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Wildlife in and around the city of Bristol

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Bristol and Avon Bird

Sightings

June 2021

Foulshaw Moss NNR
4th June 2021

On our way up to Gretna Green, we stopped at Foulshaw Moss NNR to have a look around. A Large Red Damselfly was perched on a post by the car park. We saw a few birds on and around the feeding station during our visit. These included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Goldfinches, Tree Sparrows, Reed Buntings, Lesser Redpolls, Common Pheasants, Blackbirand Greenfinch. We were early for the Large Heath, which was why they weren't any about. We saw a Four-spotted Chaser from the boardwalk. We had a look at the Osprey nest and saw a distant Osprey flying over the trees. The chicks looked like they were doing well on the webcam.Afterwards we continued our journey to the B&B in Gretna.

Lesser Redpoll [Male]

Large Red Damselfly [Female]

Goldfinch [Adult]

Greenfinch [Female]

Tree Sparrow [Adult]

Reed Bunting [Male]

Common Pheasant [Male]

Four-spotted Chaser

Great Spotted Woodpecker [Male]

Glasdrum Woods NNR & Oban 5th June 2021

We travelled up towards Oban and popped into Glasdrum Woods NNR to looked for the Chequered Skipper. When we arrived the temparture was fairly cold due to the rain shower. We did see a Small Pearl-boarded Fritillary resting in the grass. As it got a bit warmer, we saw a Chequered Skipper perched on the top of a small tree. It was the only Skipper we saw this visit to the area.

When we got to Oban. We still had a bit of time left before catching the ferry across to Mull, so we spent about an hour watching the Black Guillemots here that nest in the harbour wall. We then made our way to catch the 18:00 ferry to Craignure & down to the cottage at Pennyghael.

Chequered Skipper

Small Pearl-boarded Fritillary

Chequered Skipper

Black Guillemot [Summer]

Mull Charters 8th June 2021

On our way to the Ulva Ferry jetty for Mull Charters, we spotted some Red Deer in a field near Pennyghael. We pulled into a layby on by the bank of Loch na Keal, where we saw one of the White-tailed Eagles perched in the tree. There was also a Grey Heron standing at the lochside. We caught the boat from the Ulva ferry port & headed onto Loch Tuath. We saw a Common Seal, Shags, Herring Gulls & of course the majestic White-tailed Eagle fishing at close quarters on several occasions.


Red Deer [Female]

Afterwards, we headed out to look for Seabirds and Dolphins. We had an incredible experience of see Bottlenose Dolphins at very close quarters near to the boat. Then they drifted further away to start foraging, but not before giving us a couple of jumps. In the distance, we saw a few of the Treshnish Isles of Fladda, Lunga and Bac Mor,the ‘Dutchman's Cap’. We headed back into Loch Tuath & to the Ulva ferry port. By now it was starting to rain quite a bit. A Juvenile Grey Heron stood at the edge of the beach. We made our way slowly back to Pennyghael. We had a brief view of some Fallow Deer at Gruline but they spotted us and disappeared to the other side. When me & Mum walked from the bridge, we heard the water splashing as they crossed over the river and further down & out of sight. Back on the bridge, we saw a Dipper fly in & land on one of the stones giving us an excellent view. A Female Goosander was seen on Loch na Keal on this occasion, instead of the usual Red-breasted Merganser.

Grey Heron [Adult]

White-tailed Eagle [Adult]

European Shag [Juvenile]

Herring Gull [2nd Summer]

White-tailed Eagle [Adult]

Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins

Dipper [Adult]

Goosander [Female]

Bottlenose Dolphins

Meathop Moss NNR, Latterbarrow & Foulshaw Moss NNR 12th June 2021

After catching the early ferry back to Oban, we drove down to Cumbria. Me and Dad explored around the reserve of Meathop Moss NNR to look for Large Heath. We saw a few flying around the heath, but none settled. Eventually, we saw one perched. Unlike the Scottish example, which you will see in July's edition, the English example has small black spots towards the rear of the hindwing. Like the Small Heath, it never opens it's wings at rest to show the upperwings. We headed to Latterbarrow for the Northern Brown Argus. We saw one Dingy Skipper & a few Small Pearl-boarded Fritillaries. Very small numbers of Northern Brown Argus were seen during our visit, one settled long enough for a couple of pics before flying off. Finally we ended our holiday with a visit to Foulshaw Moss NNR. A couple more Large Heaths were flying around the heath, but none settled. A Reed Bunting and Willow Warbler were singing around the reserve. The Willow Warbler was also seen singing on the same branch on our way up to Scotland. A good week, but I wish the weather had been a bit dryer and less midges about.


