June

June is a lovely time of year on the island, and in my humble opinion a good time of year to explore the amazing wildlife Mull has to offer. It heralds the approach to high summer when the long hours of days of daylight stretch out before you, fledglings are beginning to fledge and it is a good time to visit the Treshnish Islands to see the ground nesting Puffins and watch the thousands of sea birds which nest on Harp Rock – part of the richness of Mull wildlife these islands have to offer. 

Treshnish has a good share of wildlife, both in the skies and at your feet. Look out for Burnet Moths.  We find Six Spot, as well as the Transparent, Burnet Moth here.  Keep an eye out for the rare Slender Scotch Burnet moth. You might spot a White Tailed Eagle soaring – the Common gulls which return each year to nest on the lochan above the farm will warn you if they are about!  The herb rich meadows are full of bright wild flowers – swathes of Bluebells replaced with carpets of Pignut with Yellow Rattle, Buttercups, numerous areas full of the Heath Spotted-orchid as well as the fine Fragrant orchid, Northern Marsh orchid, Greater Butterfly-orchid and a few dainty Small White Orchids dot the Coronation Meadow at Haunn.  Brilliant blue Milkwort cling to rocky banks and Sea Pinks bob in the breeze on the shore.  Birds Foot Trefoil, food plant for the Six spot Burnet moth, is in full abundant flower.

On the farm, the lambs are growing up, and it is time for shearing last years ewe lambs (hoggs).   Once the hogg is sheared she becomes a gimmer.  In early June the ewes and lambs are gathered in so that they can be checked over and treated if necessary. That is when we count the number of lambs born and estimate the number we might have for sale! Farmers and visitors get together at the Sheep Shearing Competition held annually on a farm in central Mull – watch the speed and expertise with which the ewes are shorn.

Enjoy the late deep pink and orange sunsets that creep up the island of Coll as the days get longer.  If the conditions are right you might see Noctilucent clouds – you need to be up late, about 2 hours after the sun has set, on a night when the skies are very clear.