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Friday, 29 May 2015

Mull weekend Day 1

Friday the 22nd and an early start with Mark, Paz and Darren for the first day of a long weekend trip to the Isle of Mull, we were booked on the six-o-clock ferry so we had plenty of time to do a bit of birding on the way up, we had thought of starting at Aberdeen for the Harlequin Duck as Paz still needed it but deemed it a bit ambitious in the end (just as well as it wasn’t seen over the weekend) and instead headed into Speyside and a site Darren had been given for a rogue Capercaillie, no sign though despite an extensive search, maybe a bit late in the season now, not a complete waste though because we nipped up to Avielochan and year ticked Slavonian Grebe. With the day brightening up we headed West for the first of our main target species, Chequered Skipper Butterfly, the site was Glasdrum Woods North of Oban although it had clouded up a bit when we got there, a few Speckled Yellow Moths were flying about which gave us hope and sure enough when the sun managed to break through a couple of the Skippers were found and showed well, a Butterfly tick for three of us, also Pearl Bordered Fritillary present and a scarce White Spotted Sable Moth. Happy with that success we carried on to Oban for the Ferry, we had been hoping to photograph the Black Guillemots but they remained distant, coming closer when we were due to board the Ferry, the sailing was largely uneventful but as it had turned into a lovely evening we dropped our stuff off at the digs in Salen and headed off to Loch na Keal for a couple of hours, a couple of Golden Eagles and a Raven were up over a nearby ridge, an impressive 16 Great Northern Divers, including a raft of 14, were on the Loch, most in full summer plumage and a few Hooded Crows lingered around.
view from Glasdrum Woods car park

nice waterfall

and eventually these little beauties

Black Guillemot at Oban

leaving Oban

a few little boats moored up

accompanied by Lesser Black Backs as usual

Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Kestrel

Great Northern in summer finery

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