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August 2016
Aug 31st
A lovely day even if the weather was windy and cool with occasional squally showers. Today we had good sightings of everything as we had a couple of really good spotters on the tour. The tour started with White-tailed Sea Eagles but after only a couple of guests had seen them through the scope it poured down. We then went and looked for waders, spotting Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew, Herons, Common and Herring Gulls and some distant Goosander. As we were watching some Red Deer stags on a high hill this juvenile White-tailed Sea Eagle flew right over our heads, so close it caused a partial eclipse, even I managed a decent photo with my box brownie. More White tails followed shortly after this sighting and the first of 2 Hen Harriers flew past. With all this action going on we went to our lunch spot right after a very late coffee break and we were just in time to see a brilliant close Golden Eagle hunting over a ridge, it dissappeared but then returned carrying a forlorn Rabbit. As we were watching the Eagle I turned round and saw an Otter on a nearby island, it gave us great views before going into very choppy water to fish, later it came out to eat a Crab and was joined by another Otter, what a day. As the weather deteriorated we decided to call it a day but not before a celebratory cup of tea and cake, oh and 2 more White-tailed Sea Eagles. My thanks to my guests and the Wildlife on Mull for giving me an unforgettable day.
WTSE juv flying
                                                overhead
Aug 30th
A tour today where we saw all Mulls Specialities but in some cases it was really hard work, mainly because the Golden Eagles were not coming out to play. We started the day with some nice Waders, Bar-tailed Godwits and Greenshank being the pick of them and then we saw our first Otter, it was a good find and as we did not see another one all day, a very good find. We watched the Otter for ages and then went to look for and eventually find White-tailed sea Eagles, 3 of them and they gave us a wonderful display of flying and no boats in the area. Then it started to get harder, it was a lovely warm day and nothing was flying although we did see the occasional Buzzard and a long distant persistant Kestrel and lots of Ravens. As the afternoon drew on we saw Red Deer hinds, stags and calves and a very good Kestrel and a Hen Harrier flew in front of the bus and dissappeared but no Golden Eagle although we tried really hard. On our way back home I stopped at a place where I can, but not often, see a Golden Eagle and almost at once one appeared and just as quickle dissappeared. After 10 minutes it re-appeared and you guessed it dissappeared again. It eventually gave up and put on a distant show before landing on the hillside, result, job done.
Red Deer stags on
                                            the hillRed
                                            Deer stag on the hill
Aug 29th
Back on tour again today and the star was undoubtedly the Otter, not the first one we saw which was good but the second one which was excellent, it came out of the water on to land and put on a performance worthy of an Ottscar, the Otter equivalent to the oscars. White-tailed Eagles were seen well in some numbers and a couple of distant Golden Eagles. A Goosander with eyes bigger then its throat provided early morning entertainment as it tried to eat a large flatfish whilst being harried by a Great Black backed Gull and a Heron. The protaganists certainly did not get the fish but nobody saw the Goosander eat it either, the concensus was like all big catches the fish got away. It will however make for good quack at Goosander dinner parties.
Aug 28th
A lovely day just great for a tour but no takers, tour numbers down this summer after a promising spring, with lower ferry prices there are more day trippers and less longer stays. The good weather and no tour meant I had to do yesterdays gardening and help Pam with a clearout in the sheds, oh joy. We had friends around to help us eat the fantastic Mackeral that my mate Nick Evans kindly dropped off for us and mighty tasty they were to, well done to Pam the chef.
Aug 27th
 No tour as we clean holiday lets and this week I valeted the bus and car and tried to do some gardening but it rained.
Aug 26th
No tour today and lunch in the Bellachroy which was very nice, although a large lunch and two pints of really nice beer do not make for a very productive afternoon. So tomorrow I am going to have to do two days chores in one. We have a very noisy young Buzzard flying round the garden at the moment and the Great Spotted Woodpeckers family are in and out all day and with the Jay putting in an appearance now and again garden watching is very productive.
Aug 25th
Another very nice day and the Eagles were again out to give us a day to remember but today the White-tailed Sea Eagles joined the party, The Golden Eagles were not quite up to yesterdays five star performance but were pretty close and the White-tails matced them. Red Throated Divers again made my day but my guests wanted the big stuff and although we found 2 Otters neither stuck around for long although all my guests got to see at least one of them. Red Deer and Seals proved a hit on another tour in which Mulls specialities put on a show.
WTSE behind Ardrioch
Aug 24th
A beautiful day and it turned into a festival of Golden Eagles, 6 were seen in total two in the morning flying, one sitting on a hill at lunch time and when it flew it was mobbed by a Kestrel as a Hen Harrier watched on and then at tea time Mum, Dad, and Juvenile gave us a flying display which I can only describe as awesome. We saw 2 very good Otters today and Red Deer stags and only 1 but quite close White-tailed Sea Eagle. On any usual day I would have put the very good Red Throated Divers as birds of the day but today the Golden Eagles were just special. Before we reached the Eagle territory I took a photo of a Buzzard in flight they are a bird that hardly get a mention but they are still nice to see.
Buzzard hovering
Aug 23rd
A dull day but the promised rain stayed off for most of the day and it was fairly calm and we saw lots of Mulls famed species in the company of Mulls least favorite famed species, Midges. An Otter was found in the morning and we watched it for quite some time as it travelled along eventually coming out onto the rocks to mark his territory
, another Otter was seen later this time fishing for it's lunch. 4 White-tail Sea Eagles were seen as well as Golden Eagles and Hen Harrier. Red Deer were every where today with plenty of stags seen at the tops of the hills. I don't know why Arthur was making such a fuss, he was only going to the hygienist.
Aug 22nd
No tour today but still up early and took this lovely photo at 6am. Out with the strimmer, I now need a baler to pick up the grass as I think the lawn mower might choke. I saw our Jay today and a Buzzard and the Sparrowhawk came into the garden, my little garden birds are getting somewhat traumatised with all these raptors and now 2 White-tailed Sea Eagles have just flown over. If You think my garden birds have problems, I have a dentist appointment tomorrow, oh joy, and Pam is doing the tour.
Mist over Loch Cuin
                                              6am
Aug 21st
A dull driech day with low cloud and drizzle, not great if you wear glasses and use binoculars, but fantastic if you are an unemployed spontex optics cloth. We started off with head and shoulders, no not the hair cleaner but a White-tailed Sea Eagle trying to keep out of the rain, we just managed to see it through the mist. We then went on and saw a pair of antlers on a hill just above the skyline, we couldn't really tell if there was a Red Deer attached to them but presumed there had to be one. On we went and had a better sighting of two Kestrels and a Buzzard and then two more White-tailed Sea Eagles in another tree and as it had stopped raining for a short time we got a good view. 2 otters were seen briefly but they only hung around about as long as Usain Bolt in the hundred metres and more White-tails both sitting and flying. Another Otter was seen and this one stayed around about as long as Mo Farrah in the 10,000 metres, result. A great sighting of 4 Kestrels hounding a Buzzard was probably my sighting of the day although we did see more White-tailed Sea Eagles but as the cloud was still low no Golden Eagle. As we were returning home the sun appeared from its hiding place and so I decided to go where we might see a Golden Eagle and after waiting it out one put in appearance and gave us a bit of a show, I was happy, my guests were happy, we all felt dozy and so we went home.
Grass of ParnassusGrass of Parnassus
Aug 20th
A day of chores, water supply, tick, Strimming, tick, wash van, tick, watch Manchester City play and beat Stoke City ay football, one of those sports mentioned in yesterdays blog, tick, Go out for a lovely meal with friends tick. What was Pam doing, swimming in the sea with friends and a Red Throated Diver 10 yards away. Am I jealous? no as she had cleaned two self-catering cottages before she went.
Aug 19th
A wet day and no tour, we stayed in and watched some olympics seeing Nick Skelton win gold at 58 tears old, yeh one for the golden oldies there. Well done to all our olympians for bringing a smile to our faces in uncertain times, now let us get behind the para olympians who have been dealt a blow due to money shortage which is a real shame as there is so much money floating about in some other sports these days.
Aug 18th
A beautiful day but for us Mulls main species were hard work today and although we saw very good White-tailed Sea Eagles, Red Deer, a distant Golden Eagle and Seal we did not manage to see an Otter. On a brighter note we did see a lot of Wading birds, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover , Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Redshank and Greenshank. We had a good sighting of a Great Northern Diver and 2 Red Throated Divers and a spectacular diving Gannet and less spectacular but still worth seeing diving Common Terns.
Aug 17th
We took our family back to the ferry and then on returning home re-charged our batteries, Grandchildren are delightful but what enegy, it was like Duracell bunnies against cheap battery bunnies and you can guess which we were, and at our time of life we are not re-chargeable. Bird of the day was Hen Harrier with two juveniles which we saw hunting as we made our way home from the ferry, they briefly revived us till we got home and had a reviving cup of tea and a snoozeeeeeee?
Aug 16th
A very sunny hot day not my favorite wildlife watching conditions but we did have some good sightings with Whimbrel and Red Throated Divers being my birds of the day. My guests were desperate to see Otter and they were easily downcast if one did not appear within minutes of us arriving at a spot where they might be seen. After lunch we found an Otter which my guests watched for about an hour, they were delighted and I was relieved as I had felt somewhat pressured all morning. Both types of Eagle were seen as were Red Deer and Seals and a lovely Whinchat, but it was the Otter most of my guests wanted and fortunately we obliged for them.
Aug 15th
We spent a day with the grandchildren and went for a 3 mile walk seeing a close up view of a White-tailed Sea Eagle chick and one of its parents, we did not need binoculars for this sighting. We went to the Olde Byre for me to have a game of Table Tennis with my daughter but the bronze medal match showed no sign of ending so the Gold medal match between the two of us has been put off for the time being. I am glad to say the weather for the second part of their stay is really good although keeping up with three young girls is getting harder for my ageing bones. Ouch, Ow, ouch, ok I'm coming as fast as my legs can carry me.
Aug 14th
A dull day with little wind and no sunshine or rain, a perfect day for wildlife watching. We saw 4 Otters, & White-tailed Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles, 2 Hen Harriers, Red deer stags, hinds and calves, Fallow Deer does and fawns and even Porpoise not often seen on Discover Mull tours. Other birds of note seen were Bar-tailed Godwits, Gannets, Black Guilliemots and Black Throated Divers. Pam went out on a boat with the grandchildren and saw 12 Storm Petrels so in spite of our great day I was a little jealous as I rarely get to see this beautiful little sea bird.
Fallow Deer Doe &
                                              fawnFallow Deer dark
Aug 13th
A day with Becky and the grand children and we went to Cailiach and I saw my first Arctic Skua of the year, Gannets, Fulmar, Kittiwakes, Shags,  Buzzards and we had a great sighting of a Merlin. We went to Glengorm for lunch and a walk which was lovely and Grandpa had a great time trying to lose his grand children after they had run him ragged, this is what they do with their energy, I remember having energy back in the day. On our way home we stopped to look for a Golden Eagle and found one with a White-tailed Sea Eagle and Ravens in close proximity. Becky our daughter has now seen, Otter, White-tailed Eagle, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Golden Eagle, Red Deer and both types of Seal and she has done it in 3 days in awful weather without trying, Mull is that special, today they are going out whale watching and I will update you on their success or failure. By the way it hardly rained at all today and we could be in for a dry spell for at least a couple of hours.
Croig
Aug 12th
If possible the rain was even worse today and one couple booked on the tour did not turn up, so they stayed dry but missed Common Seals, Red Deer, flying White-tailed Sea Eagle and 2 Otters with 41 bird species seen and 4 mammals. Yes the conditions were not perfect but the wildlife was still out there just harder to find but you can imagine the pleasure when we saw some very good wildlife and the waterfalls, particularly Eas Force were spectacular. Just thought of another song ..... Tell it to the rain by the Four Seasons, yes I am old enough to remember them???
Eas Force &
                                              treesEas Force
Aug 11th
To get out of the wet we took the grandchildren to the baths, yes we took them into the water to get them out of the water, there is some reasoning in there somewhere. After lunch we went on a reminissing tour with our daughter and saw an Otter and some Red Deer but what she most remembered of her holidays on Mull was that it was raining then as well. On the subject of rain here are a few songs to get Blake and May going on the subject of rain. It might as well rain until September, Its Raining in my heart, Raindrops keep falling on my head, Singing in the rain and Here comes the rain again. More anyone?
Aug 10th
The Monsoon season has arrived, typically the day the family come for a visit, we are due rain for three days which is a shame for them and my guests on todays tour. We spent a lot of time looking for waders and saw Greenshank, Curlew Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank and my first Common Sandpiper for some time. We saw 4 Fallow Deer two mums and two fawns, Red deer, a family of White-tailed Sea Eagles two of which were on the beach, looking somewhat depressed and finally an Otter so in the end my guests did get a wildlife experience and the waterfalls are filling fast.
Aug 9th
It is that time of the year when in wildlife terms we call it very quiet, It is the time when a lot of our breeding migrants have left and before our winter migrants return but that means we spend more time looking for the Mull specialities. Todays tally was 2 Otters, a very good Golden Eagle, White-tailed Sea Eagle, 2 Hen Harriers , Red Der stags hinds and calves and of course seals and it did not rain till the end of the day. Lovely very chatty guests who got on so well with each other so I hardly got a word in edgeways which as regular guests will know that is unusual for me. Our super Grandchildren from the deep south are arriving tomorrow so it could be bedlam after tomorrows tour.
Wtse in tree 
Aug 8th
The gales of yesterday had abated to just strong winds and we had a full bus of friends and family on a private hire. It was a lovely day out as they had differing requests, some wanted wildflowers, some birds and some mammals but with an overall interest in anything we saw. For our wildflower people we found our first Grass of Parnasis of the year, for the mammal folks, 2 Otters, Grey and Common Seals, Red Deer stags and lets not forget the Rabbits. Birds seen were many with Golden Eagles being the highlight although White-tailed Sea Eagles and Hen Harrier were seen well. We also saw a Peregrine Falcon, Buzzards and Kestrels and lots of waders and even  Black Headed Gull and Wood Pigeon put in guest appearances. All in all a good day was had by all.
Otter &
                                                RedshankRed Deer hind
Aug 7th
Today was difficult, out on a tour in gale force winds with more white horses than wildlife and heavy rain in the afternoon. We saw lots of Goosander today in three places sheltering in hidden bays, I wish we could have joined them. Curlews and a Greenshank were seen and some of us saw Fallow Deer very briefly. Inspiration hit me and we found a pair of White-tailed Sea Eagles sheltering in a tree out of the wind, result, I now felt a little better for my guests. Red Deer were seen as were some Seals and one brave Seal even clambered onto an Island, the fool!!!. Then just after lunch taken before the rain became intollerable a Female Hen Harrier got up and gave us a great show before it to thought better of it and flew off. As it disappeared I spotted an Otter in the water, I still don't know how but off we went down the road to get a closer look and after searching for some time we found it on a seaweed island eating fish and it gave us half an hour of Otter magic before it too succumbed to the conditions and went home. We took the hint and did the same, thanks to Mulls wildlife today you went above and beyond to give our guests a good day and in so doing saved my bacon, probably shoudn't have written that, most of our guests today were vegetarians.
Aug 6th
Saturday and change over day so no tour and I had a lazy day, much to Pams disgust as I had promised to do some work in the garden, but regular readers know how I feel about gardening. There were birds in the garden but I was to lazy to even look to see what was out there although I had fed them before the laziness kicked in.
Aug 5th
A great Norther Diver at the start of the tour boded well but the wildlife was playing hard to get and it was well past coffee break before we found White-tailed Sea Eagles and they came as a package with 3 all together, mum and dad standing by as youngster was getting food from a sheep carcase as Ravens looked on. It was lunchtime by the time we saw Golden Eagles but they put on quite a show probably because they could see the rain coming in, Buzzards and Kestrels were also seen well at the same spot. We saw Red Deer and both types of Seal but no Otter which was somewhat disappointing. The rain was continuing so we had afternoon tea in the warmth of our kitchen and as we left the rain stopped. Stopping off on our way into Tobermory to have a last look for Otter and low and behold we found one and from the look on my guests faces it made their day. My day was made at lunchtime as my guests were watching the Golden Eagles I saw a beautiful male Linnet.
GN Diver
Aug 4th
Todays gems were all Mulls main species and all seen very well. To begin with we saw some Red Deer stags which took some finding as they were so well camouflaged against the hillside, we were to see hinds and calves later in the day. Driving further down the road my Eagle eyed guests spotted a juvenile White-tailed Sea Eagle flying with 2 Buzzards and we were able to watch it for some time till it disappeared over the wood, a total of 4 White-tailed Sea Eagles were seen during the day. Next after searching for some time we found an Otter just before lunchtime and it behaved in a way that I had never witnessed before, the tide was way out and the Otter hunted through the surf right by the beach almost like beach combing. We must have watched facinated by this behaviour for nearly half an hour, I know as I was getting very hungry when we eventually ate lunch. After lunch we saw a distant Golden Eagle and some Kestrels but as the afternoon wore on we found two more Goldies and one was this years chick flying like a veteran. To finish the day we went in search of a Hen Harrier more in hope than expectation and we had a brilliant sighting of a very close female, it was the closest I have seen this year, what a way to end a real gem of a day.
WTSE back in usual
                                              treeOtter surfing
Otter riding the surf
Aug 3rd
Another day with family going swimming as Nia loves it. I, of course, was looking for wildlife, Golden Eagle carrying prey was probably the best wildlife we saw today after the rain had stopped but 2 Hen Harriers sky diving was a close 2nd and an Otter fishing was 3rd, not every young child gets to see wildlife like this I hope it sticks in the memory, although I doubt it, but it will remain in mine. Richie and Nia leave early in the morning so back to work, if you can call wildlife watching back to work, I wonder what gems tomorrow will bring.
Aug 2nd
A day spent with my lovely and, for now, youngest Grand Daughter, Nia who is up visiting with her dad. We went to the Old Byre and had a nice cup of coffee and Nia played in the outside play area which is excellent for kids of all ages and I whipped Richard our son at Table Tennis, the old man still has the moves,Occasionally. This evening we went looking for the Marsh Harrier seen earlier in the day, we did not see the bird but felt an awful lot of Midges. Pics of Nia helping grandpa when he was feeding the birds in the garden.
Nia helping Grandpa
                                              in the gardenNia helping Grandpa
                                              in the shed
Aug 1st
A lovely day out and a highlight of 4 Red Throated Divers in Loch Na Keal, as Red Throats have been at a premium this year I was delighted to see so many in one group. On the subject of Divers there was a Great Northern Diver in Salen Bay, it was probably a none breeding bird returning early from up north. Black Giilliemot young are appearing on the Lochs now and I saw at least 3 today. Finally Scotch Argus Butterflies are now starting to appear but the little blighters did not hang around enough for me to get a photo.
Bridge at Aros
August 2015
August 31st
A dry day in very good company and a day to remember for Lyn, although she is a bird watcher she had never seen Golden Eagle in the wild  before and now she has. It gives me a real buzz when I can help a guest to realise a lifetime first and the Golden eagles that we saw were excellent and gave her an outstanding performance. It was not all plain sailing as we were well into the afternoon before we found the Eagles and initially they gave us a very brief glimpse but it was as if they knew as taking pity on us they came out and put on the 5 star show.

