We had a 4 day break running in early Sept and we had some of the summer migrants still staying around. Over on Iona we saw Manx Shear, Porpoise Wheatears and Twite.
The Osprey was here till 4 September, Wheatears, Swallow and House Martins stayed till the end of the month. We have been seeing 6-7 Red Throated D feeding together, Black T Ds are now returning alone with Wigeon and Teal.
Last week we saw 4 Slav Grebes out on the Loch K along with Red and Black T Divers. Otter sighting have been good of late, Out with John and Martin on a private trip last week just looking for Otter too photo and managed to find 5 at different locations around the Island. There seem to be plenty of Kestrels about at the moment, one has started sitting in the tree in my garden, which along with the Spar Hawk and HH are causing problems for the small and not so small birds. The Sparrow H is taking about one Rock Dove a day , at this rate they will not last through the winter as only counted 46 today. There is very little happening over at the WTE nest sight opposite my garden, most of the WTEs on Mull are moving around a lot more at the moment even the ones at “Killie” are not to be seen sitting in the trees. The other day on our tour we found 3 juvs and 1 sub adult WTE out on some rock watching a dog Otter eating a large Eel at the top end of the Loch.
As you will know its been a very poor year for GEs and not great for WTEs, but the GEs up towards Glen B look as if they have been successful as we have been seeing 3 flying together on our tours with both adults showing the youngster what life is going to be like. Watched as Male GE chased off one of the 2 juv WTEs form the nest site close by.
The Red Deer rut is starting now and the males can be heard during the night shouting and showing off just like a Saturday night in any big city really.
During the year we have been getting sightings of birds which in the past we would not normally see. I have seen Hobby and several people have seen Nuthatch, still no view of Moorhen or Magpie but we must keep our dreams alive and have goals for the coming year.
We managed to keep our 100% record of seeing a WTE on ever trip including the 1/2 day tours. Our daily count record was broken again with 72 species seen. Highlight was one day seeing WTE and GE, Peregrine HH SEO Osprey, Merlin Kestrel and Sparrow H and “its only a Buzzard “ a real raptor feast and I will not mention the Snowy, Barn, Tawny and European Owl, ( thanks Geoff for this ).
Once again I have enjoyed meeting ( most ) of you and taking you around Mull and showing you what is about. Sorry to those who were looking forward to having the lovely smiley Sarah drive them around Mull only to find some old grumpy bloke sat in the hot seat.
I look forward to seeing you next year. I will be running the 4 Day breaks again with 1 in April Aug and Sept, 2 in May and June. Some places are booked already and we had people staying for the first time in our 2 bed self catering Chalet which you can book for the week if you wish for next year. Click here to see photographs of the Chalet.
I am migrating south myself next week, not as far as the Osprey or Cuckoo, just for a short break and to fatten up. Getting out and about at some of our reserves, looking for waders and wildfowl, so if you see a happy go lucky bloke sat in a hide chatting away to everybody , have a look around and if you see a grumpy old git drinking coffee please come over and speak with me.
Tours will start again in March, please drop me a email if you have any questions and “ Merry Christmas “.