31st: A pod of at least 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Calgary Bay. They came right under the cliffs but I couldn't get any photos with my slow-focusing Limux. When they were far off I got some shots but light was poor.

30th: 1 Snow Bunting (flew in mainland direction) and 19 Canada Geese at far west side of Craignure golfcourse near the eagle-watch sign, 2 Iceland Gulls at Knock outfalls (1st winter

& 2nd winter)

and 1 (1st winter) Glaucous Gull at TrĂ igh na Cille, Kilninian,

1 Slavonian Grebe from Kellan, Loch na Keal,  1 Greenshank and 1 Redshank at Lagganulva
In the morning 1 White-tailed Eagle flew out to the rocks offshore from west end of Craignure Golfcourse and at 4pm 1 yellow-tagged adult flew low over Treshnish wood, presumably the same bird as on the 27th.
1 Mistle Thrush at Mornish Schoolhouse and 2 at the Killiechronan junction with at least 3 Redwings at Killiechronan.

Starling on one our neighbours tups.

1 Otter at Kilininian.
29th: A pair of Great Northern Divers were calling to each other and a pair of Shelduck at Calgary (perhaps returning breeders).
27th: A yellow-tagged adult White-tailed Eagle flew from Treshnish lochan towards Calgary

and there was  a Golden Eagle over Ensay.
There were at least 8 Fieldfares at Ensay farmhouse.
A Jay was at Ardrioch, Dervaig (Arthur Brown pers. com.).
The Buzzards were enjoying the sun with a lot of display activity.

12th: I woke up to the sound of Golden Eagles calling around Treshnish wood. An hour later as I left to catch the ferry the pair soared over our house.

There was an Otter and at least 1 cub at Lainne Sgeir, Calgary being watched by Arthur Brown and as we approached Calgary beach a pale gull flew west; it was a first winter Iceland Gull.
Then at Fishnish there was an adult White-tailed Eagle. So again the big 3 in 45 minutes although I didn't have time to look at the Otters.
Obviously seeing the 2 eagle species and Otter in one day is not very difficult. I know the tour guides must see all 3 frequently and now we have 2 pairs of White-tailed Eagles setting up territories nearby it will be easier and easier. Winter is also just as easy to see these species and although a lot of smaller breeding birds leave the island for the winter, a visit now allows the opportunity to see winter migrants such as Great Northern Diver which is common, Slavonian Grebe in Loch na Keal and Whooper Swan. A visit right now will guarantee Iceland Gull!
There was a drake Goosander and 1 Greenshank at Aros estuary.
11th: Pair of Gadwall and 3 Fulmars at Caliach.
I did some research last night. This Iceland/Glaucous influx is definitely a record breaker in Argyll. 'Birds of Argyll' (Argyll Bird Club) has the previous record for Iceland Gull as 33 in the whole winter of 2004/2005, which was in itself double the previous highest. To get this into perspective, we have had at least 73 in just 10 days, since the new year! The Glaucous Gull record will undoubtedly also be broken, the previous record being 30 in that same winter (again doubling the previous record) compared with 28 so far since the new year.
Whist reading Birds of Argyll I came across some other interesting records some of which I mentioned in my North Mull annotated list (download link in right column). For a start it tells us that the origin of the Scottish Glaucous gulls 'is unclear, but may include Iceland as well as Greenland, Norway and Svalbard.' These scarce winter migrants usually only stay for the winter months but it also notes a Glaucous Gull which 'was first seen at Tobermory on 13 June 1979...and remained until April 1984' and the same book also mentions a Glaucous at Craignure on 18 June 1993, which was thought to be hybrid with a Herring Gull. Other literature mentions that Glaucous Gull hybridises with Herring Gull in Iceland.
Argyll Birds also lists Mull as being one of the best places for these two species.
No doubt it is worth checking for the rare Kumlien's Gull amongst this massive influx. There had been no accepted records of this Canadian race of Iceland Gull although a long staying bird in mainland Argyll this winter may change this.
10th: 1 (prob 2nd winter) Iceland Gull at Caliach flew to nr Sunipol gate and then Langamull coast (gull on right).

