Home buttonBlog
                            button
September 2015
Sept 29th-30th
Off island visiting family.
Sept 28th
Today the weather was just the same as yesterday but today the wildlife played ball. Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew and Bar tailed Godwit seen well as were Wigeon and Teal, Goosander and Red Breasted Mergansers. We saw 4 White-tailed Eagles giving us very good views. We saw 3 Golden Eagle giving us exceptionally good views. Then there was this female Hen Harrier giving us extraordinarily brilliant views for over 20 minutes, to say we were all thrilled by this sighting would be an understatement.

Hen Harrier 1Hen Harrier 2
Hen Harrier 3Hen Harrier 4
Sept 27th
A lovely day again, where has this weather been all summer. Although the weather was nice the wildlife was not playing ball today but we did manage a few waders including Curlews, Greenshank and Ringed Plover. If you were wondering about the Redshank in the wader picture, this photo was taken tomorrow. We saw 1 White-tailed Eagle, 1 Golden Eagle and 1 Hen Harrier but the Harrier was a good sighting. Bird of the day were Twite well that was until the Harrier turned up.
Ringed PloversCurlew, Redshank
                                                and Greenshank
Sept 25th
We went to Tobermory today to fetch a new fridge/freezer for Inch Hame, our larger self-catering cottage, for the new kitchen we are putting in this winter in time for the 2016 season. I bought a 'Tilley' hat for when we holiday abroad, I don't think I require one for Scotland, although Pam says this is not true as they make a very good rain hat. Thanks to Nick & Catherine for a lovely evening yesterday when Catherine introduced me to 'Rabbit Pie' the first I can remember having. The pie included Floppsy, Mopsey and Peter from the bottom of our garden! which Nick had kindly removed for us to protect our plants. Our rabbits don't run too fast as they are far too over weight from all the grass, plants and bird food they eat. Our near by White-tailed Eagles are flying lower over our house these days, I think they have noticed Watership Down has moved to our garden. Rabbits beware!!
Sept 24th
A great tour today dispite the heavy showers and strong winds, which brought about some fabulous rainbows which of course my guests had to photograph. We saw 6 White-tailed Eagles today and for once I remembered I had my camera with me as you can see from the photo. Golden Eagle were harder to see due to the weather but we did manage to see one for a few minutes before being hit by yet another heavy shower. The same thing had happened earlier in the day with the Otter that we saw, this Otter was either very brave or a complete numpty as it continued to swim in the roughest water and trying to land was smashed against the rocks 4 times before climbing out seemingly unhurt and giving great views. The bird of the day was a brilliant female Hen Harrier very close and interacting with a Buzzard. 
 WTSE September15
Sept 23rd
Our last innoculations today and although they only hurt a little bit the pain I felt paying for them was intense. More work on our burn today and thanks to Nick who helped me. The burn is now running faster than I can remember since we have been here.
Sept 22nd
Another lovely day of autumnal weather and the White-tailed Eagles were out in force to enjoy it, we saw a total of 11 birds in all today giving great views with 5 seen in the air at one time. Golden Eagles as if to say 'look we are here as well' also performed with great views of a total of 5 birds seen, 2 of them being particularly good views. During the day 2 Otters were seen both giving as good close sighting. For me however the hghtlight of my day was this group of 5 Yellowhammers, the most I have seen in one flock in my life, and I remembered I carried a camera. In the evening we went to Tobermory for a meal with our friends Jaqui & Mike who were celebrating their first Wedding Anniversary, we had a lovely time and to make the evening complete we saw a very close Barn Owl sitting on a passing place post on our way home.
Yellowhammer familyYellowhammer male
Sept 21st
A nice day and an Otter we all saw for at least a quarter of an hour giving great views, typically we had a very good sighting of another Otter at lunch time. I was really pleased to get a good Otter as 2 of our guests today had been given the Discover Mull tour as a silver wedding gift by their bridesmaids and Angela, the bride, really wanted to see an Otter. Soon after our date with the first Otter we were watching White-tailed Eagles interacting with Ravens over a sheep carcase while Mum sat in a tree looking on with pride. She was very good as she let us finish our coffees before leisurely flying off to join the kids giving us a great sighting of her size. This sighting gave Neil, the groom, a thrill as well as it was what he was hoping to see. Thanks to all my guests today who were great and I did not want any of you to feel left out but it was Angelas and Neils special present.
Sept 20th
The weather for todays tour was much better than predicted and it stayed dry for most of the day. It was a day of White-tailed Eagles today, they were everywhere, Golden Eagles on the other hand were thin in the air although I saw a total of 4, none were brillian but at least all my guests saw the last one, a reward for their patience, at least it was quite close and being mobbed by two Ravens. On the nearly seeing front, I saw an Otter on a distant island and one guest saw it as it disappeared over the back not to be seen again. Red Deer Stag was seen with a few hinds, yes the rut is about to begin. The pictures below are of a Greenshank and Hooded Crow, I took them on my way back home although we had seen them during the tour. My bird of the day a Red Throated Diver in Lagganulva Bay.
GreenshankHooded Crow
Sept 18th
Arthur had to sort out our water again today and I had a lovely warm day to do the tour. All the big stuff was seen but the Golden Eagles stole the show again today with 2 adult birds souring right overhead. Smaller species seen today included 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 1 single Lapwing, Stonechats and a single late Wheatear.Thank you to todays guests Glynis and Kath, who sent me this lovely panaramic photo of me with Loch na Keal in the background.
Pam & Loch na Keal
Sept 16th & 17th
No tours as we were away in Glasgow for scheduled appointments.
Sept 15th
Isn't wildlife watching wonderfully unpredictable which is why we enjoy it so much. Zoos are great and neccessary for endangered species and for grandparents to go to with grandchildren, but they are predictable. Go out on a boat and throw the fish by a White-tailed Eagle nest site and you will predictably get your great photo to show your friends. Go out wildlife wtching and you just never know, today on our tour we had a sighting that blew my mind. A juvenile Golden Eagle was messing around giving us some nice behaviour, landing on rocks and flying whilst being mobbed by a female Hen Harrier when it suddenly flew low behind a small hill and disturbed 2 Red Deer hinds with their calves, it proceeded to chase and attack the smaller of the calves right across the hill going for it on several occasions. We watched in awe as this superb large raptor chased the Red Deer calf until they both dissapeared behind the hill. The chase acoss the hill was at least a quarter of a mile and was still going on after they dissapeared. If the Red Deer calfs heart was beating as fast as mine it could well have have had a heart attack. I knew Golden Eagles did chase Red Deer on hills but I never thought I would ever get to witness it in the wild without gimmicks or captivity and as you can imagine my guests were exstatic, Isn't wildlife watching wonderful. I took this picture of a pair of Mute Swans in the sunshine yesterday but obviously the Dophins took precidence.
Mute Swans
Sept 14th
A beautiful day and Pam came out on the tour with us as a guest cancelled to go out on a whale watching trip. I hope she had as good a day, as we did, as we had a mum Otter with 2 Cubs, White-tailed Eagles, brilliant Golden Eagles, Seals, several Wading bird species, Red Deer, oh and then there were Bottlenose Dolphins. There were about 10 of them and boy did they put on a show for us, leaping out of the water, tail slapping and just about everything you would want Dolphins to do. I feel a little sorry for friends of my guests who will be watching their holiday snaps from now until Chrismas.