August 30th
A tour today and after a gloomy start the weather turned out not to be too bab and we even saw a little sun. In the poorer condition we saw a family out on the beach, not unusual you might think, these however were White-tailed Eagles, mum, dad and their two chicks from this year, even Eagles take their kids to the beach. An Otter just before lunch was a very good spot as it was playing in the seawed, to be honest it was a guest not me who spotted it. We had great views of the Otter as did several passers by who joined the party at least I did not have to provide them with lunch. I think the highlight of today however were the Golden Eagles seen in the afternoon, we must have watched them flying and their youngster learning how to dismantel prey for 45 minutes, even for me who lives here it was a fabulous experience.
August 29th
Today I walked our bounderies with our friend Nick from next door to find out if there were any places where Red Deer could get in and after ploughing through the jungle that is Bracken we eventually found a rotten post which the Deer had lifted and were able to get underneath. Wednesday will be spent fencing them out again. 
August 28th
A decent day weather wise but as I had no tour today I took the opportunity as Pam is away at a wedding in Cheshire to clean through our watee supply. This took most of the day as the supply got air locked and needed freeing after the clean up. Hopefully alls well that ends well..
August 27th
A tour today and you guessed it more rain but we did manage to find a White-tailed Eagle sitting on a beach which we watched as we huddled under the large boot lid of the van out of the rain drinking coffee and eating home made buscuits. eventually the rain eased and the bird flew off disturbing all the Gulls in the area. Our luck continued as at our next stop we found a mum Otter with 2 cubs coming out to feed and we watched them playing in and out of the water for some time and then a Golden Eagle flew briefly before the rain came down. We saw 2 more Golden Eagles at lunch time as the weather improved slightly and Red Deer in the afternoon. Other notable birds seen on the tour were Cormorants, Curlews, Ring Plover, Dunlin, Redshank and Greenshank. It was too cold and wet for Adders today and no Slow Worms either.
August 26th
A day off and was I glad as it rained for most of the day.
August 25th
Another nice but at times cool day and all of Mulls main species performed admirably. We had Golden Eagles, very close White-tailed Eagles, 2 Otters, Red Deer, when we found them, and a female Hen Harrier. Culews, Oystercatchers, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers were also seen well as were Common and Grey Seals. At the end of the day we saw Slow Worms and a lovely male Adder which I managed to get a photograph of. On her way to the bank bus this morning Pam had the bird of the day with a Kingfisher at Dervaig, lucky or what?

