Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday 30th Day in Norfolk

We spent today in Norfolk our main aim was to see if we could see the Pacific Golden Plover at Breydon Water Great Yarmouth after arriving we walked to the hide but this was full and we where told you could only just see the head of the bird we where talking to some  other birders and decided to walk further along the bank to see if we could get a better view of the bird after short time the bird was picked up we had distant but good views, Other birds seen at Breydon Water --  Avocet, Golden Plover, Greenshank, Whimbrel, Black Tailed Godwit, Bar Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, LBB Gull, GBB Gull, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher,
After we had finished at Breydon Water we then decided to drive to Great Ryburgh raptor watchpoint as we drove through some rain showers (or should I say mini monsoons) it was not looking good to do any raptor watching, But as we arrived the rain stopped so we took our chairs and sat up the top of the field we had 4 Common Buzzards, Kestrel, Woodpigeon, but not a lot else after a while it started raining again so back to the car as the rain was getting heavier  we decided to drive to Swanton Novers watch point on arriving it was dry and sunny we spent some time here and did finally have a Honey Buzzard plus Common Buzzard other birds seen Turtle Dove, Stock Dove, Yellowhammer, Skylark, Carrion Crow, We then decided to have another look at Great Ryburgh but all we had where the same Common Buzzards so we called it a day and headed for home

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Scotland (Part Two)

Isle of Mull (Where Eagles Fly)

Day Four 23rd June

Nice clear morning the weather is supposed to be a lot better today while eating breakfast I had 2 Ravens flying over the Ridge plus 2 Grey Herons, Swallow, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush. This mornings plan is for the sisters to visit Torosay Castle while they looked at the castle I took a walk of 1 mile through the woods back to Craignure along the shore for part of the way over looking Duart Bay birds seen Oystercatcher, Curlew, Ringed Plover, Rock Pipit, Red Throated Diver, When I reach Craignure I took the path back through hedgehog-wood to Torosay Castle a walk of about ¾ of a mile woodland birds seen Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, treecreeper, Chaffinch, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Redstart, Crossbill and a Sparrowhawk, on a cleared area there were Whitethroat, Linnet, Meadow Pipits, & Mistle Thrush. I then met up with my sisters and we headed to Grasspoint for lunch and to see if we could find White Tailed Eagle but no luck (found out later that this nest failed last year so not sure about this year but birds have been seen in the area) then on our way back to the main road we did have a Common Buzzard fly over, We then drove back to Knock on route we had to get some petrol (we moan at home when it goes over 102.9 her it is 115.9) and we where told that the weather had been bad for the past 3 Weeks so we are hopping it stays like it was today, as we approached the valley leading to Knock we had a Golden Eagle over our heads we had a look at the humped back bridge to see if we could see Dipper on the river but no luck, on arriving at Knock we spoke to a few people about what had been seen then after a short time we had another Golden Eagle flying over the ridge, (met a couple who will be on the Wildlife Trip Tomorrow) as we left Knock we had a Fallow Deer in the field by the road, we then had a look along the Aros River for Dipper but Again no luck, we then drove back to Salen stopping on the way to see if we could find Otter, All we have had so far are a few glimpses we had more families of Eider, Black Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Red breasted Merganser, Oystercatcher, we then had a look at the spot we had been told about but again no Otter it was now back to the cottage so ending another day on Mull, later just as I was getting ready for bed I looked out of the window and a Woodcock flew over the trees. No evening walk today as tomorrow we are booked on one of the wildlife trips around the Island and this will be a early start, this is so the driver can have a rest from driving for a day