Dolphins tail
Dolphin splashingDolphins swimming
Sept 13th
Talk about rain, well we had a right downpour this morning just before the tour started today, a couple of my guests were wet through just getting to the bus. The rain stopped and out came the birds with great views of 2 White Tailed Eagles, a female Hen Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Buzzard at our first two stops. Goosanders, a Wigeon, Little Grebe, Curlew and Greenshank were also soon seen as were some Red Deer stags. A brilliant Golden Eagle and both types of Seal were to follow and we had 50 species on a very productive day. My bird of the day was a particularly nice but late Wheatear towards the end of the day.
Sept 12th
I was sought of promised my van back from the car repair shop today, it didn't happen. It is in to have the front door fault repaired at long last but as the passenger door was very bad it must be taking longer than the garage anticipated. Saturday chores today and I just got them finished before the monsoon hit. Yes you could say the indian Summer is well and truly over.
Sept 11th
A tour today in lovely weather which was a good thing as the wildlife chose today to have a day off. I think they must have joined the White-tailed Eagle save our forest campaign and gone on strike, could this be construde as ill Eagle picketing. We did see a few Waders and some very good Golden Eagles but even finding Red Deer was hard today.
Sept 10th
Our Indian summer remains with us although it is still very breezy, at least it keeps the Midges at bay. No tour today and I watched as the Highland Clearances take place on the hill behind us, No not people but all the Sitka Spruce Trees, they have all gone noe except for the stand where the White-tailed Eagles sit. I think I saw them holding Placards with save our trees on them the other day. One plus of the deforestation, more light for our Solar Panels.
Sept 9th
A trip to the nurse this morning for some needles, innoculatiions against Rabies, Typhoid and Hepititus A, needless to say I was not a happy bunny as I set off to do the tour. We saw some really nice Greenshank one of my favorite Waders to cheer me up a little and a Bar tailed Godwit, Curlews, Oystercatchers, Redshank and a nice group of 3 Goosanders so I was feeling better all the time. We saw most of Mulls special species although I have seen them better but thats wildlife for you and to my mind what makes wildlife watching so special.
Sept 8th
Yep, Summer over, definite Autumnal feeling about today with windy conditions yet again. If we thought the wildlife was slow to appear yesterday today it was having a laugh. We did see a very nice Bar-tailed Godwit and some lovely Goosanders to keep our spirits up and of course the Common Seals but bird of the morning was argubly Cormorants which were everywhere, Shags beware. We then much to my relief got a very good Otter which pleased Lynn more than a little bit. Buzzards galore and a Kestrel followed but it was a long time before we saw 3 Golden Eagles which gave us a good show and at the end of the day at Richards suggestion we stopped where I don't normally stop and had a fabulous view of a Golden Eagle being mobbed by about 20 Hooded Crows. Thanks to my guests today who made my day as enjoyable as I hope I made theirs.
Sept 7th
Summer has arrived, sunshine, no wind, oh heck its September and even the Bracken is changing colour, me thinks too little too late. A very good day again with lovely guests and all the Mull main species performed, eventually. White-tailed Eagles were everywhere they were not supposed to be but there were none where they usually are, great views though. Otter, when we had nearly given up on one, it turned out to be a big dog Otter and my guests were over the moon, sorry I dropped into sports mode there. Red Deer and Slow Worm were seen but we had to wait for the Golden Eagles as patiently as a Heron waiting for fish, we got them in the end.
Sept 6th
Pam and I went up to our water course with Malcolm who runs the woodland company who have felled their trees across our water supply, although it looks like a dam built by Beevers the water a still getting underneath so it is not yet a disaster. Malcolm has promised us that the water course will be cleared in the very near future and we can then get on with fixing the burn to prevent run off. Whilst we were up by the burn we took this photograph of the two fledged White-tailed Eagle chicks back on the nest, totally unconcerned by us.
Problem with our
                                                water supplyWTSE our chicks
Sept 5th
After yesterdays blog I derseve a day off!!!!!
Sept 4th
Another driech day and windy this weather just keeps giving. A great group out today determined to enjoy themselves whatever the weather threw at them. We stopped to look for Red Deer stags but could barely see the hill, then on for White-tailed Eagles, nothing, the day had started well? We did get to see a sleeping Curlew, 4 Goosanders and !7 Common Seals, yes we were reduced to counting them. Our luck then changed as we got the mum Otter and her two cubs, still counting then, hot coffee and buscuits followed in celebration.  On to look for White-tailed Eagles, we knew they were there as we could hear them although we could barey see the trees, then a break in the rain and a youngster flew and then landed where we could see it and then it flew again, result. On to lunch and a Buzzard with lots of Ravens. The rest of the day was a desert wildlife wise except for a very good Kestrel and 5 Red Deer, still counting. At the end of the day we had great views of 3 Greenshanks and as the clouds lifted my guests decided they would like to go for the stags once more so off we went. At least we could see the hill, oh and the Red Deer stags and two, thats 2, Golden Eagles which put on a show for about 20 minutes till leaving us wanting more. Before I finish todays blog I should mention the White-tailed Eagle chick on the nest at the start of the day and the Barn Owl seen standing in the hole of its box at the same time my first on a tour this year but if I had mentioned them I could not have played down the rest of the day so much.
Red Deer hind and
                                              calfDun at Burg
Sept 3rd
A trip to Fort William with the bus and car, the bus to have the door fixed, a Ford problem not mine and the car to exchange it for a new one. We now have a brand new Ford Kuga which Pam is over the moon about. We also have a bus which the garage lent us whilst they fix the door problem so we can still carry on with the tours. I will say the garage have been very good about the bus which is more than I can say about the Ford Motor company, it is only because of the good will and good customer service of Ben Nevis Motors that we did not cancel our new car order. Thanks to Iain for the ease of Purchase and Rory for sorting the door problem for us we are very gratefull to you both.
Sept 2nd
A day spent fencing out the Deer again, many thanks to Nick for all his help.
Sept 1st
Some days are just not your day and today was like that for me and my guests. We nearly saw otters twice, the first time when a car was parked where I wanted to park but couldn't and the Otters appeared there, we know because the man parked in my usual space showed us the photos much to the chagrin of my guests. The other Otter had just been disturbed by a boat, we know this as a man from the boat told us, much to the chagrin of my guests. Although we saw White-tailed Eagles and Red Deer stags my guests really wanted Golden Eagles and Otters and on the day got neither, such is wildlife. They did get their monies worth however by giving me a lot of stick which I took very well until the passenger door nearly came off its hinges, like I said it just wasn't my day.
WTSE 2 birds

September 2014
Sept 29th
I am starting to see better and am very hopeful of a full recovery. Pam found this nice picture of a Robin in the garden that I took before all my problems.

Robin in tree
Sept 27th A quiet day today, I'm finding it very tiring doing the tours I admire Arthur for doing them day after day. He's starting to get bored now it's a good job he has the Ryder Cup to keep him entertained.
Sept 26th
High winds and occasional showers made for quite difficult conditions but he Golden Eagles seemed to love it as we had 8 flying in different locations, one went right over the top of the bus. We found a White-tail Eagle after much serching hiding out of the wind and an Otter entertained my guests all lunch time as it fished in a sheltered bay. Red Deer and both Seals were also seen but the bird of the day was a Kingfisher at Killiechronan.
Sept 24th
A lovely breezy day and Pam did a tour and today there were DOLPHINS Seen at Salen Bay in the morning and Tobermory Harbour in the afternoon. At coffee break they saw 4 Golden Eagles, 2 Hen Harriers and 2 Kestrels having also seen Red Deer Stags with hinds earlier for the Rut. A close Otter entertained the party throughout lunch break and White-tailed Eagles were seen in the afternoon. I am not going overboard with these sightings as I am in danger of losing my guiding position in the company and baking and house cleaning are not high on my list of possible career change. Whisper it but not too loudly the wife did good.
