Sunday, 30 November 2014

End of November

The weather has been pretty good through November. No complaints on the wildlife front either. The White-tailed Eagle is a regular sight just outside the shop but it was nice to have the camera handy for this one.
Mind you, the rest of the birds are never impressed by a raptor in the air. This Grey Heron was heading into the wood to hide!
A few photos of the view...looking from Glen More down to Loch Scridain.
A popular spot for photographs is the three lochs in the middle of Glen More.
I do prefer to be beside the sea - you can't beat the views when it's flat calm.
I could just sit there all day soaking it up.
There are plenty of Red Deer close to the road now so if you are lucky a close up is always possible.
If the good weather continues I might even get a decent shot of the Red-breasted Merganser.

Saturday, 29 November 2014


A quick run down of the three divers regularly reported around the shores of Mull.
Red-throated Diver is the smallest of the three, thin upturned bill, very grey with a lot of white round the throat in the winter...
...while in the summer it is still a grey bird but it has a small red patch on the throat.
Black-throated Diver is the rarest of the three divers around Mull with only a few birds seen through the winter and the odd one on passage. As you can see it looks thicker set than RTD, very dark looking with a white patch on the rear flank and 50/50 black and white down the neck.
In the summer the white patch on the rear flank is still visible, the back has a checkerboard effect while the throat has an obvious black patch bordered by black and white stripes.
Great Northern Diver is the commonest of the three but only in the winter as they head back to Iceland/Greenland to breed in the summer. This is a large, thick set bird - it does stand out, even at a distance. Heavy billed, thick necked with an obvious broken collar showing at the base. The lump on the head is usually quite prominent too.
Just before these birds head off for the summer you can see them in breeding plumage. Checkerboard back, black head and neck with a small black and white patch on the throat and a large patch of black and white on the nape.
Three stunning birds though!!

Thursday, 27 November 2014


There has been a bit of a hold up on this post due to the poor internet connection. A two hour attempt got me as far as the log in page and I'm not sure if I will have to retype this post. If you remember dial-up, think that but way more unstable!!
One of the local WT Eagles had a rest stop on a skerry...
...before moving on to finish it's breakfast somewhere else. Just look at the difference in size to the Hooded Crow!!!
A run out to check on the geese was productive in some ways like this obliging Buzzard...
...but there no sign of the Greenland White-fronted Geese. A few of the Barnacle Geese were loafing in one field...
...while the Greylags were in another with a couple of Canada Geese.
There was no sign of the Fieldfare but there were a decent number of Redwing scattered across the area,
The Lapwings can do a good job of staying hidden over the winter so it always brightens your day when you get a good view of them.

Monday, 17 November 2014


I seem to be lacking in inspiration for the blog at the moment but I'm sure things will turn around before long. The wildlife is still doing it's thing and I'm enjoying getting out there to watch the antics. The male Red-breasted Mergansers are back into their breeding plumage so there is lots of interaction to see.
I haven't had that many close encounters with WT Eagles recently but that tends to happen when you don't go out. I did pick up a Jay, my first this year, just before this WT Eagle cruised overhead.
I had been watching three Golden Eagles flying together. They were a bit distant but the fact that it was a pair of adults with this years youngster made it all the more special.
This particular Buzzard has always been obliging but I wonder if any of the youngsters will pick up the same trait.
The Stonechat population has made a full recovery so there are not too many place where you won't pick one up.
We seem to be stuck in a spell of good weather at the moment so there was nice light on Ben More as the sun was going down.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


The ever changing colours of the landscape are something to behold at the moment. It really does change from minute to minute. Further enhancement is provided by the sheep!
There are plenty of Red Deer to be seen close to the road in the mornings but I have missed every chance - the best I've got is the bum shot as they leave.
Another tour, another request. This time it was Golden Eagle at the top of the list and we achieved that in the first 10 minutes. We took in all the common birds along the way with a couple of Yellowhammers, a raft of Eider, a Sparrowhawk mobbing the Goldie, GN Diver and RB Merg were the highlights. There were plenty of Redwing and Fieldfare to be seen.
Four Hen Harriers were seen including 2 males, Greylag, Barnacle, Pink-footed and Greenland White-fronted Geese were all seen in the same field while a Kestrel was hunting just down the road.
The highlight of the day was an immature Golden Eagle hunting the roadside a good distance away from any known territory - awesome!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The big cheese

There's not been much happening this month so the posts will slow down now. The WT Eagles are sitting in the trees behind the shop fairly regularly - they don't seem impressed with part of the tree breaking off!
I've had plenty of Otter sightings over the last week but nothing close enough for photos. A bird that I haven't seen on the local patch for a while is Pheasant so it was nice to see this male on the shore...
...but it would have been easy to overlook the female bird.
The BT Diver is still hanging around while GN Diver numbers are still increasing - I had about 15 but I'm sure there are more. Another interesting photo of the plumage change - an obvious white edge surrounding the all dark bill while the rest of the face is still transitional.
You never notice the movement of the moon when it's in the sky but it only took about two minutes for this big cheese to appear from behind the mountains.