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.
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.