Sept 23rd
Rainy and breezy and Pam went out on the boat with Mike and Jaq but although they had a great time they only saw Porpoise, no Dolphins or Whales.
Sept 22nd
A dull morning with light rain in the afternoon. Congratulations and best wishes to Mike and Jaq who got married in Tobermory this afternoon with Pam and I as witnesses although I had difficulty in seeing the dotted line and had the fountain pen held upside down at one time. Thanks to all the staff at MacGochans for making it such a good day. Pam made the Wedding Cake in the shape of a Whale, Jaq's main passion after Mike and family.
Arthur, Pam, Mike
                                              & JacWhale Wedding cake
Sept 21st
Low cloud to start the day but when the mist rose it reveled a glorious day. My swimming friends joined me on the tour today and it is nice taking  people who live on the island to somewhere they haven't been before even though it was only a few miles from where they live. We had lots of Eagles today, flying and sitting, but what all my guests really wanted was to see an Otter and although the tide was perfect for most of the day the otters evaded us. Red Deer hinds and a handsome Fallow Deer stag were seen along side seals and plenty of raptors, then right at the end of the day when I was beginning to feel the tide had risen too hight there was an Otter sitting out on a small rock in the middle of the loch, a happy end to the day for all. Meanwhile back at the ranch I, Arthur, took 10 minutes to put coffee in a cup, talking to our son with the phone in my neck I completely missed the cup with the coffee, trying to push the coffee off the table into the cup was still no easy task but I did manage half the coffee the rest went on the floor. Time for the dust pan and brush, by closing my bad eye I did manage to get the fallen coffee off the floor as the dustpan is bigger than the cup. Now contrary to what you are probably thinking the coffee in the dustpan was thrown away and another half sponful of fresh coffee added to the cup, time taken 10 minutes. My daughter-in-law on the phone could not stop laughing. The point I am making is one eyed men can't multi task.
Sept 20th
Another lovely day and I am inside lying on my right side for large portions of the day as per doctors instructions and Pam's nagging, neccessary but bl...y boring. Pam bless her heart running round like a headless chicken when not nagging me.
Sept 19th
Arthurs still resting and starting to get a little bored now. Dull, low cloud and heavy with a few light showers during the day and nothing is flying but we still managed to see both eagles although they were just sitting. Red Deer were good with the stags now joining the females in ready for the rut. A distant Otter was seen and plenty of Seals including a Grey seal bull who was refusing to move from his rock dispite the rising tide until just his nose and tail were visable above the water. We were watching some close waders resting on the high tide when suddenly they were disturbed by a female Hen Harrier who was escorted away by a flock of agitated Meadow Pipits.
Sept 18th
 Pam did a tour today in calm dull conditions seeing 2 very good Otters, 2 Golden Eagles, 2White-tailed Eagles and a female Hen Harrier. Red Deer and Seals were seen as was a large skien of Geese. Other notable birds seen were Yellowhammer, Twite and Stonechat, is this woman trying to make me redundant. Meanwhile I was lying on the sofa listening to my record collection on shuffle, good job my hearing isn't impared unless Pam metions gardening. Thanks to everyone who stopped Pam to enquire about my eye. I went to the big vote this evening and I think I put a cross in the box i intended but who knows, I certainly don't, with my eye at the moment it could have been anywhere but there was a cross on there somewhere.
Sept 17th
Back home today with gas in my eye that makes it look and feel like a bubble in a spirit level as if I know what a spirit level feels like. Thanks to Pam for looking after me getting me to appointments and stopping me bumping into people, she has been great throughout. Thanks also for your kind words and get well messages they give me a great lift and help keep my spirits up.
Sept 16th
I had an operation on my eye at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow today and I would like to thank everyone at the hospital for looking after me so well. Dr Hammer and all his team, the prep nurses and ward nurses and the porter who was a real laugh when I needed my spirits lifted. Thanks also to the staff at the West Park Hotel who were lovely and found Pam a room when our booking was up. The Taxi Drivers who drove us to and from the hospital were all very kind and friendly I cannot speak highly enough of all the people we met and you all played a part in making my hospital stay less of an ordeal. To Jeff Brown in for a similar op to me I hope everything went well for you and you are now on the long road to recovery with me.
Sept 11th
Hi folks an Eye update, not a detached Retina as feared hoorah, a retina bleed, still can't see and back to the hospital on Monday for more tests and possible operation. If you have booked tours Pam might still be able to take you out but ring when you arrive on Mull to check so that if we are away you can make other arangements. Thanks to those of you who have emailed good wishes it is very much appriecated.
Sept 10th
Scorcio,  but the day ended with me not seeing a lot out of my right eye and a trip to the doctor. Tomorrow we are on the way to hospital in Glasgow so there will be no tours in the near future, the doctor thinks I have a detached retina which will require surgery. We apolagise for any inconvenience this causes to guests for the rest of the season but all being well I EYE can be fixed and will be able to resume the tours next year. I will inform you of my progress when I get back from my op, sorry for any spelling mistakes writing with one eye not easy when you are not used to it. Cheers for now Arthur.
Sept 9th
Yet again dull calm conditions and once more all Mulls main species obliged with 2 Otters seen, 2 Golden Eagles, 2 Hen Harriers, Red Deer Stags and at the end of of the day a White-tailed Eagle, unfortunately this was after I had dropped 2 guests off to catch their bus to the ferry. Kestrels which having proved illusive recently have suddenly started to appear in numbers now and we are seeing some Red Throated Divers a total of 3 today. Numbers of visitors are getting less now and it looks like I might get a day off on thursday and Pam is coming out with us tomorrow so all being well we will see lots.
Sept 8th
The weather was perfect for wildlife watching, good spotters on board and over 50 species seen. All the Mull specialities were seen well including 3  and at the end of the day unfortunatlyvery good Otters and excellent Golden Eagles, a Hen Harrier mobbing Ravens and a Sparrowhawk disturbing Gulls and Ringed Plover. Little birds seen today included Yellowhammer, Stonechat and Twite, both Song and Mistle Thrush were seen and a long list of Waders including Lapwing, and Whimbrel. As we left Tobermory to go home the Mull Magpie flew in front of the van so all in all a great day was had by everyone. On the down side I have pulled a thigh muscle so moving around is quite painful at the moment.
Sept 7th
A lovely day with lovely guests but a very slow start for the wildlife, we only had Buzzards and 3 very brief Golden Eagles in the morning but very good Red Deer saved my bacon. After lunch it all changed with Seal 2 Otters one of which was excellent, all sing and dancing White-tailed Eagles, lots of Red Deer stags and then at the end of the day a Greenshank, Lapwing and 2 Ringed Plover and a first for a Discover Mull tour the Loch Cuin Kingfisher giving incredible views as it fished on an incoming tide in lovely evening sunlight.
Sept 6th
Another nice day and we had Change over day and a trip to get bird food from Salen. Lots of gardeb birds on the feeders at the moment with Great Spotted Woodpeckers probably the pick although Siskins run them close. We have Swallows gathering on the power lines in readiness for their long migration to South Africa as well as Meadoe Pipits migating through from the north, Autumn is fast approaching so time to look out for more exotic migrants.
Sept 5th
A beautiful day and Mulls big species all showed up today with the stars being Otter, Golden Eagles, Red Deer, Hen Harrier and lastly White-tailed Eagle which I thought we were going to miss out on but a late detour proved to be a good choice as I found one sitting on a hill, not a great view but enjoyed by my relieved guests. My birds of the day were a flock of Lapwing 22 in number flying near the mouth of the River Ba and Greenshanks in two seperate locations.
