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Arthur's Mull Bird List 2017
Discover Mull Wildlife Tours based on the Isle of Mull
We are now taking bookings for tours and self-catering for 2018
book in advance to avoid dissapointment
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
November 2017
Nov 22nd
The rain stopped so I took the chance of a drive round the block this morning and I had a great sighting of a pair of Golden Eagles flying very low towards me and dissappeared behind a knoll, I thought they might reappear but to no avail although it was still a fabulous view. I was about to leave when I spotted a distant bird it looked Crow like but I was not convinced and when it came down below the skyline I realised it was a male Hen Harrier and again I had fabulous views of one of my favorite birds as it hawked over the hillside, still some distace away but still breathtaking. Other notable sightings 2 Red Deer, 2 Common seals and lots of Great Northern Divers.
A blog for Blake and Sheila and hope it makes you all smile.
'Down Came The Rain It Happened Again' (Mitch Murray), for two days 'Raindrops Kept Falling On My Head' (B J Thomas) at his rate we thought 'It Might As Well Rain Until September' (Carol King), see where I am going with this blog. When I am in a good mood I am 'Singing In The Rain' (Doris Travis), although when I'm down its more of a 'Purple Rain' (Prince), anyway whatever my mood it's certainly 'November Rain' (Guns and Roses). Oh, Oh, 'Here Comes The Rain Again' (Eurythmics), and we don't know 'Who'll Stop The Rain' (Credence Clearwater Revival), anyway for now 'Let It Rain' (Eric Clapton). It's certaily no good living on Mull if you 'Can't Stand The Rain' (Tina Turner) unless you are 'Only Happy When It Rains' (Garbage) because the one thing you can be sure of 'A Hard Rains Going To Fall' (Bob Dylan) so there is no point in saying ' Why Does It Always Rain On Me' (Travis). One thing is for certain come Spring there could be 'One More Rainy Day' (Deep Purple), then like this Spring 'No More Rain' (Kylie Minogue) and then we would all be saying 'I wish It Would Rain' (The Temptations). Some Photo's below of Water which is rather plentiful on Mull right now, Loch Cuin and Eas Force.
Loch Cuin from the bridgeLoch Cuin reed beds
Eas Force top fallsEas Force lower falls
Nov 19th
Egrets, now Pam's seen two, yes we went down to Fishnish today and guess what there was no Egret to be seen so off we trecked down the coast looking for it to no avail. At Garmony we did see a lovely Stonechat and an equally nice but less glamorous Robin. On our way back I suggested we go back to Fishnish on the off chance, low and behold there it was in exactly the same place I had seen it a couple of days ago, I was very pleased for Pam, I hope I scored a few brownie points for this one (no pun intended) On our way back home we  saw 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles on a rock by the shore, 3 Bar Tailed Godwits, Oystercatchers, Curlews, Wigeon, a very close Great Northern Diver, Red Breasted Mergansers and a really smart male Goosander to end a lovely and successful morning.
Nov 18th
A cold windy day but dry so I went with Pam to Cailaich and we watched a pair of White-tailed Sea Eagles talon grasping, it was an impressive sight until 2 Ravens flew in and broke up the courtship display. Not content with iterupting the lovebirds one of the Ravens continued to harrass the younger Eagle although on several occasions it did take liberties getting very close to the Eagles very large talons. It was an incredible watch and well worth getting out for. As always at Cailaich the views were spectacular and the Highland Cows in the rocks by the shore were extremely photogenic, so on Pam's instructions I obliged even if I could hardly hold the camera still in the wind.
Highland Cattle at CailaichHighland Cow black
Nov 17th
Egrets, I've now seen two, yes after a few abortive attempts I have at last caught up with our long staying Little Egret at Fishnish and have photo's to prove it, bird number 141 for my Mull year list. It was nearly a disasterous day however as I left my binoculars in the hide as I went to get my camera from the car to photograph the bird and forgot all about them as I started for home. Fortunately something jogged my memory before I had gone too far and I went back to retrieve them and guess what they were right where I had left them, nearly another fine mess I had nearly got into, no change there then.
Little EgretLitle Egret 2
Nov 16th
Today the Jay was back in the garden along with the zillion Chaffinches and Goldfinches, try picking the single Brambling out of that lot. The Wind blew high and the wind blew low and the leaves they all fell to the ground and there they stayed until I got out my trusty rake and wheelbarrow and removed them. Then the wind blew some and more leaves appeared on the ground and I thought someome is trying to tell me something, so I left them where they had fallen. no dout in a few days Pam will start complaining and out will come the trusty rake and Wheelbarrow.... Again.
Nov 15th
We always love a trip to Dougies, our local store, to stock up on goodies and a chat with the locals, but better still is the wildlife watching at the end of the loch on the way home. Greenshank, Snipe, Curlew and Little Grebe, all the usuals, but a special treet today a mother Otter was trying to curl up for a sleep on a rock and her tiny, weeny cub was trying to climb up onto the rock to join her but was too small and kept slipping down to the bottom, after straining, heaving and complaining it appeared on top  and started to climb all over the resting mum eventually managing to sneek a quick suckle of milk from her. I thought it was quite funny but for Pam it was a real AHhhh moment. To complete the wildlife entertainment on returning home a Sparrowhawk flew up from our garden and gave us a great show of flap, flap, gluiding as it was being mobbed by Chaffinches. Beats a visit to a big supermarket any day.
Nov 14th
I spent the morning out and about and saw a total of 5 seperate Otters none of which were close enough to photograph. White-tailed Sea Eagles were resting up after a busy breeding season, they will soon be turning their attention to nest building for next year. Red Deer relaxing after the rut and in the case of the stags feeding up for the Winter. I counted over 10 Slavonian Grebes on Loch Na Keal, twice as many more Great Northern Divers, 6 Bar Tailed Godwits at Killiechronan and too many Red Breasted Mergansers to count. In a stream near the Beinn More parking spot was a Dipper feeding and I was able to watch it for some time without either it or myself being disturbed, fantastic.
                                  DiverRed breasted Merganzer
Misy risingTeal
Nov 13th
A wet day just for a change so I did my birding from the kitchen window and amongst the highlights were a Jay, a Brambling and the Great Spotted woodpecker below.
GS Woodpecker on nuts
 Nov 9th to 12th
Although I have been out and about briefly during the last few days I have still not been at my best so I have just taken a few photos of some of the birds I have seen. As always most of my photos are pretty useless and this included the ones of the Gadwall we saw on Loch Na Keal yesterday, I only mention this as it was my first Gadwall of the year taking my Mull year list to 140 species. Thanks to Jac and Mike for a nice day out yesterday, I have now thawed out. I would also like to thank our neighbours, they know who they are for tightening a nut and keeping the water flowing when we were away. I hope you enjoy the photos as today we are battening down the hatches as we are expecting more gales and yet more rain, I will keep you informed.
Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush &
Curlews at restRedshank
Golden Eagle flyingGN Diver evening roost
Nov 9th
A count of 30 Goldfinches in the garden this morning an all time record count for the Ardrioch garden.
Goldfinches at feeder
Nov 8th
A day at home still feeling rough although 3 yellowhammers and a Siskin in the garden brightened my day.
Nov 7th
I had to go to Tobermory today to get a new battery for our car key fob and on the way back saw 2 Whooper Swans on Loch Torr.
Common Seal & GullWhooper Swan
Nov 6th
I am under the weather at the moment after coming back from Cheshire so only out for short periods of time for essentials but a neccessary trip to Salen this morning saw me watching an Otter and a Common Seal so the day was not wasted.
Nov 5th
We are back after a month away visiting family and a weeks holiday in Dorset, near Arne. When we were at the Arne RSPB reserve we saw a Great White Egret imagine our surprise when we saw one at Dervaig on our return, a first for Mull I think. This morning my eagle eyed wife, Pam saw a Brambling amongst the Chaffinches in our garden and called me as it was a first for me this year. There have been a pair of Whooper Swans on the Mishnish Lochs this week which we saw when taking our dog , Sally to the vets with a stomach problem. I know how she feels as I have picked up a bug which is going round Dervaig which prevents me from travelling to far from home. The blog is now back in business until our next trip away.
Great White EgretGreat White Egret flying
Brambling maleBrambling & Chaffinch
October 2017
Oct 5th

I (Pam) did the tour today with a couple of good friends and 3 'men behaving badly', the weather was supposed to be fine all day but it could not resist a few short showers thrown in but it did not stop us having a good laugh all day. We had quality sighting today rather than quantity, an Otter was running over the tops of the rocks on the islands appearing and dissapearing but around for quite a while. The Red Deer rut is underway now and stags were roaring on the hills as they gather their does into small groups.  2 Golden Eagle sightings, the first very close and the second was a pair hunting and catching prey, we could not identify the largish bird that was carried away in the ealges tallons. A lovely skein of 16 Whooper Swans flying south for the winter went right over our heads and to finish the day a beautiful female Hen Harrier hunting back and forth infront of us.
Oct 1st
What do you do when you have a Wildlife tour booked and the forcast is for 40 mph winds and heavy rain? Send the wife out, of course. So with a smile on my face I set out with a hardy group and soon found our local juvinile White-tail Eagle sitting back in his nest, on seeing he was being watched he stepped out onto a branch to give us a better view. In the early part of the day we saw Gooseanders, Merganzers, Curlew, Whimbrel, Mallard and Red Deer before the rain set in. We found an Otter feeding in a sheltered bay, as it dissapeared behind a rock to eat some food for the second time I was wondering how long we would have to stand in the rain for it to appear again, then turned around and all my guests were getting back into the mini-bus, that answered that question. For the next 4 hours the wind blew and the rain came down whole water and everything kept there heads down. I did see a Slavonian Grebe, but nobody else did, so I showed them a picture in a book, this could be the way I thought, a bit like 'Bullseye', 'this is what you could have seen'. Morning coffee and lunch were had in the bus and around 3 pm it started to clear up and a couple of buzzards and kestrels began to fly, eventually we got a Golden Eagle hunting along a ridge, brief but close, and right at the end of the day we found a Brent Goose in Calgary Bay, a first for one of my guests on the tour and for Arthur this year and he went out and took the photo below.
Brent Goose
September 2017
Sept 30th
The last day of September and no change in the weather and I took a short trip out not seeing anything out of the ordinary except for a count of 65 Common Gulls in a field at Calgary. A Kestrel chasing small birds without success from the Cailaich road. A single Curlew at Croig and 2 Goosander and a Redshank at Dervaig, back at home a Buzzard and White-tailed sea Eagle flew over the house and the garden is full of Chaffinches.
Sept 29th
I have seen very few Sparrowhawks this Summer but I saw my second one in two days today over the main car park in Tobermory as I was waiting to have our car fitted with two new front tyres. A White-tailed sea Eagle and Buzzard flew over the garden today as I tried to do a bit of tidying up between the very heavy showers. It will be our penultimate tour for the season on Sunday and to put it mildly the weather isn't looking to promising.
Sept 28th
A day of sunshine and showers and the only wildlife of note today apart from our garden birds was the reappearance of a male Yellowhammer to our garden and a Sparrowhawk flew over the house being mobbed by a couple of Hooded Crows which was funny as they were bigger than the Sparrowhawk but it took absolutely no notice of them. On another front, apparently there has been a big breakout of Salmon from one of the fish farms and some fishermen that I know are stocking up on Salmon for the Winter, the White-tailed Sea Eagles should be pleased with this bounty as well.
Sept 27th
'Everything' was said when I asked what my guests wanted this morning, and they meant it, which was great on a dull but very windy day. For 20 minutes we watched a Shag as it struggled to swallow a huge flat fish almost 3 times the size of it's head, the fishes tail was flapping side to side, it definatly did not want to go down there. After dropping the fish several times it dissapeared down the Shags throat and his kneck was huge as it slowly went down into it's stomach. After waiting over an hour for the tide to go out we spotted an Otter close by the shore. As it dissapeared behind a large rock I quietly got my guests out of the van and lined up along side using the van as a hide and we watched the Otter climb onto the close rock for a good minute before a female walker walked past us along the road, striding out and swinging her arms, I watched as the Otter imediatly spotted her and dissapeared, we waited to see if it would reappear as male walker passes us, 100 yards up the road he turned back to us, pointed at the water and shouted 'OTTER', 'not any more' I said to my guests. Fortunately later in the day one of my guests spotted a second Otter and we watched it fishing, eating and eventually curle up and go to sleep for half an hour. 2 Golden Eagles were seen hunting in the wind, 2 Jays were also seen flying and lots of Mergansers, Goosander and waders. At the end of the day we saw the newly returned Kingfisher.
Pam did todays tour and received a nice thank you e-mail from two of her guests.
Sept 26th
A day similar to yesterday with great weather, more gardening and only a little time for birding. Today however even though I saw less birds some of the sightings were better, the main highlight was a terrific view of a hunting male Hen Harrier, when it comes to birds of prey seeing this bird hunting must be one of the best sightings you can get unless of course you are a gamekeeper, only two Hen Harriers bred in England last year when here on Mull around 70 young were fledged. At Dervaig as well as a nice view of a Greenshank one of my favorite waders I managed a distant sighting of the Dervaig Kingfisher which has returned, hopefully for the Winter. I had a good view of a Red Deer stag today but as yet have heard no roaring to signify that the Rut has started.
