December 2009

On the 31st there were 2 Woodcocks near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and since they are now common, no further mention will be made until the late winter/early spring when they depart.
An extremely good eagle half hour occurred today at about 1pm. First of all a Golden Eagle was seen soaring over Treshnish wood, a little later 1 was seen flying eastwards over Ensay Burn mouth in an unusual rapid wing beat flight and land on the hill behind Ensay overlooking Calgary bay. Another was seen soaring higher behind it. When the first eagle landed I looked for the second to see if it was in pursuit but it had disappeared. There was definitely some behaviour I had only caught a part of. A minute later presumably the same eagle which had landed retraced its path towards Ensay Burn mouth. A few minutes later 2 Golden Eagles were seen soaring above Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and were last seen flying to the south-west. After another few minutes an adult White-tailed Eagle flew north-east over Treshnish lochan over Treshnish wood and then continued towards Calgary. As the White-tailed Eagle flew over Treshnish wood a Golden Eagle followed it and then started calling and sky-diving over Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was no aggressive behaviour but presumably the calling and display was to show that this territory was occupied. A few minutes later 2 Golden eagles and presumably the same White-tailed eagle were soaring on the ridge behind Ensay farm-house. I think this must have been 2 different eagles as I saw no Golden Eagles flying from Treshnish farm towards that direction. A few minutes later I was inside the house when I saw a Golden Eagle soaring low over Treshnish wood carrying a prey item. I could not see what it was but it appeared to have spotted markings resembling a Song Thrush but larger. it may have been a Woodcock. This soaring continued for couple of minutes and I went outside to see where it was going but it had disappeared. It may have landed in Treshnish wood.
I believe I may have been witnessing the inter-reaction between members of 2 pairs of Golden Eagles and the inter-reaction between a White-tailed Eagle and these 2 pairs.
At night a Tawny Owl was heard in Treshnish wood.
On the 30th there was 1 Golden Eagle and 2 Bullfinches at the same place as yesterday beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 29th there was 1 Fieldfare before Toechtamhor cottage, 2 Golden Eagles flying from Treshnish Point eastwards above Treshnish boathouse and 2 Bullfinches by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. This is the first time I have seen Bullfinches in our 10x10km square although someone has added this species to the new Atlas data as a roving records to the eastern Gometra tetrad in summer 2008 or 2009, which is within our 10x10km square.
On the 28th there were 2 Fieldfares before Toechtamhor cottage and 3 unidentified geese were seen from Treshnish House flying over Haunn.
On the 27th there was 1 Woodcock near Ensay Burn cattle-grid, 2 Wood Pigeons in Treshnish wood and 4 Great Northern Divers between Lainne Sgeir and Calgary beach.
On the 25th there was 1 male Hen Harrier at Dùn Haunn and again later flying from Beinn Duill to Cruachan Treshnish. There were also 3 Woodcocks at the top of the upper cliffs above Dùn Haunn, 3 more above Port Haunn and 1 at Achnacoil (old upper track between Haunn cottages and Crackaig).
On the 23rd there was 1 Woodcock below Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Greenfinch at Treshnish House.
On the 22nd a Red Grouse was heard above Treshnish lochan.
On the 21st there was 1 White-tailed Eagle low down at Treshnish Point (SC), 2 Golden Eagles above Treshnish wood and 3 Great Northern Divers in Calgary bay.
On the 20th there was 1 Golden Eagle where the Ensay road hits the coast and another 2 calling and displaying above Treshnish wood.
On the 19th there were 2 Golden Eagles above Treshnish wood.
On the 18th there was an Otter swimming east across Ensay Burn mouth.
On the 17th there were 2 Golden Eagles above Treshnish wood, one landed high up in a conifer, visible from Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and the other tried to perch there too, but failed.
On the 16th there were 2 Golden Eagles calling and displaying for an hour and a half above Treshnish wood.
On the 15th a flock of what looked like 9 Golden Plovers flew over Treshnish wood towards Haunn and there were also 3 Redwings at Ensay farm-house. No moths came to the light-trap.
On the 14th there were 2 Golden Eagles calling and displaying above Treshnish wood for half an hour.
On the 13th 1 Winter Moth and 1 Mottled Umber moth came at night to the window of Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. This is only the third Mottled Umber I have seen (none in 2008).
On the 10th there was 1 adult male Hen Harrier flying low over Treshnish farm buildings.
On the 9th there was 1 sub-adult male Hen Harrier beside the road at the summit of the Ensay-Burg road and 2 Greenfinches at Treshnish House
On the 3rd there was a pair of Golden Eagles calling above the Treshnish wood and there was 1 Great Northern Diver in Calgary Bay near the 'pink' pier.

November 2009

On the 27th a pair of Golden Eagles was calling and displaying over Treshnish wood, one of them was a pale male. They both flew towards Treshnish House.
On the 23rd there was no sign of the Common Scoters in Calgary bay but there were 2 Great Northern Divers one of which flew to Treshnish Point. In the afternoon there was a pair of Golden Eagles calling above Treshnish wood and at dusk both of them were sky-diving there and at least one of them was calling. There was also another pair at the same time above the cliffs where the Ensay road meets the coast. When the Treshnish wood pair were both sky-diving and calling they attracted one of the other pair which flew towards them but by this time they had started to drift to the west and this third bird turned back to the east.  
On the 20th there were 2 Common Scoters opposite the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay, so this pair have been present from the 2nd to 20th of November. There was also 1 Great Northern Diver closer to the beach and 1 Golden Eagle where the Ensay road reaches the coast. After an examination of this summers orchid photos by an orchid expert, two new hybrids have been added to the Treshnish list. One is the Northern Marsh-orchid x Common Spotted-orchid hybrid (Dactylorhiza x venusta) and the other was the Northern Marh-orchid x Heath Spotted-orchid hybrid (Dactylorhiza x formosa). Other mystery photographs turned out to be subspecies of Common Spotted-orchid: Dactylorhiza fuchsii subsp. fuchsii, D. fuchsii subsp. okellyi and D. fuchsii subsp. hebridensis).  
On the 17th there were 2 Common Scoters in the same place off the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay. 180 Starlings (in 4 flocks) flew west along the south of Calgary Bay, undoubtedly heading for the roost cave at Treshnish Point. I thought this was the largest number I have seen heading for the cave but I checked my notes and found that I had seen about 200 on 30/06/2009.
On the 16th after a checking of this years moth photos by experts, 11 new micro-moths and 1 new macro-moth have been added to the Treshnish list. Of the micros 4 were new to Mull (Ancylis unguicella, Platyptilia pallidactyla, Platyptilia isodactylus and Metendothenia atropunctana = Hedya atropunctana). The new macro for Treshnish was Pinion-streaked Snout (the moth was too worn to be shown usefully here) and another macro, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, which was previously uncertain was also confirmed.
On the 15th there was a female Reed Bunting at the eastern corner of the reeds below Toechtamhor cottage. There were 2 Redwings near Treshnish cowbarn and 3 Great Northern Divers off from Treshnish boathouse.
On the 13th there were 9 Redwings and 1 Fieldfare by Ensay farmhouse where there was also 1 male Hen Harrier. There were 2 Common Scoters in the same place off the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay and 1 Turnstone on Calgary beach. A Great Northern Diver was also near to Calgary beach. At night the only moths to be attracted to the light-trap were 9 December Moths.
On the 11th there were 2 Common Scoters in the same place off the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay.
On the 10th a small flock of at least 5 Collared Doves flew into Treshnish wood. There were 2 Golden Eagles on Cruachan Treshnish and at Treshnish Point. There were a pair of Reed Buntings with a flock of at 7 Goldfinches between Treshnish and Haunn cottages which flew to Haunn field and 2 Fieldfares were below Toechtamhor cottage, 1 of which flew to Treshnish Point and there was also 1 Redwing in Skoma field. Red Admiral flew high up in the trees above the Ivy plant on Ensay Burn cattle-grid bridge, where it had obviously been feeding.
On the 9th there were 2 Common Scoters in the same place off the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay and 1 Purple Sandpiper on Calgary beach. An Otter was seen along the south shore of Calgary bay, from quite close to the beach to the Dun.
On the 8th there were 2 Greenfinches by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. A male Hen Harrier and a few Fieldfares were near Ensay farmhouse (AM).
On the 7th there were 2 Common Scoters, opposite the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay and 1 Great Northern Diver in Calgary Bay. a few Fieldfares were near Ensay farmhouse (AM). A Tawny Owl was heard at night from Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Only one species of macro-moth came to the light-trap, the December Moth.
On the 5th there were 2 Common Scoters, opposite the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay.
On the 4th there were 2 Common Scoters, 1 Great Northern Diver and 1 Red-throated Diver near the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay.
On the 3rd there was a Golden Eagle displaying over Treshnish wood where there were also about 40 Starlings. There were 2 Great Northern Divers near the 'pink' pier Calgary Bay and a Peregrine above the cliffs at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay which flew to Haunn. There was also at least 1 Kittiwake out from Ensay Burn mouth. At night a Tawny Owl was heard at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 2nd there were 2 Common Scoters (which are scarce in north-west Mull) to the west of the 'pink' pier, Calgary Bay, 1 Greenshank flying from just to west of Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay to Lainne Sgeir, 24 Whooper Swans flying west above the cliffs at Lainne Sgeir, where there was also 2 Golden Eagles (one with a hole near the tip of one of the primary feathers). There was also a Red Grouse heard on the hillside to the south-west of Lainne Sgeir. A Grey Wagtail was by Ensay farmhouse. After sunset 3 flocks (totalling about 60) of Starlings flew along the south side of Calgary Bay. They fly to a cave at Treshnish Point to roost. At dusk there were 2 Red Deer stags crossing the pasture below Ensay, obviously rutting season is well and truly over. They were heading towards Ensay wood.