Large Heath [English form]

Large Heath [English form]

Small Pearl-boarded Fritillary

Northern Brown Argus a

Small Pearl-boarded Fritillary

Reed Bunting [Male]

Pennyghael, Glen More, Salen, Dervaig 11th June 2021

After a week of feeding the birds at the cottage in Pennyghael, today we saw a few more birds visiting the garden other than House Sparrows. Coal Tits, Siskins, Chaffinches & Redpoll. Hope the next people carry on feeding. It was still quite wet so today we headed through Glen More again where we had a brief view of a Short-eared Owl fly over the road. We didn't see much going over the moor to Dervaig, except Lapwing including a Juvenile & a Female Northern Wheatear. On the road to Eas Fors, we saw and heard a distant Cuckoo. We had a quick look at the waterfall in between showers before going to Loch Ba for a walk as it has stopped raining. We saw a White-tailed Eagle catch a fish and fly off with it. We didn’t go very far as it had started to rain again, so we made our way back to the cottage. In the early evening, we were surprised to see a Hedgehog on the patio under the bird feeder. I didn’t realise that they had any on Mull.

Siskin [Male]

House Sparrow [Female]

Coal Tit [Adult]

Siskin [Male]

Lapwing [Juvenile]

Northern Wheatear [Female]

Short-eared Owl [Adult]

Hedgehog, Pennyghael

Eas Fors

Eas Fors

Dervaig

Glen More, Loch Spelve & Grasspoint 10th June 2021

We started our 5th day on Mull, with some more views of the Golden Eagles in the Glen More Valley. The Female spent most of the time on the lower ledge (it’s not sat on a nest). The Male on the other hand, had been out hunting and brought back a Hare, which we thought he was going to take to the nest site. Instead, he took it further over the other side of the road, up in the hills. Perhaps he had left some for the female to take to the nest.

We left them to it & continued to Loch Spelve. We saw same Red Deer in the field on the way. In the small woodland we saw a Male Common Redstart. On banks of Loch Spelve was a Male Northern Wheatear. On the shoreline was a family of Oystercatchers. The Chicks were being fed by the Adults. Suddenly, a Great Black-backed Gull attacked the family. Despite both parents defending as best they could, the Gull swooped in and grabbed a Chick. Fortunately, the pair still had 2 Chicks, only hope the Gull doesn’t come back. Further down we saw a few more Northern Wheatears & Rock Pipits. A couple of Barn Swallows were perched on a wire fence drying off in a brief dry spell. There were a few Common Gulls nesting in the field by the loch. A couple of Ravens were perched nearby. Probably up to no good like the GBB Gull. We saw a Meadow Pipit perched on a rock on the way back up the loch. Further along by the woods we saw a spectacular sight of a White-tailed & Golden Eagles being mobbed by a Hooded Crow over a distant hillside. We watched them for a while before the Golden Eagle flew overhead chased by the Crow. We drove down to Grass Point where we saw some more Red Deer and a herd of Highland Cattle with some young ones. We had an excellent view of Lisemore Lighthouse, which we passed on the ferry.  

Golden Eagles

Red Deer [Young Male]

Common Redstart [Male]

Northern Wheatear [Female]

Oystercatcher [Juvenile]

Oystercatcher [Summer]

Barn Swallow [Adult]

Rock Pipit [Summer]

Barn Swallow [Adult]

Golden Eagle being mobbed by a Hooded Crow

Red Deer [Group]

Red Deer [Males]

Red Deer [Female]

Highland Calf

Common Eider [Female & Duckling]

Common Redshank [Summer]

We couldn’t see any WT Eagles on the skerries, so we went back to Lochdon and drove down the road to Gorten. All of a sudden, a male Hen Harrier flew over the car and we watched it fly down the loch into the distance. Wonderful sight! Near Pennyghael on Loch Scridain there was a family of Common Eiders and a Male Stonechat was perched on wire. In the evening we watched a Short-eared Owl hunting near Loch Scridain. A good day albeit a tad wet at times.

