Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Scotland Day 9 (Sunday 2nd June)

Hi

On Sunday we visited Calgary Beach on Mull, with the main intention of giving the dogs a play in the sand and surf.  However there was a small Sand Martin colony there which no doubt suffers from the attention of clumsy beach users, and some female Eider were proudly showing off their ducklings.  Other birds noted included Stonechat, Peregrine, Common Tern and common sea-birds.  Several Crossbills were flying around the broken woodland on the headland.

Mull is mostly made up of single track roads with passing places, but despite this it is very much a place to spot wildlife from your car.  We scanned the sea lochs and found plenty of birds but no Otters!  A few Great Northern Divers kept their distance which was a great shame as they were in full summer plumage.

The late afternoon and evening was taken up on a five hour trek on the Bowmore Estate, walking along the side of Loch Ba and the steep sides of Beinn a Ghraig and Ben More.  A waterlogged area held breeding waders in the shape of Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Golden Plover, Lapwing and Oystercatcher.  Common Gulls were also breeding nearby and all joined in the scrum to see off Hooded Crows taking their chicks (unsuccessfully as it happens).  All these birds and the crows turned their attention to a marauding adult White-tailed Eagle as it swept through the valley, and a distant Golden Eagle slowly circled over the high tops.  We walked through a couple of Whinchat territories, and there were small numbers of Wheatear and Tree Pipit to accompany the singing hordes of Willow Warblers.  A few Red-breasted Mergansers rippled the still surface of Loch Ba and several pairs of Common Sandpipers were busy along the loch edge.

A tiring but enjoyable walk, but yet another very late supper by the time we arrived back at our digs!

Regards

E & N

Grey Heron

Eider

Curlew

Common Sandpiper

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