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                              blog
November 2015
Nov 26th
A really driech day with low cloud drizzle and some heavier rain. I had to go to Salen today to get some bird and dog feed and although I took my binoculars with me the poor weather meant that for once I did not feel like birding. Back at home Pam was giving the dogs a day at the doggie parlour, in other words a wash and brush up to make them feel good. They hate this process, which means I have to risk losing an arm holding on to them whilst the process is happening. They look a lot better though.
Nov 25th
There is very little about the weather to cheer us up just now although it is better than living in drought conditions. I got some good news about being 65 today, my winter fuel payment is coming through soon. As well as the usual Chaffinches in our garden we appear to be having a Blue Tit bonanza, not that we are complainig, lovely birds that they are. A single Snipe at Cailaich Point was the highlight of todays birding but no wildlife photos today just a lovely picture of Highland Cattle also at Cailaich.

Highland
                                      Cattle herd
Nov 24th
Another dreich day with a cool wind and frequent heavy showers so I went out to see what was about. I have to say it was not fantastic out there but in some small way rewarding. I saw 32 bird species and 2 types of Mammals, not surpringly they were the two types of Seal that Mull has to offer. The White-tailed Sea Eagle that I saw today was trying to shelter behind some seaweed, not to successfully and so it looked somewhat down in the dumps. Birds of the day were a nice Kestrel and a lovely pair of Goosander. This afternoon I went to check the filter in my dam, the water was pouring over the top and I nearly needed a scuba suit to reach the filter. I disturbed another Woodcock on my way back to the house and a hot cup of tea.
Nov 23rd
After the lovely weather yesterday today terrible, rain,rain and then more rain, so we battened down the hatches and stayed indoors. Pam decided we should take down the cot we use for our younger self-catering guests, you know the ones, under two years old with little interest in wildlife but who can take down a cot 3 times quicker than we can. After a hard morning cot dismantling, Pam spent the afternoon with Pete trying to get to the bottom of our computer problems, does anybody know any 2 year olds good with computers. I went out wildlife watching and saw 3 Little Grebes, 2 Mallards and a Pheasant, does anybody know of a two year old good with binoculars?
Nov 22nd
A beautiful sunny day, to good to waste, so Pam and I went for a drive out to take in some special Mull views. As well as the views we had a good Otter sighting, Great Northern and Black throated Divers and a fabulous Greenshank on Loch Cuin. Back at the ranch one of our local White-tailed Eagles flew right past the house giving us a very close sighting and worrying the birds in our garden into the bargain. On the sheep front take a look at these Rams chilling out before being put out on the hill to try and woo the Ewes, they look like the boys at the 'baa' before going out on the pull!
Rams at the BaaLoch Tuath
Black Beach viewCalgary Pier &
                                              dykeUlva & Gometra
Nov 21st
Our friends Jaquie and Mike came round today to give us a hand and Mike came with me to fetch my Adder tin sheet back home. As a lot of of guests this year know we did not find many Adders and I found out that one of my rivals on Mull had found the sheet and was showing his guests the Adders before I turned up in the afternoon. I will not mention any names but Ewan knows who it was??? Whilst picking up the tin sheet we saw 3 beautiful Whooper Swans on Loch Torr, and a couple of Buzzards and a Kestrel. This afternoon I disturbed two Woodcock on our woodland at south of the house.
Buzzard with wings
                                              upLoch Torr
Kestrel on wireGreenshank and
                                              reflection

Nov 20th
Being 65 is a buggar as the medical profession now deem it necessary to give you injections, so there I was with the nurse to get a Flu jab when she informs me I ought to have one that prevents chest problems for life. This will only be a one off injection but I could feel ill for a few days afterwards so to have a ready supply of Paracetamols in, just what I need an injection to make me feel ill? I can also tell you that being 65 scores you 3 points on the hospital charts, all my vital signs scored an impressive total of 1 but being 65 that made them three times worse. I have come to the conclusion that the only thing worse than being 65 must be being 66, heaven knows what needles they are preparing for that. After the trauma Pam and I went around Mull for a couple of hours and it certainly gave me a tonic, Mull, not the Nurse. We saw Golden Eagles, White-tailed Eagles, 2 male Hen Harriers, Red deer and an Otter, all Mull's big 5 species in 2 hours, isn't Mull wonderful. Also seen were Slavonian and Little Grebe, Great Northern and Red Throated Divers, Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatchers. A lovely Dipper at Knock bridge, Goldeneye, Teal and Wigeon on Loch Na Keal, Greylag Geese and obviously Herons were also seen as was an inquisative Common Seal. We had super views of Kestels and quite a few Buzzards and Pam saw a Jay which I missed, all in all including some spectacular views we had a lovely drive round.