Today’s Weather Hot and Sunny

Day Five 24th Jun

Today we went on one of the Wildlife day trips we chose Discover Mull Click Here We drove to Dervaig where we had a Common Buzzard on the way we started the trip at 09-30 from Dervaig we then drove towards salen along Glen Aros and stopped where we had some Red Dear up on the top of the ridge opposite us we then continued to view the southern end of Loch Frisha and had a look to see if we could see the White Tailed Eagle with no luck, other birds seen along this drive where Curlew, Lapwing, Snipe, we where then taken to a few of the spots that we had already done for Otter but still with no luck, at one of the spots we Heard a Wood Warbler singing witch I located, Then on to a new spot for White Tailed Eagle where we had very good views of a the female sitting in a tree witch we watched while having coffee and biscuits We then drove to Knock as we arrived we where told that there was a Golden Eagle sitting on the bluff above us witch we located and had very good views off (we where told that the bird had been sitting there for the past three hours) it was now back to Salen for a comfort stop and another look for Otter but not one to be found, the rest of the day was to the north west of the island. We had lunch of home made soup and a mix of sandwiches over looking Loch Tuathwhere I found a Sedge Warbler, we also had some more Red Deer, we then moved on to Eas Fors waterfalls where we where shown Bog Asphodel bird wise we had Common Buzzard, Kestrel, we then drove on taking in Calgary Bay where we had another toilet stop (not that many on Mull) here we had a Cormorant we then stopped at a spot for Orchids where we had Lesser Butterfly Orchid, Spotted Orchid, Northern Marsh Orchid and Vagrant Orchid then it was on to Caliach Point where we spent a short time watching the sea we had Fulmar, Shag, Kittiwake, Great Skua, Guillemot, Razorbill, Herring Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Common Gull. Other birds seen today included Yellowhammer, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Swallow, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, House Sparrow, Rock Pipit, It was hen back to Devaig so ending a very enjoyable day

Weather today Fine and sunny with a light breeze

Day Six 25th June

Today my sisters wanted to have a look at Duart Castle on route we stopped at Fishnish to see if we could find the elusive Otter still no sign of one then on to the castle I had a wander along the cliffs and around the castle grounds where there were Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow I then found a nice area for Orchids where there was Spotted Orchid, Heath Spotted Orchid and Northern Marsh orchid. After finishing here we went back to Fishnish over looking the sound of mull for lunch our next stop was to have a look at Loch Ba birds seen included Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Raven so our next stop was back to Salen for a comfort stop, we then drove to Topermory our aim now was to stop off at a few spots on the way back again looking for Otter, after a short coffee stop we then stopped at Aros Park where we took a short walk to the reed bed where I located a Grasshopper Warbler, we then continued to drive south stopping at a couple of spots we then stopped at Aros Castle (ruin’s) where we took a walk around the base of the castle where we had a Whooper Swan plus 2 Storm Petrels fly along the sound of Mull we then continued on to the spot for Otter and again no luck, we now drove back to the cottage as we where about to turn into the parking place one of the sisters said what is that we then had good but a brief view of a Golden Eagle flying over the cottage so ending another day on Mull

Weather today sunny with a light wind

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scotland (Part One)

Isle of Mull (Where Eagles Fly)

This trip was a family holiday with myself and two of my sisters as there was a lot of birds and wildlife this report is what I saw

I purchased a copy of The Isle of Mull Bird Report and Species List for 2008 I found this very useful as in the front there is a list of sites with information on what you might see at each site I used this with what knowledge I all ready have of Mull

Note  while reading this report you might think it a bit odd reporting some of the birds but remember on Mull some of these birds are less than 10 pairs so seeing them was quite a achievement others it was a case of being in the right place at the right time and some are common but not that easy to see

