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Arthur's Mull Bird List 2018

If you wish to join us on one of our tours book early to avoid disapointment, we hope to see many previous guests in our final year.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the guests who have come out with us in the 18 years that Discover Mull Wildlife tours has been operating.

The Discover Mull Wildlife tour business is for sale for use from 15th July 2019
Note we will still be offering self-catering accommodation at Ardrioch Farm.
 Arthur & Pam Brown, Ardrioch Farm, Dervaig, Isle of Mull, Argyll PA75 6QR
Tel: 01688 400415 or 07780 600367          Check out our Self Catering cottages web site
December 2018
Dec 3rd to Dec 9th
We have had a busy week with Cristmas coming up and Pam's birthday, although we did manage a couple of days birding during our off time. We went to the Salmon Hatchery outfalls and saw a Carrion Crow mixed in with numerous Hooded Crows. There were Redshanks and Turnstone on the shoreline and lots of Black Headed Gulls with the Common Gulls and Herring Gulls but no white winged gulls yet this winter. Ducks seen were Mallards, Teal, Wigeon and Goldeneye. The White-tailed Eagles are setting up their nests for next year and we have seen a pair of young Golden Eagles which look as if they are setting up home on a new territory, we will keep monitoring their situation. As always at the end of the tourist season and shortening days Otters are more easily seen with 3 seen on both days out. In the garden there are zillions of Chaffinches, lots of Greenfinches and Goldfinches with the occasional Siskin but our Brambling have disappeared, we hope the resident Sparrowhawk isn't to blame. The Jays and Treecreepers our now daily visitors although you have to be lucky to see them. I have been doing some work in the burn above my dam and touch wood the water supply is in full swing. A thank you to Hannah and Tom and the staff at the Bellachroy for such a good meal for Pam's birthday, she had a lovely time with our friends and a great day all in all as she spent large quantities of the day on the phone to family and friends.
Dec 2nd
Pam had a busy day making chutney which if it tastes as good as it smells will be delicious. I spent most of the day watching football on the tv much to Pams disgust, I don't think Lucy was too impressed either.
Pam... I'm home from my wonderful holiday to California and Tampa in Florida, I have been watching dolphins with my grandchildren, swam with manatee and body boarded with my son and was turned truly Indian for Rajiv (daughter-in-laws brother) and Naha's Wedding. I've worn a sari, had Henna hand painting, danced Bollywood style and took part in a Hindu wedding ceromony. On the Wedding day the bridegroom, Rajiv, goes to meet the brides family on horse back surrounded by loud music and dancing in the street. Here I am with our family going to one of the many parties that was held during the week.
Rajiv on horse at weddingBrown family at Indian wedding
Dec 1st
A lovely day so we decided to go out birding this morning and saw over 50 species of birds and 5 mammals. Birds of prey seen were 2 Golden Eagles, a White-tailed Sea Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and of course Buzzards. Pam and I were particularly pleased to see some Long Tailed Tits, 2 Reed Buntings and a Dipper sitting on a tree root out of reach of the swollen river water. Two Otters were seen as were both types of Seal, Red Deer and a Rabbit. Lucy enjoyed the outing with us until she got car sick which was a shame but otherwise it was nice to be out and about with Pam now she has returned home. Whilst she has been away I busied myself clearing up the leaves and putting the garden to bed for the winter and for once I had a decent bonfire.
Dipper on the river bankLongtail Tit
November 2018
Nov 5th to 30th
I (Pam) am going to America with our son, wife and 2 small children to our daughter-in-laws brothers wedding in California, I am leaving Arthur at home to look after Lucy the dog whilst I am away. As I am the one that up-loads the blog and does the photo's there will be no blog whilst I'm away. I have also managed to book myself a whale watching trip whilst I'm away. Arthur will be here to deal with any emails or phone calls and will be able to take any bookings for next year.   