October 2009

On the 30th BR & KR, guests at Toechtamhor cottage saw a Merlin near Haunn.
On the 29th there was a flock of about 8 Greenfinches flying passed Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar by Treshnish House. BR & KR, guests at Toechtamhor cottage saw a Merlin near Haunn.
On the 28th there were at least 5 juvenile Kittiwakes off Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay and 2 Barnacle Geese circling and landing by Langamull beach. There was a pod of at least 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins close to shore on the south side of Calgary Bay moving west passed Lainne Sgeir across Ensay Burn mouth. There was also an Otter crossing the rocks at Lainne Sgeir.
At Langamull an interesting fungus was photographed. Cordyceps militarisor Scarlet Caterpillar Club, which is parasitic on caterpillars and their pupae. I did not dig it up preferring to keep disturbance to a minimum but at these web-pages you can see examples of where the fungi attached to the caterpillar. It appears to be the first record for Mull.

I have found two other similar shaped fungi at Treshnish. Calocera viscosa (Yellow Stagshorn)was found in Treshnish wood on 11th August 2008. According to NBN Gateway it has not been recorded on Mull before yet the Mull Flora states 'Frequent on conifer stumps'. Clavaria zollingeri (Violet Coral)was found along the cliff-tops to east of Ensay Burn mouth, on 30th September 2008, it is quite rare as it has been recorded in less than 100 10x10km squares in the UK but it has been recorded previously at two other sites on Mull.
Also on the 28th there was also a Grey Pine Carpet moth in the daytime on the rocks to the west of Port na Bá to east of Langamull beach. A Fox Moth caterpillar was seen above Treshnish lochan (CC). At night 4 species of macro-moths came to the trap including Yellow-line Quaker. I only caught two of this species in 2006, 2 in 2007 and none in 2008 so this year has been good for this species and so far I have caught 10.
On the 26th a Mistle Thrush was by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and at night a Tawny Owl was heard there.
BR & KR, guests at Toechtamhor cottage saw a Golden Eagle to south of Beinn Duill. Red Deer were heard rutting from Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar was at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. A Red Admiral butterfly was at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and there were 2 more along the farm track near the cattle-grid. There were 8 species of macro-moth coming to the light-trap including Yellow-line Quaker and the first December Moth of the season.
On the 25th there were 4 Golden Eagles over Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. It was hard to see which pair was from which territory. There was no aggressive interaction shown but display flight and calling was triggered in at least one of the eagles. Eventually only 1 remained and she settled in the tall conifers in Treshnish wood and was visible from Ensay. We often see a Golden Eagle displaying and diving over Treshnish wood and it seems as they must often roost here. The autumn-winter months is the only time I have seen these eagles in these trees. There were 2 Turnstones on Calgary beach and 2 Kittiwakes at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay.
On the 24th there was a flock of 13 probable Redwings at Black Park field, Haunn.
BR & KR, guests at Toechtamhor cottage saw a Golden Eagle on Beinn Duill.
On the 23rd a flock, of 20+, of what were probably Whooper Swans flew south at Haunn (SC).
On the 22nd
a Tawny Owl was heard at night from Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was 1 Red Admiral butterfly in the morning at Haunn (SC), 1 in the afternoon at Haunn, 1 at Treshnish House, 1 at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was also 1 Silver Y moth at Treshnish greenhouse and 1 at Treshnish House.
On the 21st there was a male Long-tailed Duck very close to Calgary beach at 3.30pm and there was also a Greenshank by the road at Loch a´ Chumhainn, Dervaig. Leena saw 5 geese flying south above the wee pond above Treshnish lochan. A Grey Wagtail was by Ensay burn cattle-grid. There was a Red Admiral butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and another by Ensay burn cattle-grid and also a Silver Y moth on the south side of Calgary Bay (on the road near Lainne Sgeir) and another by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Red Deer were still heard rutting on Beinn Bhuidhe, behind Ensay. The fumaria (fumitory) species found beside Treshnish vegetable garden last month, which is still flowering, was originally thought by many (from photo id.) to be F. muralis Common Ramping-fumitory but I was not fully convinced. I sent a flower head to the Scottish Plants Officer at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh who confirmed that it wasn't muralis but was either F. capreolata White Ramping-fumitory or F. purpurea Purple Ramping-fumitory but as the specimen had withered could I send more. Today I received the reply that it was most probably F. capreolata White Ramping-fumitory but had some suggestion of purpurea. She sounded pretty certain and has some seeds which she will germinate and if that proves to change the identification she will let me know. F. capreolata is rare on Mull, with as far as I know only one other record, in the Pennyghael - Carsaig 10x10km square according to NBN Gateway and BSBI.
On the 20th there was a flock of at least 30 Whooper Swans flying south, from Caliach Point, passed Treshnish Point. There was also a Sanderling at dusk on Calgary beach, a Black-throated Diver off from Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay and 2 adult Gannets offshore from below Treshnish House.
On the 19th there were 21 Golden Plovers flying over Treshnish lochan, 4 Greenfinches in The Studio garden, 5 Kittiwakes off Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay and at dusk 1 Turnstone and 1 Purple Sandpiper with the Ringed Plovers, Curlews and Oystercatchers at high tide at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary Bay. I have never seen a Purple Sandpiper in north Mull despite looking quite hard last year! Red Deer were heard rutting on Beinn Bhuidhe, behind Ensay.
On the 18th there were was the micro-moth Alucita hexadactyla or Twenty-plum Moth found inside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 3 species of moths came to the light trap the least common being Yellow-line Quaker and the second flight period of Red Sword-grass.
On the 17th there was a Hen Harrier below Toechtamhor flying east to Skoma field. In the morning Malcolm Ward saw 5 Fieldfares by East cottage, Haunn. There was a Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar at Toechtamhor cottage, Haunn.
On the 16th there were 2 Golden Eagles diving fast out of sight over the pond at Duill cottage, towards the north. One of them appeared a second later twisting up and then down again. I looked like something exciting was happening, either a hunt or less likely I think a tussle between 2 eagles . I was a bit slow and although I saw a Golden Eagle now over Treshnish headland I had a look over the ridge to see if the second eagle had caught anything but there was no sign of anything unusual. DB & JB, guests at West cottage, Haunn, also saw a Golden Eagle over sea off from the mediaeval chapel south of the 'whisky cave'. At night a Tawny Owl was heard in Treshnish wood by Treshnish House and Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was a Highland Darter dragonfly on the rose bushes at The Studio. I checked my records for my last dates of the year for this species and found these: 30 Sept 2008; 7 Oct 2007; 21 Oct 2006. 1 Autumn Green Carpet moth came to a lighted window at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse plus a large moth which dis-appeared immediately. It may have been a Red Sword-grass.
On the 15th there were 22 Kittiwakes feeding off from Treshnish boathouse, 1 Golden Eagle on Cruachan Treshnish and west of Treshnish boathouse and later 2 below Treshnish wood and Treshnish House and 1 Grey Wagtail at Ensay burn mouth. Guests at Middle cottage, Haunn saw a flock of Barnacle Geese on the Treshnish Isles. At night 4 moth species, including came to the light trap, the least common being 1 Yellow-line Quaker.
On the 14th there were at least 2 juvenile Gannets offshore from Treshnish boathouse. On a perfect moth trapping night 5 species came to a lighted window including Autumn Green Carpet, Feathered Thorn and my latest date for Red-green Carpet (15 days after my previous latest).
On the 13th there were at least 2 Gannets off from Dùn Haunn and a small flock of Twite in Skoma field, Haunn.
On the 12th there was a Sparrowhawk flying from Ensay towards Treshnish wood, A dragonfly at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse was probably a Common Hawker. I checked my records for my last dates of the year for this species and found these: 7 Sept 2008; 9 Oct 2007; 17 Oct 2006.
On the 11th there were at least 20 Kittiwakes feeding close off-shore to west of Ensay burn mouth and there were 2 Puffins close by. There was 1 Golden Eagle sky-diving over Treshnish wood so presumably the other was nearby. A falcon flew over Treshnish Old Schoolhouse which was probably a Peregrine and at night a Tawny Owl was heard calling there. DB & JB, guests at West cottage, Haunn, on a walk on the north side of Calgary Bay to the pier recorded 1 probable Black-throated Diver, Golden Eagle and 3 juvenile Eider and between Treshnish and Haunn a Golden Eagle and also from West cottage, Haunn a male Hen Harrier.
On the 10th there was a flock of 21 Twite in the Black Park field just to the east of Haunn field and 27 geese flew south-west fairly low in front of Toechtamhor cottage. On this too breezy, too bright a night, no moths came to the light-trap.
On the 9th there were 2 Greenfinches feeding on the rose-hips in The Studio garden.
On the 8th DB & JB, guests at West cottage, Haunn between NM343489 and NM350489 along the coast recorded Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail, a large Otter to east of boathouse at low tide and a Fox Moth caterpillar. A Silver Y moth was also at Toechtamhor cottage.
On the 7th there were 2 Golden Eagles soaring above Treshnish wood and Ensay burn. After soaring high one glided over Calgary bay and then suddenly went into a shallow stoop as it got close to the land and then after a couple of seconds went into a power-stoop. I lost track of it as the cliffs became the backdrop. I have very rarely seen a Golden Eagle attack here. Once I saw one make a failed attack on the rabbits by Treshnish wood-Ensay burn cattle-grid. I am pretty sure this attack today also failed as a few minutes later 2 Golden Eagles were back over Ensay and settled on the ridge behind Ensay farmhouse. DB & JB, guests at West cottage, Haunn also reported 1 Golden Eagle over Haunn cottages and about an hour later 2 over Ensay farmhouse. A Fox Moth caterpillar found on Cruachan Treshnish (NM3547).
On the 6th there were 2 Golden Eagles sky-diving and calling above Treshnish wood. There are still Gannets offshore from Treshnish. So far the latest date I have seen Gannets at Treshnish is 23 October in 2006. There was also 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull on the south shore of Calgary bay, this species is not generally present in the winter months although I have recorded it here once on 31st of January 2009 and one probable 6 weeks earlier.
Also on the 6th DB & JB, guests at West cottage, Haunn saw a Golden Eagle between Haunn and Crackaig, 1 Red Deer stag with 5 hinds on Beinn Duill and 1 Red Deer stag with 2 hinds on Cruachan Treshnish.
On the 5th DB & JB, guests at West cottage, Haunn saw 2 adults and 3 juvenile White-tailed Eagles with yellow wing-tags at the head of Loch na Keal.
On the 4th a male Hen Harrier flew along the edge of Treshnish wood at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. MC found a Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar at Treshnish House and at night only three species came to the light-trap, the least common being Yellow-line Quaker.
On the 2nd there were 5 Greenfinches at Treshnish House.
On the 1st 2 Golden Eagles were by flying low around Treshnish House and later on Cruachan Treshnish. There was 1 Red Admiral butterfly by Treshnish House and a Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar was by Treshnish House.