Sept 25th
A beautiful day today and I had to work in the garden as regular readers know this is not my favorite hobby, I did however manage to sneek in an hours birding and although there was not to much to be seen in such a short time I did get a really good view of a Red Throated Diver in Calgary Bay and in the beautiful weather I saw that it still had some red on the throat which made the sighting even more special.
Sept 24th
Today all Mull's special wildlife species performed well for our friends and let's not forget Malcolm our other guest on todays tour, the weather however was not so obliging although it was a typical Mull day, starting with drizzly rain and improving after lunch. We saw 4 Otters today with 3 of them really close, check out the photo's, 3 Golden Eagles were seen the first looking miserable sitting on a branch barely visible through the drizzle, the second was brief to say the least, the last one however gave us a great view and all our gursts got to follow it in the telescope which is always a bonus. We saw 4 White-tailed Sea Eagles, 2 Hen Harriers and had lots of Red Deer stags which Malcolm particularly wanted to see. As the weather improved the views got better and our friends were able to see Mull in all its glory. They had spent some time on Skye but the general concensus was that Mull was much nicer to which I fully concur. So todays result Skye 1 Mull the big 5.
Otter on rockOtters playing
Sept 23rd
A dry day and as we had no tour today I managed to mow our 3rd lawn the one I could not mow last week due to rain. We only have 4 tours left to do this year as we are only filling in the days where we have already taken bookings for tours via phone or on line, this does not mean we are retiring and we will be open for tours and Self-Catering again next year which is perhaps as well as we have already taken bookings for both in 2018. Tomorrow we have a tour with friends up on Mull from Cheshire, this is their first visit to Mull so we hope the weather and wildlife perform for them.
Sept 22nd
It was an unusual day on Mull, it rained, all day it rained which was not ideal for a tour but we managed over 35 species of birds and 4 mammals. All the photographs below were taken in the rain but to show you that wet days are not a washout as most people think. Yes it is not always a comfortable experience, but with the right clothing and a little patience wildlife is still there to be seen.
Bartail GodwitOtter with fish
WTSE Sept17
Sept 21st
No tour today as I had an appointment in Salen, being early I had a half an hour to go wildlife watching and in that time I saw 2 White tailed Sea Eagles, 2 Otters, 2 Ravens, Oystercatchers, Red breasted Mergansers, Grey Herons and Common Seals, not a bad 20 minutes.
Sept 20th
Pam did the tour today and it rained for the greater part of the day before clearing up in the late afternoon. during the day they had a good Otter sighting, Golden Eagle which Pam tells me was a remarkable spot and who am I to disagree. White-tailed Sea eagle, Buzzards and Kestrels were also seen during the day and remarkably a female Hen Harrier. Well done Pam you did a good job in trying conditions.
Sept 19th
At our first stop on todays tour were 4 Bar Tailed Godwits, a bird some of my guests had never seen before. Seals were high on the list of some guests who were more interested in them than the very good Otter we had at the same time. A Great Northern Diver was seen as were lots of Red Deer but today we saw no stags. We had to wait patiently for a Golden Eagle sighting today and even then it was rather distant. The day ended on a high for some of my guests as we saw a Slow Worm, there was only one but they managed a quick photograph before it vanished into the undergrowth. Today with clear skies the views of Mull and its surrounding islands was terrific.
Sept 18th
After yesterdays Otter no show today we had one for over an hour which made my guests very happy. White-tailed Sea eagles are proving very visible at the moment as many of the adult birds are taking a well earned rest sitting in their usual haunts after a somewhat tricky breeding season due to the poor weather. Finding them however is greatly helped if you know where their usual haunts are. We are seeing more Golden Eagles now as well as they are also taking advantage of the better weather of the last few days, for the first time this year some of them were actually sitting on the top of the hills catching a few rays. The Red Deer rut is just starting and more stags are appearing, they are not roaring or scrapping yet, just sizing each other up. Our day ended with a memorable sighting of a very close female Hen Harrier which interacted with a couple of young Kestrels for several minutes, it was my sighting of the day even if for once I got a decent photograph of a Linnet from a small flock which flew past and landed on power lines at lunch time.
WTSE flying awayOtter swimming
Red Deer stags 2Linnet
Sept 17th
A bird of prey tour today with over 10 White-tailed Sea Eagles seen, we stopped counting at 10. Golden Eagles were seen in good numbers as well but 2 of them being mobbed by a Buzzard and a Kestrel were particularly close for Goldies. At our first stop we saw a Sparrowhawk and later 2 more interacting with 2 Hen Harriers so my guests were particularly pleased with their day. As with everything where there are ups there are downs and today for the first time in a long time we did not see any Otters although we did see Red Deer stags, hinds and this years calves. Waders seen included Greenshanks, Redshanks, Bar Tailed Godwits and Curlews and we also saw a Great Northern Diver, Black Guilliemots and 2 Little Grebe. There seem to be a lot more Cormorants around this Autumn which probably means more of them are breeding on or around Mull.
Sept 16th
Changeover day in the self-catering and I managed to mow 2 lawns before the rain came. We have tours booked for the next 4 days and at least for the start of the week the weather forecast is better.
Sept 15th
A dry if very windy day and Pam did todays tour which by all accounts was very similar day to yesterday with 7 White-tailed Eagles seen during the day. I myself saw a Lapwing, some Wigeon the first since the Spring, lots of Linnets, so I had a good day and some very smart Mistle Thrushes.
Sept 14th
A tour today and we saw several White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Otter and Red Deer although it was wet and windy at times. Eas Force the waterfall was worth seeing and there were plenty of Gannets at Cailaich Point if we could have stood up to see them in the Northerly Winds.
Sept 13th
Another showery day with no tour but we did have an old friend return to the garden, a female Yellowhammer which is always nice to see. 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles flew over the house as 2 Buzzards fought over a dead Rabbit in the field. Pam counted 20 Ravens flying over the garden and there were calling Goldcrests in the wood as I went to check the water supply, not a bad half hour if I do say so myself.
Sept 12th
Today on tour four became my favorite number, we saw 4 White-tailed Sea Eagles, 4 Otters and 4 Golden Eagles, 3 of the Golden Eagles, dad, mum and this years young gave us a fabulous display of flying before landing on a wall of rock where they were really visible through scope, unusual for Goldies. One of the White-tailed Sea Eagles flew to a very small island with a Common Seal and Otter on, both creatures went into the water and although the seal did not return, the braver Otter did return to try the Eagles patience, it showed little or no fear of the Eagle and proceeded to do what Otters do whilst the Eagle looked on with distain, disinterested in the Otters antics. My guests on the other hand were facinated by the behaviour of both the Otter and the Eagle. One other big plus today the poor weather that was forecast did not appear, in fact I stayed dry all day, amazing.
WTSE & OtterWTSE & Otter leaving
Sept 11th
No tour just poor weather, it blew a gale, it was no Irma but just a reminder that Autumn is upon us.