Adder Aug15
August 24th
Not such a hot day but still nice and a new bird for my year list at our first stop, a Ruff, not a bird I see often on Mull. Then came the star of todays tour, a really close Otter which gave my guests a lot of pleasure and I even remembered I had a camera in the bus and got a decent Photograph. Another highlight on todays tour were the Golden Eagles with super sighting at lunchtime and a rare sight on Mull this year with a family mum, dad and daughter all flying together in their home territory. White-tails seen well in several locations and lots of diving Gannets and a single Fulmar, a memorable day enjoyed by all.
Otter on the seaweed
August 23rd
I can't believe I am writing this but today it was SCORCIO, a blistering 25 degrees, that is 78 degrees in old terms. After overnight rain the birds of prey were out in force with Buzzards, Kestrel, Peregrines, Golden Eagles and White-tailed Eagles all seen well. The mammals were seen also and as the number of people who stopped us to ask if we were looking at Otters grew it prompted one of my guest to remark  that we must have been the only people to see an Otter on Mull today. Special thanks to my guests today as they all helped me to change a flat tyre on the van, especially Terry Barker who knew what to do and we all chipped in, thanks to you all.
August 22nd
A pleasant day weatherwise and I was doing some repair work, filling holes in the drive, clearing drains to stop water running down the drive and creating holes which then need filling and clearing our water supply. This is how I spend my day off, woe is me?
August 21st
A lovely tour today with very nice guests who made my job so easy, special praise to Ellie a young girl who was very keen on wildlife and a very good spotterand could win an olympic medal for eating Lemon Drizzle cake. On the wildlife front it was wild flowers that were a real treat today as were the pair of Golden Eagles and Red Deer. My highlight today were Lapwings, Goosander and a family of Red Breasted Mergansers which were swimming so fast it was difficultto get all my guests to see them.
August 20th
No tour today so we took the car into Tobermory for its MOT test tomorrow. On our way home we stopped to take a few Photographs of the Heathers you can see on Mull, a Slow Worm and a Toad. In the afternoon we went down to the Lochside opposite our house with the dogs and saw 4 Greenshanks which flew off, a few Dunlin and a single Ringed Plover which I did manage to get some pictures of. Our local White Tailed Eagle is now occasionally being seen flying over the Loch and they are cutting the trees again now it has fledged.
Ling or Scottish
                                              HeatherBell Heather
                                Ling or Scottish Heather                                                                                    Bell Heather
Cross leafed Heath
                                          HeatherToad
                                            Cross-leaved Heath Heather                                                                                                Toad
Ringed PloverDunlin
                                                            Ringed Plover                                                                                                    Dunlin
August 19th
A story of two halves for the tour today, the morning warm, sunny and nice, the afternoon, wet, windy and not at all nice. In the morning we saw  Kestrels, Little Grebe and Red Deer stags, this was followed by Common Seals. At coffee break we spotted a flying White-tailed Eagle which flew right over the mini-bus and at almost the same time as if not to be out done a Golden Eagle flew past giving guests the dilemma of which bird to follow in their binoculars. Then down came the rain and we were left with only one thing to do, you probably guessed that it was look for Otters and we had 3 seperate sightings, two of which were very good ones if a little hazy through the rain. Waders seen today incuded Curlews, Ringed Plovers, Redshank and a Bar-Tailed Godwit. My best sighting of the day was a Great Skua chasing a poor Kittiwake, the big bully.
August 18th
No tour today and so Pam and I went to look for Basking Sharks as Pam had not seen one for two years. Fortunately for us one put in a brief appearance before being disturbed by a boat and dissapearing below the surface, not to return. I took a couple of photo's of the veiw and my first Grass of Parnassus of the year.
Rhum & islands
                                              from MullGrass of Parnassus
                                              & Tormentil
August 17th
Another beautiful day for a tour and we were not dissapointed as we saw great Otter, White-tailed Eagles, a distant Golden Eagle and a Hen Harrier being mobbed by Kestrel. A Whimbrel at Salen was the bird of the day and we saw a Greenshank there as well, other waders seen were Ringed Plovers and Curlews. I think after the Otter the sighting of the day were the Basking Sharks, at least four were seen and the first we have seen on our tours this year, last year we did not see any.
August 16th
The day of the bird club BBQ and it was probably the nicest day of the year, the midges certainly thought so as they were out in earneat, squadrons of them. Hardy souls that we are we all went outside to eat but as the afternoon wore on more and more club members went inside for more salad and did not re-appear. The event was again a great success, enjoyed by all, thanks to Pam for all her hard work and to Mike for looking after the BBQ and cooking some great black sausages, just the way I like them, cheers mate.
August 15th
A mainly dry day with an early start as I had to take self-catering guests to catch the 6-45am ferry from Craignure. On the way home I took some time for some birding with Waders being the main species on my wish list. Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Curlews and Oystercatchers were seen at Craignure Golf Course along with all Mulls main Gull species. Other waders seen on the jouney home were Redshank and Greenshank and with no guests to worry about I managed to get a couple of decent photographs which Pam will put on the blog when she gets time. It is the Bird Club BBQ at our place tomorrow and she is very busy, I offer moral support.
CurlewGoosander pair
Curlew and
                                              Redshank
August 14th
A dull cool day but little rain so that was a bonus. We had a Common Sandpiper at our first stop the first I have seen in some time. Both types of Seal were seen and an Otter and although it was seen well running across the top of the islands it did not hang around for long before dissappearing over the back and out of sight. Great Golden Eagles again today and Slow Worms but the Red Deer took some finding. White-tailed Eagles at the end of the day proved to be the icing on the cake.
August 13th
The nicest day for a tour this year for me, no wind and warm sunshine all day, Arthur was resting again today and it was a great day for the wildlife with all the main species being seen well including 3 different Otters and a female Hen Harrier being attacked by Hooded Crows. I managed to find Golden Eagle not only for todays guests but also for Mondays guests who missed out because of the showery weather. I went rowing again in the evening this time in Tobermory, rowing over to Calve Island and around the bay, it was so calm and warm and it was great to be out on the water again.
Otter in seaweed
August 12th
Pam did the tour again today as I was at a funeral of one of the first man we met when we moved to Mull. Bert was a character but had the best interests of Mull, its farmers and the area around Ulva Ferry where he lived close to his heart. He did all that he could during his life to help and protect them all. He had a passion for wildlife particularly little birds and waders and was very fond of the pair of Golden Eagles living on his land. Like most farmers he was not happy at the re-introduction of the White-tailed Sea Eagle and would give me a hard time about them at times but he was also very helpfull and generous to me with our Wildlife tours whilst at the same time telling guests I was taking money under false pretences. I will miss his banter and farming chats, Ulva Ferry will not be quite the same without him. On the tour front Pam again had great views of Otters today but her sighting of the day was of a Peregrine Falcon, her WoW moment of the tour.
August 11th
A day of light winds and no rain which after the deluge of yesterday was fine with me. The bad weather yesterday brought a new  bird for my year list as a Curlew Sandpiper had been brought in with a couple of tired looking Black tailed Godwits, a great way to start our tour. We had a total of four Otters today and more White-tailed Sea Eagles than you could throw a stick at. A brilliant view of a Golden Eagle had my guests in raptures and the day ended with a view of Slow Worms ionly seen rarely this year due to the cold weather.
August 10th
Light showers in the morning turning to heavy rain in the afternoon, I think Arthur was glad to be at home today. Plenty of Red Deer in the morning and White-tail Eagle bringing prey to it's youngsters who, now they have fledged, were hiding behind a hill fortunatly for us the adult stayed visable sitting on a rock on the hill side. Star of the day was a close Otter seemingly oblivious to the boats zooming around. It fished for half an hour to everyones delight. Dispite the rain we enjoyed lots of little birds including Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plovers, Linnet and, unusual for north Mull, a juvinile Rook.
Otter swimming
August 9th
A tour today and only drizzle to contend with, result. A Black Tailed Godwit at our first stop got us all in the mood for a good day wildlife watching. White-tailed Eagles were seen in a few locations and we saw my first fledged Golden Eagle of the year, one of three seen during the tour. We saw both types of Deer and Seal but guests really wanted an Otter and at the end of the day we got one which we watch for over half an hour. Other notable sightings today were Ringed Plovers and Twite. Congratulations to Richard and Francina who were on their honeymoon, have the Otter on me as a wedding present, you were a delight to take out.
August 8th
I watched England win back the ashes at cricket, it only lasted an hour but don't let Pam know or I will be in trouble as she was working all day on the chang overs in the self catering.
August 7th
My first tour since coming back and a real highlight an Osprey hunting and catching a fish in Loch Na Keal. A lot of White-tailed Eagles were seen although not at nest sights as all of the young fledged whilst we were away.Three Golden Eagles and an Otter were seen as were the usual Grey and Common Seals but it took until near the end of the day to see any Red Deer. Other notable birds on the tour today were goosander, Curlews and Ringed Plovers with a lovely pair of Arctic Terns in Calgary Bay.
August 6th
Back home today and many thanks to Pete and Jenny for looking after things for us whilst we were away. I watched the cricket on tv today, well done Stuart Broard 8 wickets for 15  runs and the amazing catching, go boys.

August 2014
August 31st
A dull day and breezy but we saw a Great Northern Diver at our first stop the first I have seen in some time so the day had got off to a promising start. The day turned out well as all the Mull main species were seen but we had to be patient for all of them with as usual Otter being the hardest of all to find. My Guests loved the young Ringed Plover that we found seemingly on its own but as it was quite close up the view we got through the telescope was awesome.
August 30th
Another pretty depressing day both with the weather and my football team the weather was awful and Manchester City lost at home to Stoke so blog readers I am writing todays blog in a depressed state. On a more cheerful note even on a day off I was able to show a visitor to the Island a White-tailed Eagle even if I was more interested in looking for waders. The Buzzard returned to the garden this morning and the Great Spotted Woodpecker this afternoon. Guest who are in the self-catering are amazed at the number of birds they are seeing in our garden which is just as well as seeing much in the weather we have in the last couple of days is at a premium. Told you I was depressed.
August 29th
Given the weather, heavy rain for most of the day it was of little surprise that the best birds we saw today were Waders. At our first stop we saw lots of Oystercatchers, Curlews and two Bar-tailed Godwits and at our third stop Ringed Plovers and Redshanks were seen. My guests today were great as they never lost their sence of humour throughout the day and were rewarded at the end of the day with good sightings of a Kestrel, Manx Shearwaters, Gannets and Kittiwakes.