October satellite tagged White-tailed Eagle and Osprey

Mull White-tailed Eagles

Brèagha
1st: Raasay
4th: Southeast of Uig, Trotternish peninsula, Skye
5th: Northeast of Uig, Trotternish peninsula, Skye
8th: Southeast of Portree, Skye
Latest data from Google Earth on 18th October but undated on RSPB Blog, she was back on the Crowlin Islands south-west of the Applecross peninsula, between the Applecross peninsula and Scalpay, off Skye

This years tagged chicks. Not the Loch Frisa chicks.

Oran (male)
Extremely adventurous.

First points about 1-10: several (10+) points on south side of Ardmeanach peninsula (with 1 point near Loch Assapol on the Ross of Mull)

Point 11: Pennyghael, Mull
Point 12: Beinn Bhuidhe, east of Drimnin, Morven
Point 13: Fiunary forest, Morven
Point 14: Sandaig, north of Mallaig (57km from Fiunary forest)
Point 15 Shiel Bridge (23km from Dandaig)
Point 16 Western end of Loch Affric (22km from Shiel Bridge)

Point 17: eastern end of Glen Affric (13km north-east of western end of Loch Affric).
Point 18 Glen Affric (85km north-east of Glencripesdale)
12th: 3km east-southeast of Glencripesdale on the southern shore of Loch Sunart, Morvern.
13th: 2km east of Glencripesdale. On this date she appeared on the Google Earth data to be only 2km east of Mara at Glencripesdale.

Venus (female)
All dates in the Glen Forsa area except on 11th October at the western end of Ardmeanach peninsula.

Loch Garten Ospreys

Rothes (female)
1st: Diawling National Park, in south-west Mauritania.
2nd: passes Kayar west of Djoudj National Park in Senegal, crosses the Dakar peninsula near  Sebikotane and roosting at Mbourouk, Senegal
3rd: heads offshore, south of Dakar coming back to land 188km to the south (as crow or Osprey flies) near Abene in southern Senegal (south of The Gambia). At one time in this sea journey she was 70km from shore! She roosted near the border between Senegal and Guinea Bissau.
4th: Continues south through Guinea Bissau and made a sea crossing from about 30km west of Bissau to the Ilha das Galinhas islands within the Bijagos Islands, off the coast of Guinea Bissau.
4-15th: Present throughout on the Bijagos Islands except one 2 day round trip to the mainland where she was at one time 57km from the last known place that Nethy, one of last years satellite tagged Ospreys was located.


Mallachie (male)
1st: Still around Tejo National Park, Portugal near the Spanish border.
4th: Tejo National Park, Portugal
4-8th: Tejo National Park, Portugal
9th: At11am he was still at Tejo National Park but in the afternoon he was heading south and continuing south along the Spanish Portuguese border.
10th: He left the safety of land at Isla Critina, Spain near the Porugese border. After flying south for 300km he made land in Morocco at 5pm, 32km north of Kénitra. He continued flying in a south-easterly direction for another 30km roosting at Sidi Yahya du Rharb to the east of Kénitra.
12th: Crosses over into Algeria.
14th: Crosses the north-eastern corner of Western Sahara and then south into Mauritania crossing the earlier flight path of Rothes.

September 2009


On the 30th there was a flock of c70 Twite to the west of Treshnish boathouse (NM3448), where there was also a Fox Moth caterpillar and a Drinker moth caterpillar and 2 new sites for Field Gentian were found along the cliffs towards the impassable gully there. One of these sites had at least 26 plants.
On the 29th a Feathered Thorn moth came to a lighted window at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 27th there was a Fox Moth caterpillar to west of Treshnish boathouse and on the cliffs there, 3 new sites for Field Gentian were found. Most of the plants had finished fruiting but 1 or 2 were still in flower.
On the 26th Tawny Owls were heard at night in around Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 6 species of macro-moths came to the light-trap, one being the migrant Silver Y. Red Deer were heard rutting beyond Ensay.
On the 25th there were 10 Twite to west of Treshnish boathouse, 1 Drinker moth caterpillar at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and another to west of Treshnish boathouse where there was also a large Fox Moth caterpillar (as big as my index finger) and there was also 1 Red Admiral butterfly resting at Treshnish House. A Mountain Hare was found to west of Treshnish boathouse and another/same later in Skoma field but the highlight of the day was an Otter trotting right in front of Shian and Duill cottages! It did not see me or Cap the working sheepdog who luckily did not see it either. It head directly for the pond next to Duill cottage, which was enlarged last year and where  it made several dives before emerging at the far end of the pond and continuing on it's way. Although I often come across Otter signs inland and also found a road-kill on the Calgary-Dervaig road (at West Ardhu) in the winter of 2007/2008, this is the first time I have seen one inland.
On the 24th there were 11 Golden Plovers in Skoma field, c40 Goldfinches below Treshnish House and another or same flock at Haunn, 2 Pied Wagtails at Treshnish House and 1 Grey Wagtail at Treshnish boathouse.
On the 20th there was a Knot Grass moth caterpillar by Treshnish House (MC).
On the 19th there were 2 Golden Eagles on Beinn Duill. It was National Moth Night so even though conditions were far from ideal light-trapping was carried out. 10 species came to the trap, the least common being Lunar Underwing.
On the 18th there were 7 Greenfinches feeding on the rose hips in The Studio garden and there was a Pied Wagtail nearby.
On the 17th there was a Golden Eagle on Beinn Duilll and a White-tailed Eagle on Beinn Reudle and a Highland Darter dragonfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a Common Hawker dragonfly by Treshnish House. There was a Silver Y moth to the south of Port Haunn. A new site for Dwarf Juniper was found inland by the blackhouse ruins between Crackaig and Haunn, which was unusually in that most of the Dwarf Juniper at Treshnish is on the coastal cliffs.
On the 16th a Golden Eagle was seen on Beinn Duill and Cruachan Treshnish and a Buzzard was sky-diving behind Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There were 2 Highland Darter dragonflies between Treshnish House and Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a Ruby Tiger moth caterpillar by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. At night a new micro-moth came to a window at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Most micro-moths do not have common names but this one Alucita hexadactyla has the common name 'Twenty-plume Moth'.