Sept 10th
Another tour in wet blustery conditions
and although the White-tailed Sea Eagles were not as good as Friday they were pretty special as today instead of trying to mug Otters they took a Gull and proceeded to pluck and eat it, white feathers were flying everywhere in the wind, some of my guests were impressed for others it was nature a bit too raw. The Otters today were very good as they were not being harassed by the Eagles. I was glad a Golden Eagle flew even if was only briefly as believe it or not as it appeared so did the rain, hey hoh Mull 2017 srtikes again. On a lighter note we have waterfalls everywhere which let's be honest is no real surprise.
Sept 9th
I hoped to mow lawns today but guess what it rained so I went to Tobermory to fill up the van and get some bird seed. After lunch I watched my team win on sky sports so the day wasn't a complete wash out.
Sept 8th
Hey, it was a great day weatherwise it only rained for half the day and of course this totally confused one Golden Eagle as it actually flew whilst it was raining giving us great views even if it was only for a couple of minutes, my guests were delighted I was bemused. Red Deer stags were showing well on the hillside, we nearly always see these Stags when we have Dervaig starts, we don't go to their habitat with Tobermory starts so Stags are seen less often. We saw White-tailed Sea Eagles but had to wait out our Otters today and what a treat we got when we eventually found them, 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles trying to rob the Otters as the Otters tried to land, it was like watching a violent mugging, not that I have actually seen a violent mugging. The Eagles flew at the Otters as they tried to bring in their prey, the Eagles had their talons down and were almost screaming at the unfortunate Otters, it was quite spectacular wildlife watching. I have heard of White-tailed eagles robbing Otters but I have never seen it before, for the Otters it must have been quite terrifying. After that experience the rest of todays wildlife will seem tame but we did get some very good bird sightings, 3 Greenshank at Salen, a Great Northern Diver in Loch Tuath, a Red Throated Diver and Razorbill in Calgary Bay and to end a heart stopping day a double Rainbow, yes it's raining again????
WTSE flying & sittingRainbow
WTSE's sitting
Sept 7th
If you thought we were getting some bad weather on Mull, think again, today it got even worse, there was little or no respite from the rain, on a happier note it was not cold. We knew from the outset Golden Eagles would be difficult if the rain did not stop, well we were proved right and we did not see any Golden Eagles but we did see a White-tailed Sea Eagle sitting optimistically on a beach, deck chair out waiting for the sun, as far as I know it is still there, the Eagle not the sun. We were lucky to have a second White-tailed sea Eagle fly over our heads interacting with a Buzzard at the Eas Force waterfall which was running full tilt, there our some benefits to long prolonged heavy rain, we get spectacular waterfalls. The dipper in the photo below had to come down to the coast to get food the water in the burns was moving too fast even for this remarkable little bird. We saw an Otter several Seals and 20 Red Deer so my guests were pleased if somewhat surprised at what we managed in the circumstances. We had afternoon tea in the kitchen at Ardrioch and the birds on our feeders did not disappoint, with the Great Spotted Woodpecker being our guests highlight from the birds in the garden. Thanks to all my guests who bore the weather with humour and fortitude.
Sept 6th
A showery and windy day today but it did not stop the Eagles from coming out, White tail's were everywhere, flying, sitting on rocks, sitting in trees and the Juvenile Golden Eagle again gave us lots of time flying even though it was a bit distant. Our Otter today did not stay around very long but at least it was long enough for everyone to see it. Little birds were a bit scarce with the blustery winds but we did get some nice Curlew, Godwits and Golden Plovers. Our highlight came at the end of the day with a pod of around 10 Bottlenose  DOLPHINS very close to shore leaping out of the water and feeding, at one time 7 dolphins were out of the water at one time, there are days when I'm pleased I gave Arthur a days rest.
Sept 5th
I had a dentist appointment today so no tour but at least I have at last finished my treatment and at the third time of asking a cap that fits, as the saying goes if you have a cap that fits: wear it. As I was waiting at home before going to the dentist I took these pictures of beautiful Collared Doves in the garden, getting all Lovey Dovey as they gaze into each others eyes.
Collared DoveCollared Doves
Sept 4th
You can tell by these pictures of Eas Force that the weather was somewhat inclement, I was really glad I had remembered my coat although as it was relatively warm I did not put it on. Enough about my stupidity let's get on to the wildlife, we saw Goosander, Red Breasted Mergansers, Eider Ducks and Mallards, lots of Cormorants and Shags, Herons everywhere, Oystercatchers, Curlews and Redshanks, I told you it was raining so it was nice weather for Ducks and Waders. We then saw 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles and boy did they look miserable but then a Common Seal came flying out of the water not once but two or thee times and boy did it look happy, there is a lesson there somewhere?. After lunch the rain stopped, yes it does stop sometimes on Mull, and this is when it pays to be out in the poor weather because all Mull's main species come out to play. We saw a very happy White-tailed Eagle carrying prey, the prey did not look quite so happy, an Otter catching and eating fish with I swear a smile on its face, the Otter not the fish, 5 Kestrels in the air together and 3 Golden Eagles the young one interacting with 2 Ravens gave us a brilliant flying display for about 10 minutes and then it was time to go home. The moral of this tale is don't come to Mull for the weather come for the wildlife, it will be there most days in spite of the weather, after all it lives here.
Eas ForceEas Force
Eas Force 3Eas Force 4
Sept 3rd
A fairly poor day weatherwise but even though I did not have a tour I did venture out, in the wrong clothing of course, who goes out in the pouring rain without a coat? me of course.... It was still great to be out on Mull and see what was offer and todays highlights were in first place, and this is just for readers of the blog, 3 White-tailed Sea Eagles, equal first and this is for me a pair of Red Throted Divers. Bar-tailed Godwits were another highlight even if they were just too far away to get you a decent photo although I tried. I saw some eclipse male Eider Ducks coming back into full plumage, nice to see but also a reminder that we are now in Autumn and the year is moving on, if we had a Summer on Mull I must have missed it. A Goosander was seen and there are quite a few about which proves that there are a few pairs now breeding on Mull which is a fairly new phenomenon. As I was now getting very wet I prudently decided to return home and dig out a coat for tomorrows tour.
Sept 2nd
Change over day in the self-catering and I had to content myself with garden birding and lawn mowing, the latter is easier now with the new lawn mower although still a pain as the weather was beautiful.
See picture of my new toy below.
