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October 2016
Oct 21st to 31st
Away visiting family and getting to have a great time with my Dad, Brothers and Sister and their families and our children and grandchildren the girls are now ten, eight, six, two and our new grandson 2 months.
Oct 1st to Oct 20th
Cleang a Burn (stream) which has 12 years growth is no picnic, take it from me, one who now knows. Thanks to Nick for his help with Machete and Chain Saw. Not much birding, no time, but did manage to go and look for a Great Grey Shrike, missed it but got great views of a female Hen Harrier, we saw a male today the 20th. We had the first Brambling reported on Mull this Autumn and another first for our garden, a Grey Wagtail, Treecreepers and Goldcrests have also visited. Maintenance
to the house continues and will be complete before Christmas, I hope, as will the painting, the house not on canvass. The blog will be intermittant at the moment as the van now repaired from its accident has been recalled by the manufacturers for a fault so remains in hospital (garage) but will hopefully be home before December. I am looking forward to several booked appearances at the dentists for root canal treatment, I just can't wait!!! Until my next posting some pictures taken of some of the birds mentioned in the blog and others seen during this time.

Grey Wagtail
                                              juv in gardenKingfisher Dervaig
Siskin in gardenBrent Goose Calgary
October 2015
October
Pam and I went to visit our family prior to going on our long awaited trip to Botswana and the Ocovanga Delta, unfortunately my elderly Mum was in poor health and being well taken care of primarily by my dad and wonderful sister Jen. The family insisted we still go on our holiday and enjoy ourselves 
which we did. We went camping in Botswana mainly out in the bush with 6 other guests. We had a terrific guide Ngosi and three other helpers who moved the tents, cooked the food and washed our clothes and bedding, they were amazing, making the experience one we will never forget. We saw all the wildlife we wanted to see as well as over 210 species of birds, to say we thoughly loved the holiday and our Botswana experiece would be an under statement. The temperature was the only downside of the holiday with teperatures reaching over 105 degrees fahrenheight which was certainly a challenge for Pam. We spent 16 days in Africa and the people were truly inspirational and the Black and White on the Botswana flag signifies racial harmony and that is just what we got. The photos below are just a taster of the animals and birds we saw on the trip, we hope you enjoy them.

Bot Arthur &
                                                Pam Bot Lion
Bot LeopardBot Zebra
Bot BeeatersBot Carmine
                                                Beeater
Elephant &
                                                babyBot Giraffe at
                                                sunset
October 5th onwards
There will be a break from the blog for a while as I need to rest my eye that was injured last year so no birding for me for a while. Hope to be back in business soon. In the meantime just a few Photos for you to enjoy. Thanks to all our guests who send us their photo's.
WTSE juv on hill
                                                LovemoreWTSE takes off
                                                Lovemore
Micheal & Jo Lovemore were on a tour with us in September and took these great photo's of a juv WTSE
Whitethroat ASRedstart AS
Our good friend Alan Spellman from Mullbirds always likes to show Arthur how to take a good photo, here a Whitethroat and female Redstart
Dolphins off
                                              Calliach Point MDDipper Meg Davis
Willow Warbler Meg
                                              DavisLesser Redpoll
                                              Ardrioch Farm MD
Regular guests Meg & Stephen Davis send me some super photo's, the Dolphins were seen from Calliach Point in June, Dipper and Willow Warbler
 are amongst some of our favorite small birds and the Redpoll was taken below the feeders at Ardrioch when they were staying with us.
Fulmar Peter
                                              LathemWheatear Peter
                                              Lathem
This Fulmar and Wheatear were taken by Pete Lathem, he and wife Jenny have been friends for many years and help us with our house sitting.

Oct 4th
A day out with Meg and Stephen, two regulars who stay in the self-catering every autumn and our now very good friends  and  we always have at least one day out birding together. Today was a wonderful one as we saw and photographed a Little Egret on Mull, I think it is only the 3rd one reported and the first with a photo. Other notable sightings today were a raft of about 250 Eider Ducks, 4 Great Northern Divers one in breeding plumage, a Red throated Diver, Golden Plover, Linnets , my favorite bird and a couple of Skylarks. As usual we saw Golden Eagle and White-tails and also a Hen Harrier interscting with Buzzards. Well over 50 species of birds were seen although we did not start counting till we had been out for over an hour. Thank you to Meg for the flying Egret and the Eider Ducks photo's
EGRETLittle Egret MD
Eider MD
Oct 3rd
The drive back included our usual brilliant breakfast at the antiques centre just out of Doune on the Callender Road. Thanks to Cal Mac staff for squeezing us onto the 2pm ferry, literally.
Oct 1st-2nd
Still off island visiting family.