August 28th
On tour again today and it was a mixed day for weather but fairly calm and I had a couple of people from Turkey amongst my guests today. They were rewarded with an Otter where  I have not seen one in ages and it gave us excellent views for about 20 minutes. Golden Eagles today took a lot of patience but were well worth the wait when they did appear. White-tailed Eagles and Red Deer as usual but the bird of the day for me was the Little Stint in a flock of Ringed Plover and my first new bird of the year for a long time.
August 27th
Pam gave me an unexpected day off today and apart from a few chores I put my feet up and did nothing. During the day when I was making myself a brew I noticed a pair of White-tailed Eagles above the Loch in front of our house and managed to get a distant photograph of one as it came down below the skyline. Our self-caterers also told me that the day before he had seen a buzzard sitting on the garden fence but as soon as it saw his camera it flew off, typical Buzzard.
WTSE from our house
August 26th   WTSE juv flying large
A day of similar weather to yesterday with a lot less wind and also a lot more wildlife. White-tailed Eagles again flew right over our heads but at a different location and this time I remembered I do have a camera in the the van, see picture on the right. We also saw a very good Golden Eagle sitting on a hill but just too far through the heat haze to get a decent picture. An Otter early on in the day took the pressure off a little bit as it was a first in the wild for most of my guests. Lots of Red Deer including a stag and both types of Seal were again seen well and after a couple of no show days an Adder gave my guests a perfect end to what had been a good day which had at times required a great deal of patience.
August 25th
A sunny, warm but windy day and this beautiful island that is Mull came to my rescue today as the views all over the island were spectacular whereas for the most part the wildlife was a little underwelming. Occasionally you get a day when nothing seems to fly or even be about and today was one of those days. We did see very good White-tailed Eagles flying right over our heads and a very good Buzzard and a distant Kestrel that only I and one guest saw but that was it for raptors. Red Deer, Common and Grey Seal and a Rabbit were the mammals but fair dues Mull was at its magnificent best.
August 24th
A beautiful, warm day and we had seen Red Deer stags, hinds and calves, 2 Golden Eagles, 3 White-tailed Eagles, Common Seals and an Otter before morning coffee. Other notable sightings were Manx Shearwaters, Gannet and Twite but what made the day special was how appreciative my guests were, I know everything was in their favour but if I could bottle their enthusiasm and humour and take it out on all our tours I would, many thanks to you all for giving me such a nice day out.
August 23rd
A lovely day and my day off??? I mowed the lawns, washed and valeted the van, spent time on our water supply, met our self-catering guests as Pam was off sea swimming and put food out in all the bird feeders so I don't have to do it tomorrow. I am now tired out after my day off so I am off to bed good night readers.
August 22nd
Another day of fine weather and once again all the Mull specialities put in an appearance except for the Adders which seem to be dissapearing as the weather cools down. A fine mixture of guests today from children aged 7 and 9 and a half to doctors from the outback in Australia. Ian't it funny how the half is very important to children, I could do with taking some off my age. Bird of the day the Golden Eagle that gave us a display of flying for 20 minutes before dissapearing behind a hill.
Hedgehog baby
August 21st
It was a calm mixed day of sunshine and cloud and we saw just about everything my guests wanted to see including the juvenile White-tailed Eagle in the picture below which flew over our heads and the boat was not out. We had already seen an Otter, Red Deer and Golden Eagle before the White-tail and had not had coffee yet, this for me was a very easy day, More Red Deer were seen including a nice group of stags, a great Golden Eagle and to finish the day a Hen Harrier which was a bird one of my guests had not seen for over 20 years so we were all happy bunnies, and yes we saw them as well.
WTSE juv flyingWTSE juv flying
                                              again
August 20th
A mainly dry day with a shower in the afternoon but we saw some very good birds of prey including a Peregrine Falcon which we do not often see on our tours. Towards the end of the day we had a terrific sighting of a ring-tailed Hen Harrier interacting with a Buzzard, very exciting and a great watch. The Eagles performed as nearly always they do and the Adders and a Slow worm put in an appearance today unlike yesterday. Siskins and Twite were the other best spots on todays tour.
August 19th
A dull day but with only a light breeze perfect for wildlife watching and all Mulls prime species came out to play with Golden Eagle interacting with a pair of White-tailed Eagles at the start of the day setting the tone. Not long after this sighting we found our Otter so all in all I had an easy day for once. Other notable birds seen were Common and Arctic Terns, diving Gannets, Kestrels and Buzzards and not to be out done Ringed Plovers and Wheatears and a lovely Stonechat at the end of a very successful day. Thanks to my guests, great spotters one and all so there was very little out there we missed and this makes the day even more enjoyable in my humble opinion.
August 18th
A lovely if a little cool and breezy and back to normal on the wildlife front. Golden Eagles giving great views, White-tailed Eagles giving not such great views perched as they were in trees, 2 Otters in seperate locations which I had been pressured to find by guests, thanks to the Otters I am still alive to tell the tale. Red Deer, both types of Seal, 2 Adders and a Slow Worm, my guest went home happy and because they were happy so was I.
 
Fallow Deer in the
                                              woodsGreylag Geese

August 17th
It was a very good day for Swans, Ducks and Geese, yes you guessed it, rain all day but my guests were great as was Pam's food, the praise she is getting for the refreshments at the moment is making me somewhat jealous; not really we are just pleased that guests enjoy their day with us. Back on todays wildlife front, Brilliant White-tailed Eagles which flew round, showed off then sat in trees where we were able to see them through the scope and if that was not enough one came in carrying prey much to the delight of a vociferous youngster. Both types of Deer and Seal were seen well as were Gannets being blown into shore on a very strong wind and lots of Common and Arctic Terns. It was the bird club BBQ tonight at our place and I must congratulate Mike Hale for the best BBQ sausages I have ever eaten and I tried several just to make sure, well done mate and watch out Pete someone is after your apron. 
August 16th
I had a day off and it rained for most of the day, but my day brightened up as Manchester United lost their first league match of the season to Swansea City. I knew there was a reason i love birds, well done the Swans.
August 15th
A dull, dry day and very good Eagle sightings once again, however the raptor sighting of the day was a Peregrine Falcon seen at our very first stop, the first Peregrine I have seen in some time. We saw a distant Red Throated Diver which typically flew off just as I got the telescope out which was a shame as one of my guests had asked about Divers. Other birds of note seen today were Common Terns, Goosanders, Ring Plovers, Curlews and Siskins. Lovely guests today which made my day a good one as well, thanks to you all.
August 14th
A sunny warm day and Pam did the tour so that I could mow our lawns, the garden birds will be delighted now they can find all the food that falls on the floor. Pam Said that they had incredible Eagle sightings today and she also said she was too hot as I had told her she would need to wrap up warm. Hey ho this is Mull nobody can truly predict the weather. We went to the Am Birlinn restaurant with Pam's cousin and his wife this evening and had a very good meal.
August 13th
A dull, breezy, cool day but with only a little rain. Another good day today with all the Mull special species seen well particularly Golden Eagles, Red Deer and the Adders. Todays highlight for me were a large group of mixed but mainly Arctic Terns feeding off islands near Ulva, it was certainly the largest group of Terns I have ever seen in this area. At our first stop we saw 3 Greenshanks, this lovely elegant bird is one of my favorite waders and I am always delighted to see them. I took this picture of a Wheatear as we were waiting for the Golden Eagles to appear at lunchtime. For all visitors to Mull you will be relieved to know the toilets at Salen have re-opened.
Wheatear on wire
August 12th
It was anything but the glorious twelfth today with rain, wind and cool conditions that is except for my guests who were bright, breezy and up for the challenge. The fact that my guests were up for the challenge proved invaluable as they found their own White-tailed Eagle as I was off in another direction looking behind the trees when the bird flew in, it was the only White-tailed Eagle seen today, Guests1 Guide 0. Under pressure to perform the guide, that would be me then found an Otter at our next stop and whoopee it gave an outstanding perforformance of typical Otter behaviour. A golden Eagle at lunchtime as the rain temporarily abated, it was a juvenile from this year and the first time I have seen it, its mother then appeared and sent it home following close behind. The day finished on a real high with a brilliant sighting of a ring-tail Hen Harrier, yep the guide got this one at the same time as a guest and then Red Deer stags always a nice animal to show guests particularly at this time of the year. Other good sightings today a large flock of about 40 Ring Plovers which had been disturbed by a Sparrowhawk which flew over our heads. So at the end of another very wet day it  had turned out to be the glorious twelfth.
August 11th
No Ants today the guests did not waste any crumbs of cake. It only rained occasionally today and so we saw 3 Golden Eagles and 6 White-tailed Eagles, 3 Adders, an Otter, Red Deer stags hinds and calves, Common and Grey Seals, Curlews, Oystercatchers Red Breasted Mergansers, Goosanders, Greylag Geese, Grey Herons, Buzzards, Ravens, Hooded Crows, Rabbits, Swallows and yes I nearly forgot a lot of water in the waterfalls a remnant of the long forgotten rain. Tonight it is supposed to rain heavily and I mean heavily yellow all over the map of Mull, oh well we will see what tomorrow brings we are considering going into Arc building.
August 10th
Pam did the tour again today and it rained all day again. She was able to see 5 White-tailed Eagles a tremendous fete considering the conditions, 2 Otters, Red Deer stags, hinds and calves and an Adder so her guests were very pleased. There was a Yellowhammer in the garden first thing this morning, Pam had told me she was seeing it regularly but it was the first one I have seen for some time. Fortunately I have no time to mention my teams abismal performance in todays charity shield match but well done Arsenal.
Note from Pam: Not only did our guests enjoy their Lemon Drizzle cake at afternoon tea stop today but we watched a single Ant carry a crumb of cake twice it's size for over a metre until it went down it's hole with it.
August 9th
Raining again so at least I could not mow the lawns and although it stopped by lunch time it was still too wet to attempt them in the afternoon. Pam was busy with changovers in the self-catering and still found time to go for a swim in the sea. Last night we went to a new small restaurant at Ballygown and had a lovely meal with friends, I think most of Dervaig had the same idea as it was full of locals and folks we knew well, it was a great night out.
August 8th
Rain bucketing down for most of the day and as I was having a day off Pam had to do the tour. After searching for most of the week looking for Otters she was able to find 2 for our guests and I was really pleased for Barbara a guest who came on three tours and Otters were the only species on her list she had not seen. No Golden Eagles today, hardly surprising given the weather but Pam did manage to find the other big Mull species for which she deservers a lot of credit. She missed out on her sea swim today but came home as wet as she would have been had she been swimming.
August 7th
A lovely day with warm sunshine and a nice breeze. We started with Adders, always a treat for guests who are not frightened of Snakes and we moved on to look for Red Deer stags and eventually found a herd of 21 which took some finding in the shadows on the hillside. At our next stop the sighting of the day, a female(ringtail) Hen Harrier giving us a flying display not easily forgotten, this went on for several minutes. We saw a lot more during the day but the Golden Eagle towards the end of the day was the other standout, but for me it did not eclipse the Harrier sighting.
August 6th
Another wet start but quite warm and calm but as I told my guests it was due to clear up by 11am and it stopped raining at 10-45am and the Eagles which had been down all morning all got up to give us a great hour of raptor fest. We had Golden Eagles bombing a White-tailed Eagle which was passing through their territory, we had the same Golden Eagles being mobbed by Buzzards and Ravens and Hooded Crows, with Kestrels watching on. We saw Eagles in trees Eagles sitting on hills, Eagles everywhere and all because it had rained all morning. I took the picture of the Green Veined White in glorious sunshine as my guests were enjoying, you might have guessed, EAGLES.
Greenveined
                                              ButterflyGreen-viened
                                              Butterfly on thistle
August 5th
A dull but mainly dry breezy day and what a difference a day can make in the world of wildlife watching, yesterday we saw no White-tailed Eagles and today we were tripping over them, seven in total I think all giving brilliant views. Another bird that has been in short supply lately is Kestrel, well not today they wern't, they rivalled the White-tail Eagles in number. Other notable bird sightings were Goosanders, Red Throated Divers, Black Guilliemots and Eider Duck, not forgetting the single Gannet shining bright white against dark grey clouds.
August 4th
A dull driech start to the day improving as the day went on. I saw two of my favorite little birds today a Whinchat and Lesser Redpoll, birds I have not seen recently so it made my day. The Golden Eagle obviously feeling guilty for its short performance yesterday  put on a command performance for my guests today. The White-tailed Eagles on the other hand went on strike and did not put in appearance at all, this was more than made up for by a terrific Otter. Pam and her swimming buddies swam across to Ulva today providing entertainment and mirth to all those who witnessed this act of bravery, after a hearty lunch and cakes discretion got the better of valour and they returned on the ferry.
August 3rd
I will start this blog by wishing my brother Andy a very Happy Birthday, unfortunately he is 5 years younger than me, better looking and better at sport, is there a reason why I am wishing him a happy birthday. Todays tour was great, fabulous guests again and the Mull specialities came out and performed, although the Golden Eagle only put in a part time shift. After very heavy
overnight rain the waterfall at Eas Force was spectacular today.  I read Simon Barnes piece on Mull in the Times and he did not mention meeting me, never mind the piece was beautifully written as always and I am still a great admirer of both his values and writing.
Eas Force WaterfallEas Force bridge