This flower was found in Treshnish garden which is almost certainly White Ramping-fumitory


Fumaria capreolata, samples have been checked by an expert. It is rare on Mull, with as far as I know only one other record on Mull in the Pennyghael - Carsaig 10x10km square. It is an arable 'weed' but has become uncommon in the west of the country due to a decrease in arable farming. Treshnish vegetable garden has made up for this nicely. Another Treshnish 'weed' is the threatened Corn Spurrey Spergula arvensis, which also likes the vegetable garden at Treshnish as well as the disturbed ground around the farm building and the farm track. Northern Dead-nettle Lamium confertum also flourishes in the vegetable garden and around the farm buildings, if permitted.

On the 15th two Golden Eagles were sky-diving over Treshnish wood.
On the 14th there was a Knot Grass moth caterpillar at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a Fox Moth caterpillar was found on Cruachan Treshnish (NM3547).
On the 13th a Sparrowhawk and later a Peregrineflew low over Treshnish wood and a Golden Eagle was between Larach Mhor and the wee pond above Treshnish lochan. There were 2 Pied Wagtails beside Treshnish House and a flock of at least 30 Goldfinches was at Treshnish House at dusk. 2 Common Hawkers and 1 Highland Darter dragonflies, 4 Speckled Wood and 2 Scotch Argus butterflies and 1 day-flying Ruby Tiger moth were all along the farm road beside Treshnish wood. A Mountain Hare was below Treshnish House.
On the 12th there were 3 Swallows by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 Golden Eagles all day from Haunn cottages, between Cruachan Treshnish, Beinn Duill and Treshnish Point, about 40 Goldfinches at Haunn, 1 Common Hawker dragonfly at Haunn and a small black hairy caterpillar which looked similar to a Ruby Tiger in size and hairiness except black not orangey. 15 macro-moth species came to the light-trap including, Autumn Green Carpet, Anomalous and Small Wainscot.
On the 11th there were 3 Pied Wagtails beside Treshnish House and a Speckled Wood butterfly and a Knot Grass moth larva
near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. At Ensay Burn cattle-grid, as the last rays of sun became confined to this spot, there were 2 Common Hawker, 1 Black Darter and 2 Highland Darter dragonflies resting on or near the fence posts and there was a probable Scotch Argus butterfly here too.
In another search in Treshnish wood for the Broad-leaved Helleborine which I found flowering on 6th September 2007 I finally found one non-flowering or post-flowering plant. This was not exactly the same spot as in 2007 but was within 50 metres. The one in 2007 was flowering but it was too dark to get a good photograph.This plant is extremely rare on Mull although one of the more common orchids elsewhere in Britain.
On the 10th there were 7 Swallows by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Speckled Wood butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Highland Darter and 1 possible Black Darter, dragonflies near Treshnish House.
On the 9th there were 4 Swallows by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, about 40 Goldfinches and 1 Linnet near Treshnish cow-barn and a female Pheasant with chicks just to the west of Haunn cottages. In a one-hour sea-watch, there were 9 Manx Shearwater (including 1 close in), 3 Kittiwakes and about 20 Fulmars on the sea off Treshnish Point and 1-2 by the cliffs. At night a (juvenile?) Tawny Owl was heard at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was also 1 Red Admiral, 1 Grayling, 9 Scotch Argus butterflies, 1 Common Hawker and 2 Highland Darter dragonflies near Ensay Burn cattle-grid and also 1 Fox Moth, 1 Ruby Tiger caterpillars between Treshnish and Haunn cottages and 1 Common Blue butterfly at Haunn NM3347. 15 species of macro-moth came to the light-trap including Small Autumnal Moth and the Anomalous.
On the hillocks to the west of West cottage, Haunn, I found four patches (totalling 221 plants) of Field Gentian at a known site which I had surveyed last year but failed to find any. The plants were mostly very small and I may have missed them or I may have looked to early last year on 28th of July!
On the 8th there was a flock of at least 30 Kittiwakes off Ensay burn mouth and within only a couple of minutes of scanning Calgary bay, 5 Manx Shearwaters were seen flying south across the mouth of the bay
On the 7th there were at least 5 Swallows hunting low along the farm road through Treshnish wood during the storm.
On the 6th there was 1 Sand Martin by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. In 2 hours of moth-trapping before the wind became to strong 11 moths of 5 species came to the light-trap of these the least common was Anomalous.
On the 5th there were 3 Swallows at Treshnish House, a newly fledged Swallow flew out of the shed and a Fox Moth caterpillar was at Middle cottage, Haunn.
On the 4th there were 2 Sand Martins, by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a Fox Moth caterpillar by Duill cottage.
On the 3rd there was Golden Eagle flying west over Treshnish wood, 5 Sand Martins, 5 Swallows and a Common Whitethroat by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 2nd there were 5 Swallows by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 1st there were 3 Swallows Treshnish Old schoolhouse and at above Treshnish lochan where there were also 2 Wheatears. There was a Fox Moth caterpillar on Cruachan Treshnish at NM3547 and another at NM3447.
Chaffweed was found on the track behind Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. This is a new plant for our 10x10km square.

From Plants of Treshnish
As you can see it is very small

From Plants of Treshnish
and therefore probably under-recorded.

September satellite tagged White-tailed Eagle & Osprey news

White-tailed Eagles update 31st: Between the 7th and 23rd Brèagha was in the Loch Maree area, spending the last of these days on the hill lochs to the northwest of Torridon and before that to east of Lochdrum, and Strathmore valley south of Ullapool . On the 23rd Brèagha was on the Crowlin Islands southwest of the Applecross peninsula, between the Applecross peninsula and Scalpay, off Skye. On the 30th she was on Raasay, where she stayed until the 1st of October. Mara coninues to stay in the Ardamurchan amd Morvern peninsulas favouring the Glencripesdale area on the southern shore of Loch Sunart, Morvern and on Ardamurchan the more general area of Loch Mudle and the adjacent lochs to the east.


White-tailed Eagles update 14th: On the 3rd Brèagha was at Loch Maree, by the 7th she had flown to Dundonell, at the head of Little Loch Broom, (the same area where she had been on 30th and 31st of August and the 1st of September), on the 9th she was about 7km to the east near Ardcharnich (spelt Ardchamich on the RSPB blog Googlemaps), on Loch Broom.
Mara has been on Morvern, along the south shores of Loch Sunart, from the 3rd to the 9th except on the 4th when she was on the souteast corner of Morvern and the 7th when she was across Loch Sunart on Ardamurcan.


White-tailed Eagles update 2nd: the female Brèagha in the same area at Loch Maree and Mara in about the same area on Morvern.

 

Osprey update 31stMallachie still in the same area in Portugal near the Spanish border.

Osprey update 30th: The RSPB blog is a bit unclear here regading times but flying off the Morocan shore Rothes reaches land near Tidergit in Morocco at 9am on the 28th a distance of 944km as the crow flies. She continued due south passing over Western Sahara and into Mauritania by 2pm, where she was slowing down but still heading south in Mauritania crossing the southeast corner of Western Sahara at 4pm the next day on the 29th and arriving at 10pm on the 30th near the coast, south of Nouakchott, the capital. On the 30th she was still in the vicinity of Nouakchott.

Osprey update 28th: On the morning of  24th, Rothes finally left the Sturgeon farm north of Bordeaux where she has been since the 14th of August. She was near the Spanish border on the morning of 25th, and by the evening was roosting near Toledo. On the evening of the 26th she spent ther night 7km southwest of Oliva de la Frontera by the Potugese border where she was about 160km south of Mallachie, who was still in the same area around Tejo National Park in Portugal by the Spanish border. The next day on the 27th, Rothes continued flying along the Spanish-Portugese border for about 56km and then continued flying south-southwest in a straight line until heading out to sea just south of Olhão in Portugal at 1pm.