October 2014
Oct 14thProud Grandpa
We have just become proud Grand Parents for the 4th time and all four are girls, welcome to the world little Nia Alia Brown our son and daughter-in-laws first child, congratulations to you all. Pam is overjoyed as she was able to hold little Nia within 20 minutes of her being born, I don't think the smile has gone from her face since. I will update you on goings on on Mull when we return.
Oct 6th
I have just been given some very positive news regarding my eye problem by the consultant, so unless I have a relapse things are looking good for the Discover Mull wildlife tours continuing next year. Many thanks to all my readers for their best wishes and concern over my eye problem, your good wishes kept me going through my darkest times but now as I can see the light and birds again I hope to keep you all up to date about the wonderful Island that is Mull. One more group of people I would like to thank, the doctors, nurses and all the staff at Gartnavel Hospital who got me through my ordeal in such a friendly and very efficient way, their care kindness and indeed humour could not have been bettered. To all the taxi drivers we used you were all brilliant and chatty, thanks to you all. Finally to the staff at the West Park Hotel you should all be very proud of the good humoured way you look after your guests, you made what could have been a traumatic stay, a lovely experience.
Oct 5th
Winds and light showers, rain in the afternoon. Regular guests Meg and Stephen on the tour today so plenty of help with the spotting. We saw absolutly nothing for the first hour which was a bit worrying but once we found some Eagles flying they kept appearing with 3 White-tails and 4 Golden Eagles seen during the day. At lunch time we picked up an Otter but it soon dissapeared in the choppy water only to be found a little way down the coast about half an hour later and again entertaining us whilst we had lunch. Seals, Fallow Deer, Redshank, Greenshank, Turnstone, Teal and Black headed Gull were all seen. Towards the end of the day we found a herd of Red Deer being watched over by a magnificant Stag who was keeping a young stag away from his hareem. Thanks to Meg for this photo of a young Fallow Deer seen today.
Fallow Deer
Oct 1st
The early morning rain cleared to a sunny but windy day and as I (Pam) was driving to my friends for swimming today a Sparrowhawk flew across the road in front of me, further along I was delayed as I watched a pair of Golden Eagles seeing off a White-tail Eagle. It was a brilliant day for a swim as the sea is it is at it's warmest at this time of the year (ok I know you don't believe me) there were big waves and we giggled and laughed like teenagers as they crashed over us. As I looked over head there was another White-tail Eagle, a Golden Eagle and 2 Buzzards flying in the wind we also had a Heron fly close by. As I drove home the Ravens and Hooded Crown seemed to be dancing in the wind as they flew.