Greylag Geese on Loch
                                              na Kealben More with a
                                              sprinkle of snow
Loch na Keal &
                                              Ben Taladh
Nov 19th
We drove back to Mull today after a hectic and trying fortnight going down to Cheshire to see the family and arrange Mum's funeral, a lot of it she had arranged herself. We then had to travel back to Glasgow for my eye operation and back the next day for Mum's burial and a service celebrating her life as this was her wish. We stayed on a few days to support Dad and make sure he was alright and with the help of family and friends he seems to be doing as well as he can after losing his soul mate after 67 years.
Nov 5th
November 5th and my Mum passed away, she had lived a wonderful life and was 91 when she died. Pam and I have to return to Glasgow for my Eye operation on the 13th and we will return to Cheshire in time for her funeral on the 16th. Mum was an inspiration to the whole family and we will miss her enormously but her humour and sence of fun will always be remembered and we know she was as proud of all the family as only a mum can be, as we were of her. As long as my eye surgery turns out ok, as we all hope it will, my daily Mull blog will be back on line in the very near future. Thanks to all my readers who have e-mailed their concern over the missing blog but I can assure you we are both in good health although at the moment somewhat sad.

November 2014
Nov 30th
The last day of November and rainbows everywhere providing a focal point for Mulls remarkable scenery. Pam and I went out to Cailaich Point today and saw 3 more Stonechats which was really nice and a single Wren on a post as if to say look at me, so we did. The sighting of the day however were the 5 Purple Sandpipers at a usual winter site Lainne Sgeir, eagle eyed Pam also spotted a lone Turnstone, it was a brilliant spot and must have pleased the 'billy no mates' bird  to have been seen. Finally City won again so all's well in Arthurs little world.
Rainbow
                                      over Ardrioch

Rainbow over Coll
Purple Sandpipers
Nov 29th
A lovely day and with Pam tired from her long jouney we went out wildlife watching, she was hoping to see my Dolphins from a couple of days ago, no such luck. We did see 12 Wigeon, 11 Lapwings, 10 Great Northern Divers, 9 Shags, 8 Common Buzzards, 7 Goosanders, 6  Red Breasted Mergansers, 5 Golden Eagles, 4 Little Grebe, 3 Eurasian Otters, 2 White-tailed Eagles and a Peregrine eating his tea. We also saw 3 Kestrels, 2 Stonechats, 2 Slavonian Grebe, Whimbrel and Goldeneye. On returning home the Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper put in an appearance, the first Treecreeper I have seen in the garden since returning from Cheshire.
WigeonPeregrine on rock
Goosander family
Nov 28th
No birding today as she who must be obeyed is returning from Grandma duties and I have to clean the house for her return. Now where does she hide the hoover. Found it - now how does it work, press a few buttons nothing happening, switch on at plug, that's better music to my ears. Hoovering done, Kitchen mopped, Squirty stuff on all kitchen surfaces, how I have avoided food poisoning is a miracle, make the bed, feed the dogs and birds and and then go and fetch Pam. When I arrived at the ferry and everyone had got off there was no sign of Pam, she and a couple of other foot passengers had not been listening to instructions and were being held hostage on the car deck until all vehicles had left the ferry. 20 minutes late and she came stumbling up the gangplank with her heavy suitcase, it would have been heavier if our son and daughter-in-law had not searched her suitcase before she left.
