31st: 1 Fieldfare, 4 Redwings, 2 Redshanks, 1 Red-breasted Merganser at Croig (I don’t usually mention this common bird but in the last year it seems to have become much more scarce on Mull), 1 male Hen Harrier to east of Loch an Torr,¬† 1 Arctic Skua at least 5 Gannets at Caliach Point, 1 Turnstone at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary. I may have seen all 3 divers today at Caliach Point but I can’t be sure. There were definitely 2 Great Northerns, a large diver with a black neck flew around the Point and was probably a Black-throated and another flying smaller light grey diver with almost certainly a Red-throated.
On Tobermory lighthouse walk looked for fruiting Broad-leaved Helleborines (a quick search along about half of the lower found 18 fruiting plants and 18 non fruiting – although fruiting plants are easier to see). At Treshnish Old Schoolhouse the second of the late emerging White-ramping Fumitories is beginning to flower (already a month beyond the date given in one of my books). Last week the only plant that was not protected with a guard nibbled and the plant just left lying there – the guards will only protect them from hares and rabbits anyway so they are not safe from mice and voles. These precautions are only until a couple of new spots have a seed bank.
30th: 1 immature White-tailed Eagle flew from Treshnish lochan to the coast and then back again,

2 Turnstones at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary.
29th: 1 Greenshank at Dervaig.
28th: 1 Golden Eagle woke me up but I didn’t see it (westerly wind), 1 Gannet at Caliach Point, 1 ring-tailed Hen Harrier (probably a juvenile) at Lag, 4 Redwings at Sunipol. There was a small gull with a dark underwing flying south at Caliach Point but I think it was too big to be a Little Gull. Even though an adult winter Black-headed Gull only has dark wing-tips, I think that is the only possibility. There was also a juvenile Black-headed Gull at Caliach.
26th: wind from west brought the male Golden Eagle on rocks behind Haunn cottages and guests saw a Golden eagle with a rabbit or hare (I think it was a second eagle because this was at about the same time but the male wasn’t eating anything). I also saw an unidentified eagle over field to north of Haunn.
24th: c200 Redwings heading west over Treshnish wood was a beautiful sight, 1 Fieldfare and 1 Mistle Thrush landed briefly on the electric wires with some of the Redwings, 2 Whooper Swans flying west at Treshnish boathouse

and 22 Greenland White-fronted Geese flying south at Treshnish boathouse,

Greenland White-fronted Geese is scarce in north Mull. I saw 4 flocks in 2011 (3 in autumn and 1 in spring) but otherwise I know of only 3 other records by others for north Mull (2 in autumn and 1 in spring). It is probably under-recorded amongst the migrating geese flocks.
1 Gannet to north of Treshnish coast.
Treshnish guests reported an Osprey at Ulva ferry.
The sick Grey Seal is till at the boathouse (probably still alive).
23rd: At least 5 Gannets off north Treshnish shore, 1 Black-headed Gull and 1 Barnacle Goose flying west at Treshnish boathouse.

West-northwest wind brought male Golden Eagle to Black Park field. It was being mobbed by Ravens but notice it doesn’t bother to turn over and show talons as it would for a Buzzard.

There is a dying male Grey Seal at Treshnish boathouse. It has been there for at least 4 days. I won’t post photos.
21st: 1 Fieldfare in Treshnish wood (my first definite of the season).
17th: Light breeze from the south brought male Golden Eagle over Treshnish point and Beinn Duill and female of Cruachan Treshnish
15th: At least 2 Long-tailed Tits in Treshnish wood.
I have been watching the Red Deer rut on Ensay for the last couple of days. The stags spend more time than I would have thought eating and snoozing and their biggest job seems to be rounding up hinds looking for better grazing (euphemism not intended). Today I saw a fight with the top stag and a contender on Beinn Bhuidhe. The new stag had the right idea by approaching from above so in the first thrust he was forcing the top stag backwards but as soon as the top stag managed to turn the new comer, the advantage was lost and the contender immediately ran off. This harem is slightly larger than the other one by the old transmitter behind Ensay farmhouse. The Beinn Bhuidhe harem has about 18 hinds and there are always 4 or more other younger stags hanging around. The harem around the transmitter has about 14 hinds and there are often no stags hanging around.
The aurora last night must have been short lived because all I saw a was a general glow. Carolyne however got some absolutely amazing photos.
I only managed to see the after glow although I was up until 3am hoping for a clear sky and an aurora burst. At least I had better luck with the camera although not sure what I did so differently.

14th: The north wind brought the Golden Eagle pair over Treshnish wood.The male was calling for a short while from a perch in the wood.

and female

There was also another Golden Eagle flying from Ensay farmhouse to the cliffs above Ensay fort (I am pretty sure it was a juvenile).
1 female Hen Harrier flying north over Treshnish wood and 2 Sparrowhawks around again today (I wrote that I wouldn’t blog about Sparrowhawks outside of the breeding season but a pair is unusual here).

1 Common Darter at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
13th: North wind brought the Golden Eagle pair to the north of the Cruachan. The male was perched for about half an hour in a conifer less than 100m from our house.

