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Latest sightings for August 2015

1st Gruline:  Just been watching female hen harrier in the field in front of our house that runs along the road side. Sue Bebbington
31st 23 Mistle thrush on wires Salen  to Gruline road early evening today.  2 Crossbill seen in confiers from hide at Fishnish also 2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Black Guillemots with 2 Gannets fishing earlier in the day. Michael & Silvia Brennan

Meadow Pipit feeding a young Cuckoo, photo by Michael Brennan July 2015

Latest sightings for July 2015
31st 23 Mistle thrush on wires just out of Salen on road to Gruline early evening today.  2 Crossbill seen in confiers from hide at Fishnish also 2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Black Guillemots with 2 Gannets fishing earlier in the day. Michael Brennan
30th Loch Buie: - 3 Red throated Divers, Guillemot and juvenile, 2 juvenile Black Guillemots, 2 eider with 1 juvenile, cuckoo being fed by pipit.  41+ Golden Plover at Garmony Bay together with a whimbrel.
We have a very dark Hen Harrier down at airstrip seen across bay every day together with what we believe to be a juvenile male seen perched each day ad flying which was today chased by female. Michael Bennan

White tailed Eagle taken from Lady Jayne by visitor Ian Sexton

30th Killiechronan: a pair of Bullfinch and lots of Siskin young fledged birds. Alan & Dave
27th Iona, I disturbed a Great Skua on the moorland at Druim an Aoinidh on the way over to the cairn at Carn Cul ri Eirinn. I assume she is nesting there. She came at me with great violence so I abandoned my walk!  Donald Gillies
26th - Loch Ba A Peregrine harassing a flock of 30 Lapwings near the Hunting Lodge, while a female Sparrowhawk was hunting less sizeable prey nearby; all the area's Common Sandpipers appear to have deserted their breeding territories and are now on their return migrations; and a single Crossbill was seen and heard.
Mull Magic Wildlife Walks 
26th Killiechronan: Summer Plumage Red Knot at Killechronan Bay along with 2 Dunlin and a Greenshank and a WT Sea Eagle on shingle bank.

Aros Bay - Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Dipper and single Grey Wagtail from Aros Bridge.
Glen Forsa Bay from Airstrip - Whimbrel, 2 Sea Eagle. 4 Golden Plover, Greenshank, Female Hen Harrier, Large finch flock including linnet, Twite, Redpoll, Siskin and young Whinchat.
Scarisdale Rocks small wood area large family party of Spotted Flycatchers together with Willow Warblers and Tree Creepers. 2 Red Throated Divers on sea together with single Black Guillemot and pair of Shelduck with one young. Sylvia and Mick Brennan.

Lesser Redpoll photo by Mike & Silvia Brennan

25th Greenshank 1at Aros bay below castle; 11 Golden plover at  Loch Beag  Dave Pierce
21th  2nd cal yr male Hen Harrier Loch Beag. 23rd two dipper,  a Greenshank  at Aros river mouth &  3harbour porpoise in Salen Bay;  two dunlin at Killiechronan; three wheatear  Gribun; Dave Pierce
24th - Iona Still at least 3 or 4 calling male Corncrakes.
24th - Aros Park Four Crossbills flew in direction of Tobermory, where two birds were later seen flying over Breadalbane Street in the town. Mull Magic Wildlife Walks
22nd - Tobermory Male Blackcap still in song, Aros Park. The local Magpie seen in Breadalbane Lane (at Telephone Exchange) and a Magpie heard in woods opposite entrance to Aros Park (same bird or different indvl?)   Mull Magic Wildlife Walks
21st  An Leth Fhonn, Loch Beag. ten redshank, adult golden eaglle, dipper and Grey wagtail Aros bridge, cuckoo 1, wheatear 2, WTE, hen harrier 1, kestrel 1, Ulva; wheatear 1, hen harrier 1 Gometra. Dave Pierce
22nd 1 female summer plumage Knot at oyster farm. Malcolm Ward
21st - Torosay: Three Black Guillemots together in Sound of Mull, where two adult Gannets, single Kittiwake, a dozen feeding Common Terns and two Arctic Terns; three Twite on rocks along coast; and a superb male Hen Harrier in off the sea, which flew NW towards Craignure campsite. Mull Magic Wildlife Walks

