September 20229th October 2022
November 20222nd December 2022
Autumn sees Mull become quieter, with the departure of the hirundines and many of the other breeding birds, those that contribute to the soundtrack of the summer. I really miss the sound of swallows chattering overhead, and sandpipers peeping along the shores.
Mull does see flocks of migrant birds passing through though, and groups of birds together are of course attractive to predators, so I'm always on alert when I see a flock around.
One very blustery day, whilst I was running a workshop, I spotted a small falcon darting along the shore, and it perched up behind a sprainting mound (created by years of otters going to the toilet there). My client managed to get a shot and by then, I had the bird in my binoculars... a merlin! But before I could try to get a photo, it took off, and vanished down the loch. Gutted, to say the least.
I suggested that my client keep an eye out for anything perched on rocks as we trundled along, and he almost immediately spotted something. I stopped, and we both realised it was just an oystercatcher. My heart sank. But moments later, another bird was spotted on a rock, and as soon as I looked over, I knew he'd found the merlin again.
With the wretched weather battering anything out in it, the merlin didn't seem keen to move, so I was able to park the car relatively close by, and get the shot I had hoped for.
I know I have many images of raptors on Mull, but merlin are so difficult to see, and usually so far away when they do show. So this was a special moment, even for me.