August 2nd
A dull but dry start to the day which turned wetter as the day drew on. We started with the Adders and Slow worms and finished with the Golden Eagle and everyone enjoyed their day which was full of humour and banter and even a bit of serious discussion in between. I have to thank my guests for their spotting today as they found their own Otter, a very good one, and both their own Eagles, I put it down to not usually doing tours on Saturdays.
August 1st
A beautiful day and no tour as I unusually have one tomorrow so Pam and I went out to do some shopping, not for us but for the birds which are eating us out of house and home at the moment. We stopped at the shoreline below Aros Castle and saw this lovely family of 8 young Red Breasted Mergansers with their mum, as I keep saying it is not just about Eagles and Otters and this sighting really made my day.
Merganzer family resting
August 2013
Aug 31st
This is not a usual blog but a small thank you to my friend and colleague Richard Atkinson who has sold his Isle of Mull Wildlife and Birdwatching safari business and retired this week. When we started up our business Richard gave us a lot of help and advice even though we were going to be competition and for that we will always be more than grateful. A man of great humour we shared several laughs when our tour paths crossed and also passed information to each other and fought the bureaucratic council together on several occasions. Enjoy your retirement Richard as I write this just before going out on tour I look at at the low cloud and drizzle and think this could be a hard day, you after 20+ years can turn over smile and go back to sleep. Thanks for everything you are a real mate and friend.
Aug 30th
A day of mainly drizzle and wind but we got really lucky with White-tailed Eagle as we eventually found one in a tree just visible through the rain and as we were trying hard to see it drinking morning coffee the male appeared like a small plane out of the mist and struggling to fly into the wind and rain flew right over the top of us, For readers who know Mull the boat was not out and we were not parked near the normal spotting stop we were just in the right place at the right time and very fortunate. The weather hardly improved all day so Golden Eagle were out of the question but we did get an Otter and some delightful Red Deer, Buzzards, a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. All in all a good day out given the conditions.
 Aug 29th
A day of low cloud and drizzle not the best for wildlife watching but we did see the Whimbrel very well and the Common Seals. During a short lift of the mist we found a family of White tailed Sea Eagles which were playing a game of musical trees without the music, what parents have to do to amuse their children. High tide so no Otters about so we went to the toilets before lunch and lo and behold 2 Otters with the same idea, lunch that is not the comfort break. Arthur could relax now as good views of Eagles and Otters always puts the guests in a good mood which continued when a Golden Eagle got up flew round and went down again all within 30 seconds as we were eating lunch. Red Deer, Buzzards, Kestrel a very good Basking Shark Slow Worms and a Toad to conclude a very good day considering the weather. Another lovely group of guests who chatted to me all day and excepted the weather conditions with good humour and to James who wore shorts all day I hope you knees don't get too rusty.
Aug 28th
A dull dry day and no tour as van was having a medical at the garage in Tobermory. On a walk whilst I waited I saw a Dipper in the stream by the distillery, it kept falling off the rock it was trying to perch on, for the life of me I can't think why? another joke??? At the Tobermory tip, I get to all the best places, I saw a Reed Bunting, not a bird I see often but one that gives me great pleasure as it was the first bird Pam and I identified when we started birding.
Aug 27th
A wet start to the tour with drizzle for the first two hours and then it turned brighter as the wind got up. 4 white-tailed Eagles today although one was just a shape through the drizzle, Fallow Deer a brilliant spot by one of my guests and also Red Deer seen. A fabulous Otter sighting after a very patient wait of over an hour, but that's what the saying says all things come to those who wait. Golden Eagle quite close being mobbed by not one, not two not even three but twelve Hooded Crows, must be their hobby on damp days. The day finished on a terrific high with 3 Basking Sharks at very close quarters, I don't know why they were basking we were freezing..... Joke?
Aug 26th
A dull but calm day just as I like it and just as the wildlife likes it as well and the day produced very good Golden and White-tailed Eagles, 3 Otters, Red Deer but no stags, Hen Harrier, Buzzards, Kestrel, Common Seals, Adder, Gannets, Curlews, Whimbrel and all the usual stuff. Birds of the day had to be the 2 Red Throated Divers very close in near the start of the day but the Twite at the end of the day ran them close.
Aug 25th
A very warm sunny day with little breeze. 5 White-tailed Eagles at one spot and 6 seen in total, very good if a little distant Golden Eagles, Red Deer stags hinds and calves an unobliging Otter which all my guests saw and that was about it, Adder and Basking Shark a typical Discover Mull tour at the moment although we usually get a more obliging Otter. As for me the highlights were a very good Red Throated Diver and a Snipe and Gannets plunge diving.
Aug 24th
A nice day and a day of chores, gardening, even the cricket was washed out so no excuse to rest, the only bright spot a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the garden before anyone else was about.
Aug 23rd
It was pouring with rain when we picked up our guests but by the time we got to our first stop it had stopped and remained fine for the rest of the day. Curlews, Whimbrel, Greenshank and Redshank were seen as well as the regulars and Common and Grey Seals. A total of 4 Otters were seen but only 2 White-tailed Eagles and they took some finding. Pam made a very good spot of a female Hen Harrier which came flying in from over the sea and as the day progressed we saw 3 Golden Eagles including a this years juvenile and a very nice group of Red Deer. A good day finished with Basking Shark and an Adder not in my usual spot.
Aug 22nd
No tour today and typically great weather so Pam and I went for a couple of hours to the coast. Pam saw 4 Basking sharks in total and we both saw several Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Kittiwakes, and a dad and baby Guillemot. 200+ Starlings were seen in one group, Wheatears are still around as was a family of Stonechats but the sighting of the day was a family of 6 Twite.Shags and Cormarant
Aug 21st
A day of low cloud and drizzle for 90% of the day, my worst nightmare. We saw Curlews, a Whimbrel and a Greenshank by the coast along with Common Seals and apart from a couple of Buzzards and and the closest Otter of the year that was it for most of the rest of the day. A few little birds were seen Swallows, House Martins, Stonechats and Wheatears. My guests were very kind and patient and accepted the weather as just what you have to expect when you come to Scotland. We did get a short break at lunchtime when the mist lifted and we got a brief view of a Golden Eagle and a distant Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. After lunch we went back to the coast and saw a Basking Shark Gannets and Kittiwakes and a Black Guillemot. At 3pm approximately the cloud stated to lift and we raced back to a Golden Eagle spot and we did not have to wait too long before 2 Golden Eagles got up and gave us a spectacular display watched not only by us but by a couple of Red Deer stags as well. Time for a celebration cup of tea/coffee and cake, as you can imagine we were all in very high spirits and stopping on our way home we stopped and saw a White-tailed Eagle sitting and enjoying the late afternoon warm sunshine and we did too as we contentedly watched her. Thanks to all my guests for their humour and patience, in the end you got the wildlife you deserved, not one word of disappointment of the weather was uttered, not one moan and in the end all things come to those who wait, thanks to you all each and every one of you a star.
Aug 20th
A mainly dry day but with one very heavy long shower. I did a tour for the United Nations today with 3 French guests, 2 Americans, 3 Scots and an Englishman, me. It was one of those days today we saw all Mull's main species but none of them spectacularly. A special mention for Marlene and Sylvia who were delightful and kept me on my toes all day, many thanks.
Aug 19th
Manchester City play their first league game of the new season and win 4-0 Pam's happy because i'm happy, even the dogs are happy as is the cat for differing reasons.
Aug 18th
A good day weatherwise but cool and todays highlight was a flock of 50+ Whimbrel in Aros Bay, probably dropped in as the weather last night was pretty bad. Apart from the Whimbrel all the Mull main species were seen although the Otter was brief, oh and the Hen Harrier none existent which is why nobody saw it. Too many Midges to eat outdoors so lawn mowing a waste of bird watching time.
Highland Cattle on the roadGreylag Geese
Aug 17th
Mow Lawn for bird club BBQ
Aug 16th
Rain in the morning but clearing as the day went on and after Arthur's hard day yesterday I thought it was time he had a days rest so I (Pam) took the tour today with lovely guests who all helped with the spotting which meant we saw 2 White-tail Eagles, 3 Otters, 8 Golden Eagle, lots of Red Deer, 2 Basking Sharks, a slow worm, Stonechat, Wheatear, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch, Whitethroat, Pipits and on the way home a Merlin flew across the front of the van.  Arthur didn't even have to worry about getting dinner as we went around to our neighbours and had a lovely evening with friends. Me, being organized, had made my pudding the day before to take with us.
Aug 15th
Low cloud and drizzle for most of the day, my worst nightmare for wildlife watching. I got lucky, arriving at my White tailed Eagle spot I could not even see the trees so as it looked better on the other side of the Loch I took a gamble and went round there. We had barely got out of the van when a guest saw A White-tailed Eagle flying below the mist layer about 20 feet above the water, it flew right past us and landed in a tree where I could get the scope on it. As guests watched the Eagle in the tree the mist started to lift a little on our side of the Loch and on a whim I checked out an old Golden Eagle nest site and could hardly believe my eyes as there sitting on a dead branch by the nest was a Golden Eagle. The rain stopped for a short while the Eagle flew giving my guests a great view and then it flew off and the rain and mist descended again. No chance of seeing much at all for the rest of the day but we kept trying for Otters and were rewarded at about 3-30 pm by not one but two, like the saying about waiting for a bus. On our way home the mist started to lift and the rain stopped and we saw 6 Red Deer a brief Hen Harrier, Buzzard and Kestrel as everything started to get up and hunt. Other notable sightings today were Red Throated Divers, Razorbills and the waterfalls. Thanks to all my guests for their patience on what was a trying day when we saw eventually all the Mull main species.
Aug 14th
 A day of showers and brilliant Eagles, an Otter put in a very brief appearance and then did what Otters do best disappeared. Curlews and a Whimbrel were seen but no Hen Harrier today but good views of Seals and Red Deer. Gannets and Kittiwakes were seen as were several Red Throated Divers. A good day with entertaining guests just the kind of wildlife watching day I like.
Aug 13th
A dry cooler day and I start with a couple of omissions from yesterday, A very late Common sandpiper sighting and a Great Skua a bird I have not seen many times this year. On to today and 3 Red Throated Divers, 2 Black Guillemots, lots of Golden Eagles, 2 white-tailed Eagles, Red Deer, a Hen Harrier but no Otter today. We saw Whinchat, Stonechat and lots of Wheatears and a pair of Sand Martins still feeding young in a nest at Calgary.
Aug 12th
Another day of sunshine and showers but with more of the sunshine than yesterday. Highlight of the day was the Basking Shark the first one we have seen on our tours this year and it is now the middle of August, it gave us good views as it was quite close to the shoreline, well done Mark for spotting the Shark. A well done also to Jim who spotted the Otter, do I ever spot anything I hear you thinking, yes the Golden Eagle and Red Deer, but I have to say that once he had got his eye in Mark was good at spotting them as well.
Aug 11th
It stopped raining then it started again then it stopped again start stop start stop all day and pretty cold for August. A tour today and We saw 3 White-tailed Eagles one really close with up to 5 Ravens mobbing it. Brilliant Golden Eagles, being mobbed by a Kestrel and a Buzzard giving great size comparison. A hen Harrier at the start of the day, a close Otter and lots of Red Deer, both types of Seal but no Dolphins today and certainly no Basking sharks, much too cold for basking. Great day with great guests and good spotters. 
Aug 10th
I had a day off and it rained persistently and through the night.
Aug 9th
A mainly dry day and we had terrific views of at least 10 Bottlenose Dolphins in and around Calgary Bay, we watched them for about half an hour and then we had to leave them still playing around as time got the better of us.
We saw all the other Mull specialities including Otter and small bird species of the day were Whitethroat and Stonechat, waders of the day were greenshank and Whimbrel and my birds of the day were a Great Northern Diver in full breeding plumage and A lovely Red throated Diver seen as everyone else watched the Dolphins.
Aug 8th
A cool dry day and I spent it mowing lawns and cutting Bracken, not my favorite day of the year.
Aug 7th
No tour again where are guests when you want them so Pam and I went in search of a Mediterranean Gull seen yesterday, to no avail, we did see a White-tailed Eagle although I don't look out for them so much when not doing tours as I see them on most days. We did stop and watch 2 Golden Eagles though as they gave us a great display flying right over our heads.
Aug 6th
 A lovely day and Bottlenose Dolphins at Cailaich and 3 Adders at the place I know so after seeing all the Mull main specialities except for Hen Harrier everyone had a great tour, at least that's what they told me and who am I to argue.
Aug 5th
A lovely day weatherwise and a great group of guests and super wildlife, with Otter and White-tailed Eagle at our first stop. We had 2 Whimbrel as well as a lot of Curlews, Common Seals with calves and Red Deer stags, hinds and newborn calves with their bambi spots. We had to wait out the Golden Eagles but they eventually put on a great display. Buzzards and Kestrels as always and the day finished with 3 Adders , the most I have ever seen on one tour. Great day, fabulous views and a lot of chat and laughter, what more could you wish for, Ah Pam's Cakes I hear you thinking, well we had those as well.
Aug 4th
A lovely warm day with a light breeze today and a Whimbrel, Greenshank and Goosander getting the day off to a fine start. White-tailed Eagles and Ringed Plover followed and with both types of Seal seen well we were in high spirits for the afternoon. The afternoon was a little disappointing as although we saw a good Golden Eagle, lots of Buzzards and a very good Kestrel the only other notable birds seen were a very nice Stonechat and a Hen Harrier which only I saw which was a shame. My Adders under a tin sheet keep providing my guests with good photo opportunities though and one more thing a Gannet either hurt or just landed in the wrong place, we left it to Dr. Paul Howarth to deal with, he is our leading authority on Hen Harriers on Mull and he told me he only knew of 6 females which had fledged chicks on Mull this year due to the shortage of Voles. Just to say we had a great time with the family last week, thanks to Richie for bringing the furniture from Pam's Dad's, it means a lot to her to have this reminder of her Dad, so well done son.
Aug 3rd
A fine sunny day and our grandchildren left first thing this morning but no time to dwell as chores to do. Pam has 2 cottages to clean and I have gardening, not my favorite job and help Richie our son with furniture from Pam's Dad's house which Richie has brought up in his van. We did however manage a bit of time off to go to Glengorm for lunch which was scrumptious.
Aug 2nd
A mostly fine day for our boat trip with the family but unfortunately a force 5 wind so there was little chance of cetaceans although we did see some great birds close up. Puffin, my first of the year, Razorbills, Guillemots both common and black, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters and a Great Skua. As the wind blew the waves came over the side of the boat and drenched us which Pam and I found quite funny but not all our family did and the children were getting cold so we called it a day at lunchtime. Thanks to the crew of the boat particularly Ruth who was terrific with the children and they learned a lot about the sea and will remember the day for all the right reasons. Thanks to Pam for organizing the trip, another bird for my year list in a tricky year.
Family on our boat trip
Aug 1st
A wet day so we went to the garden at Lip Na Croise but as it was pouring down Becky our daughter suggested we go and look for an Otter, in the event we saw 2, very close and very good, a White-tailed Eagle and a pair of Red Throated Divers. We spent an hour walking round the garden after the rain stopped and just got back in the van before it poured down again, it was a lovely morning with our family and one we will treasure.