DunnockArthurs new toy
Sept 1st
September came in with a bang today as Pam and I went to cailaich Point and saw lots of Dolphins, we are talking well over 300 in several groups having a feeding frenzy for over 2 hours, mostly they were Common Dolphins but there was also a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins in the mix and although they were close enough to see clearly they were just to far away for my camera. Also seen at Cailaich were large flocks of Manx shearwaters, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Fulmar, White-tailed Sea Eagle, Shags and a Great northern Diver. We also saw an Atlantic Grey Seal and Red Deer. At Calgary we had a very close juvenile Great Skua, see photo and a pair of Red Throated Divers. On the drive back home I took this picture of a Highland Cow in beautiful Mull landscape and back home in the afternoon I used my new toy, a new lawn mower which has a working clutch which means I only have to guide it not push it, a much better idea. All in all a very good start to Autumn, the weather was great as well.
KittiwakesGreat Skua
Highland cow on hillside
August 2017
Aug 31st
A wader day with 8 different Waders seen with Oystercatchers being the most prolific followed by Ringed Plovers and Curlews. after sifting carefully through the Ringed Plovers we saw a few Turnstones and a couple of Dunlin. In total we saw 5 redshank and 3 Bar Tailed Godwits but Wader of the day was a Little Stint which Pam and I took some time to figure out, of course I had not taken the camera out with us so no point in reporting it. There was also a Carrion Crow present at the main Wader spot not a bird always present on Mull and seldom seen. As we were checking out the Waders a White-tailed Eagle flew over our heads, we saw 4 in total today and we were not even looking for them. I went to the doctor today to get an appointment to see a specialist to look at my DUPUYTREN'S CONTRACTURE, I will leave readers to look that one up, suffice to say it is not contagious so won't affect the tours but probably means I have Viking blood.
Aug 30th
A lovely tour today with great guests and although the wildlife proved somewhat difficult to find we eventually saw all of the Mull main species really well. The day began with a Greenshank at our first stop, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters, Snipe and a flying family of Shelduck  at the next. Red Deer were seen as we left Cailaich Point and Linnets and Goldfinches were present along the road back towards Calgary. The weather took a turn for the worse as it started raining but we still managed Curlews and Ringed Plover as we continued the tour. The rain stopped after lunch and we managed to see a Bar-tailed Godwit and Black Guilliemot but it was later in the day that the major action took place, a Golden Eagle appeared and attacked a Buzzard, the Eagle was then itself mobbed by a brave Kestrel. At long last we saw a White-tailed Sea Eagle and then like buses another appeared giving us great closeish views. We watched both types of Seal before 2 Otters joined us, could the day get better I thought, yes it could a female Hen Harrier to end a terrific tour. Thanks to Sal and Andy for their great spotting, thanks to Mulls wildlife for the welcome home...... It's great to be back.
Aug 29th
We Are Back Home after a lovely visit to see all our family including a Christening and a Wedding....Tour Tomorrow
Brown Family by the canalNia & Rishee
William & ClareArthur & Rishee
July 2017
Some photo's taken on Arthurs last tour.
Otter looking at usFallow Deer stag
Linnet flyingSlow worm
July 26th
We have grandchildren coming up for a week from Devon so there will be no more blogs until the end of August as after the week with our Devon family we are going down to Cheshire to see my dad and look after the Cheshire grandchildren whilst their mum and dad are at work. Thanks to Pete and Jenny for their help with house sitting and for doing the self-catering cottage changeovers whilst we are away. You are a couple of stars as we could not manage without you and it means we can be at our Grandsons Chritening, a family wedding and spend time with my  Dad.  The blog will return on 31st August after our first tour which is booked for the 30th. We wish all our readers a very good summer and look forward to bringing you more Mull news on our return.
July 25th
A day off to do some fetching and carrying before I put my feet up this afternoon. Pam, well she went sea swimming again, perish the thought???
July 24th
A beautiful day today and as if a White-tail Eagle sitting proudly out on a close island was not enough a second one flew in legs hanging down like an airoplanes landing gear and landed next to the first, they looked towards each other calling loudly before the first one shuffled closer to the second bird for a bit of loving. On the next island along an Otter decided to put in a very brief appearance, staying only just long enough for all my guests to see it through the telescope. The Common and Grey Seals were all streched out around all these goings on just enjoying the sunshine. Later a Golden Eagle was seen flying along a ridge and 2 Hen Harriers came up from the ground together interacting before seperating to go hunting, one eventually came and gave us really close views. 2 very unusul sightings today a large pink flamingo (a blow-up plastic boat containing a couple of young children enjoying the sunshine in Calgary Bay) and a huge, very low flying Nimrod Airoplane which went right over the bus, (quite scary) and flying off down Loch Frisa.
July 23rd
A tour in very warm weather which meant finding wildlife a little harder than it is in cooler conditions which is why we have been so lucky with our sightings this year. Back to today and the highlight had to be a brilliant Golden Eagle seen after lots of time looking, it was definitely a case of persevering paying off and I was delighted for my guests. 2 Red Throated Divers was another sighting that was special and I in particular was pleased with the views they gave us as this is a bird I have a lot of affection for. Otter was seen as were White-tailed Sea Eagles and both types of Seal although the Golden Eagle apart I think my guests were most thrilled with the Slow Worm we saw when looking for Hen Harrier which only some of my guests saw.
July 22nd
Whilst doing my self-catering cleaning I looked up and saw our 2 fledgeling White-tail Eagle chicks flying together over their nest trees, good to see them and expect they will soon be flying over the house. Our guests had left the houses nice and clean so I was able to get a lovely swim in this afternoon. Whilst out and about Arthur managed to get a couple of photo,s of another juvinile WTSE, probably a first year by the one white feather in it's tail.
                                juvWTSE juvinile
July 21st
A tour today and once again we had a great Otter sighting which pleased our guests as did the Hen harrier seen in the morning at our first stop. Both types of Eagle were seen as were Red Deer and Seals but my day was highlighted by 3 very good sightings of Swifts, the first I have seen on Mull for a couple of years, wildlife watching you never know what you might see. 3 Red Throated Divers seen today were also well appreciated by our guests as were the diving Gannets and for me to complete a memorable day a lovely male Linnet.
Otter in waterOtter coming out
July 20th
It was a beautiful day and what was I doing? mowing lawns that's what. When I had finished my shirt was literally stuck to my back, the lawns look good though.
Wildflowers and Butterfly 
July 19th
DAM, Dam, Dam, I worked on the dam this morning, here are some pictures. This afternoon I cut the drive hedge on my side as it was growing across the drive, thanks to Pam for helping pick up the cuttings, it would have taken all night on my own. We do not own a hedge cutter, only clippers, Voltarol for my shoulders and arms please Pam. 
Dam 1Dam 2Dam 3
July 18th
Just every now and then you have a day to forget, today was one of them so I will forget it, apologies to our guests but thanks to the White-tailed Sea Eagle at the end of the day which saved my bacon.