Sept 4th
A nice day out in good, calm, conditions and a little bit of sea watching brought me Porpoise for only the second time this year, Shags, Cormorants, Manx Shearwaters, diving Gannets and Kittiwakes as well as the usual Mull Gulls. On the raptor front I saw 3 Golden Eagles, 3 White-tailed Eagles, 4 Kestrels, several Buzzards and a Hen Harrier. Waders included Greenshanks, Curlews, Oystercatchers and Ringed Plovers but my bird of the day was a Dipper another one of my favorite birds. Otter and Red Deer and Common Seals also seen and I wasn't looking for them.
Sept 3rd
A dull calm day and there were Buzzards everywhere, a few late Swallows flying round the usual Gulls and very little else apart from Curlews. At lunch we saw two Golden Eagles both sitting on top of seperate hills with one being mobbed by Hooded Crows but they did not fly although we gave them an hour to do so. On to find a White-tailed Eagle giving good views but not flying either. We saw both types of Deer and Seal, 2 Hen Harriers, they were flying but away from us so the views were not brilliant and a Black Guilliemot but bird of the day had to be a Red Throated Diver which we saw wnen waiting out the Golden Eagles at lunch time. My last stop before the end of the day was to look at a Red Deer stag on the hills and just as we were getting back in the van a guest spotted 2 more Buzzards flying in over the hill behind us fairly close, these Buzzards turned out to be a pair of Golden Eagles which gave us a terrific view as our reward for our earlier patience. Mistaking Buzzards and Golden Eagles on Mull is not new and Buzzards are sometimes referred to as tourist Eagles.
Sept 2nd
A dreich start to the day with low cloud and drizzle which meant we were mainly looking for stuff on the water. We saw some Redshanks, a Greenshank and Curlew as well as several Goosanders and then a Robin sitting on Crab Creels in a harbour, it would have made a nice photo if I had remembered I had a camera. On we went and although the weather improved we saw little except for lots of Buzzards and a single Red Deer. We arrived at our lunch spot and almost immeadiately a Golden Eagle flew and then the juvenile as well, boy was I relieved. We had a good view of a White-tailed Eagle in a tree and then sighting of the day a really close Otter, see photo, my guests were over the moon. Seals ended the day so as the saying goes alls well that ends well. We had not been home very long when Cheryl and Moira two friends who live at the end of Loch Cuin phoned to say they had seen a Kingfisher, a rare bird for Mull at the end of the Loch. Pam and I were out of the house and down there quicker than Usain Bolt in a Ferrari, it took some searching but we managed to find it and get this photograph of it, yes I remembered the camera this time. Thanks to Cheryl and Moira for the phone call it was most appreciated.
KingfisherOtter
Sept 1st
A very good day with sightings you could only wish for and the weather was also perfect for wildlife watching. We stopped to look for the Adders but there was nothing there but a Buzzard flew past very close to us, then on to look for Red Deer stags, once again nothing there except a young White-tailed Eagle that flew past about 70 yards away at head height an amazing sighting. At a Golden Eagle spot once again the Eagle was not at home but we did manage to get views of Ravens, Kestrel and Hen Harrier and a Red Deer hind. We eventually arrived at our lunch spot where we sometimes see Golden Eagles and we eventually saw Three at first distantly but then the adults flew and landed on a hill not far away and again gave great views through the scope. As we were taking it in turns to watch the Goldies an Adult White-tailed Eagle was spotted and it flew right over our heads another spectacular sighting. After lunch we saw a Linnet my favorite bird which made my day and then a brilliant Otter for nearly half an hour and my work was done except for the beautiful Greenshank which will appear here when Pam has time to put it on, I cannot do it myself technaphobe that I am.

September 2013
Sept 30th
A sunny, warm, breezy day so we went to Croggan for the day with our friends Jacqui and Mike. On our walk at Croggan we saw 2 Golden Eagles, 2 White-tailed Eagles, a male Hen Harrier, Red Deer and an Otter but for me the sighting of the day was a Curlew Sandpiper my first of the year and rare on Mull with Ringed Plover, Turnstones and Dunlin. On our way home we detoured to Loch Buie and watched about 12 Bottlenose Dolphins for nearly an hour and when leaving Loch Buie 3 Fallow Deer in a field of sheep. This evening we went to the Bellachroy Inn for fish and chips where Debbie confirmed the rumour that she and Nick had sold the hotel. This is good news for them and we wish them well for the future they have worked very hard at the hotel and it has a very good reputation for both food and beer and we will miss them. Let us hope that the new owners maintain the high standards that Nick, Debbie and their excellent staff have produced over the last few years. Thank you Mike for the photo's below.
Curlew Sandpiper
                                      MikeCurlew
                                      Sandpiper MM
Bottlenose Dolphin MMBottlenose
                                      Dolphin Mike
Sept 29th
Scorcio, well maybe not but it was pretty warm for late September. We had one of those wow moments today as with the sun shining on our backs we watched a White-tailed Eagle drift slowly across the sky, then a Sparrowhawk flew past at great speed and as I was trying to see where it was going into the trees I glanced up and there right above the van were four adult White-tailed Eagles all together with the sun shining on their wings and tails it quite took your breath away. Now as regular readers and guests know I much prefer Golden Eagles to White-tailed Eagles but this sighting was really special so much so that it made all other sightings on the day pale into insignificance, even I was blown away. I had a guest on the tour today who is soon going to have a serious operation and I take this opportunity to wish this delightful lady all the very best.
Sept 28th
A beautiful Autumn day and a White-tailed Eagle flew over our house early this morning disturbing our resident Buzzard. We had friends arrived today and so we went out with them on a short trip to Calgary Bay where we saw a single Pink Footed Goose in a field by the old cemetery, this was my first one seen on Mull this year and took my Mull year list to 140 which I consider par. A lovely meal at the Bellachroy this evening and the beer was excellent as always.
Sept 27th
A much warmer day with some afternoon sunshine. What a rapturous day we had with birds of prey everywhere, a Merlin interacting with a Sparrowhawk shortly after we had left Tobermory and then a Kestrel joined the mix. We then saw our first White-tailed Eagle of the day 4 more were to follow, then at Calgary Bay a Peregrine Falcon interacting with a Buzzard and and as guests were watching this spectacle I spotted an Otter, we saw 2 more later in the day. Next Kittiwakes, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones and a Grey Seal and then on for a late coffee break where we saw the first of 6 Golden Eagles. Other good sightings were Bar-tailed Godwit, Slavonian Grebe, Red Throated and Great Northern Diver, Goosanders and Whimbrel. A total of 50 bird species were seen on the day and 5 mammals not a bad return for this time of the season.
Sept 26th
Dull and breezy but dry and another new bird for my year list with 2 Red Grouse seen at Reudle. 3 more Otters today they are becoming easier to see now that days are getting shorter. I did see a White-tailed Eagle today but only one and that was sitting on a hill, good Goldies though with one being mobbed by a Buzzard. The red Deer rut is now underway and I hear roaring stags every morning when I wake up.