October 2013
Oct 26th to 31st
On our way to at our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren in Brixham we stopped off at the hospital in Torbay and so I arrived to play with my grandchildren on crutches. Even though extremely handicapped I really enjoyed my time with the family and never stopped reminding Pam she had made me walk on a very bad ankle exacerbating the injury, you have to take sympathy when you can get it. Pam has a special birthday coming up in December and has started working her way through a wish list of things she wants to do. So far she has been swimming in the sea and trying to cripple her husband but now she wanted to go Kayaking with our son-in-law Simon. So on a very cold day they set off on a 5 mile trip up the river Dart in windy conditions, she loved it although she got very wet and cold. What is it with my wife who for all our married life has hated sports and now approaching 60 takes up the extreme versions.
Lauren,
                                      Emma & Natasha
Oct 19th to 26th
We went on holiday to Wareham in Dorset visiting RSPB reserves, gravel pits and Brownsea Island. We had a great holiday with a lot of walking and birding with me in my newish boots. By Tuesday evening my right ankle started hurting and it got a little worse on Wednesday and by Thursday lunchtime on Brownsea was very painful indeed. I mentioned this to Pam, my sympathetic wife. Full of compassion for my plight she told me as we had not been to Brownsea before we should at least go round the National Trust half as we had done the Dorset wildlife half in the morning and so with gritted teeth I bravely soldiered on another 2 miles.
Here is a small selection of our holiday photo's showing birds and mammals we do not normally see on Mull.
Egret Oct13Sika Deer Oct13
Mediterranean Gull Oct13Great-crested Grebe Oct13
Hooded Merganzer Oct13Pochard
                                      Oct13
Red Squirrel Oct13Avocet Oct13
Oct 16th to 19th
We went to Cheshire to visit family staying with our son and daughter-in-law Richie and Sheetal.
Oct 15th
This was our last tour of the season and the last for our trusty van as we have ordered a new one for next year. Today it was so sunny and warm that I nearly expired in my thermals as the temperatures soared to 20 degrees and the clocks for winter go back soon. Today's tour was a Red Deer rut fest with roaring Stags, running stags but unfortunately no fighting stags, as the pretenders were all wimps, who when challenged by the resident stags turned tail and ran away. We had 4 Otters again today with lovely sightings of a mother with 2 cubs playing on the last bit of rock available as the tide came in. Congratulations to David and Catherine a lovely couple on a belated honeymoon, I sincerely hope they enjoyed their wedding present.
Oct 14th
A trip to Tobermory in unseasonably warm sunny weather and another look for the Magpie which is apparently still hanging around. This was my third attempt to see this bird and my third failure, however we did see lots of winter Thrushes taking advantage of the abundance of Rowan berries and as we watched them a Peregrine Falcon flew across the Tobermory cemetery in the direction of the golf course. Last evening before dark a short trip out provided a very close view of a female Hen Harrier, Pam was well chuffed
Oct 11th, 12th, 13th
Mull Car Rally weekend good luck to them all and the weather is marvellous. The picture is of our son's rally friends up for the rally unfortunately Richie could not join them this year.
Richards Friends Rally
Oct 10th
Another windy but dry day cool in the wind but warmer in the sunshine. Great Eagles and Otter again today as well as lots of Red Deer in their rutting parks but birds of the day for me had to be the 21 Whooper Swans at Killiechronan and the very close Common Scoter at Cailaich Point. At last autumn migration is starting, more gales please, you never know what might get blown in.
Common ScoterCommon Scoter
Oct 9th
A day of near gale force winds and heavy squally showers not the best day for wildlife watching but in our case today it was probably the best day out for the Mull big 5 we have had all year. We saw several White-tailed Sea Eagles 3 of them together at the end of the day one turning right over being mobbed by a Buzzard and the other 2 talon grasping. 3 Golden Eagles very good for quite a long time but not as close as the White-tails. An Otter for 30 minutes in and out of the water but it was so rough it never went more than 20 yards into the water so we had unbelievable views. 3 Hen Harriers, again the one near the end of the day, a male was probably my second best sighting of Hen Harrier this year. Finally lots of Rutting Red Deer and also Fallow Deer and to add to these sightings a Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel and a Great Northern Diver.
