There is an abundance of Birds of Prey on our island with barely a morning or afternoon going by without sight of a hawk or three of some description at work. The Peregrine Falcon has been our favourite since coming to the island as they show little fear of our presence and are the largest of the winged predators regularly seen on Luing making them one of the easiest to identify..
After studying the Identifying Video recently received from my friends at BTO I am more confident than ever that – with the exception of the Merlin we have definitely watched both Peregrine and Kestrel in our vicinity and the Hobby – identifiable with the dark underside to it’s wings showing as it hangs on the thermals over the road to Cuan Ferry.
One that isn’t mentioned on the video is the Sparrowhawk and it was one of that breed I saw rough-up a hen pheasant by our roadside a couple of months back. I’m pretty sure that the Hen Harriers have been active here too and I reckon I saw one with it’s owl-like facial features make multiple kills on the heights behind the Atlantic Centre. The ‘one that got away’ was the Goshawk. I would like to think it was a long yellow legged Goshawk I watched killing for fun at the back of Cullipool one day – but I can’t be certain. Other’s got a mention by visitors to the island as the buzzards – but – if they are buzzards they are much more active in their hunt for live prey than the birds of that ilk I am accustomed to in Dumfries & Galloway where they mainly feed on road kill and other carrion. There have also been definite sightings of golden eagles on nearby uninhabited Scarba and at least two sightings of eagles on Seil & Luing – probably Mull residents on an away day.