August 2011 
Aug 31st
Weather damp morning sunny afternoon  calm - I took time out to do some serious work in our woodland today, primarily it was a day spent pulling Ragwort. This invasive yellow flower is a noticeable plant as it is very toxic to certain animals notably Horses but can now regularly be seen on grass verges and marginal land throughout the country, very bad so I thought I should do something about the plant on our land.
Aug 30th
Weather cloudy, cool but dry with light breeze - Another great Eagle day with both White-tailed Eagles and Golden Eagles showing well with the highlight being both in the air together so we could spot the differences in shape. We had a very good view of a Grey Seal which stayed on the surface bottling all the while we were having our afternoon tea and cake break. It was a good Seal day as in the morning some Common Seals had been Porpoising, leaping out of the water like Dolphins, our guests had not seen this behaviour before. 
Golden EagleGrey Seal bottling
Aug 29th
Weather best described as unsettled - We went to the Bellachroy Inn last night with friends up from Cumbria, we had a really nice meal and evening with them but I was glad I had no tour today as I was not up to much, too many Beers. In the afternoon I did manage to get to Tobermory and licence the car, it was a bit of a write off day, on the wagon for the rest of the week. Thanks to David and Catherine for a great evening, we both needed a good night out.
Aug 28th
Weather rain and strong breeze in the morning, drier but very cold wind in the afternoon - In spite of the weather we saw all of the Mull specialities except for Hen Harrier today. the sighting of the day was of 4 red grouse on the hill road from Dervaig to Torloisk the first Grouse I have seen this year taking my Mull list to 142 for the year to date.
Aug 27th
Weather nice again - Wow we are having our summer at last, the negative-lawns to mow, the positive-an Otter in the loch seen from our self-catering kitchen.
Aug 26th
Weather another lovely day - Although it was a beautiful day we had the first sign of autumn on the tour today, A Slavonian grebe, the first I have seen since they left to breed further north at the end of April. We saw the Otter with 2 very small cubs again today a sighting which always makes our guests smile. It was also another great day of views and Eagles.
Aug 25th
Weather the best day for ages warm and sunny all day - White-tailed Eagles or Otter that was the dilemma for guests today. Guests were watching 2 white-tails when I spotted an Otter on some rocks close by, fortunately the Eagles flew round for some time and the Otter for half an hour, see pics. Brilliant Golden Eagle, a Hen Harrier and Red Deer including Stag provided us with a day as good as the weather.
Otter 1Otter
                                      2
Otter 3Otter
                                      4
Aug 24th 
Weather after a dull start it turned out nice again - We had a terrific sighting of Hen harrier again today and I was doubly pleased as it was a Lifer a first time some of our guests had seen this beautiful raptor as due to persecution they are few and far between in England. Another lifetime first were the 2 red Throated Divers seen earlier in the day and the Otter although brief gave guests a great thrill.
Aug 23rd
Weather the same as yesterday with less wind - The wildlife was the same as yesterday as well but substitute an Otter for the Hen Harrier and add a Sparrowhawk. Other notable birds seen today were Arctic and Common Terns, Gannets and Kittiwakes and I saw a Stonechat but most of our guests missed it. We saw this beautiful Peacock butterfly and a Bee on Knapweed as well today.
Peacock ButterflyBee on Knapweed
Aug 22nd
Weather High cloud but dry with light breeze - another great bird of prey day with both types of Eagle being seen very well along with Hen Harrier, Buzzards and kestrels.  No Otter today but we did see Red Deer and Common and Grey Seals. All 3 types of heather to be seen on Mull are now in flower to see the difference check out the pictures below. A new find on a Discover Mull tour in the past couple of days is an Adder, the first I have seen in some time. I nearly forgot a large party of Twite at Cailaich Point about 40 in total.
Ling HeatherCross-leaved heath Heather
Bell heather
Aug 21st
Weather heavy showers then low cloud and mist improving in the afternoon - What a day for the Mull specialities, it started with an Otter with 2 very young cubs just what one of our guests wanted. Red Deer stags next another request from our guests and we had not had coffee yet, then the mist came down literally putting a dampner on proceedings. We did manage to see a lot of Buzzards and 2 very nice Red Throated Divers before lunch but our guests were getting twitchy. I told them not to worry about seeing the big stuff but to let me worry about them, if we had not seen them by 4pm start worrying. 2 Kestrels and a few Ravens at lunch and just as we were about to give up a distant but good Golden Eagle. soon after lunch at a Place I look for Otter I heard a White-tailed Eagle call and there was a youngster not far away on a hill and after some time it flew giving guests a great view of its size. Common Seals and a Black Guillemot followed and then we went for tea. Just as we arrived at our tea stop so did a Hen Harrier which was hunting and gave us a special show. Homeward bound and a White-tailed Eagle very very close and on the other side of the road appeared a very close Golden Eagle guests did not know which way to look. After they had gone I checked my watch and it was just 4pm.
Golden Eagle on hillGolden Eagle flying
Aug 20th
Weather lovely all day - A day spent mowing lawns and looking for sheep, I got the lawns mowed easily as the weather was so nice, it was not however easy trying to find two sheep in Bracken as high as Triffids, Eventually I managed to find them but it took some time to get them back home as our two wonder Shetland Sheep Dogs our not that wonderful when driving sheep, although they do enjoy trying and are very noisy as they get rather over excited. A White-tailed Eagle and 2 Buzzards over Ardrioch this afternoon. I was woken up this morning by a Tawny Owl calling from a tree right outside our bedroom window, Pam slept on.
Aug 19th
Weather a nice day on the whole before it started to rain in the late afternoon - A nice family of  Italians and delightful German lady on todays tour and as the italians had little English and I no Italian we were extremely grateful to Regine the German who spoke both rather well. I was also very grateful to the White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Otters and Seals which all put on fantastic displays for our foreign visitors showing Mull off at its wildlife best. Ooh La Laa.
Aug 18th
Weather cloudy with a heavy shower in the morning improving with sunshine in the afternoon - Highlights of another good day for wildlife spotting were a group of at least 8 Red Throated Dives with 10 being seen during the day. Great view of a Male Sparrowhawk sitting on a rock  and wonderful interaction between a Hen Harrier and 3 Kestrels. Great spotters on the tour today but even they could not conjure up a Golden Eagle.
Aug 17th
Weather warm with occasional small shower - Many thanks to twins Charlotte and Louise who made my day much easier with all the wildlife they were spotting for me, nothing got missed. Whilst we ate our sandwiches at lunch time we were watching the Golden Eagle eating his lunch of fresh Rabbit, see pictures below. A nice treat was a stop looking at a variety of small birds including a handsome male Redpoll sitting out well on a dead branch.
Golden Eagle with Rabbit
                                      lunchGloden Eagle with Rabbit
                                      lunch
Aug 16th
Weather heavy rain all morning clearing up after lunch but breezy - Otter at our second spot, drat, we had to stand out in the rain to see it and got soaked. At the next stop a very wet looking White-tailed Sea Eagle sitting on a hill and then we spotted another Otter, we got even wetter if that was possible, a scrabble for wet weather clothing and great views of the Otter and then we spotted a White-tailed Eagle fledgling in a tree, joy of joys as the rain poured down relentlessly. Then someone with a sense of humour said that there was a hint of blue in the sky ahead and thank goodness she was right, by lunchtime the rain had eased and low and behold 6 Buzzards appeared and then 2 Kestrels and then a Golden Eagle very close then double drat the rain returned and the Eagle flew off. Passing the waterfall we noticed it was in full spate, now that was a surprise, then an even bigger surprise the rain stopped, the views appeared and all was well in my world. " more Golden Eagles, lots of Red Deer including some good stags and 3 Hen Harriers later my world and our guests wishes were complete. who says wildlife cannot be seen on wet days, well today they were definitely proved wrong. 
Aug 15th
Weather mainly dry with breeze but still warm - Another good day for the Mull specialities but we had to show a lot of patience before we saw a pair of Golden Eagles. We saw 2 Otters again today and had good sightings of a group of Red Deer stags , which although Britons largest wild land mammal still take some spotting when the are against a heather covered hill. I saw a Great Skua and Twite at Cailaich Point but guests missed them as they had gone to take in the views and look for none existent cetaceans as I tidied up the afternoon tea cups.
Aug 14th
Weather mainly sunny but breezy, warm - A group of very good spotters today which meant we saw everything that was there to be seen, as I keep saying the more eyes looking the more you see, it's not just down to luck. We saw 5 Golden Eagles, 5 White-tailed Eagles, a family of 4 Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Buzzards, Goosanders, Kittiwakes, Gannets and Red Throated Divers as well as lots of other birds. We also saw both Red and Fallow Deer stags and 2 very good Otters one in particular fishing, Gambolling over rocks, oblivious of our presence and behaving in a normal wild way, just the way we like to see them. Another nice sighting today was of the Highland cow, bull and calf in the photo below.
Highland cattle family
Aug 13th
Weather rain in morning drier as day wore on - Watched England beat India in the morning after a few regular Saturday chores and too wet to mow the lawns. I took the dogs on a short walk to the loch this evening seeing 5 Goosanders, 6 Greenshank, 4 Redshank, 12 Curlews and a Buzzard, earlier in the day 52 Rock Doves were waiting to be fed on power lines around Ardrioch.
Aug 12th
Weather cloudy but predicted rain did not arrive until 3pm - Back on Mull after family wedding and nice time being pummelled by our young grand children. On the tour today Otters 3 of them showing well, where have they been for the last few weeks. Amusing sighting of the day, a newly fledged White-tailed Eagle landing on a not to stable branch, slipping round it like a gymnast on the parallel bars before loosing go and flying back to the nest site much safer.
August 4th to 11th
We are taking a week off to go to a niece's wedding in Cheshire leaving Ardrioch and the animals in the capable hands of our good friend Jacqui. So here are a few photo's of a beautiful early morning in August around the garden.