July 17th
nuff said
July 16th
A tour today and we had fantastic Otter sightings of 3 Otters in total, to give you some idea of how good this sighting was check out the photo's below and yes before you start thinking they must have been taken by someone else, I can tell you it was all my work, that's how good the sighting was. We also had good Golden and White-tailed Eagle sightings, both types of Deer and Seal and a good, if distant, Hen Harrier. At Cailaich Point we saw Manx Shearwater, Gannets and Guilliemots as well as the Highland Cattle with their calves. Other notable birds seen today were Wheatear, Stonechat, Arctic Tern and Red Breasted Merganser with ducklings.
Otter good pic
Otters 3Otter seen us
July 15th
It Rained, It Poured, It came down in torents, It rained Cats and Dogs, It was monsoon like without the heat, what can you do in weather like that?
July 14th
A day off so although Pam objected I mowed the big lawn, I had seen the forecast for tomorrow. This evening we went to the Bellachroy for out 44th wedding aniversary and had a great meal once again.
Highland calves
July 13th
Another lovely day at least until lunchtime and the day started really well with a fabulous view of a female Hen Harrier at our first stop. The morning went on well as at our second stop we saw Ravens, Mallards (yes we do look for everything that is wildlife) and a lovely Sand Martin on wires above a Loch. White-tailed Sea Eagle with chick at next stop proved a winner with my guests as did the Siskins in our garden as we stopped for our first comfort break. Curlew, Buzzards and Red Deer followed an it was only coffee break time. The afternoon was much slower although we had a great sighting of a White-tailed Eagle flying before the weather began to deterioate. Common Seal with new pup proved a winner more so than the comatose Otter lying asleep on a rock after a good lunch, it did move once to prove it was an Otter, and alive, my guests were very pleased to see it if a little underwhelmed that it was asleep, sometimes the wildlife does not help me out at all, at least it turned up which could not be said of the Golden Eagles which on this occasion we missed out on.
WTSE flying

July 12th
What a beautiful day for a tour and everything came out to play. The Golden Eagle was sitting on the hill preaning it's self, White-tail Eagles were flying everywhere and the Otter, when we eventually found it, was having a good old roll in the seaweed before going back into the water to hunt. Lots of Red deer and a single Fallow Deer, Common Seals and calves all enjoying the lovely weather but the special sighting of the day was male and female Hen Harrier interacting with each other high in the sky (look low to the ground for Hen harrier I had just told my guests) before the male flew away and the female pulled her wings in and swooped down low to hunt the fields right in front of us - magical.
July 11th
No tour today at the dentists again, and the crown did not fit, Again, I always knew I wasn't fit for royalty??? I took these pictures of some of our regular garden birds when I got home and then back to one of my other companions, my Strimmer.

Rock DoveSally in the garden
Chaffinch with curious baby BlackbirdYellowhammer in the garden
Blue Tit babyRabbit
July 10th
Today I found out that Golden Eagles can be a bit like buses, you wait for one all day and then 4 come along almost at the same time. Once again like a very poor gunfighter from the wild west I went for my camera after one of the closest Eagles had decided to move away. In the case of the male Hen Harrier seen in the morning the view was so good I never even cosidered getting out the camera as I was so engrossed in the sighting. The Otter sighting today was very close but short as the Otter came in and did what Otters do best dissapeared. White-tailed Sea Eagles seen in most areas and the chick had to be the stand out, well it was standing well out from the nest on a branch, it won't be long now before it takes the leap of faith.
July 9th
The weather forecast was half right today, there was to be no rain and no wind, well there was no wind but it rained all day. We saw 5 Otters today, yes that is right 5 Otters, we also saw 6 White-tailed Sea Eagles and chick standing beside the nest although it has not fledged yet it was probably drier where it was standing than in the nest. A Golden Eagle was seen looking fed up with its back to the rain and 2 Hen Harriers a distant one and a really good close male. Of the 52 bird species seen today the standouts were, Common Scoter, Red Throated and Great Northern Divers, Goosander with tiny ducklings, Manx Shearwaters, Puffin and Gannets. Mammals seen were both types of Seal including babies with their Common Seal mums, Otters mentioned earlier and Red Deer hinds, stags and calves although my favorite was the lovely Fallow Deer in the picture below.
Fallow Deer
July 8th
No birding today, no time, what with the water supply to clean through as we are having a water sample test on Thursday and after the recent monsoons there was peat in the water which although not harmfull doesn't look good. Lawns to mow as I could not do them in the week due to heavy rain and then I valeted the inside of the mini-bus as we were told it wasn't going to rain much in the coming week, read tomorrows blog.
July 6th
Another short blog as I can't get my head around this bl....dy computer. After 3 weeks of a lost filling it was filled today so as well as computer problems I have been enduring tooth problems. Thank goodness for my guests and the brilliant wildlife and my long suffering wife.
July 5th
All the main species seen on a lovely sunny day. The Common Seals were showing well with some very newly born young and Red Deer with a new calf, the Otter was distant but seen both rolling around on land and swimming but we had to wait until the end of the day for our highlight, 2 Golden Eagles very close being mobbed by a kestrel who was then joined by 2 Hen Harriers, one of which was flying very high in the sky giving us a splendid display for around 5 minutes, one of my guests was getting serious arm ache holding up her binoculars for so long. 
July 4th
Only 2 guests on the tour today as 3 cancelled and they missed a great day wildlife watching with all Mulls specialities seen. I will leave it at that today as we are experiencing serious computer problems and I might well be the cause of it.

July 3rd
Whoopee, a day without rain and Mulls big stuff loved it. We started off with Red Deer stags, hinds and calves were to follow, then 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles and one took off giving us great views and showing its size really well. A couple of miutes later and a view, not great this time of a male Hen Harrier, then it was on to the Seals with calves. By now we were running late which was not helped by 3 Otters at our next stop, these kept my guests busy for enough time to have morning coffee. We left the Otters and a short time later we were watching 3 Golden Eagles, two of them talon grasping, then one landed and we got great views through the scope. I looked at my watch and it was nearly 1pm, lunch time and we had only travelled 14 miles and were 12 miles from my usual lunch spot, so we took lunch with the Golden Eagles. Although I tried to play catch up I was still an hour late arriving home, don't blame me, blame Mulls magnificent wildlife.
July 2nd
If you thought yesterdays weather sounded poor todays was worse, rain and wind for most of the day. My guests were to put it mildly not looking to see much in the way of wildlife, in the event considering the conditions they had a fairly good day.I must say it was not looking promising when as we were travelling along we spotted what turned out to be 3 Hares in a newly harvested field, only the 2nd time we have had Hare on a tour this year. We then had a very good sighting of 10 Goosanders, yes I know they are Ducks and this was the weather for them. In the rest of the day during brief rain breaks we managed to miraculously see Red Deer with calves, Common Seal with new Pups, a Golden Eagle, 3 White-tailed Sea Eagles, Kestrel and Buzzards and Buzzard chicks. Other sightings worth a mention, Black Guilliemot, Red Throated Diver, Guilliemot, Gannet and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen on our peanut feeders as we drank afternoon tea and ate Pam's cakes in the comfort and warmth of the kitchen at Ardrioch.

