group accommodation mull

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Arle Lodge
group accommodation mull
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You may find this information helpful when researching the area prior to your visit

Perhaps our most striking woodland bird is one which you will find in pine forests, and Ardmore Forest in the north of Mull is a good locality. Here you may find the Crossbill, which is brilliantly red, and he behaves very like a small parrot, with his acrobatic antics and crossed over bill. The Crossbill is never common, but if you do see one, it usually gives you very good views. \The Whitethroat is a bird to be found in scattered woodland and the Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler can be f'ound in rather more scrubby tree growth.

A rarer bird of scree slopes is the Ring Ouzel, which is a sort of mountain blackbird. There is a similarly named bird in the Water Ouzel, which is a rather old name for the Dipper. This bird is quite unique in the way that it feeds, for it is built in such a way that it can walk on the bottom of a river and catch small insects as they are washed downstream. Check out The River Aros, Bellart and Ba, which are prime habitats for the Dipper.

The island is a great place to see Eagles; however, it is also a very good bird watching destination, if you want to see other birds of prey, such as the Peregrine Falcon and the Hen Harrier. The Short Eared Owl, Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk are also seen around the island. The Short Eared Owl is quite unusual as owls go, because he only hunts during the day. It is a bird which will give you really close views if you are looking in the right habitat, which are small conifer plantations bordered by undulating moorland. Our other owls are usually nocturnal, though you can occasionally see newly fledged young owls sitting around during the day. These include the Long Eared Owl, Barn Owl and the reasonably common Tawny Owl. The most common owl to be heard late at night is the Tawny Owl.

One of our more spectacular wildlife sights, must be the food pass of the male and female Hen Harrier. The male is a truly handsome bird, and many would argue that he is the most attractive British Bird of Prey, with his grey white body and black tipped wings. There is a pattern to sightings of Hen Harriers, in that in April and early May, you might see the 'sky dance' of the male, as he swoops up and down, just above the ground, for perhaps a few hundred metres. You might then see him circling around and fanning his tail to the bigger and browner female. From then on, you will see only the male quartering the ground as he hunts for prey to feed the nesting female. It is at this time when you will see the food pass, as the male calls the female from the nest and throws the prey to her in mid flight, she turns over and catches it in mid air and the male continues on, to hunt for more prey. After a few weeks of this behaviour, you begin to see the female hunting also, and both take prey back to the growing young. The Merlin has the pointed wings of a Kestrel but is smaller and shorter tailed with dark duller plumage. It flies with great speed and agility using quick shallow wing-beats. At close range its moustache is less obvious than on any other British falcon. Adult males are slatey-blue above with a black tip to the tail: females and immatures are a dull dark brown above, heavily streaked below. Although resident in Britain and Ireland, some northerly individuals move to lower areas during winter and are supplemented by further birds from Iceland. Continental birds from northern Europe also move south to central and southern European lowlands Some reach North Africa.