhor (latter still present at the other 2 sites there though). I think Frog Orchids must be short-lived. Apparently there were none at the spot at Ardalanish which had hundreds a couple of years ago.
Bloody Cranesbill at Treshnish Point.
8th: Last night at 12.10 am Kelly, Alison and Malcolm Ward head a Corn Crake below Treshnish House!
Malcolm heard it again in the middle of the day and so I went to try and get a recording. It only made the typical call twice as well as the guttural call twice in between. Then it went quite.
I must remember to keep the microphone further away from the tape recorder.
Malcolm also saw a White-tailed Eagle flying along the shore below Treshnish House.
5 of the Common Gull fledglings made it to the shore.
I saw 2 on their first major maiden flight. I know there is also at least one that is only half grown.
1 or 2 Common Terns off Treshnish boathouse.
The Heron nest which Craig found now has one large chick.
I missed it returning to the first nest from this year partly because after it fell down they rebuilt and were around last years nest after the collapse and so I didn’t check Craig’s nest again and also because I don’t normally go past that part of the wood as it so impenetrable. One thing I noticed this week is how much droppings one bird makes. It rained on one day and it was clean below the nest but when i returned the next day it was white everywhere.
1 Greenfinch at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse (our first?) and 1 by Ensay Burn mouth.
1 immature Keeled Skimmer beside the road in Black Park field.
There is a site in a boggy pool in between the first 2 small hillocks beyond Haunn cottages where I have seen this species in 2010 & 2012 but other than that I have only seen it once at Treshnish and that was an immature beside the farm road running through Treshnish wood in 2010.
Not a great shot it flew before I could get closer.
This is an immature from 2010.
I am pretty sure I saw 1 male Common Hawker along the coast.
Greater Sea-spurrey below Treshnish House.
7th: 1 Cuckoo in boathouse field (presumably an adult), at least 1 Common Gull chick at the lochan (I thought there were only 4 pairs still defending territories but today at one point, there were 18 adult so perhaps more have survived than I thought),
An Eider duck had 2 small duckings riding on her back (I was surprised to see them so exposed, they were at about 300m off shore from the boathouse).
Recently fledged Song Thrush.
The Six-spot Burnet coccon that I collected from Cruchan Treshnish hatched today and I also found my first of the year for Treshnish in Black Park.
First Common Blue Damselfly at the lochan (good to see them there after the lochan being dried up for a spell during repairs). I didn’t get photos because of the Common Gulls. There was also a Four-spotted Chaser there. Pretty sure I also saw my first Common Hawker (a male) today by our house but I can’t be sure it was so fast.
Immature Blue-tailed Damselfly (easy to find in fresh water pools along north shore).
6th: Adult Cuckoo by Treshnish cow-barn, 1 juvenile Grey Wagtail at Ensay Burn mouth, 3 Wood Pigeons over Treshnish wood.
Malcolm Ward saw a male Hen Harrier in boathouse field.
Two of the Magpie moth cocoons I found on Cruachan Treshnish hatched today. I am still waiting for the one I reared from the tiny caterpillar I accidentally brought home on my clothes. Magpie Moth is one of the few British moths which looks similar as a caterpillar. You can see the wings are still slightly creased.
5th: 1 Peregrine at Treshnish lochan, 1 Grey Wagtail at burn by dog kennels, 1 Wood Pigeon over Treshnish wood, 1 Spotted Flycatcher by our gate-post.
Common Sandpiper fledgling at Treshnish boathouse.
4th: 2 Black-tailed Godwits at the newly renovated full Treshnish lochan (the first record of this species at the farm). They are both adults in breeding plumage and the barred belly show them to be of the Iceland subspecies islandica. They are on ‘autumn’ passage (sometimes occurs as early as last week of June in Argyll) and presumably they have just arrived. They flew as we arrived but one landed twice, first at the new dam (bird near centre frame)
and then joined the other at the far end of the lochan.
I could probably have got closer but I didn’t want to disturb them.
There was still at least one half grown Common Gull chick at the lochan. I think predation has been high this year. 2 Wood Pigeons in Treshnish wood. I think I have found the Heron nest in Treshnish wood. It is very close to where the previous one collapsed. It was too dark to see anything except a nest and a lot of droppings. I have probably missed the nest before last year assuming it was a Hooded Crow roost.
Swallows getting ready to fly.
1 Mountain Hare in the graveyard field.
3rd: Cuckoo heard and a White Wagtail still present at Langamull (the latter may be breeding), 6 Common Scoters in Calgary bay, adult Whinchats with fledglings at west end of Black Park field and the Common and Arctic Tern nests in north Mull presumably have chicks.
At Langamull sub-site W (which I also checked last week) found 36 Slender Scotch Burnets
and 11 Transparent Burnets (last week it was 16 Slender, 24 Transparents and 1 Six-spot)
and at Langamull sub-site E which Leena discovered in 2011: 36 Slender Scotch Burnets, 21 Transparents and 7 Six-spots. A couple of the Six-spot Burnets had merged spots.
And at new site Langamull C: 3-4 Slender Scotch Burnets.
My first Meadow Brown and Common Blue butterflies of the year at Langamull.
Golden Ringed Dragonfly
Went to Langamull to look for a patch of c40 Frog Orchids which guests at Toechtamhor cottage had seen there. Funilly enough they followed my directions but must have found a different patch because I only found a patch of 10. I couldn’t find a patch of 40 and only found 3 where I had previously seen 10 and at least 1 but probably all 3 were new. I also found another 11 spread out.
2nd: Cuckoo heard in wood below Treshnish cow-barn and 4 Fulmars on north-east side of Treshnish Point (3 were on the cliffs but it didn’t look like they had eggs or chicks. One pair were still courting).
1st: 6 Common Scoters in Calgary bay, 1 Common Tern at Treshnish boathouse.
Common Sandpiper on the top of the Lode Stones sculpture by Matt Baker.
The pair obviously have a nest near by.
Mink at Ensay Burn mouth.
My first Blue-tailed Damselflies along shore below Treshnish House, although I have looked thoroughly on warm calm days (1 immature and at least 5 adults).