Nia in the suitcase
Nov 27th
Went out at first light this morning, beautiful day but very cold. Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins at Calgary Bay leaping right out of the water.............fab-u-lous. At my next stop over looking Treshnish Farm a Kestrel was joined by a White-tailed Eagle. Over the hill towards Torloisk 2 Golden Eagles gave me an amazing display. Other notable birds were Goosander, a Meadow Pipit, a Dipper at Knock and an unexpected Bar-tailed Godwit in Aros Bay. Mammals seen were Rabbits, Red Deer and both types of Seal.
DolphinsWTSE flying over
                                              hills
Nov 26th
Worked in the shed all day after getting up late as my brain was still hurting from the pub quiz.
Nov 25th
Christmas came early this evening as Manchester City actually won a champions league match allthough the other team played like Santa Claus with one man getting sent off and their defence gifting us 2 late goals. Aparently I was not the only one watching the match. On the bird front there were lots of Slavonian Grebe on Loch na Keal this morning and a flock of Redwing at Killiechronan. Went to the Bellachroy and took Chrissie, our dog sitter, out for a meal and later took part in the pub quiz with some very intelligent players, I dragged my team, who often win, down to my level and we finished 2nd to last just avoiding the can of baked beans booby prize.
Cheering on the team
Nov 24th
Another day were birds were at a premium but out and about with my mate Alan Mullbirds Spellman we saw a Golden Eagle being harrased by, of all things, a flock of Starlings. Near by at Lainne Sgeir a juvinile White-tailed Eagle flew low over the rocks and was totally ignored by the sitting Shags and Cormorant. Back at Dervaig no sign of the Kingfisher but 2 Otters cavorting in the water beyond the salmon trap wall.
Nov 23rd
I didn't do much birding but did go to check for waders at Loch Cuin and see if there was anything at Loch Torr and the Mishnish Lochs, there were very few waders at Loch Cuin as the tide was out but the kingfisher was sitting on top of one of the large rock beyond the salmon trap wall, there was nothing at Loch Torr but 2 Golden Eagles, the first since my return to Mull, were flying over the hills towards Glengorm. At the Mishnish Lochs there was very little to be seen except for 3 Whooper Swans which I took a photo of with our new camera.
Whooper
                                      Swan familyRinged
                                      Plover
Nov 22nd
It is pooring with rain so I have been doing this winters project, cleaning out and making space in the 'big' shed. There are already a couple of cars and a boat stored in there and I need to make room for the mini-bus. It cleared late afternoon so on a visit to the shop I saw 4 turnstone at Calgary whilst looking for non existent Purple Sandpipers and the Kingfisher on Loch Cuin again.
Nov 21st
A cooler breezy day and numpty Arthur was not wearing enough warm cloths so I got chilled. In the event I saw very good Otter, a White-tailed Eagle and Red Deer, lots of ducks and waders seen with the hightlight being 2 Goosander at Killiechronan. 34 Wigeon and 5 Teal were seen but by far the biggist number of birds of one species seen were 350 Greylag Geese at Killiechronan with 10 Canada Geese mixed with them.
Gribbon & Inch
                                              Kenneth
Heron under the
                                              bridge at ArosBuzzard in a tree
Nov 20th
Went to Cailaich this morning and saw 24 species, which is about 20 more than I saw all summer there. Highlights were Great Northern Diver, 11 Guillemots and a single Razorbill, a small hurry of Kittiwakes, they were not surrounding dolphins but a big dog Otter eating a fish. There were 4 Mistle Thurshes, a Song Thrush and a White-tailed Eagle. At Calgary there were 3 Great Northern Divers, 10 Ringed Plovers and bird of the day a Black Throated Diver in partial summer plumage. Back at Dervaig no sign of the Kingfisher, but 8 Widgeon, 6 Snipe, 14 Ringed Plovers, 3 Curlews, 2 Little Grebe, 3 Greenshank and 2 Redshank. In the garden this morning before I set off were 2 Yellowhammers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Nov 19th
Arthur has left the computer with me in Nantwich and so his daily blog will be dictated over the phone for the next few days as I know that many of our regular blog readers have missed hearing about what is going on in Arthurs world.
Arthur: Went to Dervaig to buy groceries and stopped at the end of the loch as there were some waders there, as I got out of the car a Kingfisher flew off and down the river. Waders seen were Redshank. Greenshank and 3 Snipe.