There has been an influx of these gulls in north-west Scotland. In Argyll alone there have been over 73 Iceland Gulls seen in the last 10 days plus at least 28 Glaucous Gulls. The name Iceland Gull is misleading. They do not breed in Iceland but in Greenland but are common in Iceland in the winter and each year a few turn up in Argyll but this year is exceptional. Glaucous Gull breeds in Iceland, Spitsbergen, Svalbad and arctic Russia as well as arctic Canada.
There were also 2 Purple Sandpipers on Lainne Sgeir, Calgary.
Usual suspect: Buzzard.

9th: 2 Golden Eagles at the cliffs by Lainne Sgeir, Calgary;

4 Iceland Gulls near Killiechronan (2 at and around Knock-Salen junction

and another 2 on sand-spit off Killiechronan). I am pretty sure they were all 2nd winters;

2 Slavonian Grebes off Killiechronan; 2 Short-eared Owls at dusk on Reudle road (1 nr summit and 1 nr Schoolhouse); 2+ Long-tailed Tits along the burn-side to west of Penmore crossroad;

at least 1 Rook at Laggan.
A Tawny Owl was hooting in Treshnish (we usually only hear the kwik call).
Usual suspects: Buzzard

and Robin.

8th: There was a mother Otter with 2 cubs fishing and what looked like playing in the largest pool on Lainne Sgeir, Calgary and within 30 minutes of leaving them, 2 White-tailed Eagles over Dervaig and 1 immature Golden Eagle over Achnacraig, Glen Bellart. I don't think I have seen all of the 'big 3' in one day before, never mind within half an hour. Then a few minutes later there  was another Otter at Salen Bay bench.

The Hooded Crows are too tempted to try to grab the Otter's tail.

It was late and raining but at Salen bay I managed to find at least 1 Iceland Gull along with the Glaucous Gull which Arthur Brown found yesterday. It was too dark for photos and the they were on the far side of a rocky islet so didn't show well.
There was also at least 1 Turnstone at Lainne Sgeir, 2 Mistle Thrushes near Mornish Schoolhouse and another 2 to the east of Crannich, Glen Aros.
Now the new bird atlas recording is over, I decided to extract all my data as I presume it will not be available after the last data entry date in March. I also decided to download all my Birdtrack and Breeding Birds data and add it all to my MapMate program. Now at a touch of the button I have access to my most interesting bird records. I only have first and last dates and dates of proof of breeding for the common migrants but for some species, e.g. most of the birds of prey and those below are species I record every time I see them. The data is now easy to access but I also have instant maps and graphs. These are only my records (plus some from guests), so biased to the Treshnish-Calgary area.

6th: A Tawny Owl was heard, as usual, at night in Treshnish wood.
5th: A female Golden Eagle was soaring just to the west of Treshnish cottages for several hour at mid-day but not when I went for the camera. So here is one touched up from the 3rd.

At least 1 Greenfinch on Treshnish bird-feeders
4th: A Golden Eagle was heard and seen briefly below, and probably in, Treshnish wood.
3rd: 1 Barnacle Goose below Treshnish House landed somewhere near the boathouse

where a Short-eared Owl was flushed from nearby on the ground at the saltmarsh there (these are the only 2 true winter records I have for these species). A Sparrowhawk flew over there too.
A Golden Eagle was heard at Treshnish wood and seen along the northern coastal strip

and what I am pretty sure was a Hen Harrier on Cruchan Treshnish - Beinn Duill.
Got home to hear that Arthur Brown saw a Little Auk at Caliach. I have never seen a Little Auk!
2nd: at least 1 Greenfinch on the Treshnish House feeder and 1 Mountain Hare in Treshnish wood.
1st: 1 first winter Iceland Gull flew west along the shore below Treshnish House.

Taking a shot of a flying bird against a background is difficult. I took 12 shots and, luckily with one, I managed to trick the camera into not focusing on the sea. I also didn't have time to change the speed setting so at 1/200th of a second, it didn't come out too bad on a dull day. At least I know it wasn't a Glaucous Gull (which is larger and has bi-coloured bill).