Rainbow over Loch SpelveRhododendron still in flower
Oct 8th
A wet day and Pam and I went to Tobermory for haircuts, I pay for the search fee and in Pam's case she sees the tint fairy as well. As it was still persisting down we treated ourselves to lunch at Glengorm where I had a fantastic beef Chilli con carne, if you like chilli this comes highly recommend. 
Oct 7th
The weather was so bad when the tour started I was asked if we ever cancelled by a guest and she must have wondered why not by mid-day as we had only seen Wigeon, Teal, Curlews, Whimbrel, Little Grebe, Greylag Geese and several Buzzards. The rain stopped for most of the afternoon and we saw Common Seals, 3 Otters one really close, 2 Golden Eagles, 3 White-tailed Eagles again one very close being mobbed by a Hooded Crow, Red Deer and a brilliant if brief view of a female Hen Harrier also being mobbed by a Hooded Crow, boy do I love Hooded Crows always there when you need them. Bird of the day a Rook at Ulva Ferry, an unusual sighting here. In answer to her question, no we never cancel it is wildlife and it never ceases to amaze me.
WTSE on hillGolden Eagle pair
Oct 6th
A dull calm day and I spent a lot of time in the garden mowing lawns and tidying up not my favorite occupation but it has to be done sometime. My mother used to tell me don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, I am not too sure she was right as I have better things to do with my time than gardening like WILDLIFE WATCHING.
Oct 5th
A beautiful calm morning and I was out before first light and apart from a Woodcock  I did not see anything I don't see most days. It was just great to be out and about with no one else around and as I stood watching an Otter fishing in glass calm water and the eerie calls of a pair of Red Throated Divers I thought to myself how lucky I am to live in this magical place.
Oct 4th
A damp day and so I took the van to Tobermory and gave it a good clean, after the busy autumn it deserved it. We are thinking of getting a new van for next year but we have not completely decided yet but this van has been very reliable up to now and we don't want to keep it a year too long which is what we did with the Landrover.
Oct 3rd
It is dull and a little damp at the moment but so warm and I spent the morning birding. Although I did not see any new birds for the year I had a good time trying. The wildlife I did see was beautiful and Mull as always left me feeling relaxed and grateful that we live here. Only three more tours booked and of course the Mull car rally to come next weekend and then we have the Island back to ourselves. We will miss our guests but will hopefully see some of you again as you chill out from your stressful lives on this wonderful island paradise.
Oct 2nd
A very dull dry breezy day and we started todays tour with a female Hen Harrier, followed by a White-tailed Eagle a 2 golden Eagles and all this in the first half hour. Wigeon, Curlews a Redshank and Whimbrel were then seen before we went for coffee and 3 Otters. There was a bit of a lull then just before lunch a juvenile White-tail flew right past us and then at lunchtime another very close Otter, a juvenile Golden Eagle and a Red Throated Diver. Red Deer were seen in the afternoon and Goosander, Gannets, Cormorants, Shags, kittiwake and an Arctic Skua my first of the year. The season is ending on a high note with good weather, good birds and lovely guests, I must admit I love my job most of the time.
Oct 1st
A mainly dry but windy day and Pam, Jacqui and Mike went out on the Whale watching boat, I chickened out and stayed at home and checked out my photo's from yesterday. They enjoyed their trip but apart from 3 Arctic Skuas, lots of Gannets and some Porpoise they did not see a lot, they said that the views and light had been great and anyway both Pam and Jacqui enjoy being out on the water. I stayed in and caught up on some much needed rest as I had not slept very well the night before, ZZZZZZZZZ
Jac & Mike at CrogganMushroon stone at Croggan


