In a nutshell, April wildlife on Mull is wonderful. That is how I experience it anyway. I am not at all knowledgeable so half the time I don’t know what I am seeing, but it still gives me a huge amount of pleasure. (The simple things in life..)
Around the bird feeders the finches, tits and sparrows are noisy and busy. Backwards and forwards and lots of squabbling. The Common gulls, who nest every year on the hill by the lochan above the farmhouse, kindly alert me to the presence of a buzzard or an eagle as they noisily chase them off in aerobatic battle. Sometimes several of them bomb the passing raptor, and at other times it might be a solitary gull who sees them off. It is a definite April sound to us.
The hares are still around, not as close in to the farmhouse as last year, but in the field beside Shian and Duill and along the track towards the main road. Farmer heard and saw his first cuckoo over at Crackaig. The swallows are gathering to nest in the rafters of the steading barn – we leave the doors open for them all summer so they can get in and out. It is wonderful to see them swooping round the house and farmyard.
Best of all April wildlife on Mull for me, is the Curlew. That beautiful distinctive and haunting call, as they fly between the hill and the shore, the sound coming and going as they pass. A sound of my childhood, and really still very magical. Each time I hear it, I feel very very grateful. I suppose it is in the last 3 years that it has been an annual ‘April wildlife on Mull’ sound for us, perhaps luck or perhaps as a result of our bird friendly farming practise, difficult to know, but so special to hear. You will have to take my word for it that there are 2 curlews in this photograph – and look at that bright blue sky!
And then there is the wonder of the sky. The aurora borealis, called the Merrie Dancers on Orkney, danced beautifully (strongly) on Thursday night and again last night and I have put a time lapse on the Facebook page again, so do have a look at it.
Lambing is well underway, a week in. Still only the first set of twins being bottle fed, and the weather has been kind so far. This first week has been warm and sunny, with very little wind, though it still gets quite cold at night. Great for the solar hot water panels and for the solar PV powering the office and laundry, and for giving the turbines a rest!
The sunset photographs on this page were all taken yesterday, Sunday 19th April, from the garden of the farmhouse. So full of wonder. The aurora continued when the sunset sky grew dark enough and was still showing on camera on 4am on the 20th. What we miss while we sleep!! The camera has picked up the colours and movement of light again which the naked eye couldn’t see.