Tuesday, 29 April 2014


A few showers helped with the year list as I managed to catch up with Blackcap, House Martin and a Tree Pipit that was displaying in the garden!
There are a few White Wagtails around now but none close enough for a photo yet so a Pied Wagtail will have to do.
The Common Scoters are still hanging around.
I didn't actually see an Otter but this Dogfish didn't haul itself out of the sea so it could be a GBB Gulls dinner!
There are plenty of Northern Wheatear around now and I have seen them pairing up and exploring nest sites.
The Shelducks are doing the same thing - how smart does this bird look?
Most of the Lapwings are on the nest so it won't be long before the chicks are on the go.
Other year ticks have included Short-eared Owl, Knot, Cuckoo and Treecreeper - 116 species for now.

Monday, 28 April 2014


Another cracking day in paradise. We started the day with a brief view of an Otter before moving on to some of the migrant birds - Common Sandpiper and Northern Wheatear. Most of the Great Northern Divers are in their summer plumage now.
We got superb views of three WT Eagles with one of the birds flying straight overhead. I'd left my camera in the motor but it's the memory that counts. Another WT Eagle was seen when we went to have a look at the Tawny Owl - awesome stuff! Golden Eagle, Dipper and Sparrowhawk were all seen while we had lunch.
A few Rock Pipit and three Linnet were the best we could manage at the next stop.
We witnessed a fight between two Hooded Crows - another three corvids stood around watching!
A few Turnstone were seen and the Golden Plover flock had increased to about 200.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The annual trip

Joy and I had our annual trip out to Staffa on a nice sunny day. Not too many Common Seals on the way out but there always seems to one that will pose for a photo.
A couple of RT Diver were seen and quite a few GN Diver but nothing that exciting until a Great Skua flew past the back of the boat.
There were plenty of Manx Shearwater sitting around on the sea...
...and we saw the Royal Navy HMS Exploit training patrol vessel out on an exercise.
All the usual stuff was seen around Staffa - Black Guillemot, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Eider, Twite on Staffa itself and plenty of Shag.
The Puffins were still being a bit shy so they didn't come ashore but we got good views all the same.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


Another cracking day out with not very many photos taken. We struggled a bit to start with but it soon got going with Yellowhammers, RT Diver, a couple of Common Scoter all seen before we picked up a flock of 5 WT Eagle. A Golden Eagle put in a brief appearance beside the bigger birds too. A distant male Hen Harrier was appreciated before we headed off to lunch where we saw another Golden Eagle and a single Adder. There are plenty of Skylark singing but it can be difficult to see them when they gain a bit of height.
A decent sized flock of Golden Plover were seen while we looked for Mountain Hare...
...and a decent view of WT Eagle right at the end of the day!
I did manage a few photos on my way back home - the RT Divers were a bit closer in.
We'd had Guillemot and Razorbill (below) but the closer ones had been feeding so they didn't stay on the surface for long.
The next day the male Hen Harrier was hunting along the side of the road...
...and the Turnstones that we couldn't find the previous day were in plain sight.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Another cracking day on Mull - clear skies and plenty to see. A Common Sandpiper was a fresh arrival so we had to stop for a look.
A Shag was posing on the rocks as we drove past.
A couple of WT Eagle showed well over the ridge before they drifted off into the distance.
They may have drifted off because of the appearance of a Hercules aircraft that was doing low flying manoeuvres. It wasn't too long before a Typhoon was flying in the same area - not wildlife but pretty spectacular!
We had the good fortune to watch an Otter for half an hour as it made it's way along the shore.
The Tawny Owl was in it's usual place - is it stuffed?
Two Golden Eagles were seen at lunchtime while a hunt around for Adders was successful but they took a bit of finding. Some are easy to see...
...while others are a bit more cryptic.
I've seen quite a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls but none close enough for the camera.
There are plenty of Northern Wheatears about now...
...but a small flock of Golden Plover were capturing all the attention.
A single Twite was seen but only briefly and the find of the day was this Snipe at the side of the road!

Friday, 18 April 2014


An interesting morning was had with plenty of GN Diver, a couple of WT Eagle, a single Swallow, 3 RT Diver and a single Otter being the highlights. While having lunch a Golden Eagle put in an appearance and it wasn't too long before it came in for a closer look at us - unfortunately it decided to circle above us with the sun directly behind it!
There was a good showing from the Adders with four seen but they were blending in well with the surroundings.
A pair of Hen Harriers were seen displaying as were a pair of Kestrels. The usual collection of Rock Pipit and Starlings were seen...
...along with a few, newly arrived, Sand Martin. Other highlights in the afternoon were an 80 strong flock of Golden Plover, Northern Wheatear, Willow Warbler and plenty of Mountain Hare. Bird of the day for me was this scruffy looking Great Northern Diver - could do with a comb to get those loose feathers out!

Thursday, 17 April 2014


A lovely day and a good start to the tour as we came across an Otter within 10 minutes of setting out. Better still was the other Otter that was fishing in the seaweed just below us.
There are plenty of GN divers around the loch at the moment, every one a treat to look at.
I've not seen a Yellowhammer this year so when this one started singing next to the motor it had to be found and looked at!
Next up was some WT Eagle viewing. Brief views of a bird on the nest were bolstered by a group of five birds over the hillside with one of the birds giving us a fly past.
It was just 5 WT Eagles as a couple of Golden Eagles joined the group too. A few Swallows were flying around outside the barn where the Tawny Owl was on show.
A sub-adult Golden Eagle...
...was seen off territory by the resident adult.
Plenty of Rock Pipit were at the beach but a couple of Linnet brightened things up.
Twenty-one Whooper Swans were preparing to continue their journey north by doing a bit of preening and stretching their wings. A few of the Lapwings are on the nest so we'll see how they get on over the next couple of weeks.
A good showing from the Mountain Hares as this pale individual ran off...
...to see his darker coated mates (is that a Wallaby on the right?).