Moody
                                        Mull
Sept 25th
A bit a a different tour today as we had guests coming over from Oban and this late in the season the connecting bus to Tobermory from the ferry does not run so for an extra charge we picked them up from the ferry. The day started slowly until coffee break when we spotted a female Hen Harrier hunting, this was soon followed by a flying White-tail Eagle, things were picking up. As we drew up at our lunch break stop we saw an Otter in the Loch and a very Close juvenile Golden Eagle hunting low over the hill behind us. The Otter gave us a brilliant show bringing out a crab and eating it just below us as you can see from the photo's. After she returned to her fishing we relaxed and ate our sandwiches when suddenly we heard a close splash from the water we turned to see the female Otter dashing out on to the shore closely followed by a large dog Otter, she stopped and curled over into a submissive position whilst the male sniffed her all over before he promptly returned to the water and disappeared, she waited a couple of minutes for him to go before returning herself to the water to start fishing again and she was still there when we left. At our next stop we had great views of Fallow Deer and then in the Loch a breeding plumaged Great Northern Diver. We finished to day with the waders Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover. Not a bad day on a route totally different from my usual one.
Otter coming out of
                                      the water Otter
                                      tasty 4
Sept 24th
A great day for wildlife watching dull dry and calm but apart from early Golden Eagles, good Otters and Red Deer everywhere it turned out to be somewhat of a struggle, with little flying and not much on the water. My guests all good spotters were sympathetic to my plight as they could see my problems and for that I am extremely grateful. We did see a distant Red Throated Diver, Goosander, Red Breasted Merganser and Wigeon, a Greenshank, Curlews, flying Ringed Plover and thankfully the Whimbrel put in an appearance courtesy of a very good spot from one of my guests.
Sept 23rd
After a driech start it turned into a very warm sunny day and As I had no tour I went out birding and saw my first Sanderling of the year at Calgary. There were 3 Red Throated divers in Lagganulva Bay and Dunlin with the Ringed Plover at Killiechronan camp site. Whimbrel and Curlew were also seen as was a Golden Eagle although I was not really looking for one. A total of 44 birds and 3 mammals were seen in under 4 hours. Ii could only have half a day birding as I had to finish mowing the lawns while the weather was good, back on tour duty again tomorrow.
Sept 22nd
A driech day until 4pm when the cloud started to lift and the birds came out to play. A very patient group of wildlife watchers all of whom had a sense of humour and got on with each other which makes my day so much more enjoyable. We saw waders Whimbrel, Curlew, Snipe, Greenshank, Ringed Plover Knot and Turnstone, birds of prey today were White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagle, Merlin, two Hen Harriers, Kestrel and Buzzard. 3 Otters in total were seen and Common Seals, Red Deer and let us not forget the Rabbit. We were rewarded with a nice view of a Stonechat after a little bit of patience and we also saw a flock of Mistle Thushes, so a very good day out for all concerned including me, a very big thank you to all my guests you made what could have been a very difficult day easy. MANCHESTER CITY 4 the other team 1 a good day got even better.
Sept 21st
A dull mainly dry day and I so wanted to get out birding but the lawns kept saying cut me, cut me, maybe it wasn't the lawns but Pam's voice I heard, in any event I cut the lawns discretion being the better part of valour. We do have a buzzard on the drive fence most mornings which is nice to see and the garden birds keep me company when I can't get out birding. Pam, my lady of the sea, went swimming with the two other mermaids this evening in her new wet suit, she found it more difficult to swim but did not get cold, I am sure she will soon get used to swimming in the wet suit and can swim long into the autumn as she enjoys it so much.
Sept 20th
The day began with a drought, yes it was not raining but it did not last as I drove back from Tobermory this evening it was pouring down again. Another great Otter sighting today they are certainly becoming more visible now that the days are shorter and visitor numbers less, so there is less disturbance. Some superb interaction between a Golden and White-tailed Eagle today as well as 3 Golden Eagles being mobbed by squadrons of Ravens, what a fantastic half hour watching that was. It was a quieter day for Seal and Deer sightings, we saw them but not in great numbers and not doing a lot, to be fair Seal of both types rarely get my pulses racing. Goosanders and Whimbrel were the other best sightings of the day.
Sept 19th
Another day of wind and showers and yes more great Eagles and Otters and Red Deer today including 2 Stags squaring up to each other without actually fighting, oh yes they are on the starting line for the rut. I keep saying to our guests when I pick them up sunny nice days are not the best for wildlife watching and this week has more than proved my point. A nice lot of Waders were seen today which were Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Ringed Plover. A late flying House martin, a flock of Linnets, diving Gannets and a hunting female Hen Harrier were my birds of the day.Robin on a post
Sept 18th
A carbon copy of yesterday except it felt colder and the showers were more frequent if that was possible. Golden Eagles at my favorite spot again put on a great display as did a couple of Ravens emulating a Red arrows flying display. Good views of a Grey Seal with Common Seals also seen, A distant view of a Fallow Deer, I will ignore the sarcastic comments from my guests lest the poor creature takes offence, Red Deer were  seen well. With Otter, 3 White-tailed Eagles, a Greenshank, Curlews and Linnets as well as all the other usual suspects a good day was had by all and they even ate all Pam's cakes despite my little accident that is how good they are. great guests again today and it makes such a difference when the weather is as poor as it has been this week.
Sept 17th
Weather unchanged but did become better in the late afternoon. 2 Otters today one very close which encouraged one of my guests to say to me it was worth the money if we see nothing else, pressure off then. Fortunately for my guests the wildlife didn't relax like me and came out and performed, not quite on Q and in different spots to which I normally see them but by then I was so relaxed I hardly realized how excited my guests were getting. Another tough day weather wise but my guests this week are just taking it in their stride and Mull's main species grateful for all the attention are performing well. Highland Cattle and rainbow
Sept 16th
Another very windy day with even more prolonged showers than yesterday and feeling very cold. 5 White-tailed Eagles were seen today 3 sitting and 2 flying but once again they were upstaged by the Golden Eagles which put on a very close for Golden Eagles  flying display which had our guests enraptured for about a quarter of an hour. A very good Otter running across the rocks giving our guests a great sighting before going into a sea full of big waves where it had as much trouble swimming as we did trying to find it in the waves. All my other regular species were seen with the highlights being 2 Greenshank and diving Gannets.
Sept 15th
Windy and heavy showers all day and with trees down, roads closed with floods and land slips it was difficult to do a tour today and we had a journalist from the Sunday Express out with us today. We managed a much abbreviated route so that the tour could go ahead and managed to see Red and Fallow Deer, 2 Golden Eagles, 2 Otters, (one fairly close who climbed on the back of a fishing boat to eat his fish) 2 White-tailed Eagles, Buzzards, Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, Greenshank, Curlew, Whimbrel, Goosander,  Eider Ducks and Common Seals. On one occasion we had to reverse a long way to turn around as we had happened upon a deep flood which the council had not been told about. Considering the very poor conditions for driving, wildlife watching and for anyone to be out in at all we had a really good day and the waterfalls were more than impressive. Afternoon tea in our kitchen was more than welcome as we thawed out and reminisced about what we had seen and what an awesome place Mull is.
Eas Force WaterfallEas Fprce
                                      Waterfall
Sept 14th
A lovely day which turned out to be the calm before the storm. Valeted and cleaned the van and then noticed a flat tyre so That put paid to any wildlife watching today as it warranted a trip to Tobermory to get the tyre fixed. Water system then had to be checked as both our self-catering properties are occupied this coming week. This evening the storm and it was a ripper high winds and lots and lots of rain.