Although the male came low over our house none of the photos were sharp.
2 Sparrowhawks over Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
A few small flocks of redpolls in Treshnish wood, at least one may have been a Mealy Redpoll (large size, tramlines on mantle and white rump).
1 Common Hawker and 1 Common Darter at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
It looks like one of the second  batch of White Ramping-fumitories is going to flower. So far only the first 2 plants to emerge have flowered; one at the original spot by Treshnish vegetable garden (which is probably not going to bare fruit as it has been chewed too many times) and another plant which I moved to our house and which was also eaten on the first day and struggled for a while but now has many flowers (some still opening) and a few fruits already. The one from the second batch which has a flowering bud looks very robust with a thick stem. It seems odd that it has taken so long to flower. My books say the flowering period only extends to September. The smaller seedling will probably have to survive the winter in order to flower in the spring.
12th:1 Swallow near Treshnish cow-barn (my latest date is 13th Oct 2007 at Treshnish), 1 male Hen Harrier at Haunn.
At least 10 Linnets with a flock of about 60 finches most of which were Goldfinches and 1 Grey Wagtail at Toechtamhor cottage.
The Red Deer rut has been full on the last couple of days being particularly noisy on Beinn Bhuidhe where there is at least one herd of at least 15 hinds. Today there were at least 6 hinds on Beinn Dhuill but the stag was quiet for at least 2 hours although guests told me he was roaring earlier and I heard it yesterday. I presume none of the hinds are in season yet because he was hundreds of yards from them. Perhaps there was another stag out of sight. Roaring males first heard this year on the 28th of September.
Saw all three of the regular migrant butterflies: Red Admiral (several), Small Tortoiseshell (1 or 2) and 1 Peacock. I’m not sure I’ve seen all 3 in one day before.

11th: 2 Great Northern Divers off Ensay Fort (1 was in breeding plumage – these are my first of the season ), 1 Grey Wagtail at Ensay Burn mouth, 2 Bullfinches & 1 Mistle Thrush in Treshnish wood.

I was disappointed to see that neither of the 2 flowering Broad-leaved Helleborines in Treshnish wood have born fruit. Last week I collected the fruit of the Narrow-leaved Helleborine near our house which had 3 fruit. The fruit has opened and in the weekend I will spread the thousabds of seeds (the area by the plant is getting quite overgrown with Hazel). I also looked for a Puffin corpse which I had stached but I think the dogs must have eaten it as the head was missing.
10th: 1 Golden Eagle over Treshnish wood, 22 Barnacle Geese flying east around Caliach Point, 1 Lapwing at Croig beach and 1 at Caliach.
1 Common Hawker at Ensay Burn cattle-grid.
Last night the Northern Lights lit up the northern sky in fairly bright glow (2-3am). There was a small patch of intense green for a short time but otherwise it was diffuse. My DSLR zoom does not seem to pick out the colour even with a 30sec exposure. I am not sure why.
9th: 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Pomarine Skua, several Gannets, 1 juvenile Black-headed Gull off Caliach Point, 1 Peregrine (seen twice but presumably same bird) at either side of Sunipol, 7 Black-headed Gulls at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary.
1 Mountain Hare in field below Calgary farmhouse
There was a great Northern Lights display last night but I was away and missed it, see Carolyne’s Farm Blog. Interestingly nothing was predicted (quite the opposite) which, as we have noticed before, only goes to show, it is just best too look at the sky. It has been active during the day today but now at sunset it is only 3.3kp which is promising but not good enough. Hopefully it will pick up.
8th: 4 Goosanders at Dervaig and ring-tailed Hen Harrier near Arthur’s Barn Owl boxes there.
7th: 12 Golden Plovers (interestingly the 2 flocks yesterday of 12 and 7 didn’t mix), 2 White-tailed Eagles at Langamull.

6th: 1 Wheatear (too dark to get subspecies id), 19 Golden Plovers at Langamull.

I am pretty sure this is an Arctic Skua off Langamull.

c200 Kittiwakes off Ensay fort. At dusk a call heard beside road to east of Lainne Sgier, Calgary was probably a Barn Owl.
5th: 1 immature White-tailed Eagle flew east over Treshnish House, 1 Hen Harrier in Skoma field.
4th: at least 3 Wheatears near Treshnish cow-barn including the true Greenland Wheatear subspecies leucorhoa. The other 2 were much paler similar to a british Wheatear but I din;t find them when I went to take photographs. This is the Greenland Wheatear.

2 Turnstones at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary.
2nd: 1 Wheatear at Treshnish cow-barn. It has been confirmed as a true Greenland bird (i.e. not from Iceland).

Last night there was a Northern Lights display peaking at 5.67K which is storm level unfortunately the sky was only clear for a short time at about 11.30pm and not clear in the north. There was a gap in the clouds for a while. I experimented with my digital SLR instead of digital cameras because my DSLR has slower shutter speed options. Unfortunately I only have one lens my 400mm zoom for this camera so this was taken with the zoom at 100mm. Even 30 seconds wasn’t enough. I had to brighten it but I haven’t changed the colour balance.