Osprey update 10th: Now is must be about the most exciting time for the young ospreys. They have both made it safely to the continent but still have to make it to Africa. Mallachie has been travelling virtually non-stop since the 31st of August and has navigated safely around the coast of the Bay of Biscay and is now according to the RSPB blog on the Portugese/Spanish border in the 'Rio Tajo area between Parque Nacional de Monfrague in Spain and Parque Natural do Tejo Internacional in Portugal'. Whilst I said in an earlier post that Rothes was approaching Spain she actually stopped near Fontaine north of Bordeaux and has been there since the 14th of August, perhaps she is going to stay there!. Interestingly the data shows that the paths of Rothes, Mallachie and last years Nethy came very close together in the Bordeaux region but perhaps this is natural as they all had to negotiate around the Bay of Biscay.

Osprey update 4th: Mallachie overtakes her sister Rothes and crosses into Spain

Osprey
update 3rd: Mallachie crosses the channel from the Isle of White to Normandy.

Osprey
update 1st: On Sunday 30th these were the positions of Mallachie according to RSBP blog

'5am just north of Acklington,
6am she flew over a huge quarry at West Chevington,
7am near Ulgham, south of Widdrington Station,
8am she flew over A19 near Seaton Burn roundabout,
9am West Pelton near Chester-le-Street,
10am Proudfoot Drive, Bishop Auckland

11am just west of Scotch Corner on A1,
1pm near Whitwell, east of Catterick,
3pm just west of Northallerton, and between 3pm and 8pm she seems to have been fishing along the River Swale, presumably roosted nearby and continued to quarter the river again early next morning when her last fix was at 5am 31st August.'

That overnight spot is only three quarters of a mile from the RAF base at Leeming where my father was stationed for many years. The idea of looking out from the control tower and seeing an Osprey hunting over the river Swale, would have been inconceivable at that time (mid-late 1960's).

August 2009


On the 31st moth-trapping resulted in only 7 species coming to light!
On the 30th there were 6 Sand Martins and 1 Common Whitethroat by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 29th a Golden Eagle was seen from Haunn over Beinn Duill, there was a Sparrowhawk was near Toechtamhor cottage and a flock of about 10 Twite also at Haunn.
On the 27th there was a flock of about 30 Twite between Treshnish and Haunn cottages and another 20 at Haunn. A large dragonfly at Haunn was probably Golden-ringed.
On the 25th at Dun Haunn a Great Skua flew over the coast heading south and from here 15 minutes of sea-watching (binoculars only) produced, 26 Kittiwakes flying southwards very close to the shore, 2 Manx Shearwaters flying south further out and 3 Fulmars close to shore and many Gannets. A little later, south of Port Haunn, the cry of gulls alerted me to the sudden appearance of a Golden Eagle, which was cruising behind a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Fulmar. A Basking Shark was very close to shore at Lòn Reudle, where there were also 2 juvenile Kittiwakes and several diving Gannets. SC saw a covey of about 10 Red Grouse beside the road between Reudle Schoolhouse and the summit. RH a guest at Duill cottage saw a Turnstone at Dun Haunn stony beach.There was 1 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Green-veined White between Treshnish and Haunn cottages. Another poor night for moth-tapping with only 21 species coming to the light-trap.
Marsh Cudweed beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse is still not in flower but a plant beside Treshnish House looks like it has been flowering for a few days (-22). This is of particular interest because I am hoping to re-locate an old record in Aros Park of the threatened Heath Cudweed, which should have a similar flowering period. A small sheep eaten plant of Scots Lovage was found on the stone beach at Port Haunn. (This plant is only able to flourish were there are no sheep in the mid-summer, to the east of Treshnish boathouse is an excellent spot.) Spear-leaved Orache was fruiting at the same spot. Further to the south there were a few spots of flowering Skullcap. Although I know botanists have found this species at Treshnish Point, this was my first record at Treshnish farm.
On the 22nd there was a family group of 5 Linnets at Haunn, 1 Grayling and 2 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 possible Small Tortoiseshell butterfly at Haunn.
On the 20th there was a covey of 12-14 Red Grouse on Cruachan Treshnish and a flock of about 20 of what I think were Lesser Redpoll flying above Treshnish wood, 1 Scotch Argus, 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Fox Moth caterpillar on Cruachan Treshnish. Bog Orchids were found at two more of last year’s locations, one patch of 30 pseudobulbs was also in a similar state last year. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for them to flower. The largest population is on Cruachan Treshnish at an elevation of 840 feet, which is apparently high for this species.
On the 17th there was 1 Sparrowhawk and a Mountain Hare at Ensay Burn mouth and another or the same below Treshnish House and there was 1 Green-veined White butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
At Ensay burn mouth there was a orache species which I photographed and identified as Spear-leaved Orache. The Mull Flora does not include this species and implies that it does not occur at all in the Hebrides at all (the old name Atriplex hastata is used) but I have had the photographed checked and confirmed. The Flora has virtually all records on Mull as being Babbington’s Orache with Common Orache given as rare with only 9 sites on Mull. I think Spear-leaved Orache is fairly common on Mull and the error in the flora may be due to lack of recording in the late summer when the plant is fruiting, either that or the flora is using a completely different criteria for separating these species. Nearby to the orache was a beautiful flowering Sea Rocket. I have only seen this plant flowering on the Ross of Mull. It occurs on Calgary beach but the overgrazing with sheep never allows the plant to flourish.
On the 16th there was 1 Green-veined White, 1 Painted Lady, 6 Scotch Argus butterflies and 2 Highland Darter dragonflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse
On the 15th 1 Garden Carpet moth was found inside one of the Haunn cottages.
On the 13th there were 2 adult Whinchats with recently fledged young and at least 1 Stonechat in front of Toechtamhor cottages and 4 Sand Martins at Treshnish House and later at Haunn. There were also 4 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish House/Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages and 1 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, all butterflies.
On the 12th there was at least 1 Sand Martin by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 5 Twites over Ensay, 2 juvenile Stonechats with adults at south side of Calgary bay NM3649, 1 Grey Wagtail near Calgary beach NM3650 and 2 Fulmars and 1 juvenile Guillemot deep in to Calgary bay. Field Gentian
was found on south side of Calgary bay, where there was also a large patch of Tufted Vetch with many in full flower. There were also 5 Scotch Argus, 1 Green-veined White, 1 fresh Painted Lady, 1 Speckled Wood butterflies and 2 Highland Darter dragonflies near Ensay Burn cattle-grid.
On the 11th there was 1 Red-throated Diver flying over and calling in Calgary bay. Field Madder was found on Calgary machair but the miniature Field Gentian shows the extent of the overgrazing due to the neglectful management of this SSSI, which is owned by the council. Frog Orchid used to be found here and both this and Field Gentian are threatened species. Take a trip down to Ardalanish to see what Calgary and Langamull machair could look like! Common Stork’s-bill was found on many spots on Calgary machair.
On the 10th 1 Spotted Flycatcher was in Craignure car park. At Langamull there were many Gannets fishing offshore and at least 15 Kittiwakes right up to the shore, which could be heard calling to each other and 12 Redshank. A Golden Eagle was seen diving in or behind Treshnish wood (it may have been hunting the rabbits by Ensay burn). Tawny Owl young were heard at night by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was also a Basking Shark very close to the beach at Langamull, 1 Painted Lady at Port Langamull NM3753 and 1 Green-veined White was by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
There were only 21 species of macro-moth coming to the light-trap but the best of these, Anomalous (3 in 2007, 1 in 2008), Crescent (3 in 2007, 1 in 2008) and Scotch Annulet (1 in 2007, 2 in 2008) are uncommon at Treshnish.
On the 9th 3 adult Greylag Geese were with 9 goslings at Port Langamull, a Basking Shark was offshore from below Treshnish House. Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill and Lesser Meadow-rue were found at Langamull. The latter was minute, highlighting the plight of this over-grazed machair.
On the 8th a Sparrowhawk was between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 3 Twite were at Haunn and 1 Linnet was near Treshnish cow-barn. 5 Scotch Argus was by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Green-veined White was at Treshnish House, both butterflies. Equal-leaved Knotgrass was found on entrance to Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 7th an adult White-tailed Eagle flew west below Treshnish House and there were 2+ Scotch Argus, 2 Green-veined White butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Equal-leaved Knotgrass was on the track in front of Shian cottage.
On the 6th there was 1 Painted Lady butterfly and 1 Silver Y moth in Treshnish greenhouse.
On the 5th on a walk along the shore to south of Scoor, Ross of Mull there were at least 10 Common Terns at Tràigh Bhàn, 10+ Scotch Argus NM4118, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Dark-green Fritillary, 3 Green-veined White butterflies at Tràigh Bhàn, 2 Fox Moth caterpillars near Scoor, 1 Common Hawker dragonfly at Scoor.Plants noted (at new sites from 25th July) between the dun to southwest of Scoor and Tràigh Bhàn included: Greater Sea-spurrey, Grass-of-Parnassus, Bog Pimpernel, Ray's Knotgrass, Knotgrass sp., Common Stork's-bill, Prickly Saltwort, Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill, Scots Lovage, Lesser Meadow-rue, Gypsywort, Sea-milkwort, Marsh St John's-wort, Hairy Rock-cress, Field Gentian, Dwarf Juniper, Common Centaury, Purple-loosestrife, Crowberry, Skullcap, Hemp-agrimony, Gypsywort and White Beak-sedge.
On the 4th during a walk from Reudle Schoolhouse to Burg there was a Great Skua at Lòn Reudle. An Adder was photographed between Crackaig and Reudle schoolhouse. There was 1 Painted Lady, 5+ Green-veined White and 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterflies and 1 Common Hawker dragonfly at Lòn Reudle and 30 Field Gentian, Agrimony and Common Centaury and Oysterplant at Lòn Reudle.
On the 2nd at Frachadil NM3851 there was 1 Mountain Hare, 1 Painted Lady, 10+ Scotch Argus, 10+ Green-veined White butterflies and 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly.Another poor moth night with only 15 species coming to the light-trap. The least common being Light Arches and Minor Shoulder-knot. Bittersweet was found at the entrance to Bennan. This plant appears to be rare on Mull. I have only found it elsewhere at Kilninian shore. The Island of Mull, a survey of its Flora and environment (Jermy & Crabbe 1978, British Museum) gives only one site at Carsaig-Nun’s Pass.
On the 1st 15 Twite were near Toechtamhor cottage and guests Colin & Linda Graham have seen up to 70 here within the last week. Lesser Redpoll were also heard at Haunn.