Dervaig villageSnipe
Nov 18th
Arthur returned to Mull today by himself, leaving me in Nantwich 'holding the baby' for another week and a half.
He had a nightmare journey after setting out at 5 am he got caught up in a traffic accident on the M74 just south of Glasgow, he moved 12 miles in 4 hours, when he eventually moved he managed to get to Oban just in time for the 4 pm ferry only to be told there was a 45 minute delay in the sailing, he had not had anything to eat all day and only drank one bottle of drink as he could not go to the loo. He made up for it when he got home, Chrissie, our house sitter left him his tea, 1 whole chicken, 12 roast potatoes, 16 roast parsnips, half a ton of carrots and gravy. At least he now has enough left overs to keep him going for a day or two.
Nov 11th
My optician and friend has just reaffirmed on how lucky I have been and what a brilliant job they had done on my eyes and although I now have new glasses the higher prescription I needed was marginal considering only 7 weeks ago I was blind in the eye. I will be starting to birdwatch with a vengeance next week after I get used to the new specs so look out for continued blogging then.
Nov 10th
I have just been told by an optician at the hospital how lucky I have been and that the surgeon had done a brilliant job and my eyesight, although not quite as good as it was, it is still fantastic given the trauma it has been through. A huge thank you to all Gartnavel Hospital, Glasgow, eye department you are all stars in my eyes.
Nov 7th to 9th
Hi everyone, I am nearly back in business after my eye scare and hope to be given the all clear on Monday the tenth when I go to see the consultant in Glasgow. As I am feeling better I have started to do a little gentle birding mainly with the birds in our garden and much to my surprise I noticed we had a male Blackcap on the peanut feeders. We quickly got out our new camera and got some shots of the bird and a few of the others in our garden, boy have I missed birding.

Blackcap and
                                                GreenfinchBlackcap and Great
                                                Tit
BlackbirdCoal Tit
November 2013
Nov 30th
A very windy day with sailing's disrupted and lots of heavy showers, a day to batten down the hatches and stay indoors, which is precisely what we did.
Nov 29th
Another dull dry day and still warm, up here on Mull the sun is taking a well earned holiday. I spent most of today working on our dam which took a bit of a battering during a very stormy deluge in September. Not a lot of wildlife watching today but the Yellowhammer turned up in the garden again today. This evening we went for a meal at the Bellachroy and met the new owners Tony and Christine, they are very nice and friendly and I am pleased to report that the food was excellent, so for readers who might have been concerned that standards might slip with new people in charge I think we can safely reassure you that they haven't and will not.
Nov 28th
A dull day with low cloud, light drizzle at times and heavier rain as the daylight ended. A day out for Pam and I with our friends from next door Nick and Catherine, it was a most productive day with 58 species of birds and 4 mammals seen. Highlights included 5 Golden Eagles, a White-tailed Eagle, A Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk and 4 Otters. We also saw a host of Waders, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Lapwing, Greenshank, Redshank, Ringed Plovers, Dunlin and Turnstones. On the water were Teal, Wigeon, Goldeneye, Mallard, Red Breasted Mergansers, Goosanders, Little Grebes, Slavonian Grebes and Great Northern Divers. Best small birds of the day were Goldcrests, Redwings, Song and Mistle Thrushes. The day ended on a fine note as we were emptying the car a Woodcock flew over our house, a fine end to a great day's birding.
Nov 27th
Yet another dry, cloudy but warm day for the time of the year. John Austin a friend, neighbour and best heating engineer and plumber on Mull came to check out our water supply and fix a problem with the U V filter which required a new bit provided by another friend and neighbour Nick Evans, our grateful thanks to them both. We have a local female Hen Harrier at the moment and I spent a lovely 10 minutes this morning just watching this iconic bird hunting, it was a magical experience. A Yellowhammer returned to the garden feeders today as word that I am now regularly feeding again as winter approaches spreads.
Nov 26th
A day similar to the last couple and I had to go to Tobermory this afternoon and as I passed the Mishnish Lochs I noticed there were more Whooper Swans out on the water. On arriving home Pam was in the office buying a new computer. What with new bathrooms, a new van and now a new computer no wonder my hair is falling out.
