Monday, 29 August 2011

Holiday Mull

We have just returned from our annual visit to Mull.  The weather was mainly good with more sunny days than rainy and then it was usually just heavy showers and it was amazing how you could find somewhere on the island that was better weather then elsewhere.  The worst day was when we had hired bikes to ride along Loch Frisa and 20 mins into the journey the heavens opened and we got absolutely soaked for about 20 mins and then the rain stopped and it was fine for the rest of the day, typical!!  We did however remove the by now ten ton fleece tops and carried on regardless and actually enjoyed the ride.  We saw all the usual birds however the most noticable sightings this time were the amount of Hen Harriers we had and the number of sites we saw them on a regular basis.  We also saw a Knot which was quite unusual there and at least 7 Black Tailed Godwit.  We also had the best photo opportunity for Sea Eagle this time whilst out walking near the coast.  All in all a very enjoyable time once again.
View from our cottage Window looking up the Sound of Mull where we stayed the second week and then the view from our garden of the cottage we stayed in the first week.

Meadow Pipit on the garden gate of which there were lots around cottage.
Swallow in his nest on the side of the cottage.
And then he was out of his nest.
A Warbler at Craignure
Oystercatchers on the shore
Ravens near Duart Castle

Hen Harriers were everywhere but getting a decent picture was easier said than done.

A very obliging stonechat.
A surprising find was a Knot.
Saw this Sea Eagle fly past whilst I was washing up and we managed to run out and get this photo whilst at the cottage in the glen.
And most mornings when we scanned the view from the cottage on the shore we would see a Sea Eagle sitting on the rocks or otters swimming in the sea or porpoise rising to the surface or if we were lucky all three.
The day we went to Iona it was like being in the Med. it was beautiful.

It was good to find some Black Tailed Godwits and a Whimbrel.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Saltholme and Beyond.

We went for a walk around Saltholme and then onto Greatham Creek and to Seal Sands hide early evening.  Had excellent views of a Ruff and Snipe at Saltholme and could not believe how many Redshank were on Seal Sands from the hide along with large numbers of Curlew and Oystercatcher, a few Dunlin and 1 Grey Plover.
Ruff from Saltholme Hide
Snipe from Phil Stead hide

Little Egret from Phil Stead hide (7 in total)
Dunlin at Greatham Creek
Tufted Ducks from Paddys Pool hide
Common Tern from Paddys Pool hide
Bar Headed Goose from Saltholme hide
Cormorant along Greatham Creek

Friday, 5 August 2011

Holly Blue at last

Holly Blue

Been looking out for the Holly Blue again in the garden for the past week or so and finally saw one this morning.  Followed it around from one side of the garden fence to the other before finally getting a couple of half decent photos feeding on the ivy.  I think this is one of my favourite butterflies which until a couple of years ago had never seen in our garden before.  We even had a speckled wood yesterday on the pyracantha.
Later in the day a trip over the moors  gave us brief views of a cuckoo.