August satellite tagged White-tailed Eagle & Osprey news

Osprey update 31st: finally Mallachie is on the move. On the 29th she left Loch Garten and in the evening was along the coast at Longhoughton, near Alnwick, Northumberland. She will presumably be futher south now as there is no river in that exact spot. Her sister Rothes is still in the La Gironde river area, north of Bordeaux.


White-tailed Eagles update 16th: Brèagha was to the east of Kylesku, Sutherland on 11th then flew 50 miles south to Loch Maree, Wester Ross and was there on the 14th and 15th and then flew back north to the southeast of Kylesku where she was on the 16th. By the 16th Mara had only moved within Morven and most recently across to the Ardnamurchan peninsula.

The Loch Frisa White-tailed Eagles from 2008 have really started to wander. In April, Brèagha the female, wandered as far as the Isle of Skye but soon returned to Mull and both birds occasionally roamed the mainland adjacent to Mull. The most recent wanderings are exciting as Brèagha was, according to the most recent update on 4-6th of August, near Inchnadamph in the Ben More Assynt area of Sutherland (nice choice!) and previously she was at Dunnet Bay, Caithness to east of Thurso, which is about as far north as you can go on the Scottish mainland. Mara, the male, has been exploring the Morven and Ardnamurchan peninsulas area for the last few weeks and on the last updates from 6-9th of August was on Ardnamurchan, near Glencripesdale, Loch Sunart. You can see their movements here or track them yourself.
The Loch Garten Ospreys are also on the move. The last satellite update on 14th of August showed Rothes approaching Spain along the coast of the Bay of Biscay after first crossing the Irish Sea southwards skirting the Isle of Man, flying over Anglesey and the heading south across Wales and the west country. She certainly has no navigational problems! Her sister, Mallachie, is apparently still in the Loch Garten area. You can see their movements here or track them yourself.
Last year the two chicks were also radio tagged and sadly one flew into the Atlantic and died after narrowly missing the Azores. The second bird also probably died in Guinea-Bissau.