Nov 4th
I had to work on the water supply today as well as more clearing up in the shed although we did manage a short trip to Calgary, Cailaich and Dervaig. We were only out for just over an hour but managed to see, 2 Snipe, Little Grebe, Greylag Geese, Curlews, a Redshank, Oystercatchers, Rock Pipits, Common Gulls, Kittiwakes, 2 Black Throated Divers, 2 Great Northern Divers, Shags, great Black Backed Gulls, Fulmars and a Razorbill, Mallards and on our way home a hunting female Hen Harrier. The only wild mammal we saw today were Red Deer unless you count Lucy who when not running around like a mad thing spends the day either licking us to death or trying to trip us up.
OystercatcherOystercatcher & Redshank
Hen Harrier femal huntingStarling in the garden
Nov 3rd
New birds in the garden today 3 starlings, otherwise heavy rain for most of the day although when the rain stopped Pam saw a White-tail Sea Eagle from the kitchen window flying over Loch Cuin.
Nov 2nd
A couple of hours birding with 3 White-tailed Eagles seen, 2 Golden Eagles and lots of Buzzards and Kestrels. At Killiechronan we saw 30 Fallow Deer a record for us, a single Bar Tailed Godwit, a Teal and a group of Goosander. We took Lucy along to get her used to car travel and after a walk with Pam she was car sick on our way home, It wasn't the walk that did it but the cambers and bends on Mull's roads. This afternoon we brought in the picnic tables as we don't intend to sit out again this Winter and our self-catering guests have all gone home. Tomorrow the weather looks horrendous so there will probably be no birding except through the kitchen window.
Fallow Deer grazingLucy racing on Calgary Beach
Curlews 4
Nov 1st
I am leading a Mull Bird Club field trip around the North West of Mull later in the month so this morning I did a dry run, litterally, as for once it wasn't raining and I saw 50 species of birds and 3 mammals in 3 and a half hours, not bad methinks. The highlights were 4 Carrion Crows, ok have you stopped laughing now, Carrion Crows a highlight, well we hardly ever have them on Mull so 4 is a highlight for us. 2 Brambling in the garden was another highlight as were the Lapwings in Laggan Bay along with Curlews and a Dipper at high tide, The Skylark in the photo was a Cailaich as was the Common Buzzard on a rock as I was leaving. The Rock Pipits were in a field near Lagganulva Bay. In the afternoon we took Lucy for a run on Calgary Beach which she absolutely loves.
Carrion Crow and cattleLapwings resting
Buzzard on rockRock Pipit 

October 2018
Oct 26th to Oct 31st
We had friends from Cheshire up for a long weekend and I am glad to say they brought the good weather with them which was nice as we could go out walking and birding. On their first full day we went to Tobermory to a talk at the inaugural book festival which was a great success and I hope continues in future years. We went to an extraordinary talk by Adam Nicolson author of the book The Seabird's Cry and some of what he had to say about the plight of the worlds seabirds did not make for an easy listen, we do need to act fast if we want to save and protect all of the worlds wildlife not just its seabirds, we all need to take responsibility for their plight and future survival. On a happier note we went walking and birding locally for the next two days in glorious weather and enjoyed seeing not only great wildlife but also fabulous views and stunning scenery.  Wildlife wise there were 5 juvenile White-tailed Sea Eagles at Cailaich Point, we also saw a Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel here as well. In and on the sea were Great Northern Divers, Shags and Grey Seals. At Rheudle we had a very good sighting of a Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Hen Harrier with Raven occasionally joining in. At Laggan Bay we found this Otter being harased by 4 Hooded Crows (see photo below) At the Salmon Hatchery we saw a Carrion Crow, a first for Pam this year as well as Turnstones, Redshanks, lots of mixed Gulls and Teal plus another Otter. On Loch Na Keal and Loch Tuath we saw Red Throated Diver, Black Throated Diver, Great Northern Divers, Slavonian Grebes, Black Guilliemots, Red Breasted Mergansers and Cormorants. In the garden at Ardrioch we now have 2 Brambling interspersed within the Zillions of Chaffinches, regular visits from Great spotted Woodpeckers, and still a few Siskins, Yellowhammer and Treecreepers. It was a great weekend with our friends with lots of laughs and they even sat and watched most of my fuzzy photos of our trip to Svarlbard which lasted for so long their eyes glazed over but for us it brought back some lovely memories.