Hares in a fieldGoosander
July 1st
A typical Mull summers day warm with lovely sunshine ( in your dreams Arthur ) in reality wet, windy and cosidering the time of year very cold. On the upside I could not get out to do the lawn mowing but had to content myself with looking at my Golden Eagle picture and recall the sighting of yesterday. As I was picturing the Goldie in my head Pam interupted my thoughts as we had problems in the Sheiling, a light bulb had gone and the cold water tap in the bath was not working properly, there is no rest for the wicked they say. However with help from my friend and next door neighbour a retired heating engineer the problems were soon both resolved.

June 2017
June 30th
It was a day that Golden Eagles took centre stage with the one in the photo below being the iceing on the cake, it had to be my best Golden Eagle sighting of the year and in my top 10 sightings ever. The day started with a Golden Eagle being mobbed by 2 Hen Harriers and then a Buzzard joined in, there were two other good Goldie sighting before the show stopper towards the end of the day. I could tell you about the rest of the day but that would be an injustice to the fantastic bird that is the Golden Eagle.
Golden Eagle flying in the mist
June 29th
Although it was very windy today the rain managed to stay off until 3pm when the heavens opened and we came back to Ardrioch for afternoon tea. We saw a Golden Eagle bringing in prey to the nest but it did not hang around for long although it gave us great views before going behind the hill and out of the wind. White-tailed Sea Eagles, Kestrel and lots of Buzzards were seen well and we saw a very good Otter. Small birds seen included Whinchat, Stonechat, Bullfinch, Wheatear, Whitethroat and my favorites Linnets. On the wader front we saw 2 Greenshank at different locations today.
June 28th
As we had some appointments to go to today we did not have a tour but on our travels we saw this Red Breasted Merganser with new ducklings. The photo shows how quickly they learn to follow Mums lead, unfortunately they only scored seven out of ten for their synchrnised swimming routine as one of the chicks was a little bit like corporal Jones of dad's army fame and a little behind the rest. There is always one that lets you down.
Red-breasted Merganzer with ducklings
June 27th
No tour today as I was catching up on gardening as it did not rain after lunch, so I thought I would tell readers the tale of the White-tailed sea Eagles at Killiechronan this year. It was all going swimmingly, the eggs had hatched and their new family was doing well, all was well in their world. One day the male went out hunting and was accosted by a young White-tailed Eagle and as is their inclination a fight ensued. It was a good scrap by all accounts from someone who witnessed it but as in all fights there are winners and losers and in this one the younger bird prevailed and killed the resident male. This had dire consequences for the female and her chicks, as a single parent she could not feed and protect the young chicks so they died.         (Small space for cries of horror). As you can imagine the female bird was quite distraught at this turn of events, not only had she lost her lifetime partner but also her new family. However there is a happy ending to this tragic tale, within days the female had got over her trauma and taken up with the new virile victor.             (longer pause for your obvious cries of heartless hussy). The picture below shows the hussy in a tree above the bird killer, now we know who wears the trousers in this new relationship or could it be a case of sleeping with the enemy. Who needs soap operas we have it here on Mull in the real wildlife world.
WTSE fickle female
June 26th
It almost felt like summer today, 15 degrees celcius and no wind, it was quite balmy. The birds certainly enjoyed it with over 50 species seen well and we also saw 6 mammals. We are seeing more and more Common Seal with calves now always an Ah moment when ladies see baby anything but you know they are enjoying themselves. Other ah moments today, the fast growing Buzzard and White-tailed Sea Eagle chicks which showed particularly well again today. Little birds in abundance with Stonechat, Bullfinch, Redpoll and Whitethroat being the standouts. Otter seen very well today as were 4 Fallow Deer and Red Deer stags but it was Golden Eagles that proved the bird of the day as lots of them came out to enjoy a bit of warmth.
Golden Eagle on hillsideWhitethroat
June 25th
What makes a great day out, keen guests who want to see wildlife that does not have to be in the palm of your hand, who enjoy a laugh and have oodles of patience, today was a great day out. One of my guests requested Hen Harrier and we saw one a male, it was not too close but it gave us a good view for about a minute, I got a handshake for that sighting. Two of my guests both ladies and good wildlife watchers had never seen Otters in the wild, we saw 2 a mother and cub and they were a long way off but perfectly visible in the scopes and they gave us a great show for over 20 minutes. I got hugs and kisses for that sighting and not a single moan that they could have been closer. We saw White-tailed Eagles, Kestrel, Bullfinch and Spotted Flycatcher Lesser Redpoll and many other little birds and on the Mammal front a Common Seal suckling its mother and my first Red Deer calves of the year. It was the Golden Eagle that proved illusive due to the continued autumnal mid-summer weather we are induring, heavy showers and high winds and cold, we had to wait 50 minutes at our last Eagle stop to see a Golden Eagle which we did, not close but all my guests saw it for about 5 minutes and were absolutely delighted, today was what wildlife watching is all about, it was a priviledge to take you all out. Todays photo is of a juvenile Cormorant which was close enough to photograph.
Cormorant Juvenile
June 24th
It was a very sad day at Ardrioch today, our friends Sue and Jerry went home and a young Woodpecker flew into the office window and died instantly. This was a very sad occurance as we have watched this bird becoming more independent over the last few days and it was a joy to see it regularly coming to the feeders. On a happier note there were heavy showers at regular intervals today, they lasted long enough and often enough to prevent me from being able to mow the lawns, yeah. We have Swallows nesting in our big shed and I managed to get some photo's.
Swallows in the nestSwallow babies
June 23rd
A very windy and mixed day of weather which started well with a lovely Yellowhammer in our garden. Pam did the tour and saw all of the Mull main species including a female Hen Harrier seen as she was waiting for roadworks to clear, first problems with Knock Bridge now roadworks which should have been completed last week, oh joy. I took our friends out to try and find Short Eared Owl and much to their delight and my relief we did see a pair, the sighting was very good but they could have stuck around for a little bit longer as it was perishing cold looking for them. We had a good meal with our Cheshire friends and Jaqui and Mike from Enjoy Mull at the Glen Forsa Hotel this evening, it was a lovely evening full of laughter.
June 22nd
Hi ho hi ho its back to work I go and after the deluge of yesterday the wildlife was really playing ball, at one of my stops we had 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles sitting around, just chilling before taking off as if they were going somewhere, flew 100 yards, turned back and landed to resume chilling, I don't know what that was all about. At the same time A Golden Eagle flew in and landed in full view and hadn,t left the spot when we did, maybe it was a day just for chilling. It wasn,t for us for while we were watching all this Eagle inaction an Otter came out and started fishing, it caught a lot of fish in a relatively short time before it disappeared. " Where has it gone"? someone said, probably chilling I thought. 