Corncockles and viewCorncockles and Harebells

Owl boxes in the morning
                                        haze

Grasses and Litchen

Aug 3rd
Weather sunny, hot and calm -A raptor fest today with White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, a Peregrine Falcon, Buzzards, Kestrels, Hen Harriers, Sparrowhawk and Merlin all being seen. Red Throated Divers, Gannets, a brief Otter and Red Deer in large numbers including stags were also seen in a very good day. The Scotch Argus Butterflies are now out in good numbers and the views today were spectacular, Mull at its best. Pam has put some pictures on the site all taken from in or around our garden pretty aren't they.
Aug 2nd
Weather cloudy with the cloud getting lower as the day wore on - great Golden and White-tailed Eagles today and a very good Otter although it did miraculously disappear in kelp as it brought in a large fish it had just caught. Birds of note today were 2 Great Skuas and 2 Manx Shearwaters, lots of Common and Arctic Terns, a family of 4 Kestrel mobbing a Golden Eagle and a grand total of 6 White-tailed Eagles. Just a quick mention for the humble Meadow Pipit seen on nearly all our tours, bottom of Mulls bird food chain and so often overlooked.
Aug 1st
Weather cloudy with some sun,  rain in late afternoon - Unusual sighting of the day a Piperstrel Bat at Calgary as we were visiting the toilets, it kept flying right past us chasing Midges as we watched on in amazement. Later in the afternoon we watched a small group of Porpoise about 5 in total as we were looking out for sea birds. Brilliant Red Deer stags and a female Hen Harrier had started the day and a Merlin with White-tailed Eagles was the star at coffee break. 



Aug 31st 2010
Weather the same as yesterday - A second day with Hen Harrier, we also saw 3 Golden Eagles in the air at the same time really close , 3 Otters, lots of Red Deer including stags and 2 White-Tailed Eagles. As we were looking at Common Seals and Curlews we noticed that amongst the Curlews were 2 Bar-Tailed Godwits always nice to see. We were watching Basking shark in the morning and at the same time Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters and Gannets and I saw more Shags over 200 in one group than I have ever seen on Mull Before.
Aug 30th
Weather sunny, calm and warm - Grim, gripping, exciting, exhilarating and alarming, a great fight between a mother Otter and a Dog Otter, the mother protecting her 2 offspring from what could have proved a fatal confrontation with the dog Otter. Do not take on a mother protecting young as after 10 minutes of ferocious fighting the dog Otter limped away to lick his wounds and pride, what fantastic wildlife watching I can not speak for our guests but I was completely blown away by what we were seeing. Lots of other wildlife were seen including 2 Hen Harriers at the start of the day but they all paled in significance after the Otter encounter.
Aug 29th
Weather sunny but very windy - We had more White-Tailed Eagles than you could throw a stick at at our first stop and all of them gave us a great flying display. We stopped to look at some Red Deer and a Golden Eagle appeared and it to showed off its flying prowess. Otters we had to wait for but did manage a nice Red Throated Diver in the meantime, the day finished with Basking Sharks becoming a regular feature on Discover Mull Tours recently.
Aug 28th

White-tail Eagle pairWeather showers all day - Pam hates it when it rains on a Saturday she can't get the washing dry, I love it I don't have to mow the lawn. Here are some highlights from this week including a very sleepy Barn Owl leaning on it's chick.

White-tail EagleSleepy Barn Owl
 

Basking sharkGrass of Parnassus

Aug 27th
Weather  sunny with light breeze - We started the day with a Goosander always a nice bird to see on the tours, a nice flock of Linnets followed but we were struggling to find White tailed Eagles until we came across the 2 pictured in the tree. Golden Eagles and an Otter followed and 4 Basking Sharks very close. the day finished with diving Gannets and lots of Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters, a Great Skua and a lone Puffin.
Aug 26th
Weather warm, sunny and calm - Great Baking Sharks at the end of another good day which had started with a flock of Linnets my favorite bird. 3 Otters were seen in the day but I must admit 2 were only brief glimpses as they tormented us with 'yes we are here but you can't see us,' the third one was much more obliging. we saw a Red Throated Diver but the bird highlight of the day was a brilliant Golden Eagle which flew below us as we stood on a hill looking at views of the Outer Hebrides, Treshnish Isles, Staffa, Iona ,Ulva Ferry and Ben Mor..............................special!
Aug 25th
Weather lovely and warm - No tour today so I did some BTO work instead which gave me some time to watch the birds in the garden and particularly the Rock Doves. I watched in stitches as this dominant Dove standing on the bird table taking on all comers trying to steal his spot, the funniest bit was when one landed on the roof of the table and tried to slide down out of sight onto the table, unfortunately the roof overhangs quite a bit and so the bird slid down the roof and fell off, it was a laugh out loud moment.
Aug 24th
Weather after more rain overnight it became sunny and breezy for most of the day - What a difference a day makes it stopped raining by 10am and all the birds of prey got up we had seen 2 Golden Eagles Buzzards a Sparrowhawk and 2 White Tailed Eagles within 40 minutes of starting the tour. We had more Eagles and Kestrel 2 Otters and the best for me a Bar Tailed Godwit the first on its return journey from the far north. A lovely day with another great group of guests.