WTSE 4 in a row
Otter watched over by Hooded
                                    CrowsLoch Frisa with snow on the
Song Thrush on fenceSlavonian Grebes
Pam, Sue & Lucy
Above on our trips out and about are 4 White-tail Eagles sitting on top of a cliff, an Otter trying to eat whilst being harrast by 4 Hooded Crows, a view of Loch Frisa with the snow on the hills, a Song Thrush, 2 Slavonian Grebes and Pam and Lucy with our good friend Sue. Below are some birds we have been seeing regularly in our garden. Yellowhammer, Redwing, Great spotted Woodpecker and Brambling.
Yellowhammer in the gardenRedwing in the garden
Great Spotted WoodpeckerBrambling in the garden
Oct 18th to 25th
What a driech week, low cloud, rain, drizzle, winds, breeze, more low cloud, more rain, get the picture. My week has been a bit like the weather, 4 new tyres on the car, very expensive, a new washing machine, more expence, a filling at the dentist, painfull, paid for a load of heating oil, more painfull, get the picture. On a happier note a very happy wife, she has a new washing machine, unhappy wife, 3 weeks of washing to catch up on and its raining. Problems with the water supply have hopefully been sorted out although its a good job I bought a pair of waders last year, not for fishing. A trip to the tip with old washing machine and fridge, isn't my life exciting. Birdwise, at last, I can imagine readers thinking, a Little Egret turned up in Dervaig, it could be the one from Bunnessan, who knows? Thanks to Moira and Cheryl for the call. One of our Great Spotted Woodpeckers has returned as have Yellowhammers, and a Wren joining the zillions of Chaffinches and other regulars in the garden also a Hen Harrier and Sparrowhawk regularly fly over or through the garden so Chaffinches beware. We have some winter Thrushes in our woodland at the moment so the inclement weather shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Our Red Deer hind which has been in the wood all by itself might have jumped out, our neighbour helping me out with the Deer fencing where a tree had fallen across it thought he heard it jump the fence as he was waiting for me to return with fencing tackle, personally I am not convinced, will keep you informed. I am looking out of the window to try and see some birds, blimey its driech out there.
Oct 16th & 17th
More clearing and some birding to report and the possibility that two nutcases are out and about on Mull. First the birding, Pam and I went to Bunnessan to look for and find the long staying Little Egret, now I know they are now common in the south of England but they are still rare on Mull hence the trip and also it is another bird for my Mull year list. Whilst in the south we took in Fidden and saw 2 Skylarks, 3 Golden Plovers, 5 Tufted Ducks, a field with 27 Lapwings and a flock of 35 Barnacle Geese passing through not a bad result for a long drive we thought. Now the two nutcases both seen swimming in the sea on the afternoon of the 17th, just by chance one looked remarkably like my wife, Pam and the other looked a lot like one of her best friends, if you happen to see these two ladies stay well clear or you could be invited to take a dip with them, not recommended. (ps: You don't know what you are missing, a little cold when we got in but wonderful, we swam for 40 minutes. 2 cups of hot tea are recomended when I get home. Pam)
Little EgretLittle Egret & gull
Oct 13th 14th & 15th
Not much in the way of wildlife to report as I have been busy Autumn cleaning, yes it was a new one on me as well but you know what its like gents (she who must be obeyed). Anyway I have been clearing out the small shed and finding things we didn't know we still had and will come in usefull and the big shed making room for our vehicles in the winter. Just when you think you are on top of the job the water supply gives me problems and I take a day fixing it, who says I don't have anything to do when not out on tours. A trip to Oban this morning as Pam needed next years diary as she has so many early self-catering and tour bookings she was worried she might double book, whilst we were there I bought a new pair of walking shoes as the ones I had had a split in them and this is not great when walking in the rain which we have to do quite a lot up here in the north west of Scotland. Bird news-The yellowhammer has returned to our garden and today the 15th we managed at last to catch up with the Cattle Egret which has been in the Dervaig / Calgary area for at least a week. Talking of returning species Alan (Mullbirds) Spellman has returned from his now annual migration to Australia check out his web-site for some great pics of Aussie birds and happenings on Mull.