October - 2012
Oct 31st
Weather nice warm morning rain after lunch - I went to Calgary and Cailaich this morning and saw 12 ringed Plover at Calgary and about 30 Gannets and 50 razorbills and even more Kittiwakes at Cailaich, this is more than I ever saw there during the summer, very strange.
Oct 30th
Weather more of the same - Did not do much today but sad to report a Whooper Swan with a broken wing at Dervaig, the appropriate organizations have been informed.
Oct 29th
Weather sunshine and heavy showers all day windy -  White-Fronted Geese in field with Greylags at killiechronan, 2 Iceland Gulls at the Salmon Hatchery. Manchester City won again, all's well in Arthur's World.
White-fronted Goose with neck
                                      strapWhite-fronted Geese with
                                      Greylags
Iceland Gulls
Oct 28th
Weather dry but cloudy and fairly warm, rain in the evening - Great sightings of Otters, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Grey Seals, Common Seals, White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Hen Harriers, Black Throated Diver, Snow Buntings, Bar Tailed Godwits, Grey Herons, Curlews, Wigeon, Turnstones, Ringed Plover, Kestrels, Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons and lots more. Just another fantastic day of wildlife on the wonderful Isle of Mull.
Bartailed GodwitFallow Deer
Oct 27th
Weather frequent heavy showers - Late birds today and  new arrivals , we saw a Lapwing at Cailaich this morning the first I have seen for some time and later a late Swallow was seen so autumn is clinging on. Winter is on its way however as a Family of Whooper Swans flew into Loch Cuin and too tired to eat immediately put their heads under their wings and went to sleep. We saw 4 Snow Buntings at Reudle today in separate pairings. 
3 very tired Whooper Swans
Oct 26th
Weather cloudy - Another good day with a great display of interaction as a pair of Golden Eagles saw off an intruding White-tail Eagle out of their patch. We had good views today of Great Northern Divers, Goosanders, Slavonian Grebes and Hen Harriers which we have been seeing all week and the Snow Buntings were also seen again today. A Barnacle Goose was seen in with a group of Greylag Geese and an Otter put in a very brief appearance, some times you wonder how they can disappear so quickly.
Oct 25th
Weather Rain in the morning then warm Sunshine, guests were shocked and so was I - Whimbrel at our first main stop and Snow Buntings again, I got pictures this time and a Great Northern Diver in summer plumage were the highlights of another great wildlife watching day, Eagles and Otters and the Red Deer rut also seen. It is good to be out and about again and I just discovered I have hit my 150 bird species on Mull target with the Snow Bunting.
Snow BuntingRed Deer Stag with hinds
Oct 24th
Weather cloudy with rain in the morning improving as the day went on very, very windy - Another good day with a lot seen when we were able to stand up without being blown over. We saw late Gannets, an Arctic Tern, Whooper Swans, a Merlin, a Sparrowhawk and a Great Skua and TARRAH a first for a Discover Mull Tour SNOW BUNTINGS. We also saw Eagles and Otters et al.
Oct 23rd
Weather Cloudy but no rain we are worried about drought - The first tour since the 1st and all Mull's speciality species were there to welcome us back. We had brilliant Eagles, Otters and Deer as well as Hen Harriers and Seals. our guests were well impressed all they had expected to see was rain, I wonder why?
Oct 19th
We have had a lot of rain since returning to Mull and so we have not been out and about much, just having a good rest after the busy season and the weddings. Our regular guests will be pleased to hear that I have been busy making lots of home-made chutney for the tours next year with some apples picked from my Dads garden. I have managed to get a nice photo of Arthur and I in our finery at the English Wedding for you to see, with Richard, Sheetal, Ram (Sheetals father) and Gul (mother) out side the very old part of Baddiley church.
We will be doing a few tours again next week for the half term so lets hope it stops raining.
Richard, Sheetal, Arthur,
                                      Pam, Ram & Gul
Oct 8th
After a couple of days rest when we managed a nice walk with the grandchildren our son had his second traditional English Wedding at Baddiley Church near Nantwich.
Arthur relaxing with our
                                      daughter and grandchildren.
Richard and his groomsmen left for the church in an old jeep and the bridesmaids were Sheetals sister, Shalini Mehta and our 2 granddaughters Lauren and Emma who were very exited in their 'princess dresses and gloves'.
Richard with his groomsmenBridesmaids - Sheetals sister
                                      with Lauren and Emma
Baddiley Church outside
Some of our guests saw the wedding cake in the making and asked to see photo's, well it made
it down to Cheshire safely and was decorated with real orchids to match the brides bouquet. 
The whole day was wonderful and went without a hitch, the highlight of the evening was the 
dance when we had 'bollywood' music - the floor was bouncing. 
The Wedding cakeRichard and Sheetal cutting
                                      the cake
Oct 5th
Today our son Richard has his Sikh wedding to beautiful Indian girlfriend Sheetal. This has taken place at the Guru Nanak Gurudwara, Warrington. Many of our guests have asked to see some of the photo's, especially Arthur as you have never seen him before. We had a wonderful ceremony, the people at the Sikh Temple were very kind and helpful to us and all our guests were very respectful of the Sikh traditions. After the ceremony we were given a traditional vegetarian lunch at the Temple. There were some beautiful outfits worn and everyone enjoyed the day.
On Saturday there will be a traditional English Wedding.
Richard & Sheetal
Richard & Sheetal in
                                      traditional Sikh Wedding outfitsRichard & Sheetal in
                                      traditional Sikh Wedding outfits
Arthur and Pam
Arthur & Pam with
                                      daughter Becky and grandchildrenArthur Pam and family ready
                                      for the Sikh Wedding

Oct 2nd
We are off down south today for our son's Wedding so there will be no updates for a few days. We thought we would leave you with some familiar images from a 'Discover Mull' tour.

Discover Mull at ReudleView to Staffa and Iona
The gap between Ulva and
                                      GometraKilninian Church
 
Highland Cow
 
Loch Cuin the narrows Barn Owl boxes
Oct 1st
Weather cloudy and calm just how I like it - Perfect weather for wildlife watching and we saw Mistle Thrushes, Stonechat, Wigeons, Red Breasted Mergansers, Oystercatchers, Curlews, Slavonian Grebes, Red Throated Divers, White-tailed Sea Eagles, Otters, Golden Eagles, Red Deer at Rut and finally 5 yes 5 Hen Harriers, check out the photo's.





 
 

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