Animals & Birds

Animals & Birds

An article describing just some of the birds and wildlife likely to be seen in and around the Pennyghael area of the Ross of Mull

It's impossible to be specific about what you will see, where and even when. Buzzards, Eagles, Herons, Gannets, Oyster Catchers, Great Northern Divers, Greylags, Sandpipers, Curlews and the ubiquitous Hooded Crow are around pretty much everywhere. That said, if you were to take a journey towards the Ross of Mull and the Pennyghael Area, including The Burg, Tavool, Tiroran and surrounding districts you may well see the following.

A good place to start is just before the bridge at the bottom of Glen More. Look out on the left to the small forest area for Red Deer and Short Eared Owls.

Just before the bridge you will come to a right hand turn which takes you towards Tiroran, Tavool and the Burg, we will travel down this road first. The small loch on your left is Loch Beg. In the Winter months you can see Oyster Catcher, Curlew, and several other water birds; while in the summer months there are amongst others, Redshank and Ringed Plover.

Oyster Catcher
Oyster Catcher
Common Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Lapwing or Green Plover
Lapwing or Green Plover
Heron
Heron

Following the road round the loch, in the summer you are likely to see Common Sandpiper, Eider Ducks, Lapwing, and in the bushes and gorse, Whitethroat. As the road winds and twists along the shoreline, we pass a few scattered properties, where swallows can often be seen flying round the barns and outbuildings.

Continuing, you come to a fork in the road, with a signpost marked Burg and Tiroran. Take the left hand road. Down on the shore you will find Oystercatcher, Curlew and many species of Gull.

On the right as you pass over the bridge is a small river (Abhainn Bail a' Mhuillinn) that runs into the sea. Dipper can sometimes be found here. Continue on through to Tiroran and up through the woodland road where you can sometimes see Redstart and Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Blackbirds and many other varieties of woodland birds.

When you have gone as far as the small National Trust car park, if you are feeling energetic, there is a path that can be walked on through to the Burg and the Fossil Tree with wonderful views over towards the main A849

Returning to the main A849, turning right, as you pass the Kinloch Hotel, Loch Beg adjoins Loch Scridain, so look out for water birds. Eider, Black Guillemot and Guillemot. In the Winter the three species of Divers, Black Throated, Red Throated and Great Northern Divers are seen, the latter being the more numerous. Otters are also frequently observed along all sections of the loch. White tailed sea eagles can also be seen circling. Seals are occasional visitors and much more rarely common dolphins.

Otter
Otter
Buzzard
Buzzard
White Tailed Sea Eagle
White Tailed Sea Eagle
Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin

Next on our journey, we come to the turning on the left to Carsaig. As you climb up and down the hill towards Carsaig, keep looking around, as numerous Raptors can be seen, particularly Buzzards and Golden Eagles. Walk down to the old Pier at the bottom and look out towards the sea for Sea birds: Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, Herring and Common Gulls, can all be seen in this area, together with Gannets and sometimes, Shearwaters.

Returning to the main A849 turn left and come into the village of Pennycross where you will almost certainly see Meadow Pipits, and Rock Pipits, and in Summer, Wheatears

Images © Peter & Janet Hall 2000 & © Martin Hardwidge 2017

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