Rachel French's excellent first Mull post is now live featuring all her wildlife encounters from the first few weeks of the season. I have put a permanent link to her blog on my side panel list so her traffic is going to be grid locked...flat out. Thats your xmas and birthday present combined Rachel...enjoy.
Brilliant piece...so much truth in it, what a shame...
Delayed migrants making an appearance now and my first sighting dates for the following species are Wheatear 5th April - Glengorm, Sand Martin 12th April - Ardmore, Barn Swallow 19th April - Caliach point, Common Sandpiper 20th April - Loch Frisa, House Martin 20rd April - Knock, Willow Warbler 20th April - Loch Spelve, Wood Warbler 211h April - Aros Park.
Spent a few evenings focusing on Short-eared Owls with the lads and Rachel. Some moderate views of them with a pair and a single bird. With Loch Na Keal on our back we heard all the gulls lifted and Oyks alarming along with a GN Diver calling and as we looked behind us there was an adult WT Eagle in flight coming our way...amazing action. A Seal popped up in the sea loch and Jesse said it has appeared to sing kissed by a rose. Then later on Dale asked what does a Merlin look like and Jesse replied they have a wand in their hand and a big pointy hat haha.
We headed west further down the loch as it was approaching dusk and a good time for Otters so we scanned the shoreline and Rachel superbly spotted one in the water being quite secretive as the lads got some footage for their project.
|Otter photographed b Guy Broome|
A seven hour SLS trip in the middle of the week to Coll and the highlights were Harbour Porpoise, Manx Shearwater numbers building, two Great Skuas, RT & GN Divers, WT Eagles and a lunchtime landing at the paradise called the Cairns of Coll. Pipits in numbers on migration to the outer isles were seen throughout.
Andy, Dale and Jesse were supposed to be on board but Dale woke up with over a hundred ticks on his back after laying in bracken on the evening before doing a photography time lapse. They went to Craignure surgery and Dale got them removed as well as getting a medical check.
|Salen Bay at night...|
|Rhubba Nan Gall lighthouse at dusk looking north...|
On the Thursday it was the lads last day on the isle after their two week expedition. We went for a pub lunch with Rachel to see them off before they got the ferry back to the mainland. Andrew ordered a pint of Frijj milkshake but they didn't have any so he had to get a beer instead. I got some sort of burger and for the price of the meal I was a bit disappointed in the portion size as I got about 10 chips. Dale did a great job with the sauces using red, brown and white to give the meal some good camouflage. I taught the group how to be a successful opportunist in clearing up all the leftover scraps on the plates.
We said our goodbyes and Andrew was really depressed about leaving the island and I was worried that he would do a Kate Winslet on the ferry and jump off the stern of the boat.
The remainder of the week in my free time I concentrated on local Hen Harriers and one pair is ready for nesting and an even closer traditional site there is only a lone grey male holding territory with no sign of a female bird in all my visits. I am logging every Harrier sighting I see this season on the isle and also recording every observation I encounter. My next post will include more detail on my recent Harrier steak-outs.
Thanks for looking 8-)