July 2009


video
On the 1st an occupied House Martin nest was on the new houses beside Kilninian church. This is the first confirmed breeding for the NM34 10x10km square. A Kestrel was by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, the first seen for a while although they have been heard her in the early morning. The Common Gulls have become less noisy at the colony at Treshnish lochan, so presumably some have fledged. Lesser Redpolls could be heard flying near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 2 were below Treshnish House, 1 Twite was below Treshnish House, newly fledged Wheatears with adults with food were below Treshnish House. Siskins were again by Treshnish old Schoolhouse and a newly fledged Meadow Pipit was also there. There were 3 Redshanks at Dervaig.
There had been a report of a possible Banded Demoiselle on the southern part of the track to Glengorm from the north entrance to Loch Frisa and I was asked to take a look. The weather was not ideal and I saw no Banded but I did find a dead Beautiful Demoiselle beside the stream and also a Golden-ringed Dragonfly laying eggs and patrolling the stream and 2 Common Blue Damselflies. There were also newly fledged Whinchats, a Lapwing, 1 Dark-green Fritillary, 1 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Heath butterflies and 2 Early Marsh-orchids near the source of the stream. Below Treshnish House there was 1 Chimney Sweeper moth. A Mountain Hare was by Treshnish cow-barn and a very large seal was at Treshnish boathouse.
On the 2nd there were at least 2 fledged Common Gulls at the colony at Treshnish lochan. A Twite was singing between Treshnish and Haunn cottages and there was 1 below Dun Haunn and another south of Port Haunn. A newly fledged Stonechat was above Treshnish cow-barn. A singing Sedge Warbler and a newly fledged Willow Warbler were at Haunn. A Reed Bunting was singing 100m below Toechtamhor cottage. 10 Swifts flew south at Treshnish point, the highest number recorded at Treshnish. 5 Manx Shearwaters flew south close in at Treshnish Point after only a minute of sea-watching, no doubt a longer sea-watch would have been interesting. There were 3 Ringed Plovers below Dun Haunn. An adult Gannet with juvenile was near Treshnish Point. There were no Fulmars seen flying around the cliffs at Treshnish Point but there was possibly a pair on the cliffs on the southern side of Treshnish Point. Fledged Kestrels were at Reudle cliffs. A Red Deer with fawn was on Cruachan Treshnish.
There was 1 Dark-green Fritillary beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 3 at Haunn, 1 below Crackaig, 1 Meadow Brown beside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 south of Port Haunn, 2 between Port Haunn and Crackaig, 4 below Crackaig, 2 Painted Lady butterflies below Crackaig. 2 Chimney Sweeper at Haunn, 3 Six-spot Burnet moths below Crackaig. Sea Mayweed (0) and Bog Pimpernel (+21) were flowering below Dun Haunn. Creeping Thistle (-13) was flowering and Carline Thistle (-7) was about to flower below Crackaig. Possible Zigzag Clover flowering at the top of Crackaig ‘steps.’
On the 3rd a Snipe was drumming by Reudle Schoolhouse, 2 Golden Eagles on Cruachan Treshnish. There was 1 Meadow Brown butterfly, 1 Yellow Shell and 1 Beautiful Golden Y moths below Crackaig.
On the 4th a female Sparrowhawk was between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, the previous at Treshnish was on the 24th April at Ensay.
There was 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterfly at Haunn, 1 Small Heath butterfly at Haunn, 1 Meadow Brown butterfly at Haunn, 1 Chimney Sweeper moth at Haunn, 1 Magpie and 1 Yellow Shell moths between Treshnish and Haunn cottages.
Lesser Burdock was flowering at east of Haunn field and Rosebay Willowherb (-20) had been flowering for at least a couple of days at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 5th 5 Snipe flew behind Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and a few minutes later one was calling from there, Lesser Redpoll were heard in flight below Treshnish House and 1 Twite was by Treshnish cow-barn. There were over 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins feeding offshore from the south of Port Haunn (Scott Smith).
Another poor night of moth-trapping with 19 species of macro moths, the least common being The Snout, The Drinker and Ingrailed Clay. Slender Speedwell found flowering on Treshnish House lawn was a new species for our 10x10km square.
On the 6th a male Lesser Redpoll was alarmed and obviously had a family nearby in Treshnish wood along the farm-track, a Siskin in Treshnish wood was similarly alarmed, 1 Twite was below Treshnish House and a newly fledged Rock Pipit was along the coast below Treshnish House. There was a Red Admiral butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, a Chimney Sweeper moth was seen being eaten by a juvenile Wheatear by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, and at least 10 were together near the coast below Treshnish House.
On the 7th there were 21 newly fledged Common Gulls on Treshnish lochan from the colony there and there were 28 semi-alarmed adults flying there, 1 Golden Eagle was on Cruachan Treshnish and a few hours later guests at Toechtamhor cottage had seen one above the Common Gull colony at Treshnish lochan. 1 Meadow Pipit was flushed off a nest with eggs by Reudle Schoolhouse bog.
There were 5 fawns with a herd of Red Deer on Cruachan Treshnish. There was 1 Small Heath butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 by pond above Treshnish lochan, 1 Common Blue butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Meadow Brown near Treshnish lochan, 1 by pond above Treshnish lochan, 1 at Reudle Schoolhouse bog, 2 Silver Y, 1 Yellow Shell, 1 Silver-Ground Carpet moths by pond above Treshnish lochan, 2+ Dark Marbled Carpet moths above Reudle cliffs, 1 Four-spotted Chaser by pond above Treshnish lochan.
Lesser Skullcap (-14) was flowering and Round-leaved Sundew (-30) was nearly flowering near Reudle Schoolhouse bog, Heather (-20) was flowering at Beinn Reudle.
On the 8th there were 13 Fulmars flying around the northeast end of Treshnish Point and 7 sitting on ledges and Lesser Redpoll were flying below Treshnish House. During a walk looking for reported Banded Demoiselle dragonfly there was 1 newly fledged Whinchat at Loch an Torr NM4552, 1 Meadow Brown butterfly to east of Loch an Torr NM4652, 1 at NM4553, 1 at Loch an Torr NM4453, 1 Dark-green Fritillary butterfly to east of Loch an Torr NM4652, 5 at NM4553, 1 at NM4453, 1 Green-veined White butterfly to east of Loch an Torr NM4553, 2 Common Blue butterflies at Loch an Torr NM4453, 3 Golden-ringed Dragonfly (1 laying eggs) along the stream to east of Loch an Torr at NM4652, 1 at NM4553, 1 Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly to east of Loch an Torr NM4553, 1 Common Blue Damselfly at Loch an Torr NM4453, 7 male and 3 female Beautiful Demoiselle (1 female at NM46035284, 2 males at NM45685326, 1 male at NM45615337, 1 male at NM45635341, 1 female at NM45605350, 1 female at NM45445356, 1 male at NM45435356, 2 males at NM45415357). Water Lobelia (-8) was flowering in Loch an Torr. Wall Speedwell was in our vegetable garden. Delicate Stonewort Chara virgata a freshwater algae was in the stream to east of Loch an Torr.
On the 9th 2 immature White-tailed Eagles flew west along the coast below Treshnish House and there was 1 Collared Dove flying east over Treshnish wood and again later in Treshnish garden. A Reed Bunting was singing 100m below Toechtamhor cottage. A pair of Merlins were at Lòn Reudle (Scott Smith). There were 5 Dark-green Fritillary, 1 Meadow Brown butterflies between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Red Admiral and 1 Speckled Wood butterfly at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Large Yellow Underwing moth by Duill cottage.
On the 10th 1 Great Skua flying out of Calgary bay around Treshnish Point, 1 Wood Pigeon singing in Treshnish wood (the first time I have heard one singing there), 1 Spotted Flycatcher at Treshnish House, 1 Lesser Redpoll by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 Sand Martins near Ensay burn cattle-grid, 3 Dark-green Fritillary by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Red Admiral by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 Speckled Wood along farm-track in Treshnish wood, 2 Green-veined White along farm-track in Treshnish wood, 1 below Treshnish House, 2 Meadow Brown below Treshnish House, 1 at Ensay burn mouth, 1 Painted Lady at Ensay burn mouth, all butterflies, 2 Chimney Sweeper at Treshnish House, 1 below Treshnish House, 10+ Beautiful Golden Y/Silver Y moths by Treshnish graveyard, 1 Highland Darter dragonfly along farm-track in Treshnish wood, 1 by Treshnish graveyard,
On the 11th a male Hen Harrier was seen briefly on the hill between Treshnish and Haunn cottages in the morning and presumably the same in the same area in afternoon which was with a better view identified as a second calendar male, 3 Linnets between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Lesser Redpoll by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 male Reed Bunting singing just outside the Haunn field by farm-track at the east gate, this is the first time I have heard one singing there. Newly fledged Blackbird, Stonechat and Dunnock were seen just to west of Treshnish cow-barn. A female Merlin was between Crackaig and Reudle Schoolhouse (Scott Smith). An Adder was on the farm-track between Toechtamhor and East cottage, Haunn.
Also on the 11th, 4 Dark-green Fritillary by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 5 at Treshnish House, 3 at Haunn, 3 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 at Treshnish House, 2 Meadow Brown by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 at Treshnish House, 4 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 2 at Haunn, 1 Red Admiral by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 at Treshnish House, 1 at Haunn, 1 Small Heath by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Painted Lady by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages.
On the 12th presumably the same second calendar male Hen Harrier was between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, Lesser Redpoll was heard flying over the wood below Treshnish cow-barn. There was also 1 Painted Lady by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 by Treshnish lochan, 1 Red Admiral by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 by Treshnish lochan, 1 Meadow Brown by Treshnish lochan, 1 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Small Heath by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, all butterflies, 1 Chimney Sweeper moth by Treshnish lochan. Lesser Clubmoss was out to east of Cruachan Treshnish, Bog Orchid was flowering at two of the known sites closest to Treshnish House.
On the 13th 2 Twite by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse in the morning, 1 by Treshnish cow-barn in the evening, 5 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages in the evening, 17 at Haunn, Lesser Redpolls were heard between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 male Reed Bunting just outside the Haunn field by farm-track at the east gate and about 30 minutes later 1 male was seen in the usual low-lying area below Toechtamhor cottage. Sedge Warblers were singing below Haunn cottages. An adult Basking Shark was off from the coast below Treshnish House and there was possibly a smaller one with it. There was 1 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 4 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Meadow Brown by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 5 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 at Haunn, 1 by Treshnish cow-barn, 4 Dark-green Fritillary between Treshnish and Haunn cottages. Grass-of-Parnassus was flowering between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, which is quite far inland for this species. 1 probable Silver Y moth between Treshnish and Haunn cottages. Only 23 species were caught in the moth-trap which is not many for this time of year but two were new for Treshnish, Oblique Carpet and Small Rivulet, the latter of which has not been recorded for about 30 years. Purple-loosestrife was flowering below Toechtamhor cottage.