Day One 20th June

We left home at 06-40 and took the bus to Heathrow where we then flew to Glasgow the flight was on time after we landed at Glasgow and picked up our hire car it was now 12-00, We then drove to oban got a bit lost coming out of Glasgow Airport but a look at the map and we where back on route, we then got caught behind a car towing a caravan we stopped for a coffee break so we could lose the caravan getting lost and this cost us about ¾ of a hour so we did not reach Oban till 15-30 where we then did a bit of shopping for the next week then we had a look in Oban Harbour where I found a Black Guillemot and Herring Gull now it was of to catch the ferry to Mull while on board we had a meal then went out on deck where we had Kittiwake, Gannet, Lesser & Great Black Backed Gulls, on arriving at Craignure on Mull we then drove the short distance to our cottage that we had booked for the weeks stay, (Kilbeg Cottage near Salen along Glen Forsa)  we where escorted to the cottage and had a short chat with the owner she introduced us to our neighbors          a small herd of Highland Cattle  After unpacking and a drink I decided to go for a walk one of my sisters came with me on leaving the cottage I was scanning the ridge and said our first White Tailed Eagle she got on to it so we went back and got my other sister so she could have a look we then continued to walk down into the glen as we came to the end of a plantation I scanned the ridge again and found 2 White Tailed Eagles I then heard a bird of prey calling on locating the bird it turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon while we where watching this a Male Hen Harrier flew by, I heard a Ring Ouzel singing and got brief views of it then it disappeared behind the plantation and I could not relocate it less than 2 hours on the Island, we then returned to the cottage where I looked out of my bedroom window and found a Barn Owl. We also have Swallows nesting on the end of the cottage

Today’s weather was fine and clear with light showers to the ferry then when on mull bright and sunny turning cold

Day Two 21th June

This morning we decided to have a drive around the north of the island and we where glad we did as driving on single track roads is tiring and slow so gave us a chance to judge how long it would take to get to some of the places as we are booked on a wildlife trip later in the week that leaves from Devaig on the north of the island. We had a look at a spot the owner of the cottage told us about for Otter but no luck. As we took the B road to Ulva we had 2 Common Buzzards, Raven, Blackbird, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, we arrived at the car park where you catch the ferry to Ulva birds seen included more Meadow Pipits, Skylark, Oystercatcher, and our first White Tailed Eagle of the day, we now decided to drive to Tobermory on route we stopped a few times and we had Eider, Red Breasted Merganser on the sea. we also had Raven, Hooded Crow, Herring Gull, Starling, We then spent some time in Tobermory      after which we drove to Dervaig on the way back we stopped at the northern end of Loch Frisa where we had a White Tailed Eagle sitting on top of the ridge other birds where Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Swallow and we looked up above us to find a Golden Eagle that gave good views, We now returned to Salen and the spot for Otter but still no luck then it was back to the cottage where we had a look at some Orchids near the cottage witch we identified as Heath Spotted Orchid and Early Marsh Orchid,  It then started to rain so we had a we dram of Malt and our evening Meal

Weather for today Fine and clear rain early evening


Day Three 22nd  June

Woke up to rain today, We had planned to take a bout trip to Staffa but after a quick call to the tour company we where advised that the trip would probably not take place so had to reschedule our plans for today, we decided to have a look at The Ross of Mull area, on route we stopped at Garmony Point near Craignure birds seen included Eider,  Shag, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Red Breasted Merganser, Goosander, Willow Warbler, We then stopped a bit further down the road and added on Greylag Goose, & Canada Goose, our next stop was Lochdon looking for White Tailed Eagle but with no luck but we did have a Swift , we then drove to Fionnphort stopping at Pennyghael for a coffee stop where I had Twit, Hooded Crow, Pied Wagtail, plus a family of Eider. Other birds seen on Ross of Mull, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pure Rock Dove, Mistle Thrush, Sand Martin, Whinchat. I Was thinking of going over to Iona for the Corncrake  but when we got to Fionnphort the mist was so thick there did not seem much point so we just had a look at a couple of the roads leading from Fionnphort after witch We then drove back to a spot that we new of for White Tailed Eagle where we had the female sitting near the nest and could just see the head of a young bird in the nest we where told that the male was sitting in a tree about a quarter of a mile away witch I located we then drove the scenic route back to Salen witch was covered in mist so no chance of seeing Golden Eagle we then had a look at the spot for Otter but still no luck we then returned to our cottage for our evening meal then at 19-30 we went for a short walk by the river birds seen Willow Warbler, Grey Wagtail, Swallow. Then It was back to the cottage so ending another day on Mull

Today’s Weather mostly rain with a few dry periods 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Will be putting up my report from Mull soon this will be in three parts as it is quite a long report and I do not want to bore you to much I am still getting some of the pictures together I am still having a problem uploading video footage so will be posting some pictures of the trip as a separate report so keep watching this space