Nov 25th
Another dull dry windless day and warm for the time of the year. A walk with Pam and the dogs in Quinnish wood and 2 jays were present as were 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a flock of Siskins and we also saw a female Bullfinch, it was a really nice walk. We then went to Calgary art in nature for lunch and bought a couple of Christmas presents, yes it is that time of the year again. Pam was a little tired this morning as she had been to the Bellachroy last night with her pilate mates and had a few drinks, she told me she had not drunk to much only a pint and a half of cider and a brandy???
Nov 24th
A dry often dull day and birds seem to be coming back to the garden for winter sustenance. This morning we had Siskins and a Treecreeper joining the regulars in or around the feeders. There were 5 Snipe today at Dervaig and Pam saw a hunting female Hen Harrier when out walking the dogs. Misty the older of our two dogs had a new leash of life today and walked three quarters of their usual walk, normally she refuses to go much further than a third of the way sits down and refuses to go any further.
Nov 23rd
Another lovely sunny day till mid afternoon when Pam and I decided to go for a drive round. Looking through the drizzle we found the 2 Common Scoters still in Calgary Bay which was nice for Pam as she was not with me yesterday. Also at Calgary were 4 Ringed Plovers and some Oystercatchers and 2 Great Northern Divers. At Croig we saw 4 Redshanks, 3 more Ringed Plovers and a couple of Curlew along with a Grey Heron. Before going home we slipped to Dervaig and were surprised to find 2 Common Snipe, we also saw a couple of Greenshank, more Curlews and a Redshank. By now the rain was falling steadily and a cup of tea in the warmth of the kitchen was called for.
Nov 22nd
A lovely day at last and a trip locally this morning and I saw a White-tailed Sea Eagle, an Otter, a Great Northern Diver, 2 Common Scoters, 4 Fieldfares and a single Mistle Thrush. It is great to be able to get out wildlife watching again so hopefully the blog will get back to normal. 
Nov 21st
Better weather and a trip to Tobermory and we saw 3 Whooper Swans and 3 Goldeneye Ducks on the Mishnish Lochs. At Dervaig there were 2 Greenshanks, 5 redshanks and a couple of Curlews and a Female Hen Harrier was out hunting.
Nov 18th to 20th
Weather awful with gale force winds and heavy showers and some snow so more rest and no birding.
Nov 17th
An evening with the Dervaig bird group in a Yurt at Calgary, this is a Scandinavian structure with lots of candles and a wood burning stove, very health and safety for a wooden structure. As always we had a great time with lots of laughs, not least with Pam's Chocolate and Beetroot cake, enough said.
Arthur pole dancingPam in the
                                      Yurt
Nov 13th to 16th
Resting ankle which is hopefully getting better.
Nov 12th
Ankle has swollen up again, supermarket shopping is not recommended for your health, back on the sofa and medication, birding on the back burner again.
Nov 11th
A sad day as we had to say goodbye to a trusty old friend, yes we have sold our van and so we took it to Fort William and waved goodbye to it for the last time. On a cheerier note we are getting a brand new one in time for next year and it will be equipped with running boards so no need for my trusty stool, I hope. After dropping off the the van we spent an hour or more in the supermarket doing a big shop.
Nov 7th to Nov 11th
We came back to Mull and at last I can start and rest my foot although it is frustrating not to be able to get out birding.Brown family
Nov 1st to Nov 6th
We returned to Cheshire to spend time with the family and celebrate my parents 65 wedding anniversary where all the Brown family got together for a group photograph, 28 in all I think it was. Richie and Sheetal had arranged a day out in London for Pam and I and we went to Camden Market, the theatre to see One Man Two Governors, a very funny show, and to Jamie Olivers Italian restaurant where we had a lovely meal. We had a great day but walking round London on Crutches is not highly recommended by yours truly, particularly going down to underground stations without excallators and up to very high theatre seats, there was a lot of queuing in London, mainly behind me, I have to say people were very patient with me.
Arthur on crutchesLunch in
                                        Camden

Camden
                                        Lock villageWall Art
                                        Camden



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