Sept 13th
A cloudy but cool start to the day and as we had no tour I went out to see what birds were about locally and saw Red Deer, 5 Goosander, 3 Dunlin,  4 Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatchers, 2 Red Throated Divers, 2 Eiders, Merlin, and a flock of Missle Thrushes. At 10am Pam went sea swimming and as she was out on her own I had to chaperone and as she swam I was watching a Buzzard, Robin, Rock Pipits, a charm of Goldfinches and an Otter. After morning coffee Pam and I took the dogs on a local walk and saw 11 Goosander, a Greenshank, 2 Redshank, a Little Grebe, a Cormorant, A White-tailed Eagle 28 Greylag Geese and 2 more Otters all this as well as the usual birds which we always see like Herons and all before lunch. In all the time we were out we were never more than 8 miles from home isn't it amazing what you have on your own doorstep.
 Croig Harbour
Sept 12th
A fine start to the day followed by heavy afternoon rain so it was a race against time to find Eagles before the rain set in and we managed it....just, my favorite Golden Eagle flew on cue at noon and by 12-30pm it was pouring down. It had taken a mad dash from watching an Otter and a pair of flying White-tailed Eagles to get to the Golden Eagle sight in time and our guests were very impressed. We saw another very close Otter during the day and a Red Deer at the end when it looked like we might miss out. Both types of Seal were seen as was a Red Throated Diver and we even threw in a brief view of the Red Backed Shrike which is still around the Dervaig area. All in all not a bad day considering the afternoon deluge, our guests enjoyed it anyway. We got some more ice cream from the new ice cream parlour after we had dropped off our guests, we must stay away from that place as it is not good for our waistlines but it is soooo good, is there an ice cream anonymous? Today she was making Apple Pie flavour using real apples with cinnamon and the Island biscuits, she gave us a spoonful each to try, I am still in ice cream heaven. 
Sept 11th
Low cloud and mizzle not our favorite wildlife watching weather but undeterred we ventured forth more in hope than expectation. The first birds of note were Missle Thrushes not a bird we see too often on our tours and another rare tour species a Great Spotted Woodpecker was also seen. We saw a flock of mixed Finches including Twite, Linnet and Goldfinch and waders seen included Redshank, Curlews, Ringed Plover, Black tailed Godwits and Snipe. Kittiwake and Gannets were seen and 4 types of Gull. Red Throated Divers, Mallards, Shags, Cormorants, Eider Ducks, Red Breasted Mergansers and Goosanders were seen on the sea lochs. There were also great views of Golden Eagle and Otter and very good sightings of Red Deer and White-tailed Eagles and I nearly forgot the Common Seals and Grey Seal, Not bad for an awful driech day.
Sept 10th
A dull, breezy, cool day and a great group of guests who got on well with each other and enjoyed a good laugh and had a great deal of patience and not just with me. We had to wait for two and a half hours for our first Mull big 5 sighting a Very good Golden Eagle, yes we had seen Curlews, Redshank, Common Seals, Widgeon, Greylag and Canada Geese, Red Breasted Mergansers, Shags, all our 4 species of Gull and a very nice and close pair of Red Throated Diver. Just after lunch we picked up the most elusive Otter I have ever had to deal with, we saw it in open water briefly and then second guessing it again at Ulva, lost it found it lost it found it and then spotted it going back from where it had come from. Back at the lunch spot we found it, lost it and eventually found it as it came out on a small island and proceeded to give us an Otter oscar winning performance. At no time were we close enough to disturb the Otter and in fact the closest we got was when it was on the island but my guests patience was rewarded with an excellent sighting. 2 white-tailed Eagles were to follow and Red Deer a great view of a Grey Seal and Kittiwakes and at the end the end of the day 2 Slow worms and then the most fabulous sighting for a quarter of an hour of a hunting male Hen Harrier at times really close, well done Derek on spotting it in the first place it was arguably the best Hen Harrier sighting I have ever had and I live here. Patience and a sense of humour rule OK, what an incredible day.
KittiewakesWidgeon
                                      pair
Sept 9th
Another beautiful day and a Golden Eagle fest today with lots of them seen very well both sitting and flying, I don't know if the abundance of Goldies had some sort of effect on the White-tailed eagles but we did not manage a single one today. After lunch we kept seeing large birds sitting on hills and thinking it must be a White-tail this time but no it was another Goldie, today they were as common as Buzzards and we saw a lot of them as well. Brilliant Otter after we had found our first Goldie and our first Red Deer stag with hinds, a young 8 pointer much too early in the game, I imagine the older stags watching and thinking good on you son, you round them up tire yourself out and leave the glory and fathering to us. Lots of Stonechats about at the moment, their numbers appear to have picked up well since the two hard winters. 
Sept 8th
Super weather, super wildlife, super guests, what more could a man wish for. The day started with the Red Backed Shrike, then Red Deer Stags on to Common Seals, Curlews, Greenshank and Redshank. We had missed the White-tailed Eagle at coffee break but that disappointment was soon behind us as we watched 3 Otters who gave us a half hour of joyful watching. Golden Eagle at lunchtime kept the excitement going and after lunch a brilliant view of an adult White-tailed Eagle flying right above out heads a most welcome if unexpected sighting. Then a first for our tours a bit of horse dressage on Calgary beach. the day finished with 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Wigeon and 2 Snipe. My guests said the day had exceeded their expectations, I did not let on it had also exceeded mine.
Sept 7th
A day of rain, showers, heavy thunderstorm and very close lightening, do we care? no because we had a rare bird at Dervaig, A RED BACKED SHRIKE only the second one I have seen, never mind the weather today was a great day.
Red-backed Shrike
                                      juvRed-backed
                                      Shrike on wire
Red-backed Shrike
Sept 6th
A really beautiful day for being out with outstanding views of Mull in its autumnal best and wildlife behaving perfectly. The sighting of the day was a very close Golden Eagle I cannot recall when I have had a closer encounter on a tour. A superb Otter which also kept coming closer and closer and performing brilliantly and another at the end of the day hiding. 2 White-tailed Eagles sitting in a tree and then at afternoon tea break a wonderful view of one right overhead in the thermals enjoying the lovely sunshine. Waders seen today included Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Curlews, Oystercatchers and the Black tailed Godwit. Great day wonderful chatty guests who threw themselves into the day, I really did have a ball.
 
Black-tailed Godwit and
                                      OystercatcherBlack-tailed Godwit
Basking Shark
Sept 5th
Another lovely autumn day and particularly for Eagles with both White-tailed Eagles and Golden Eagles being seen well at several locations. We saw Dunlin and Ringed Plover as well as the Curlews which are appearing in greater numbers now and along with some very nice Red Deer, a very good day was had by all. The day ended on a high with great views of the Black-tailed Godwit and a flying Snipe.
Sept 4th
Despite the national weather forecast saying it would rain again it was a very decent day weatherwise with only one short sharp shower. A very good Sparrowhawk sighting, Whimbrel, Snipe and Dunlin with the Black tailed Godwit were the more unusual sightings of the day. Both Eagles and Otter were seen very well along with Red Deer and both types of Seal. I had my first guests from Malta on the tour with me today and they were delightful as were my other guests. Pam went out to Iona with friends who are staying with us at the moment and saw a flock of over 20 Twite on the island, a Great Skua amongst the hunting Gannets in the Iona sound and some very late swallows still in the nest. Thanks to Jerry Sullivan for the photo's for the last couple of days.
Black-tailed Godwit
Swallows still in nestIona looking towards Mull
Sept 3rd
After a poor start weather wise it soon picked up to give us a great day wildlife watching. 4 Otters were seen with 2 of them very close, 3 White-tailed Eagles at 3 separate locations,  each one better than the one before, 7 Golden Eagles, Red Deer, Seals, Red Throated Diver, Razorbills, A brilliant Black-tailed Godwit, Superb Basking Sharks and finally a good sighting of a Snipe. Great Day, very good company, Mull at its best, roll on tomorrow.