June 21st
Thunder bolts and lightening very very frightening, not really but it rhymes, it also poured with rain at times, why am I not complaining about the weather you may be asking, well its because we were in Glengorm tearooms with friends who are staying with us. Whilst it was all happening outside we were inside enjoying great Crab sandwiches, well three of us were Pam doesn't eat Crab, watching the weather with smug expressions on our faces thinking it was a good day not to be doing a tour.
June 8th to June 20th
June the eighth will go down as a day when everything went wrong, well actually 3 things went wrong, first I had a flat tyre on the mini-bus and discovered I needed 4 new tyres, big bill. The motherboard went on the computer hence no blog, so we needed a new computer,big bill. Then the iron broke down as Pam was ironing, new iron required, little bill. This explains why there has been no blog postings for a fortnight so I will give you a brief catch up. It RAINED, yes for the first 10 days we had rain in all its guises, torrential, just heavy, light, drizzle, low cloud and mist, showers, suffice to say the dam runneth over. A lot of fledglings in our garden died of being waterlogged which was tragic, some friends left early as they were sure if they didn't the Arc would be full. On the wildlife front the midges love this weather and little birds are being seen again as their first broods have fledged. We are seeing more Otters and Golden Eagles now with 2 Otters and 4 Golden Eagles seen well on todays tour. Last but by no means least, Knock Bridge opened again on Friday the 16th on time and they have done a great job on it. The photos are of an adult and baby Great Spotted Woodpeckers on one of our feeders and lovely Whinchat, a bird seen a lot on the tours this year.
Woodpecker Dad & babyWhinchat
June 7th
Today was a Golden Eagle fest with 7 birds seen and all really good sightings, 2 of my guests were really pleased as this was the one bird they had yet to see on Mull this holiday. The Buzzard chicks being fed by its parents was another highlight and we saw White-tailed Sea Eagles but not in anything like the numbers of the Goldies and I can't say that often. Very good close views of both types of Seal today giving my guests very good comparisons betwen the two species. No Otter today, Pam saw them all yesterday, will I ever hear the last of it?
Buzzard hovering
June 6th
It is always a good day when you get an Otter at your first stop and it's an even better day when you get another at the second stop. The weather was cold, wet and windy all day, and so sitting and flying White-tail Eagle at our coffee stop was also good to see. No Golden Eagles as was expected at lunch time, still in the rain, but some lovely small birds including Linnet, Wheatear, Swallow, House and Sand Martins. Later we were suprised by a flying Golden Eagle and even more suprised when we found another 2 Otters. My guests were pleased to have afternoon tea and cakes in our warm kitchen whilst watching our garden birds. At last it stopped raining and on the way home we had male and female Hen Harrier to finish off the day.
June 5th
A great tour today even if at one stop it was warm and Midgy and at the next cold and windy, it was like the Hokey Kokey, put your best coat on take your best coat off, me I just stayed in my shirt and short sleeved jacket and nearly froze to death, numpty that I am. Over 50 species of birds were seen with a total of 6 White-tailed Sea Eagles and 2 Golden Eagles, 2 Hen Harriers and several Buzzards. We had diving Gannets, a lovely Kittiwake, Wheatear, Stonechat, Whinchat and Tree Pipit. On the Mammal front, both types of Seal, Red Deer and Rabbits. In our garden at a comfort break Coal Tits, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Yellowhammer and Siskins were the highlights prompting one guest to say we could stay here all day. One guest wanted Orchids so we got her some seeing Dipper and Grey Wagtail at the same spot and at the end of a lovely day I took this photo of a beautiful male Red Breasted Merganser. Now I am off for a hot bath and hot toddy to ward off pneumonia.
Red-breasted Merganzer maleNorthern Marsh Orchid
WTSE & Corvids
June 4th
Today I had to re-gig the tour as it was the Isle of Mull Bike Ride with between 300 and 400 cyclists taking part. Meeting 10 or a dozen on normal tours can be fraught but 300+ not on your nelly ( apologies to anyone called Nelly who reads this blog ). So today was as much about cyclist avoidance as wildlife watching. In the event we saw 2 very good Hen Harriers, 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles, a Golden Eagle, Red Deer, Common Seals, Eider Duck with ducklings see photo, Grey Wagtail, Whinchat, Lesser Redpoll, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Skylark, Buzzard with chicks amongst a total of 50 bird species seen during a fruitfull day. We only had to overtake about 10 bikes and one of them three times and on each occasion the rider was off the bike. Is this why they are called push bikes?
Aros bridgeEider Duck
                            & 2 ducklings
June 3rd
No tour today as we work changing over in the 2 self-catering cottages and keeping the garden tidy for the self-catering guests and the birds. Although both of us were very busy we decided to count the birds we could see from within the house and garden during the day. In total we saw 22 species of birds including White-tailed Sea Eagle and Buzzard flying over with Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskins, Chaffinches, and Blackbirds all with young now coming into the garden with their parents. Unusual garden sighting 2 Grey Herons flew over, looked around and then flew back again. We also have lots of Rabbits and for younger readers lots of little Bunnies.
June 2nd
Mulls main species performed in spectacular fashion today with a wonderful sighting of a female Hen Harrier hunting and then perched. It can't start better than that I thought, oh yes it could, as 2 Golden Eagles and a Buzzard came out to play giving us a special display. On to my White-tailed Eagle nest and sure enough both adult birds were there, the tour was only an hour in and Mulls main bird species had all been seen. A comfort stop at Ardrioch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was on the feeders along with Siskins and Lesser Redpoll. At coffee time we saw Gannets, Guilliemots
Kittiwakes and Shags and an inquisitive Grey Seal. Red Deer and Buzzards nest with 2 chicks, a male Hen Harrier and a great Kestrel sighting after lunch but the Otter which one of my guests desperately wanted to see remained absent. Two more White-tailed sea Eagles giving us a flying display were the next major sighting but it was at afternoon tea stop that  we spotted an Otter and it gave my guests half an hour of great pleasure as we were the only people around to see it. Needless to say afternoon tea was very late today. 
June 1st
Thanks Donald, you are a star not believing the climate is changing, here we are on the first of June and it is cold, wet and windy, at the same time last week heatstoke, what's going on, nothing in Donalds world. Todays tour was difficult as it rained for most of the day, just look at the moody dark picture taken during the best part of the day. To brighten readers up we saw White-tailed Eagle, very brief Golden Eagle, Otter, Seals by the  had all been seenscore behaving in a funny manner and Red Deer. The sighting of the day however was brilliant Short Eared Owl, It flew and hunted right past us within 50 yards it was spectacular and we had it off and on for over 10 minutes, it was certainly worth getting cold and wet for. 

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