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It is with sadness that Alan Spellman's family announce his death
after a short illness.This web site is his legacy and will remain for some
time for all to enjoy However as of 18th Augus 2021 it is no longer active.

Alan Spellman
Rest in Peace
12-04-38  - 19-08-21


This site is especially  for birdwatchers and for those with an interest in the bird life of the Isle of Mull

Fishing White tailed Eagle June 2018 - photograph Alan Spellman
The aim of this site is to share and help visitors and Muileachs to enjoy the many birds we have on the Isle of Mull and to keep up to date information on where to see birds at different times of the year, especially any rare or unusual visitors to the island.
In June & July there are carpets of wild Orchids to be enjoyed including, Fragrant Orchid, Lesser & Greater Butterfly Orchid and many others. There are rare Marsh Fritillary butterflies to be found, Scotch Argus and others.
The Isle of Mull is a favourite place for bird watchers and has a large list of regularly seen species including many breeding raptors as well as rare and endangered birds. Some magnificent birds choose to over winter around the shores of Mull. Great Northern Diver and Slavonian Grebe are regularly  seen in summer plumage in early winter and late spring.

This rare two barred Crossbill was at Dervaig 24th-28th August 2020,
 The first record for Mull and only the second for Argyll. (Tiree 2019). photograph  Alan Spellman

Great Spotted Cuckoo
                                              on Iona 23rd June 2019 -
                                              Rudolf Hummel
23rd June 2019. Great Spotted Cuckoo on Iona, found by visitor Rudolf Hummel,
The first record for Mull and only the second for Scotland, last being in 1959.
red necked grebe loch
                                      Scridain March 2018
Red necked Grebe on Loch Scridain February through to March 2018, photo Bryan Raines
great grey shrikeYellow browed warbler  
16th Grasspoint road: a Great grey Shrike Ardnadrochet Farm. Steve Hiscock etal  a fourth record for Mull  
Yellow browed Warbler at Ardura 8th October 2016 photo by visitor John Ogg a first record for Mull

beautiful male Hawfinch at Lochdon 23rd April 2016. .photograph Alan Spellman
1st November 2015:  a Firecrest at Knock  A very striking bird.  Sue and David McDowell.A very striking bird.  visitors Sue and David McDowell. This is only the second record for Mull, 1st being 13th November 2012 at Ledaig car park by Ewan Miles et al)
surf scoter malefirecrest
male Surf Scoter by Marcus Conway May 2011                                Firecrest at Knock November 2015
Rare birds 'visiting our shores include, from Europe, a European Roller in Glen Aros in June 2011, the first record for Mull. A Wryneck in August 2011 at Haunn, Our third record. Two Bee-eaters at Calagry (May 2010), and from north America, drake Surf Scoter on Loch na Keal (May 2015) , Pied billed Grebe in Salen Bay, (April 2011). drake Blue winged Teal at Killiechronan (2010), Sabines Gull in May 2011 and Red necked Phalarope (a first record for Mull) at Killiechronan in May 2011. Pectoral Sandpiper and Buff breasted Sandpiper at Fidden in May 2011. (yet another first for Mull)
In October 2004 a Ross's Gull was watched for half an hour at Fidden  by myself and a couple of friends. 
September 2005 An American Golden Plover at Loch Beg (a first record for Mull) and Little Gull at Loch na Keal in February. A Forsters Tern spent 2 days in Oban harbour January 2003, and Ring billed Gulls also in Oban harbour. King Eider in Tobermory harbour. We had a Crested Tit feeding in a Tobermory garden. (a first record for Mull) Birds can turn up at any time and in any place.
Common Rosefinch in Lochdon
Common Rosefinch 29th May 2013. Phil MaDermott
In 2008 we had Rose Coloured Starling at Dervaig and Bunessan, and in April 2008 we had the first ever Nuthatch visiting a garden at Calgary Returning Nightjar at Balmeanach, Cory's Shearwater in the Sound of Mull, a White billed Diver on Loch na Keal. 
In May 2009 an Ortolan Bunting was briely at Craignure, (first record for Mull, indeed for Argyll)  also in May a Common Rosefinch visited Kellan Mill by Loch na Keal, and Lesser Whitethroat at Loch Buie plus a Hawfinch was at Calgary. 2013, a Common (Scarlet) Rosefinch was found in a local garden at Lochdon in May and a juvenile Red backed Shrike was at Dervaig 5th-14th September. (photo above)

Juv Red backed Shrike 5th-14th Sept 2013. photograph Alan Spellman
2014, 27th May and a Rustic Bunting made a brief appearance on Iona, a first ever record for Mull of this Mega Rare bird, also two Hawfinch sightings were recorded in May. A Comon (Scarlet) Rosefinch  (f) in December at Bunessan.
Some common 'mainland ' birds are considered scare here on Mull, for example, Moorhen and Coot and we have very few Tufted duck  and Shoveler are very scarce. Magpie are a 'rare' sight and Jays are scarce.
Resident breeding birds include some of the most spectacular birds of prey like Golden Eagle, White-tailed eagle, Merlin, Buzzard and Hen Harrier. We also have lots of singing Song Thrushes and Skylarks, now becoming much scarcer on the mainland.
The Isle of Mull is very under recorded and your records are welcome.   
All records are passed to the Argyll Bird Club to be included in their annual bird report

Code of conduct for bird watchers.    Points to remember:- Birds are protected and it is an offence to disturb nesting birds, never point out the nest of a bird of prey. If you hear distressed birds calling, retreat to a safer distance as you are probably too close to a nest site or to young birds. Use your binoculars or scope to get close to wildlife and birds.

See many different Orchids on Mull in June-July
Northern Marsh Orchid
  Northern Marsh Orchid. photograph Alan Spellman

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