Juvenile Redstart by visitor Jo Tomalin 22 July 2015
21st 1 juvenile Redstart at Laggan Bay showing very well. 2 Red-throated Divers Calgary Bay. 1 Peregrine Achnacraig, Dervaig/Aros road.  Pam & Arthur Brown Discover Mull Wildlife tours
18th Grey wagtail 1 & fledged Spotted flycatcher family Aros bridge, 20th fledged part family of Hen harriers, 4 
(male not seen) Glen Aros, 21st  Greenshank 1, Dipper 1 River Aros mouth. Dave Pierce
18th Loch Cuin: a black tailed Godwit at Dervaig tonight. Prasad
19th an Osprey flying over our house here near Cuin/Quinish Estate at around 7pm this evening.Ailsa Morgan
19th Hen harrier hunting above Aros 0930, Also at 2130 I had a short-eared owl hunting above Aros.
A whimbrel 1130 Lochdon/Grasspoint, with kittiwakes & a red-throated diver off shore & at least 4 kestrel (family/part family) over the land. Another whimbrel at Lochbuie 1530,  where 3 adult golden eagles & an adult white-tailed in the air for long spells plus kestrels & at least 2 sparrow-hawks. Gannets diving off shore. At Loch Spelve, an otter, probably a dog, which caught a good size skate brought it ashore to feed on & was still munching on it 30 minutes later when I ceased observation. Also at Loch Spelve an adult WTE & a female hen harrier. visitor Dave Pierce

Common Whitethroat  photo by Alan Spellman
18th  a single swift flew into Duart Bay from the sea.  Felicity Pollard
18th Craignure Golf Club coast: a summer plumaged Black tailed Godwit. Jaquie Fereday Enjoy Mull Tours
17th July 1 Swift flying (very fast in the wind) over Reudle Pam Brown Discover Mull Wildlife tours
17th Lochdon: I saw the Osprey at Lochdon, stood on the wall, eating a fish thismorning. Bryan Rains
17th for the second day running a Magpie and it is not the Tobermory bird.
15th  near Torloisk: I was crossing over to Iona yesterday and there are some large rocks with grass on top, slightly separate from the main island to the north of the ferry passage (~400m or so) , and around these, from the ferry I saw 3 corvids which looked very like Chough.  They were tumbling and being quite “playful” in the air, and landing on the grass.  I’m familiar with the species.  Unfortunately I could not make out the beak, being quite far away, and with the movement of the vessel.  Knowing that they nest quite close on other Hebridean islands, it seemed a distinct possibility, and so I looked up “Iona Choughs” on google and found your website.  Has anyone else reported this?  We did see ravens, hooded crows and jackdaws on the island, but my impression was that the birds I saw were different.  Andrew Trevelyan
15th  Aros Park  a Green Woodpecker fly out from behind me, the bench on east side of the park, northwest, in the direction of the car park. visitor Ryan Deal
15th Two Osprey flew over the Bellachroy hotel (Dervaig) . visitor David Shaw

a female Whinchat, a lifetime tick for visitor David Shaw 15th July 2015
A story worth telling
7th July:  we parked in a disused gateway on the Glen More Road half a mile south of the Grasspoint turn where we watched a Short-eared Owl hunting successfully for voles in the field opposite.  A Hooded Crow tried to mug the owl which dropped its prey, but before the crow could steal his prize the vole was grabbed by a female Hen Harrier. The harrier was then subjected to several dive bombings by both the owl and crow.  The crow gave up and then so did the owl but as the harrier flew off with the vole the owl tried again to retrieve its prey.  The owl was unsuccessful and the harrier flew off with it. This episode lasted about 15 minutes.
We revisited the same spot on 11th July  and scanned the area, we found an Osprey sitting on the old wall which flew off after 25 minutes.  We then watched it fly around in the distance, presumably over the loch, occasionally diving out of sight behind a small mound.  During one of the periods it was missing, a male Hen Harrier flew across the field, quartering it as he went.  The Osprey appeared approx half an hour later with a fish.  It landed on a distant fence post and ate its prey.  It then spent some time flying from one fence post to another before eventually flying off as the heavy rain began.  This episode lasted from 1pm - 4pm.
Best wishes  David Steeley

