Sunday, 30 June 2013

Isle of Mull - Day 6

Once again, sorry about the wait. Just haven't had time to do anything towards this blog. I did though write about the distressing news of that White-throated Needletail though, which was an extraordinary shock.


Target Bird: Redstart

A very early start at 5am sent Dad and I to Ardura Oak Woodland to try and crack the Redstarts. We got there and could here the local Wood Warbler, and then I heard a familiar sound. It was the Redstart. We had both Canon Cameras, and tried to locate it. When we did, it was a cracking male. We took tonnes of pictures, but they were all blurred!!

We went back to the hotel and woke up Mum (she was already awake actually - LOL) and headed back to Ardura with better light in our favour. We got there, and he was still singing. We even got better pics!

We also got the Wood Warbler.

We also got Spotted Flycatcher too.

We had already clocked Cuckoo, Tree Pipit, Stonechat, Whinchat, and Willow Warbler, when I looked up and saw 4 White-tailed Eagles together!

Here's 3!

We then got a Golden Eagle flying over too. We then went to Grasspoint again, and we got to the viewpoint. Someone pointed out 2 White-tailed Eagle sitting in the tree top which was a nice sight. I then had to check my hearing because I could hear a Grasshopper Warbler reeling from the long grass. I went ot have a look, and it flew out of the grass and onto the top of a heather for all of a bout 5 seconds. Cracking stuff. First for the year! We headed to the Golden Eagle nest back in Glen More, but the White-tailed Eagles we had seen from the car park at Grasspoint, we sitting right near the road!

We got to the Goldies nest, and a adult bird was on the nest.

I got a Crossbill flock flying over our heads chipping away, but I couldn't see them.

I've been in really bad form in terms of Golf these past 2 weeks, but I'm playing today, so hopefully that will change. 

Happy Birding!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Shocking But Incredible!

A great find yesterday comprised of a White Throated Needletail on Western Isles. It has to been seen since Monday, but news in this evening that the bird hit a windturbine, and was picked up dead. Extraordinary news there!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Isle of Mull - Day 5

Target Bird - Crossbill

On the Wednesday, it was something that we always do when we come up to Mull, and that is have a guided tour with Bryan Rains - Wild About Mull. This is a fantastic day out, were Bryan takes you around the south of the island looking at Mull's birds and wildlife. There fantastic!

Before we even got on the tour, we had an Otter swim past our hotel, which was fantastic. This was our first Otter for Mull this year.

Bryan picked us up, and then the other guests. We got the Sea Eagle on the nest, then we got another Otter.

We then got another White-tailed Eagle, which soared right over us.

We then got to the Golden Eagles nest, and we were treated to both birds sitting on the top of the hill. Here's 1!

At Carsaig, we picked up a Wood Warbler.

We then moved to the stores, to get lunch, picking up a pair of Hen Harrier on the way. We got to the stores, and we picked up at least one Crosssbill to go onto the year list, where it was chipping away in the trees. We'd already seen Razorbill, Cuckoo, G-N Diver, Common Tern, Stonechat and Whinchat and Eider..... the list gets longer and longer! 

We got to Fidden, where we got Whimbrel, Linnet and Mountain Hare. The, I plunged onto a Tree Sparrow in a stony area. Not great photo's, but still Awesome!!

Here's the Whimbrel and Linnet.

Happy Birding!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Isle of Mull - Day 4

Target Bird(s) - Skuas

Today we were heading out on a trip to the Treshnish Isles, to have a look at the sea birds about. This is our second visit, as we went here last year. We started off with Guillemot and Razorbill on Loch Na Keal, then as we moved out into the open sea, some Puffins were about. We got a distant Bonxie as we approached Staffa, with Fulmar, Kittiwake and Manx Shearwater.

Fingals Cave

As we arrived at Lunga we experienced the wonders of this island.




1 of 7 Bonxie - poor photo

The best bird of the day had to be this dark morph adult Arctic Skua that was flying off the west coast. Fantastic!

Going back to Ulva, we saw the Grey Seal colony. What a delight!

We then viewed one of the White-tailed Eagle nests while on the boat.

Happy Birding!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Isle of Mull - Day 3 and Nightjars

I shall start with some food. I have been very busy the last couple of days, so no time to blog. By the way, Happy Fathers Day to all you Dad's out there! I was busy cooking all day yesterday, making a cracking Cheesecake for today and a Pizza for last nights supper.

Day 3 of Mull - Target Bird - Corncrake

We were heading to Iona today to hopefully connect with the Corncrakes. On the ferry, we saw Common and Arctic Tern, Gannet, Kittiwake, Shag, Razorbill and Guillemot. Someone reported a Mink but we didn't see it. We got over to Iona, and went to the fields at the back of the Fire Station. Straight away, a calling male was wandering below a gate.

He then came out into the open.

We got a couple of Sedge Warblers plus another Corncrake, and the Gannets were fishing out in the bay. We walked back round towards the ferry when we picked up a fourth Corncrake! Not showing very well, but you could see it's head.

We then moved on to Fidden, and we picked up about 25+ Whimbrel.

We then went to Uisken, and on the beach held Rock Pipit, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Turnstone and a couple of summer plumaged Sanderling.

Very Poor Light! Sanderling on far right.

We got a nice Yellowhammer, Mountain Hare, White-tailed Eagle, 4 Great Northern Diver, and Raven on the way back to the hotel.



On Friday Night, Dad and I went on the guided Nightjar walk at Minsmere. They took us onto the Bridleway to the heath, not Westleton Heath like last year. We could hear a Nightjar churring as soon as we got to the heath. In about 10 mins, 2 males were flying about through the woods. And then, at about 9:35pm, 3 Nightjars were flying feet above our heads. I was using the White handkerchief trick to attract them, and it actually worked. Best views of Nightjar ever. Unfortunately, I left it too late for the camera. :(

Fantastic well done to Jonny Rankin for finding the Pacific Swift at Trimley. An amazing find. Pity we can't go and see it! 

Happy Birding!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Isle of Mull - Day 2

Today, our target bird was Wood Warbler, and Ardura Oak Woodland near Croggan was the place.We started with about 4 Great Northern Diver on Loch Scridain.

A nice flock of Razorbill were on the loch, obviously in from the sea. Still plenty of Hoody's and Willow Warblers about, and about 3 Common Terns were fishing. 3 Tree Pipit shew well, as did both Eagle species at the respected sites. 

White-tailed Eagle

A House Martin was collecting mud...

A Hoody was also about

We got to Ardura, and we could already here the trilling of Wood Warbler. It wasn't long before we located it.

Wood Warbler

We then got Spotted Flycatcher onto the year list...

Driving along side Loch Spelve, we got good views of inshore Black Guillemot and Gannet.

Black Guillemot


A Wheatear also shew well in a roadside field

We then went down to Loch Buie, and that produced up to 5 Red-throated Divers, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and 5 Eider. Also, a very tame Chaffinch was walking right past your feet!!!

Happy Birding!