Eas Force and RowenEas Force from Ulva Ferry
Eas Force and bridge
Sept 2nd
Wet and breezy all day yeuk, a White-tailed Eagle in the mist was an unexpected start to the day, a surprise to my guests and a relief to me. A very good Otter was seen one of two on the day and a Red Deer was found only one but at least we all saw it. Basking Sharks were also seen well but the highlight of the day was the waterfall at Eas Force it was tremendous. We went out with friends in the evening and had a great sighting of a female Hen Harrier.
Sept 1st
A windy cool day but not the forecast rain until the end of the day. We saw 3 Wigeon today my first sighting of returning winter birds unless you count the 50 whimbrel from the other day, we also saw a Lesser Black Backed Gull in the same area. 2 Otters today but neither could be called great or even that good, but we saw 2 Otters. Eagles and Deer performed well though but the sighting of the day were at least 10 Basking Sharks very close in, our guests were in seventh heaven. Pam has taken up sea swimming with a couple of friends, at the moment they don't wear wet suits just T-shirts (over their swim suits) I think they need certifying, they call themselves the Ladies of the Sea, I can think of other names not printable here.


September 2012
Sept 27th
Weather cloudy, breezy with some rain in places - Today we had a great tour with lots of banter and laughs just the way I like it. Wildlife wise we saw 12 Mistle Thrushes, 11 Oystercatchers, 10 Grey Herons, 9 sitting Shags , 8 Kittiwakes, 7 Brent Geese a flying, 6 Otters a swimming, 5 WHITE-TAILED EAGLES, 4 Mull Hen Harriers, 3 Red Deer stags, 2 Twite on a fence and a single Rook nowhere near a Pear Tree.
Sept 26th
Weather sunny but breezy - As I keep saying dull days are best for wildlife watching but it is more pleasant to be out in sunshine. At our first stop we saw lots of birds and Common Seals but due to the reflected sunlight some of them were difficult to see properly. Great Otter day today with 3 separate Otters 2 giving very good views despite the sun, a white-tailed Eagle flew so close over the van as we were watching his mate that one of my guests took a photo and could not get all the bird in the frame, we nearly had a total eclipse of the sun, definite Wow Factor here. Red Deer stag on the hills and a brilliant Golden Eagle ended a day where  notable other birds were winter plumaged Guillemot and a Sparrowhawk.
Sept 25th
Weather light showers in the morning followed by very heavy rain in the afternoon - The day started with 3 female Goosander and lots of Herons. White-tail and Golden Eagles plus all the other raptors were all taking the opportunity to fly between the showers in the morning - I think they knew as well as us what we were going to get in the afternoon, so we had good views of all of them. We searched all morning for an Otter but it was not until after lunch when We spotted one playing on some seaweed below us we watched it for 15 minutes, feeding and rolling around when suddenly 2 small cubs came to join their mum, they were still tiny as when they swam they stayed on the top of the water with out putting their heads under. They all played together for another 10 minutes before swimming off out of sight, wonderful. By this time we suddenly realized that it was starting to rain heavily so it was decided that we should come back to our warm kitchen for afternoon tea.
Sept 24th
Weather a nice day after heavy early morning showers - A day off so I just checked water supply, moved sheep, and watched sport on the T.V. it was a good day England won at Rugby, my team won at football and we can still win the Soldheim Cup in ladies golf. It is not very often I take a complete day off from wildlife watching but today I did.
Sept 23rd
Weather better - I went to Calgary early this morning, it was a bit of a dead loss as all I found there were a dead young Common Seal on the beach and a young dead Gannet on the Machair, nature can be cruel sometimes. Later in the day I went down the Ross with Alan Spellman and saw very little except for a small flock of Twite and some Mistle Thrushes and a few Golden Plover.
Sept 22nd
Weather early showers, then brighter with lighter winds - Avery good tour today with basking Shark seen at Calgary being the surprise sighting of the day. we had a great sighting today of a male Hen Harrier always a nice bird to see as was the Red Throated Diver and Whimbrel. we had both types of Eagle fly right over our heads and a wonderful view of an enormous red deer stag sure to be heavily involved in the rut.
Sept 21st
Weather strong winds gusting and heavy showers - Not a pleasant day to be wildlife watching in glasses but we did manage very good White-tailed Eagles and Golden Eagles during longer breaks in the showers, we also saw a very close large bull Grey Seal and some Common Seals and Red Deer. The waterfall at Eas Force was terrific today as was the light, even on tricky days Mull has more than enough to please our guests and visitors to the Island.
Sept 20th
Weather the same as yesterday with a more windy afternoon  - Another good day for Mulls target species With Red Deer Stags,  Otters two of them and a brilliant Golden Eagle Sitting with prey, then flying around with it taunting the Ravens and Crows as if to say look what I've got. The Eagle eventually found a quiet table and began to devour the Rabbit with great gusto, eventually it flew off with what remained of the Rabbit, called out his equally hungry daughter and left her to finish the meal. All in all a spectacular treat for our guests, me and also the young Golden Eagle.
Golden Eagle with prey
Sept 19th
Weather low cloud and drizzle in morning but improved in the afternoon - The day began with 5 Sandwich Terns and a Whimbrel and finished with a tremendous Otter which we watched for nearly an hour. In between White- tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Seals and this Red Deer stag with hinds at the top of a hill, the best red deer of the day which all our guests enjoyed. Tonight I heard my first roaring stag of the Autumn, this years rut is underway.
Red Deer StagWTSE
Sept 18th
Weather another beautiful day - Golden Eagles put on a show for our guests today with 4 at two separate locations flying very close and even I who see them most days was very impressed. A good Hen Harrier sighting and White-tailed Eagles were the other main highlights on a good bird of prey day, with Otter and Red Deer and both types of Seal being seen well. 
Congratulations to Mike Gibson who after a visit to Mull and a tour with Arthur was inspired to enter the Daily Telegraph writing competition   he won this week  and was printed in Saturdays edition.
Sept 17th
Weather sunshine with frequent short showers - No tour today so as it had rained heavily through the night and I could not mow the lawns I went for a drive round looking for waders but the good weather of the last couple of days meant they had taken their window of opportunity and moved on. Treshnish Farm won the RSPB farming for wildlife and bio diversity competition so many thanks for those who took the trouble to vote, this is another feather in the cap for this wonderful island and congratulations to Somerset, Caroline, Prassad et al.
Rainbow over Loch na KealRainbow
Sept 16th
Weather another nice day - Bird of the day were Sandwich Terns at Laggan Bay where 2 were flying round until one landed and guests wanting to see one close up got to see it through the telescope. Another good Eagle and Otter day and we also had a brief view of a distant Skua chasing Kittiwakes but it was too brief and far out for a positive identification, so I am now 2 short of my 150 Mull birds seen target for the year.
Sept 15th
Weather SUNNY SUNNY SUNNY best weather of the year even the midges were out - A great day for all the Mull specialities, 5 White-tailed Eagles all flying some very close, 3 Golden Eagles sitting and flying not so close but still good views, Hen Harrier we watched her for 10 minutes the little show off. We saw 3 Otters, well 2 and a half really as one was out in the middle of a Loch and appeared to be travelling, the others were great and finally Red Deer in humungous numbers including stags. Other Mammals seen well Common Seal, Fallow Deer and Rabbit. Bird of the day Goosander.
Sept 14th
Weather sunny at last with light breeze - No tour today so I went sea watching today and saw lots of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters, a few Fulmars and Guillemots and a Great Skua. Later in the day we met up with Alan Spellman and did some more birding seeing some waders including 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, Greenshank and Ringed Plovers. Mammal of the day a Hare seen at Cailaich Point in the early morning.
