Monday, 20 June 2011


This morning we thought we'd give Glen Mor another go to see if we could get another view of the Golden Eagle we saw yesterday. Once again we were up and out nice and early, and the weather was wet but not nearly as bad as it had been. On the way we had a slow drive along Loch Scridan to see if we could see any Otters, but we weren't in luck. We did however get a very unexpected Wader, a Green Sandpiper. Apparently this is a very good record for Mull as they are quite a scarce migrant. But we all had excellent views of it both on the shore and then in the air and we were all 100% confident on our i.d. And so we moved on to Glen Mor and settled in for a good scan. After a while we noticed a Raptor flying in from our left. It wasnt the hoped for Eagle, but it was a stunning male Hen Harrier. As bonuses go this was a beauty! We watched it for a good while as it seemed to take an eternity to glide over the ridge and out of sight. This was a good start. And it didnt take long for it to get a great deal better. To our right the unmistakeable sight of a Golden Eagle came into view. It soared effortlessly along the ridge to our extreme left, circled, then came back over. It did this three or four times before, incredibly another bird flew in and started to mob it. Amazingly it was the Hen Harrier back. Wow. We were watching a Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Hen Harrier. How many times can you say that in your lifetime? We were all awestruck as we watched this fantastic display. Eventually the Harrier flew off, and the Eagle circled a few times before flying quite low over our heads and off into the distance.
Around mid-morning we found ourselves at some woodland at Torrasay. I think it was called Fenella's Wood but I cant be certain. We had a really pleasant stroll for a couple of hours in some quite stunning scenery. We had some nice birds such as Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Bullfinch, Treecreeper and Lesser Redpoll. We also had our first butterflies of the week, Green Veined and Small White, and we had a brand new moth for me, a Speckled Yellow. Dougie enjoyed lots of gorgeous flowers, and we had the unusual experience of watching Gannets and Black Guillemots from inside a wood! A very surreal experience. This walk was one of my favourites of the week.

After the disappointment of the Eagle boat trip on monday, Dougie came up with an ingenious idea. He'd managed to work out where in the bay the boat had taken us, and knew which nest the White Tailed Eagle was sitting on that the boat was targeting, so he thought if we parked the car underneath the nest we may just get to see good views of the Eagle coming out and going to meet the boat for its daily feed. And so we parked the car and waited. We managed to get side tracked very quickly though when an Otter was spotted swimming just offshore. It eventually came aground and we watched it for a short while before it bounded out of view. We then focused back on the Loch. Low and behold, the boat came into view. And low and behold the Eagle went out to meet it. And fantastically it flew right above our heads to get to it. This was simply magnificent. We watched the bird fly out to the boat, take the fish that had been thrown out for it and bring it back to the nest. It actually did this not once but four times in all, each time flying right above our heads there and back. In all the time I've been watching wildlife this is simply one of the best spectacles Ive ever witnessed. Even long after the Eagle had gone and settled down for the night the three of us were still absolutely buzzing. And we probably will be in ten years time!

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