Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Western Isles inc. Mull - 27th-29th March 2011.

Above & below: Pied-billed Grebe, Salen Bay, Mull. Three videograbs of this excellent but elusive and frustratingly mobile bird taken at 350x magnification.

Above: Basking Shark, 28th March 2011. The first Scottish record this year and only the third in UK and Irish waters so far in 2011. Common Dolphin also seen.

Away from Mull, I was fortunate to be involved with the finding of two more White-billed Divers.

Above: The first WBD - 27th March 2011.

Below: The second WBD - 28th March 2011.

Below: Great Northern Diver. A few hundred seen. One birder on Mull counted 69 in Loch Na Keal alone. How many thousands must winter off the coast of Britain and Ireland? 17, mainly summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe were seen in Loch Na Keal and a Red-necked Grebe which I saw at the beginning of March was still present very distantly in Laggan Bay, Loch Tuath. Wheatears were clearly well in with several around the shoreline of Loch Na Keal

Above: Three Razorbill & a single Guillemot.

On Mull, a pair of Peregrine are delighting birders and tourists alike at Tobermory Harbour. For those familiar with Tobermory, the birds perch on the Church by the waterfront shops, allowing brilliant views and photos in between hunting sorties, terrorising the Feral Pigeon population as they chase their intended prey low over the buildings.

Above & below: Common Buzzard.

Above: Golden Eagle, Loch Na Keal, Mull. A couple 0f White-tailed Eagles were seen on a distant nest at another location.

Above: One of two Otter stubbornly remaining on the blind side of a rock. Four Otter seen at different locations on 29th. Mull truly is the Otter capital of Britain!

Above: Rock Pipit.