Barn Swallow [Adult]

 Loch na Keal & Calgary Bay 9th June 2021

On day 4, we headed back up to Loch na Keal for another drive along side the loch. It was very wet today, so we had to do all our wildlife watching from the car. As usual, fairly early morning is the best time to see the Red Deer near Pennyghael. On the banks of Loch na Keal, we saw a Curlew foraging for insects. A Skylark was seen in subsong by the road briefly. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, with very misty condtions at Calgary Bay. I photographed a couple of Juvenile Pied Wagtails on the wall along the entrance road to the car park. A Hooded Crow was perched by the picnic table, looking very soggy and bedraggled. We headed back over the moors, but the mist was making it hard to see much. I think also the birds were just keeping their heads down in the rain. I don’t blame them! An Oystercatcher was resting on a nest by Loch na Keal, trying to keep the eggs nice and dry. Her mate was nearby perched on the rock. A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were seen on the edge of the loch. From the bridge in Pennyghael, we saw a Grey Heron.

Red Deer [Female]

Curlew [Adult]

Skylark [Male]

Pied Wagtail [Juvenile]

Hooded Crow [Adult]

Grey Heron [Adult]

Red-breasted Merganser [Eclipse Male]

Oystercatcher [Summer]

Waterfell near Loch na Keal

Aros Castle, Salen

Fidden, Loch Spelve & Glen More 7th June 2021

On our 2nd day, we exlpored the south westerly end of Mull. On Loch Scridain, we saw a Male Red-breasted Merganser and near Bunessan, a Male Common Eider was swimming off shore. We stopped briefly at Fionnphort and looked over to Iona, but decided not to go there this year. We didn't see much in a way of wildlife around Fidden this year, so we headed down to Kintra to look for Mountain Hares. Apart from a few Lapwings, it was very quiet. A Skylark was dust bathing on the road. We went along the back road through Ardtun, where we saw a Male Stonechat perched on a post and a couple of pairs of Hooded Crows were having a disagreement.

We travelled along the road to Loch Spelve. On the southern side of the loch where we saw a Mistle Thrush perched on a wire. While on the northern side, all we saw were some Common Gulls. There was another Common Sandpiper nearby. More family parties of Greylag Geese with goslings by the loch. A Juvenile Stonechat perched on a fence wire. A few Oystercatchers flew past. We went back through the Glen More, where we stopped in a layby & watched a pair of Hen Harriers fly over the ridge. Further down the road, we saw a lot of cars parked on the side and people were looking up. They were watching a pair of Golden Eagles both in flight & perched. They was even a bit of calling heard from one of the birds. With these and White-tailed Eagles is the reason Mull is called ‘Eagle island’ and it was a nice way to the end the day with.

Fionnphort with Iona in the distance

Red-breasted Merganser [Eclipse Male]

Common Eider [Male]

Lapwing [Adult]

Skylark [Adult]

Cracked Rock, Fionnphort

Glen More

Hen Harrier [Male]

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Common Sandpiper [Summer]

Common Gull [Pair]

Loch Scridain & Loch na Keal 6th June 2021

Our first day on the island was to explore along the road by the side of Loch Scridain. We saw our first Common Sandpiper calling on the bank and a Ringed Plover was foraging along the beach. One of the Oystercatchers was having a face-off with an Lamb on the beach. Perhaps it was getting too near to its nest. A couple of Meadow Pipits were bathing in a little stream. We kept a look out for Otters and Mum saw one in the seaweed. Surprisingly, this turned out to be the only Otter we saw this holiday. Other years we’d seen them quite often. We didn’t even see any from the cottage this year.

Common Sandpiper [Summer]

Hooded Crows were everywhere on Mull. Near Loch na Keal, a Rock Pipit was feeding a chick in a dry stone wall. There was a couple of Juvenile Northern Wheatears were also being fed by the Adults. Both Male & Female were foraging by the lochside. The Greylag Geese had a fairly large brood of Goslings. Unlike most parts of the British Isles, these are genuinely wild birds. A Grey Heron was waiting patiently before striking down at the water's edge. There were some Red-breasted Mergansers o Loch na Keal and a White-tailed Eagle was perched on a rock in the middle of the loch. The star bird of the day was an Adult Great Northern Diver in full breeding plumage. Near Pennyghael, a couple more Common Sandpipers called by a small stream. In the evening, me & Dad walked along the road by Loch Scridain. We didn't see much, but saw a very nice Red Deer Stag in the field behind one of the houses.

Ringed Plover [Summer]

Otter [Male]

Hooded Crow [Adult]

Rock Pipit [Summer]

Northern Wheatear [Female]

Greylag Geese [Family]

Greylag Gosling

Red-breasted Merganser [Eclipse Male]

Great Northern Diver [Summer]

Northern Wheatear [Female]

Red Deer [Male]

View from the cottage, Pennyghael

Bluebells, Gruline

Pennyghael at sunset

Grey Heron [Adult]