Cattle Egret and sheepCattle Egret Calgary
Oct 12th
Pam and I went looking for a Cattle Egret reportedly seen in the Dervaig area, without success. We did however see male and female Hen Harrier, White-tailed Sea Eagle, Red Deer, a Sparrowhawk and at Calgary Bay a Common Scoter and Black Throated Diver. Then it was back home to shed clearing and finding out I need to work on our water supply after the recent gales and monsoon rains, particularly as more is forecast.
Hen harrier male flying
Oct 11th
A day at home starting a major sort out in the sheds before winter sets in.
Oct 10th
What a difference a day makes as it was a beautifull day and calm out of the wind on the East side of the island where we were on a trip out with friends. They have been staying with us for a week and give me a list of birds they have yet to see on this stay on Mull and we managed to find 7 that they had not seen earlier. Great Northern Divers, Black Throated Divers, Golden Eagle, Reed Bunting, Ring Plover, Turnstone and Redwing. We also saw the Sparrowhawk in the photo and the Bar Tailed Godwits as well as a brillian male Hen Harrier, Red Deer rutting and a feeding Otter and Porpoise, all this in a total of 53 bird species and 5 mammals seen in the day. This evening our friends Meg and Stephen took us out for a very nice meal at the Am Birlinn restaurant as a thank you.
Bar-tail GodwitBar-tail Godwits feeding 2
Oct 9th
Did I mention it has been raining a lot on Mull lately, check out the photos from yesterday at the bridge at Dervaig.
Rain blue car going through
                                    waterRain going over the road
Rain near the top of the
                                    bridgeRain through the other side
Oct 8th
Our last tour of 2018 so as we had room Pam came out with me which was just as well as the weather turned wet and windy again after a brief lull at the start of the tour. We saw a field full of Red Deer with a young stag in charge, well he thought he was but when the hinds are ready to mate he will certainly have been usurped by a larger more experinced stag. White-tailed Sea Eagles were seen both sitting and flying and 2 seperate Otters seen fishing. Other birds of note on todays tour were Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Diver, Siskin in our garden when we went home for afternoon tea as the weather had turned really nasty. Photo of the day was of a Dipper near the coast as the burn was in flood and it could only search for food in the estuary where the burn goes into the sea.

Oct 7th
the monsoon season continues up here on Mull and as it was the morning after the night before I just got myself prepared for the big match between Liverpool and Manchester Cilty, with me at one end of the sofa and Nick my mate and Liverpool fan on the other. The match was a bit of a damp sqid although my 2 year old grandson could have taken a better penalty.
Oct 6th
A day out with friends and a rare opportunity to go to the deep south of Mull and to find some birds we rarely see in the north. Rooks, Jackdaws and Tufted Ducks were seen and we also saw some Golden Plovers my particular favourite sighting of the day. We saw White-tailed Sea Eagles, 3 Hen Harriers includin 2 males, 3 Otters, Red Deer and a Hare so it was a very productive day. Teal were seen and Wigeon which proves autumn is moving on and are wintering species are returning. We saw 3 male Eider Duck looking resplendent in their new plumage although we did not see any Baracle Geese which would have been nice but they obviosly are still finding plenty to eat on their journey south. An evening out at our friends and neighbours this evening and a very enjoyable meal and lots of laughter ensued, many thanks to Nick and Catherine our hosts and we hope Jaquie soon feels better as she was in some discomfort tonight.
Red Deer young stagOtter eating on seaweed
Oct 5th
No rain today was forecast so I mowed the other 2 lawns which I had not mown in October although I still got wet as the forecast was not completly correct as there were 3 heavy showers. I went for a drive round the block with Pam this morning and ended up at Cailiach Point where we saw Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannets and Guilliemots and a very late Puffin. Earlier we had seen a Sparrowhawk which flew across the road in front of us and a White-tailed Eagle which flew over the vehicle, we also had 3 Kestrels which seem to be doing very well on Mull at the moment. In the garden we are still seeing lesser Redpolls and a Wren put in an appearance this morning.
