Friday, 14 June 2013

Like looking for a Knobble in a haystack

Has the year finally arrived?...a dark day for all involved with the English countryside
http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2013/06/04/has-that-day-finally-arrived/

North of the border the conflict continues...
http://raptorpolitics.org.uk/2013/06/13/white-tailed-eagle-nesting-tree-reported-cut-down-in-angus/

No stopping the Ash dieback...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22867492

There is finally signs of summer on the isle of Mull as a 7-10 day period of high pressure was very much welcome for all concerned. The increased temperature really got the wildlife going along with the landscapes which seemed to trigger into every shade of green in a few day spell. 

From where I am living I can watch the Starlings and House Sparrows feeding their fledglings with what seems like an abundance of food coming into them as they wait on the nearby wires and fences. Swallows and House Martins feeding on the wing at intense speeds and a male Hen Harrier seen on a few occasions flushing pipits and larks as I am trying to pin point a possible nest site. A female Peregrine powered into a group of Starlings coming away successful as Pipits mobbed the bird as it flew off the east.

The active goldie pair I am monitoring is healthy with a single Eaglet seen being provided with a Mountain hare on one evening visit. My two Harrier pairs on the north side of the isle are in order with birds on eggs and grey males seen hunting in the vicinity. 

The marine life is progressing with Minke whales becoming more consistent as they cover large areas presumably working harder for food. Common Dolphins starting to come in shore with the food as the true entertainers are never shy in coming to play on Sula Beags bow. Bird sightings on recent trips have included Storm Petrels, Arctic Skuas, Swifts, Shearwater, Gannets, Bonxies, Auks and Kitiwakes. To book an SLS trip visit the web site here http://sealifesurveys.com/

A big highlight was seeing Knobble the Minke whale again! ID work is done on the mammals and Knobble has being coming to these waters since 2002 and it was very exciting to see him/her surfacing with that unique triangular dorsal fin with a Knobble on top. Follow the facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/KnobbleTheMinkeWhale

One evening after an SLS trip we had Iolo Williams and Dave Sexton on board with the film crew to capture and talk about our local WT Eagle pair for a series to go out later in the summer. It was a great few hours as we enjoyed views of both parent birds and chick along with a Minke whale, Porpoise, Golden Eagle and a male Harrier which only I saw. 

Photo collection below...click for larger scale


Otter holding on the surface on LNK in golden hour...

Iolo and Dave Sexton in front of the camera talking eagles...

Mountain Hare...in my experience on the isle, this year there has been an increase 
of sightings in their traditional sites

Common Dolphins approaching Sula Beags Bow...


Minke off Mull...viewed from Sula Beag, Sea Life Surveys

Bonxie...seen on SLS trip


Goldie eyrie...over 7 foot deep!

Grey Heron on exposed rock in evening light...


Minke with Ben More as a back drop...


Sun setting over the sea of the hebrides...

Richard, Beth and Ruth scanning the seas at dusk


Loch Na Keal...

Thanks for looking...

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