Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote anything and what a fabulous time it’s been. The island has been getting increasingly busier, which mean there are a greater number of people out looking for our returning wildlife. The fantastic weather has also surprised and delighted both visitors and locals alike.
From land lots of the summer migrants have been seen arriving in good numbers. Wood Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, Whinchat, Sedge Warbler, Redstart and Garden Warbler have all been seen in the last week or so with the first Cuckoos being heard as well. It has also been a fantastic time for seeing as well as hearing Corncrake over on Iona. With the vegetation still being quite low these secretive birds lack their usual hiding place and therefore you have a greater chance of spotting them skulking around. The first Mull Magic http://www.mullmagic.com/ Corncrake walk on Iona was very successful, with at least 5 birds being seen or heard.
On the boats it has been a very exciting time. The Puffins and other breeding Seabirds have now arrived in good numbers to the Treshnish Isles and Staffa. As well as the birds, Seals and Harbour Porpoise one of the operators running to Staffa has also seen a Basking Shark, this is still very early for this species, but hopefully within a few weeks they will be being seen on a much more regular basis. The first Minke Whale has also been sighted from a passenger boat from Tobermory. This was seen last Thursday, and another was reported earlier in the week. It’s good to have these visiting Cetaceans back, every spring it is always an anxious time as we can’t take if for granted that they will continue to return year after year with the changes in the marine environment.
The faithful Harbour Porpoise have also been putting on a fantastic show as usual with Ardmore point once again being a hotspot with one boat seeing at least 20 individuals there yesterday. Another species this area is good for is the Sea Eagles. This was where our young pair bred last year and it appears that they are using the same nest again this year; I hope they are as successful at their second attempt, as in 2010 they had two young that fledged the nest and as far as we know are doing well.