Oct 4th
Today it rained incessently so I stayed in and rested, its raining, its pouring, the old mans snoring. ZZZZZZ
Oct 3rd
A tour in low cloud rain and breeze not the most promising weather for a wildlife tour. An Otter at our first stop did me a real favour as it took a lot of the pressure off for me as it was at a stop I don't often get Otters. Snipe, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlews and of course Oystercatchers were the waders we saw today and birds of prey seen included Kestrels, Buzzards White-tailed Sea Eagles and a spectacular male Hen Harrier towards the end of the tour as the mist lifted and the rain stopped. We saw 3 Red Deer today and they were nearly the last thing we saw on todays tour, I really thought it was going to be the first tour of the year when we did not see any Deer, to my great relief it wasn't.
Oct 2nd
A trip to the dentist which means another trip to Tobermory and I felt a little bit like the invisible man as they had not got me down for an appointment, now I know I am prone to making mistakes but would anyone put a trip to the dentist in their diary unless they had been given one, I certainly wouldn't. To be fair to the dentist she did see me as it was only a check up although I have to go back soon for a filling, oh joy. Back in the shed when I got home with my mates, thanks for the help boys. No rain today, now that is a suprise, so I was able to mow the big lawn this afternoon although there wasn't much grass to cut but I managed 5 full bags of leaves, great for the compost heap.
Oct !st 
I went with Pam to Tobermory to pick up her engagement ring from the jewelers, it has been away for repair and she had felt lost without it, the ring not me. I can understand as she has been wearing it for 47 years so I can't say it hasn't worn well, unlike me. I also made a start on clearing the big shed which involved a trip to the Tobermory tip, we leed such exciting lives???

Blog July
This is the web site of Pam & Arthur Brown, Ardrioch Farm, Dervaig, Isle of Mull. PA75  6QR
          Pam & Arthur Brown
          Ardrioch Farm, Dervaig
          Isle of Mull
          Argyll, PA75 6QR
01688 400415
07780 600367
car parking and passing places
1.     Do not park in passing places – It is an offence and you could be fined. 
2.     Allow overtaking, (use your rear view mirrors) – it is illegal not to let a faster vehicle past you within 4 passing places or when it is safe to do so.
3.   When meeting on coming traffic always pull into the left, When the passing place is on your right, stop opposite the passing place and let the on-coming vehicle use the passing place to go round you. Going into passing places on your right may cause an accident.
4.    If you have just passed a passing place, reverse back into the passing place and then the vehicle coming towards you can pass safely. Avoid going off onto the verges at it can ruin the road edges and verges which then cost a lot to maintain and could seriously damage your vehicle.
5.  Remember not all road users are on holiday many are going about their daily business and that speeding vehicle could be a doctor or vet going to an emergency.
dog walking and sheep
1. When walking on the hills keep dogs on a lead particularly between March to June which is the peak lambing period. Sheep run away from strange dogs even if they don’t chase them and lambs can lose their mothers in this way and become more vulnerable to predation.
2. Avoid going near cattle with calves as mothers are very protective of their young and will often attack strange dogs.
3. Do not to let your dogs disturb wildlife, particularly ground nesting birds. It is an offence not to control your dog.
4. From August, to October first check whether Deer stalking is operating on any hills on the day you intend to walk them.
5. Do not pick up lambs that you think are injured or lost – please report it to the nearest farmer you see and they will take care of it, in most cases mothers are able to find their own lambs.
wildlife photography guidance
Photographers are now one of the main causes of wildlife disturbance on Mull. Knowingly disturbing wildlife is an offence against the wildlife and country act and ignorance of the act is not an acceptable excuse.
We encourage photographers and  many join us on our tours, we do however promote good use of field craft and keep disturbance to an absolute minimum. 
Digi-scoping is used for most of the pictures that we post on our web site as this allows us to take photographs at a distance and does not disturb the wildlife.
A government issued license is required to get close to eagles and other protected birds and wildlife.
Please practise the Countryside code and then you and your dogs can enjoy everything Mull has to offer in complete harmony with landowners, farmer’s animals and wildlife