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Arthur's Mull Bird List 2018

 
Note we are still be offering self-catering accommodation at Ardrioch Farm, click the link above.    
 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
Arthurs Blog can now be found on our self-catering web site for continuity for our regular readers please change to this link.
Nov 1st
Arthur and I are now taking a well earned rest from work and family commitments. We are pleased to say that our daughter-in-law is now well on the way to recovery and planning to go back to work. Their daughter has now started the local school and the little boy is in the nursary attached to the school making life easier for the whole family and they now need time to themselves to get back to normal life. 
Arthur has been doing some jobs around the farm, working on his dam, mending fences and tidying the big shed, all jobs that have been put to one side when he was working. He has also been able to return the kindness to our neighbours by watering polly tunnels and feeding cats whilst they have been on holiday. He has taken a total break for a couple of months from bird watching but I'm sure he will be back to it soon when he will then resume writing his blog.
The last time I returned from Cheshire I brought back with me a large bag of material and have been making new curtains for my self-catering cottage which I am having decorated this winter and I have also been swimming in the sea whenever I can making up for the lost time in the summer.
As our regular readers can see I am in the prosess of making a new page for Arthurs blog and below you will find just the hightlights for 2019. We are still keeping the old email address of enquiries@discovermull.co.uk if any of you wish to drop us a line, we'ed love to hear from you.

August 2019
Aug 14th
Out and about early again this morning and there is still not a lot about although for those planning on coming to Mull I did see an otter today and I wasn't even trying. My sighting of the day was by the Killiechronan campsite where a flock of at least 70 Ringed Plover flew in to feast as the tide went out, they were joined by a few Dunlin. The Autumn flowers are out in abundance now with Grass Of Parnasus seen as well as the Bell Heather and Ling. On my way home I was able to photograph the Goosanders on Loch Cuin, they would be some of the same ones we saw when out walking with Lucy on Moday.
Grass of ParnassasLing Bell Heather
Aug 13th
A day of showers, heavy showers, like the saying goes it never rains but it pours. It was a bit like that in the mail today the accountant sent back our accounts, it included his bill and then we have tax to pay, like I said it never rains it pours. On a lighter note the Woodpeckers are back in the garden check out the photo.
Great spotted Woodpecke
                                            in gardenGoosander Loch Cuin
Aug 12th
This morning I went out early  in lovely weather, light breeze, sunshine, 4 degrees centigrade, I was wearing thermols for goodness sake, talk about climate change. Being out and about on Mull in such calm conditions was wonderfull and the views even more so, with Coll and Tiree looking resplendent from Calgary Bay, I felt I could reach out and touch them. On the birding front the highlight of the morning had to be the flock of approximately 20 Twite seen at Cailaich Point, Kittiwakes, and Gannets here as well. There are lots of Meadow Pipits everywhere and Pam and I saw at least 12 Goosander on Loch Cuin and also 3 Greenshank. Red Deer and of course Rabbits were the Mammals seen but really it was just being back on Mull that was the real highlight of my morning. This afternoon once again the weather has intervened, I was supposed to be mowing lawns but it is pouring down, the suns still shining though.
Red Deer at CailaichCurlew Loch Cuin
Scotch ArgusKittiwakes Cailaich
July 20th
Last night we had a retirement party at the Hebridean Lodge for our friends and all the people who have helped us with Discover Mull Tours. Helen, our host at the Hebridean Lodge did us proud, the food was amazing and more than enough for at least another half dozen guests, many thanks Helen from us both. The harp was played by Becky Roth, one of Pam's swimming buddies and was absolutely beautiful, many thanks Becky for adding a touch of class to the evening. Thanks go to everyone at the party for all your help you all know what you did, but you cannot know how much we appreciate all your love and friendship, We hope that last night showed how much we value everything you have done for us.
On a birdy note one of our neighbours died earlier in the year and he used to feed the Rock Doves which meant we shared this chore, now I feel we are feeding all the Rock Doves on Mull in our garden as well as all the Chaffinches.
Retirement Party
                                                19th July19Becky & harp
July 18th
The second day of our retirement and we went out in Nick and Mikes new boat which spent the winter in my shed. It was lovely day weatherwise and we saw lots of great wildlife, mainly seabirds. Puffins, Razorbills, Guilliemots, Black Guilliemots, Shags, Cormorants, Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls, Great Black Backed Gulls, Grey Herons, Oystercatchers and a White-tailed Eagle sitting on an Island. Both types of Seal were seen and now there are lots of baby Common Seals are out and about with their mothers. The main purpose of the trip however was to do some sea fishing and Pam caught a good sized Pollock with her very first cast. Pam obviouly has a penchant for fishing as she caught by far the most fish on the day although Nick caught the biggest. A wonderful day was had by all and Pam and I would like to thank Nick and Catherine for giving us such a great day out and a fishing lesson, we could be eating fish for some time as Pam is now preparing the catch for the freezer.
Gone fishing Kittiewake
                                            flyingGone
                                            fishing Kittiewake sitting
Gone fishing Kittiewake
                                            eatingGone fishing Gannet


