February 2006

Birds of Treshnish and North Mull

(All sightings are from Treshnish Farm by Anand Prasad unless stated otherwise. Abbreviations of observers are given to respect internet privacy. If you have anything to add please let Prasad know if your name can used).

Water Rail: 1 in early January at Dervaig (Caroline Woods on www.mullbirds.com)

Feb 13
Magpie: 1 at Calgary (David Sexton on www.mullbirds.com)
Feb 21
Hen Harrier: 1 male in between Haunn cottages and Treshnish Point (JH has seen it there occasionally on previous dates)
Golden Eagle: a pair of adults were seen virtually all day mutual soaring (a breeding display). This activity with occasional undulation display, continued up until about 1st March after which they were seen less and less
Skylark: On this sunny day heard singing and also heard on subsequent sunny days
Otter: 3 to south of Port Haunn, 1 adult with 2 cubs
Feb 23
Sparrowhawk: 1 fairly high up gliding into the wind; using this slow surveillance technique as the approach to an attack
Otter: 1 along shore, about two thirds of the way between Treshnish House and the point
Feb 24
Golden Eagle: 3 above Calgary Bay, one was an immature.

Overview Feb 21-26
In general: there are plenty of small flocks of Skylark, Starling and Fieldfare/Redwing around.
There are at least two pairs each of Stonechat and Ravens, several Pheasants, a small group of Hooded Crows and a flock of Common Gulls and Golden Plover commonly seen between Treshnish and Haunn cottages. Small numbers of Song Thrush can be seen near all the cottages and Dunnock, Robin, Wren and Blackbird are also fairly common and Treecreeper can be found in Treshnish wood. Meadow Pipits were seen occasionally in singles and the odd Mistle Thrush can be found along with the wintering thrush flocks. Common Snipe can be flushed from just about anywhere. The Treshnish House bird-feeders have good numbers of tits and particularly high numbers of Chaffinch with fewer Greenfinch and occasional Goldfinch. House Sparrows are also present in small numbers around the Farm buildings. No Yellowhammer, Siskin, Brambling, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll or Twite noted although not much time has been spent watching the garden feeders.
Birds noted in smaller numbers along the shore include: Grey Heron (singles), Curlew (1-5), Great Black-backed Gull (fairly common), Herring Gull (fairly common) Cormorant (fairly common but much less so than Shag), Shag (common), Oystercatcher (common) and Rock Dove (up to about 5 at Treshnish Point).
So far no Rock Pipit have been seen along the shore at Treshnish. Turnstone and Purple Sandpiper have also been un-recorded along any of the coastline so far explored but no doubt they both occur in the winter.

Feb 28
Little Grebe: 1 at Tobermory
Whooper Swan: 4 on Loch Peallach
Shelduck: 1 at Calgary Bay
Redshank and Common Snipe: small numbers seen well beside road at Dervaig
Bullfinch: 5 between Calgary and Dervaig (my first on Mull)
Tobermory town birds were very tame, perhaps because of the snow they were more intent on food than wary of people