About Graham Clarkson

Born & brought up in Marshside, I started birding there in the mid 1970s & made my first birding trip to Martin Mere in 1977. I've lived, worked & birdied in Abu Dhabi, Northern Ireland & Gloucestershire & I've spent time working in Kazakhstan & Madagascar. I enjoy birding my various West Lancashire patches, making frequent birding visits throughout the north-west of England and North Wales. I stray elsewhere in the UK & enjoy birding abroad from time to time. I'm particularly interested in wildfowl (especially pink-footed geese) with an interest in waders & raptors, bird counts & surveys & conservation. I'm trying to get the hang of photography & digiscoping - I'll get there eventually.

My degree from Edge Hill University is in conservation biology. I've guided on numerous birding days out & trips & guided birding holidays to Lesvos, Andalucia, Extremedura, Majorca, Camargue, Hungary, Finland & Florida. I enjoy showing people birds & habitats & helping them learn more about birds & enjoy birding. I'm currently involved with the Birdwatching and Beyond course at Edge Hill and a brand new venture; Skein Birding.

As well as birding I'm interested in captive breeding & reintroduction projects & zoos, how they're managed & how they contribute to conservation. I'm a proud Lancastrian & love the Lancashire countryside & landscapes. I'm an Evertonian & also keep up with what's happening at Southport, PNE & Bristol Rovers. Gardening, dogs (I have a Labrador & a Tibetan Terrier) and keeping chickens (especially Marsh Daisys & Scots Dumpy Bantams). Ruth & I have two marvellous boys who both love nature too. I hope you find the blog and subjects covered interesting; please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Mull for a week

Spent 11-18 August with the family holidaying on Mull. Despite it not really being a birding jolly I inevitably I took my bins, scope and camera. We'd never been to Mull before and were all impressed with the spectacular mountain and coastal scenery. The kids loved the clean, sandy beaches and crystal clear sea water.

Despite it not being a birding jolly we still managed to see White-tailed Eagles; a family of four at Loch Na Keal everyday, including both of the adults from the Mull Charters boat, and single adults at Eorsa, Salen and Ardmore Bay, and Golden Eagles; singles at Pennyghael, feeding on a hillside near Knock, Bloody Bay and pairs  near Glen Aros at Sron Na Moine and along moutain tops south of Loch Na Keal. Otters were seen at Ulva Ferry and along Loch Na Keal.

White-tailed eagles, Mull, August 2012

As well as the Eagles other raptors seen were numerous Buzzards (including seven together near Tobermory) and Kestrels, male and female Hen Harriers, and single Sparrowhawk and Merlin. Other birds of note were large rafts of Manx Shearwaters from boat trips in the sound of Mull and north of Ardmore point, Great Skua in Loch Na Keal, Arctic Skua in the Sound of Iona harassing 370 Kittiwakes.  Adult Razorbills were watched feeding young off Duart point, where Black Guillemots were present and a small pod of Porposies was seen. Widespread coastal birds included Guillemot, Gannet, Shag (numerous), Cormorant (small numebers), Greylag Goose,  Arctic tern, Common Tern. Oystercatcher, Common Gull, Herring Gull and Eider. Rock Pipits and Linnets were widespread along the coast, Hooded Crows everywhere, peak count of 62 Ravens coming into roost near Tobermory was great to watch. Common Seals were seen near Tobermory and near Ulva Ferry. Red and Fallow Deer seen near Salen. A Sand Martin colony was still active near Calgary Bay and Swallows and House Martin were everywhere, a single Swift was seen on Iona, where a flock of 96 House Sparrows was counted. A flock of 30 House Sparrows was noted at Salen, good to see them doing well there! Wilow Warblers were still singing in most small woods and Wheatears regularly seen along roadsides. Northern migrants included three Wigeon on Loch Na Keal and a Greenshank on Loch Scridain. Jays are apparently scarce on Mull, I heard a pair twice, both times mobbing White-tailed Eagles at Loch Na Keal. Six Rock Dove types feeding togehter on Iona might of been pure?Peak count of 32 Canada Geese near Craignure.
Golden Eagle, near Knock, Mull.12/08/12
Shag, Salen Pier, Mull.14/08/12
Common Seal, near Tobermory Harbour, Mull. 16/08/12
Sunset over Loch Scridain. Mull. 14/08/12
Loch Na Keal, Eorsa and the hills
Surpeb beaches and scenery on Iona
Get the kids birding! Jacob scoping White-tailed Eagles at Loch Na Keal

No comments:

Post a Comment