July 16th
We have now retired from doing Discover Mull wildlife tours and would like to take this opportunity to thank all our guests for their support over the past 18 years and the kindness of guests who have sent us cards and best wishes on our retirement. Pam has been away for most of the Spring as a close family member was diagnosed with very bad cancer just after Easter and so we decided to only do tours which were already booked and to that end we must thank our friends and neighbours who have helped both with the tours and the self-catering whilst Pam was away. The news now is more positive and Pam was back for our last tour and we will be having a celebration party for both our retirement and 46th wedding anniversary later this week. Many guests have kindly told me how much they have liked my blog and how much they had missed it in the last few months so I have decided to continue to do a blog about what Pam and I are up to and wildlife happenings on Mull although it probably won't be done daily.
Photo's taken of our final tour, we had a great day out.
Final tour
                                                      with guestsFinal tour
                                                      Pam & Arthur
May 2019
May 3rd
A tour today in cool windy conditions with both types of Eagles seen well, a brief Otter sighting, both Fallow and Red Deer and both types of Seal. Whinchat and Dunlin were seen which were two birds Sue one of my guests really wanted to see. The Highland Cows and calves were a highlight for some of my guests as was the lovely Bluebell wood in the picture below.
This will be the last blog for a while as Pam is going down south as we have an emergency in the family and she is needed to help look after Grandchildren and is taking the computer with her but hopefully things will return to normal as soon as possible.  Arthur will be at home and continue with the tours we have already booked.

Bluebell WoodWTSE
Blackcap
May 2nd
A lovely day for a tour although it got a bit colder later in the day. We saw several Golden Eagles and White-tailed Sea Eagles in one location they were flying together and interacting giving my guests a great chance to see the differences between the two species. 2 seperate Otters were also seen although one was quite distant. My guests enjoyed seeing the new migrant and passage birds including Whimbrel, see photo below, Wheatear and Common Sandpipers appearing everywere and we now have more Whinchats joining their resident cousins the Stonechat. Finally Willow Warblers, we don't see many but they certainly let you know they are there with their constant singing.
Whimbrel
May 1st
A trip with Pam and Lucy to Iona to try and see a Corncrake, they should have started to arrive but nobody had reported any so it was a bit of a shot in dark. On our way across to Iona on the ferry Pam spotted a couple of Common Terns, my first of the year and the first reported on Mull this year. On Iona no sound of Corncrake near the Abbey or around the fire station so we decided to go to the beaches on the north of the island. On our walk we saw lots of little birds including Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Wheatear and Linnet as well as Rooks and Jackdaws. At the gate at the end of the road Pam thought she had heard a Corncrake, I on the other hand hadn't and as I have better hearing we went on. Then we both heard the distinct sound of a Corncrake and the rest as they say is history, check out the photigraphs. Another Mull first for Pam and I this year, we were really pleased and then a Merlin appeared chasing small birds another Arthur first of the year, the day was going spectacularly well.On our way back to the ferry we saw a pair of Twite a first for Pam this year and on our way back to Ardrioch we found a Tree Pipit a bird that had been eluding us this last week and Pam at last got her Common Whitethroat. Lastly Lucy loved her time on Iona, not sure about the ferry journey though.
CorncrakeCorncrake 2
Pam and Lucy leaving Iona on
                                  ferrySkylark on Iona



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
enquiries@discovermull.co.uk
Mail
                                        box
telephone
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