HareOtter
Sept 13th
Weather More wind and rain all day but brightened a bit in the afternoon - Knot and Ruff at Calgary to add to my Mull year list, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Redshank and Greenshank were also seen on a very good wader day. Desperation I think brought out Kestrel, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Golden Eagle and White-tailed Eagle as the birds of prey were getting hungry. Otter again a highlight with one running up a river across the beach then catching and eating a fish in front of us. Afternoon tea was had in our Kitchen where we all dried out after another soaking wet day.
Sept 12th
Weather HEAVIER RAIN AND STRONGER WINDS - White-tailed Eagles and a brilliant Otter with another also seen don't ask me how or why. Birds of the day for me Kittiwakes and 2 Purple Sandpipers at Calgary Bay. On getting home another very hot relaxing bath was required, my waterproofs are getting a real testing at the moment, I have just seen the forecast for tomorrow, more of the same, BLISS.
Kittiwakes
Sept 11th
Weather RAIN and WIND - Into everyone's life a little rain must fall, well today it fell on me and my guests big time, my sincere thanks for the way guests took the foul weather in their stride with such good humour. Trying to see an Otter in a large swell is difficult but I think all my guests got a short glimpse of it. We had great views of 3 White-tailed Eagles, 1 right over our heads, amazing given the conditions,  Red Deer including a young stag were seen. My highlights were a Grey Plover at Calgary another one for my Mull year list, 3 Rooks at Lagganulva as they are not common in North Mull a Greenshank at Dervaig and a Hot Bath when I got home.
Sept 10th
Weather showery all day - A spot of sea watching this morning brought me lots of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Manx Shearwaters and also my first Basking Shark of the year as I had missed the one on Thursday. During the rest of the day I finished pulling Ragwort which was getting to be a real problem in my woodland.
Sept 9th
Weather sunny with showers in some places - A birding group of guests today so we were not just looking for Eagles and Otters although we did see all of them. Birds of the day for me were Black tailed Godwit and Sanderling at Killiechronan As I had not seen either species before on Mull this year and it took my Mull yearly total to 144 getting nearer my 150 species target.
Sanderling with Ringed
                                      PloverRinged Plover preening
Sept 8th
Weather sunny, calm and a bit warmer - All Mulls major species seen well again today with a great Otter to end a very successful day. Basking Shark the first seen on a Discover Mull tour this year surrounded by diving Gannets thrilled the guests. For any of my blog readers with small children or grand children here is a picture of a real live MY LITTLE PONY photographed at the Killiechronan pony trekking centre.
Little ponyLittle pony & mum
Sept 7th
Weather heavy showers with short sunny breaks, very windy - We started the day with lots of ducks and waders, very suitable given the weather conditions. We saw Curlews, Oystercatchers, Whimbrel, Ringed Plover and Turnstone ducks seen were Eider, Red Breasted Merganser, Teal, Mallard and Wigeon. At coffee break during the longest sunny break we saw Buzzards, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and White-tailed Eagle. A pair of Stonechats were seen as were both types of Seal and Red Deer including a stag. No Otter today but the day ended with a Golden Eagle so all the guests went home happy.
Sept 6th
Weather awful wind and rain for most of the day with a small break of about an hour and a half - Many thanks to my guests today for their patience. The day started alright with 7 Goosanders, a Whimbrel, A white-tailed Eagle in a tree and some Common Seals, then it poured. I went in search of Otter but even they were hiding from the awful conditions but my guests never complained and just accepted that this is what the weather can be like in Scotland sometimes. I got us to an area where we might see some good wildlife if weather conditions improved and we stopped for lunch as the rain eased. A quick lunch and we set off and no sooner had we started off when we spotted a Buzzard and then a Kestrel and then a White-tailed Eagle all up because it had stopped raining, the Eagle flew very close to us giving us great views. Wow the day had not been a complete washout and so we moved on. We stopped to check out a Seal when a guest saw an Otter in some scrub, out we leapt and sure enough there it was not 50 feet away and sloping into the water, we had really close views of the Otter before it disappeared up a burn, things were looking up. A short while later and we picked up a male Hen Harrier not a close but very good sighting and very unexpected. It was still not raining so we raced to a Golden Eagle site and after carefully looking I managed to pick up a pair sitting on a hill some distance away, after we had all seen them through the scope they flew off giving us good but distant views. A guest wanted to see some red Deer stags so we quickly drove off to a place I know where you can sometimes see them and when we got there 2 more Golden Eagles were flying, much closer this time and yes there were also 7 stags on the hill. The weather was again fast closing in so off for afternoon tea and another Golden Eagle and then the monsoon set in for the rest of the afternoon. The only reason we saw all the Mull specialities in little over an hour was that guests did not complain as I just drove through the morning rain and accepted I might have a reason, we were lucky that the rain stopped however briefly but we were in the right areas to take advantage of the situation so they were well rewarded for their perseverance on what was otherwise a very trying day.
Sept 5th
Weather the same as yesterday - If it could be possible we had better Golden Eagles and White-tailed Eagles and Hen Harriers than yesterday, as well as Sparrowhawks, Buzzards, Kestrels and a Peregrine falcon. There has to be a down side the Otter we saw today was not as good as yesterday but we compensated with Red Throated Diver and a Greenshank to finish another super day of wildlife watching on Mull.
Sept 4th
Weather sunny and calm - Red Deer stags at the start of the day so we were all in a good mood by the time we reached our first stop by water of the day and lo and behold a single Wigeon my first since the spring and then an Otter. The Otter was great and we watched it for some time and then went to see some Common Seals. We were now running late and in need of coffee but as we pulled into the coffee stop a Golden Eagle appeared and gave us a wonderful display, now off for coffee I thought but no there were now White-tailed Eagles flying and Buzzards a Sparrowhawk. Phew time for a break, 'any chance of Fallow Deer?' asked one guest, so after the break we went in search and yes there were 2 a mother and fawn, a pretty good spot for me and so on to find Grey Seals and also some diving Gannets. We then rushed to get to the lunch stop catching up on time a little and came across a lovely Northern Wheatear check out the photo below. The afternoon was not so hectic but Hen Harrier were seen and to end a terrific day another brilliant Otter. Guests today were fantastic and I have not had so many laughs on a tour in a long time so many thanks to you all particularly Jayne Moorland who made me laugh all day.
Northern WheatearNorthern Wheatear
Sept 3rd
Weather low cloud and drizzle in the morning sunny afternoon - I went out this morning and spent half an hour watching an Otter just after sunrise, as we keep telling our guests early mornings are the best times to see Otters. A drive out in the afternoon and I saw Fallow Deer and my first Golden Plovers since the spring, now is the time to see returning breeding migrants as some are still in breeding plumage, fabulous.
Sept 2nd
Weather similar to yesterday - This evening was the seafood extravaganza at Dervaig, this is when local cooks get together with local fishermen to produce a meal which if you like fish should not be missed. The food is excellent the price is more than reasonable and I defy anyone to eat it all. The proceeds from this event go to the village hall and the Lifeboat association and as 2 people were recently pulled out of the water by the Tobermory crew it could not go to a better cause.
Sept 1st
Weather sunshine but mostly showers - A day of very good Eagles and many other birds of prey with Golden Eagles again carrying prey, they are certainly keeping the Rabbit population in check in one particular area. The Slavonian Grebe is still around and returning waders are starting to be seen, so look out you never know what might be passing through in the coming weeks.



 
 
 

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