9th Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker seen on peanut feeder in my garden at Knock. David Hegarty
8th Treshnish: very scarce summer visitor, a Turtle Dove and 20 Rock Doves at Treshnish House  today. Anand Prasad  Prasads Blog
birds recorded each year:- 2006 at Treshnish 11th May. 2007 at Tobermory camp site in June .
2008  at Glas Eilean and Lochdon 5th May.and also Ardtun in August. 2009 at Glen Bellart in June and at Bunessan in August, . 2011 one was found in a local garden at Gruline on 22nd June.
2012 September 8th in the Salen-Aros area. (Ewan Miles).2015 8th July Treshnish: a Turtle Dove at Treshnish today. (Anand Prasad)

Nuthatch at Pennyghael July 2015 by Bryan Raines
8th I have had a Nuthatch feeding off nuts in garden at Pennyghael for last few days, Also a Jay. Will send a picture when I download from camera. Nigel Burch and Loki
8th I did have a Swift yesterday at Pennyghael too. Bryan Rains
4th Grasspoint road: Spotted Flycatcher feeding young Alan
4th - Male and female Merlin mobbing a Male Hen Harrier on the Glen road and a Greenshank at Croig. Ewan Ewans Blog
3rd Treshnish, 1 Swift over the wood. prasad.
3rd Colin Moody reports on how the cold Spring affected our Swallows, "First swallow egg laid this year was on the 6th of June, last year it was on the 15th of May"
2nd Salen:A hobby just flew over Salen heading south pursued by common gulls. Over my garden again. Think I’ll just stay put and watch birds from here. David Sexton Mull Officer 
1st Laggan Bay:  3 Swift flying past Laggan Bay at around 1 pm  Pam Brown. Discover Mull Tours
1st A Swift at the head of Loch na Keal last night.  Ewans Blog

Crow at Dervaig. This beautiful life size sculpture was created in hand forged metal 
by Andy Fellows, Blacksmith, Dervaig.

Tick infested Puffin pix here

Bird Sightings from the Isle of Tiree, Argyll

Tiree Sightings: June 2015
Best bird by far was an adult Cedar Waxwing present briefly at Scarinish (10th). In an otherwise poor June for rare migrants, good birds included the adult Sabine’s Gull again at Loch a’ Phuill (2nd), a lingering juv Iceland Gull and a juv Glaucous Gull at Traigh Bhi all month, a drake Garganey in the Kilmoluaig area (9th-15th), an adult Curlew Sandpiper on a pool near Heylipol Church (14th-17th), a female Marsh Harrier at Vaul (10th), a Little Gull at Loch a’ Phuill (20th), at least 2 Common Redpolls in the west of the island and most surprisingly a Treecreeper at Balephuil (29th) – just the 4th record for Tiree! Scarce island birds included 3 Storm Petrels off Hynish (1st), a Black-throated Diver at Gott Bay (24th), a drake Scaup at Loch a’ Phuill (5th-9th), up to 5 Sandwich Terns (9th- 30th), a Woodpigeon at Crossapol (9th), a Cuckoo (to 15th), 12 Swifts at Balephuil (11th), up to 6 House Martins (to 27th), 9 Spotted Flycatchers (to 19th), 2 Garden Warblers (5th-9th), 2 Blackcaps (to 5th) and a Lesser Redpoll at The Glebe (11th). Up to 5 Whooper Swans and up to half a dozen Whimbrel summered whilst the several Great Northern Divers lingered around the coast.

The Corncrake census revealed some 330 calling males, plus at least 2 reeling Grasshopper Warblers, 2 calling Quails and calling Water Rails at 4 sites, whilst Chiffchaff nested for the fourth time on Tiree at Balephuil. The seabird breeding season is looking encouraging so far following a late start to nesting for most species. Numbers of nesting Kittiwakes and Arctic Terns were a little up again on 2013-14 levels and there were good numbers of Shag, Fulmar, Guillemot and Razorbill eggs and chicks at the month-end.

John Bowler

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