Otter 1

Aug 23rd
Weather Heavy Rain all day - Apart from 2 very good Otter sightings and some Red deer, brief Fallow Deer, Common and Grey Seals, a good Red Throated Diver, Eider Ducks, Red Breasted Mergansers, Black Guillemots, Cormorants and Shags, Wheatear, Linnets, Twite, Gannets,  Kittiwakes, lots of Manx Shearwaters, Guillemot with young fantastic Great Skua sighting, 3 Basking Sharks and a possible Minke Whale it was a day to forget. Oh by the way Eas Force waterfall was magnificent.
Aug 22nd
Weather after overnight rain it turned out nice again - a good day for seeing the Mull specialities plus a little history and geology thrown in. Great views of 4 Otters today the best I have seen for some time, we also had 2 White-tailed Eagles and both obligingly flew for us. The Golden Eagles we saw flew over our heads but were quite high but we did get to see a lot of colour on this years chick, lots of Red Deer with several stags seen really well, another good tour with very nice guests.
Aug 21st
Weather warm, sunny, dry and calm - A saturday with no rain can only mean one thing for me at Ardrioch, Lawn Mowing and that is what I did for most of the day. I hate lawn mowing I get so bored and it does not take much to stop mowing , unfortunately for me nothing much happened so I had to keep mowing, at least I got all of them done. On a happier note a Grey Wagtail complete with family turned up here in the morning the first one I have seen for some time.
Aug 20th
weather rain for most of the morning then nice but windy then later high winds - We watched an Otter for an hour in the rain, Eagles both types in the nice weather and Red Deer in the gales, not bad for such awful weather. other notable sightings include Little Grebe, Greenshank, Curlews, Red Throated Divers, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Goosander, Red Breasted Mergansers, Eider Ducks, Kestrel and Buzzards, Linnets and Goldfinches. Lots of stuff.
Aug 19th
Weather showers all morning lovely afternoon - No tour today as we had to deal with sheep all morning, in the afternoon I mowed some of the lawns and enjoyed a rest, back on the wildlife trail tomorrow. I thought I would show you some of the wildlife I have managed to get a decent shot of this week and share with you some kind words of some satisfied customers.
Thank you for our fantastic day out on 7 August.  The kids all said it was the best day of the holiday. We are now back at home, where everything is very flat and dry!  Please thank Pam for all the great baking! Best wishes Louise, Andy, Jemma, Henry and Felix+ Celia, Abigail and Gareth (now back in California)
HI Arthur, Just wanted to say how much Janette and I enjoyed our day with you and the wildlife of Mull. For us, it was a great mix of humour, company, food and birds. Marvellous! Thanks for a fantastic Sunday, Paul and Janette
 
 

OystercatcherCommon Seal and pup
White-tail Eagle sitting in
                                        a treePeacock Butterfly

Aug 18th
Weather sunny and breezy after early showers - After a quiet start to the tour we eventually had great sightings of white-tailed Eagle. We looked for Otter and had a very brief view of one but after yesterday I wasn't going to hang around and hope it returned. As the day wore on we had very good sightings of Red Deer and Golden Eagles and a distant Basking Shark. I went to look for closer Basking Shark and picked up a great Otter which made the guests day, as I say you can spend all day looking for the big species and not see them, look at all Mull has to offer and you see much more. The day ended with a terrific sighting of the Barn Owl Chick.
Aug 17th
Weather sunshine with light breeze - A day spent mainly looking for Mulls specialities and we spent 2 hours looking for Otters that did not turn up, as I always say if you look for everything you see more if you just look for the big stuff you are not guaranteed to see them and miss out on everything else. We did see Great White-tailed Eagle, Basking Shark, Golden Eagle, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Barn Owl,  Red Deer, Seals, Buzzards and Kestrel before we started to just look for Otter, get my drift.
Aug 16th
Weather low cloud, drizzle, rain later in the day but quite warm - It was warm enough for us to see 3 Basking Sharks in the morning with Gannets and Manx Shearwaters in the same area. An otter provided some enjoyment for our guests despite not being too close, Red Deer and Seals were all seen in a largely mammal day as the weather deteriorated. We did see a miserable White tailed Eagle looking at the rain and wondering where yesterdays great weather had gone, we were doing the same as we watched the Eagle. Goosanders were my birds of the day and a great Greenshank at our first stop.
Aug 15th
Weather sunny warm and calm - What a day, it started with the Barn Owl, then a Bullfinch followed by 2 White-tailed Eagles which were very close and both flew pursued by Buzzards, then we saw 3 Basking Sharks and several Porpoise and all this before morning coffee at 11 o'clock. 4 Golden Eagles were seen and Red deer Stags, Hinds and calves, and we sat in the sunshine having lunch and watching 3 Otters swimming, playing, running across rocks up streams over islands you name it they did it. We saw both types of Seal in the afternoon and the day finished with a fantastic Whinchat sighting. Many thanks  to Ian, Rachel, Sophie, Richard, Paul, Jeanette, Jerry and Sue for being such a fun group and sharing with me one of the best day tours I have ever had.
Aug 14th
Weather beautiful again - Lawn Mowing, finding and sorting lost Sheep, cleaning the Van and checking out the new Deer fencing, who said it was my day off. The Woodpecker was back today as were all our regular birds and our Hedgehogs. What with the Sheep, Dogs, Rabbits and Slow Worms this place is becoming a regular menagerie. Oh and by the way the woodland is full of Butterflies.

Misty and HedgehogHedgehog at Ardrioch

Aug 13th
Weather beautiful - Another great day out seeing 4 Otters, 4 White-tailed Eagles, 6 Golden Eagles a very close Basking Shark, 2 Red Throated Divers, Black Guillemots, Red Breasted Mergansers and even a Hedgehog in our garden, all our guests were delighted with the day. when I got home at the end of the tour Pam informed me that we had a juvenile Greater Spotted Woodpecker visiting our feeders.
Aug 12th
Weather cloudy but dry, very windy and cool - Another day with all the Mull specialities showing well except the Otter which only put in a brief and distant appearance. Birds of the day were two very good Red Throated Divers which were very obliging by not diving, so all guests got a good look at them, unusual for these birds. Stunning views today and we even got to see the Outer Hebrides from the top of a hill, but we nearly froze to death whilst we were up there. I am still thawing out as I write this as I was wearing summer clothes as it is still officially summer, same old story right weather, wrong clothing.
Aug 11th
Weather cloudy, breezy. drizzle and cool - Not really the best weather for a tour but our guests today were great and determined to enjoy themselves no matter what. We had a lot of laughs, a great crack about a White-tailed Eagle which I shall use on tours in the future and some cracking sightings. A lovely day with 3 Otters, 4 White-tailed Eagles, 2 Golden Eagles, Seals, Red Deer with a great sighting of a stags antlers, it was hard to see the stag but its antlers were skylined. A great Little Grebe sitting on some seaweed, Black Guillemot and lots of Shags and Kittiwakes at the same spot. It was just a lovely day in great company thanks to all involved.
Aug 10th
Weather exactly the same as yesterday after even heavier over night rain - Eas Forse even fuller than yesterday making our guests even more delighted. They were also happy to see the Barn Owl, Sparrowhawk, a fantastic Red Throated Diver and lots of Red-breasted Mergansers with quite small babies. An Otter for 20 minutes also proved to be quite a hit as were all the other main Mull highlights.
Aug 9th
Weather Weather beautiful day after heavy overnight rain - The rain last night meant that Eas Forse waterfall was in the best spate it has been for quite some time much to our guests delight. Great views of all our specialities today and also saw my first Grass of Parnassus flower this year. A late update of the fluke tail we saw yesterday, it was almost certainly an Orca, Killer Whale, as they were seen in the area we saw it yesterday.
Aug 8th
Weather another nice day but slightly cloudier - We went to see my Barn Owl first stop this morning and enjoyed some good views, we also had the first of many Buzzards we saw during the day. We went to a possible White-tailed Eagle spot and had great views of a bird which took off and flew round while we were drinking coffee. Basking Shark was the next major spot along with Great Skuas, diving Gannets and Manx Shearwater. It was when we were at this spot we saw a great splash and a very large tail fluke of a creature from the deep, which was repeated a few minutes later, this one I did not see, we are going to check to see what was seen by the boats today to see if we can find out what it was, it was all very exciting. Good golden Eagle followed and another White-tail. A flock of 26 Curlew were other birds of note as was the Red Breasted Merganser with some very late hatched babies.
Aug 7th
Weather fantastic warm and sunny - Basking Shark, brilliant White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Red Deer, diving Gannets
just a fabulous day with a very nice family, I enjoyed it enormously.
Aug 6th
Weather light squally rain all day, calm - I spent the morning cleaning and servicing our water supply getting very wet into the bargain. In the afternoon I went out with a friend and saw a very good Otter, a Sedge Warbler, a Whitethroat and a House Martin the first I had seen for some time. As we drove round we happened upon 3 Golden plover and a Red Throated Diver which made the journey in the rain very worthwhile.
Aug 5th
 Weather cloudy but mainly dry, breezy - A quiet day but we eventually saw 2 very good juvenile Golden Eagles which lifted everyone's spirits. Soon afterwards we saw both types of Seal and some Red Breasted Mergansers with Shags and Cormorants on an island in the middle of of a large sea loch. We were scanning to see what was about and saw some Ringed Plover and Buzzards. At lunch at last we got White-tailed Eagle giving us good views both flying and sitting, in the afternoon we saw lots of Red Deer and also diving Gannets, so not a bad day after all.
White-tailed Eagle carrying
                                      preyWhite-tailed Eagle carrying
                                      prey
Aug 4th
Weather fine morning showery afternoon, windy - Velvet Scoter seen today a lifetime first for me and obviously a first for our tours, fantastic. It was a good day for me as we also saw Linnets, a particular favorite of mine, Ringed Plovers and another favorite bird of mine Whinchat. Another good day of Red Throated Diver sightings but we missed out on Greenshank today. Red Deer stags on top of a hill rounded off a very enjoyable day.
WhinchatScotch Argus Butterfly
Aug 3rd
Weather mainly fine with cool breeze on coast - We saw a Greenshank today the first I have seen for some time although Pam saw one last week. Goosander was another good sighting today although they were some distance off. Brilliant views of both White-tailed Eagle and Golden Eagle today and we gave up counting Buzzards. On the water we had 4 Red Throated Divers 2 of them very close and lots of Manx Shearwaters were also seen.
Aug 2nd
Weather cloudy with sunnier breaks, cool but dry - Another tour with guests who wanted Otter as they had been to Mull before and seen Eagles but not Otter, We managed to find 2 Otters for them but not as close as I would have liked them to be but reasonable views through the telescope for quite a long time. very good views of both types of Eagle with both newly fledged White-tail and Golden Eagle seen. Notable sighting of a Buzzard taking a young Rabbit, this was wildlife in the raw and a good view of a recently fledged Sparrowhawk.
Aug 1st
Weather mainly cloudy but with only light wind, dry - A good tour today with an early White-tailed Eagle which was sitting on a hill before flying and then landing out of sight in tall bracken. We saw 4 Otters today with 2 of them giving really good views which was great as 2 of our guests had been coming to Mull for 10 years without seeing one and were beginning to think they did not exist. We saw 4 Golden Eagles today but none were really close but we did have lots of Red Deer including a group of 8 Stags of varying ages. Black Guillemots and Red Throated Diver were the other main highlights today, with Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat and Stonechat the best of the little birds. On our way home there was a feral cat with 3 small kittens walking down the middle of the road.


This is the web site of Pam & Arthur Brown, Ardrioch Farm, Dervaig, Isle of Mull. PA75  6QR