On the 14th a second calendar male Hen Harrier was on Cruachan Treshnish (Scott Smith). Apparently 'a pair of young Golden Eagles' were seen at Port Haunn by PS and family. On a walk to look for another reported Banded Demoiselle sighting at Torr Mòr, Pottie, on the Ross, there were no demoiselles seen but there was 1 Highland Darter dragonfly NM3121, 1 Dark-green Fritillary NM3121, 1 Small Heath NM3121, 2 Meadow Brown NM3121 and at least 4 Green-veined White NM3221 butterflies and flowering Marsh St John's-wort.
On a walk from Knockvologan to Tràigh Gheal there were Lesser Redpolls heard near Torr Fada, 2 Green-veined White near Knockvologan, 1 near Breac-achadh, 1 Small Heath near Breac-achadh, 2 Dark-green Fritillary near Breac-achadh, 1 Meadow Brown near Breac-achadh, 1 Highland Darter dragonfly near Knockvologan, 2 Golden-ringed Dragonflies near Breac-achadh. Branched Bur-reed was at Breac-achadh, 5 Sea Rocket plants were flowering at Tràigh Gheal and, Thyme Broomrape had increased since last visit to about 100 plants at Tràigh Gheal, a patch of Lesser Meadow-rue was flowering at Tràigh Gheal, Pale Butterwort (-13) was flowering at Torr Fada and Pale Persicaria was flowering at Knockvologan.
On the 15th there were 5 House Martins at Ensay. There was 1 Great Skua just to the south of Port Haunn (Scott Smith). At There On a walk to Speinne Mòr there were 2 Sand Martins, 2 juvenile Wheatears and Snipe were drumming and 3 were seen near the summit. Crowberry which is a species I have recently leant to identify was found to be common on any gravely areas and Alpine Clubmoss which I had found near the summit was also found to be abundant at another plateau area near the summit,
On the 16th an immature White-tailed Eagle was seen to south of Ensay (Scott Smith). Reed Bunting was singing vociferously again 100m below Toechtamhor cottage. Normally this species is very quiet at Treshnish perhaps this means there are now more than one pairs. There is till the occasional commotion at the Common Gull colony at Treshnish lochan but the young can also be seen at the shore. Presumably some still roost at the lochan or there is a late fledging. There was at least 1 Sand Martin with the Swallows at Treshnish House. Lesser Redpolls can still be heard flying over Treshnish wood and over the woods below the cow-barn. A group of 8 Twite were just past the cow-barn on the way to Haunn cottages and in the evening a male was seen feeding young and mating with a female near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Adult Siskins with young were also seen near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There were 2 Basking Sharks offshore from to the west of Sunipol (Scott Smith).
Also on the 16th, there were at least 4 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Meadow Brown by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 2 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Dark-green Fritillary by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, all butterflies. There was 1 Highland Darter dragonfly between Treshnish and Haunn cottages. Common Knapweed (0) and Field Gentian (-10) were flowering around Toechtamhor cottage.
On the 17th a possible Peregrine was seen above the Common Gull colony at Treshnish lochan (no binoculars) and there was also a possible Golden Eagle there earlier in the day. 1 Dark-green Fritillary, 2 Green-veined White butterflies and 1 Highland Darter dragonfly were by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 18th 1 Golden Eagle was over Beinn Duill, 1 Reed Bunting was singing in front of Toechtamhor cottage and the Common Gull colony was still showing the occasional signs of alarm. There was 1 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 at Haunn, 1 Dark-green Fritillary between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, all butterflies. 1 Lesser Yellow Underwing and 1 Dark Arches were found dead in Toechtamhor cottage.
On the 19th during sheep-gathering a covey of about 15 Red Grouse were flushed above Treshnish cow-barn. This is the largest number seen in the area for several years.
On the 20th adult Siskin was seen feeding a fledged juvenile in Treshnish wood and Lesser Redpoll were heard overhead. There were 3 Sand Martins hunting near Ensay burn/Treshnish wood cattle-grid.
There were 3 Green-veined White at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and near Ensay burn/Treshnish wood cattle-grid there were at least 7 Scotch Argus and 1 Dark-green Fritillary and 1 Green-veined White butterflies. A Six-striped Rustic moth was found alive inside Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. Although this moth is common in Britain I have only caught 3 individuals in 3 years and so it does not appear to be common on Mull.
No luck so far searching for the Broad-leaved Helleborine plant, which was found in the wood on 5th September 2007, when the flowers were fading, perhaps it is still too early for this late species but this species does not flower every year. Broad-leaved Helleborine is very rare on Mull but the neighbour reported a Fly Orchid in the Ensay field only about 200m to the northeast of the Broad-leaved Helleborine site and since Fly Orchid does not occur in Scotland I am pretty sure she must have seen Broad-leaved Helleborine. Devil’s-bit Scabious (+8) and Sneezewort (+14) were flowering near Ensay burn/Treshnish wood cattle-grid.
On the 21st there were 2 possible Mistle Thrushes near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse but they flew into cover before I could get a better look. I have never seen this species in the summer months in this 10x10km square.
On the 22nd there was a newly fledged Reed Bunting, several Sand Martins (must be nests nearby), 5 Dunlin and 1 adult Ringed Plover with 2 chicks at Ardalanish beach. There were 3 Green-veined White and 2 Scotch Argus were by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, 1 Small Tortoiseshell by Ardalanish beach car park, 3 Common Blue, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Grayling, 1 Dark-green Fritillary and many Green-veined White butterflies were by Ardalanish beach. 3 Grayling, 1 Scotch Argus and 1 Painted Lady butterflies were also to east of Ardalanish beach.
Plants at Ardalanish included: Biting Stonecrop, Common Centaury, Crowberry, Field Gentian (70), Frog Orchid (160), Greater Sea-spurrey, Hemp-agrimony, Kidney Vetch, Lesser Meadow-rue, Marsh St John's-wort, Prickly Saltwort, Purple-loosestrife, Ray's Knotgrass, Sea Rocket, Sea Sandwort, Sea-milkwort, Sea Radish, hybrid Cirsium arvense x palustre and Hairy Rock-cress.
On the 23rd there was a Tawny Owl heard at night at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse where during the day there were also 2 newly fledged Lesser Redpolls with the female adult. There was 1 Dark-green Fritillary between Treshnish and Haunn cottages, 1 Scotch Argus, 3 Green-veined White and 1 Speckled Wood by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse, all butterflies.
At night 30 species of macro-moths came to the light-tap. Of these the most interesting were Garden Tiger, Burnished Brass, Gold Spangle, V-Pug, Ingrailed Clay and The Grey. The Grey is the rarest moth found at Treshnish and this is only the second one I have caught in the 4 years I have been trapping. The other was caught on 12th May 2007 and I have just been informed that that was the first one found in 12 years in the whole of Scotland! This species is only found in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland. A possible Mottled Rustic was also caught but it was badly worn and as this would be a first for Mull it will need further confirmation.
On the 24th a White-tailed Eagle flew from Treshnish Point towards Calgary and a Sparrowhawk was alarming the remaining Common Gull pair over Treshnish lochan and a Hen Harrier flew behind Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Grayling, 3 Green-veined White butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse where there was also 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly.
On the 25th there was a newly fledged Goldfinch family at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. During a walk near Scoor on the Ross of Mull there was a newly fledged Spotted Flycatcher and Sand Martins near a nest site by Loch Assapol. To the south of Scoor there were 7 House Martins and several feral goats. At Ardalanish beach there were 3 unidentified divers in flight.
There was 1 Dark-green Fritillary and 1 Peacock butterflies at Loch Assapol. To the south of Scoor there was 1 Green-veined White butterfly and at the nearby beach Tràigh Bhàn na Sgùrr there were 2 Grayling. There was 1 Peacock and 1 Green-veined White butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. There was 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Loch Assapol and 1 Highland Darter dragonfly to the south of Scoor.
Plants found at Tràigh Bhàn na Sgùrra included: Field Gentian, Common Centaury, Carline Thistle, Fragrant Orchid, Hemp-agrimony, Lesser Meadow-rue, Agrimony, Scarlet Pimpernel, Hop Trefoil, Common Stork's-bill, Skullcap, Greater Sea-spurrey, Prickly Saltwort, Sea Sandwort, Field Madder, Scots Lovage, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Gypsywort, Thyme-leaved Sandwort. Marsh St John's-wort was found at Scoor and another 20 more Frog Orchids and over 100 Common Centaury were found near the previous site at Ardalanish beach.
On the 26th there was a newly fledged Goldcrest and 2 Wood Pigeons and Lesser Redpolls in Treshnish wood and at least 2 Sand Martins were near Treshnish Old Schoolhouse where they have been seen regularly for the last few days. A second calendar male Hen Harrier was below Treshnish House. There was 1 Green-veined White, 1 Scotch Argus butterflies by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 1 Grayling by Ensay burn mouth.
Field Gentian and Common Centaury were found at a new site by Ensay burn mouth.
On the 27th during a walk around the crater 'S Airde Beinn with the county recorder Lynne Farrell we saw 1 Peregrine and 1 Red Grouse.
We found many Lesser Twayblade orchids amongst the heather and on the track from the main road to Glengorm (near the road) she showed me the minute Chaffweed. Other notable plants for me were common but easily over-looked plants such as Delicate Stonewort, Shoreweed, Alternate Water-milfoil, Hairy Bitter-cress, Equal-leaved Knotgrass, New Zealand Willowherb and Knotted Pearlwort. Numerous grass, sedge and rush species were also pointed out by Lynne and she identified my samples of Thyme-leaved Sandwort from Calgary, Wall Speedwell from various localities and Meadow Foxtail from Treshnish boathouse (a new species for the Treshnish and Calgary 10x10km squares).
There were 4 Scotch Argus and 1 Small Heath butterflies and 1 Fox Moth caterpillars near Mishnish with another Fox Moth caterpillar higher up the track. To the west of 'S Airde Beinn there was 1 Meadow Brown butterfly, 1 Magpie Moth, 1 Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly, 1 Common Hawker dragonfly and 2 Common Blue Damselflies.
On the 28th there was 1 Scotch Argus butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse. No Irish Lady’s-tresses orchid were found at the old site at Mornish.
On the 29th there were 3 Lapwings near Frachadil and 1 Meadow Pipit fledgling still unable to fly at Bennan. A dead Barn Owl was found beside a fence at the edge of a copse at Bennan and 1 Mountain Hare at Bennan. There was 1 Green-veined White by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse and 5+ at Bennan, 1 Painted Lady by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse with another 2 fresh looking ones at Bennan and 10+ Scotch Argus at Bennan, all butterflies.
At night only 20 species of macro-moth came to the light-trap but one, Lempke's Gold Spot was new for Treshnish. Garden Tiger and Ingrailed Clay were the least common species although the latter has been more common than in previous years.
On the 30th over 30 Sand Martins flew over Treshnish old Schoolhouse, 20 Twite were at Haunn and a male Hen Harrier was seen by Treshnish House. 2 Green-veined White, 1 Painted Lady, 2+ Scotch Argus butterflies and 1 Brimstone moth were flying by day at Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.
On the 31st there is still one Common Gull, which is often alarmed by raptors at Treshnish lochan. There was 1 Grayling butterfly by Treshnish Old Schoolhouse.