Sunday 24th July
July is a very quiet time for birds especially the small ones. They have finished breeding and are going through the moult and exhausted with feeding chicks I would think. The eagles are on the point of their chicks fledging and some of the birds that have been away breeding have started to return. Today we saw thee beautiful red throated divers still in their breeding colours. A little far for a photograph sadly. Our guests had both Mike and I on the boot and bus tour today. Our short walk took us through forestry and a freshwater loch. A small pond revealed leeches, pond skaters and water beetles, dragon flies and damsel flies flitted across our path and the sunlight highlighted the mountains. Lots of small birds in the trees, difficult to see as they hid amongst the leaves. We did manage chiff chaff, great tit, blue tits and a very elusive green warbler hard to identify. The loch revealed a tufted duck, unusual for Mull. It was a common sight where I worked before at Leighton Moss and It was lovely to see. Walk over and we headed off to look for eagles and otters. We found both. White tailed eagles in the distant tree and coming down to feed on the loch. An otter was feeding off shore. The homemade biscuits and pancakes went down well. Next stop and common seals, we watched a baby feeding from its mum. The males singing their haunting song. Setting off again and Mike spotted an otter crossing the road in front of us. fantastic. It made its way down to the sea, giving us a look as if to say who are you looking at. The day continued to be good, golden eagle chick in the eyrie. it moved around quite a bit then laid low in the edge of the nest and hung its wing down the side. As it was unusually hot in the mountains I would think it was trying to cool down. Mike got a distant photograph (see below) We kept an eye out for the adults and saw one in the distance. we saw it shortly after sitting on top of the hill. Red deer on the hillside and a fantastic view of Ben Moor in the sun. Short eared owl and female hen harrier on a post at our next stop and a white tailed eagle flying over the hill. more red deer in the distance. A young buzzard calling to its parent, lovely to watch s the adult bird flew right past us. Another female hen harrier at our next short stop then we headed for home. White tailed eagles in the trees, eider ducks, curlew and common seals were highlights of our final stop of the day.