Sightings in July 2012

July 1st 2012

BIRDS

Red Kite – 2 over Stoer (AC) and then Balchladich (EK), 31st July. A rare sighting for Assynt and one bird could have been a juvenile so lets hope its looking for a territory!

Lapwing – 28 adult and juvenile birds Loch na Claise, 31st July

Common Gull – 50 Balchladich Bay, 31st July

Shag – c70 on rocks below Stoer Head Lighthouse, 31st July

Arctic Skua – 3 dark morph birds near Raffin, 31st July

Greenshank – 1 Clashnessie Bay, 31st July

Black Guillemot – 2 juvenile birds Clashnessie Bay, 31st July

Great Northern Diver – 2 juvenile birds Bay of Culkein, 30th July

Red-throated Diver – 2 adult birds Bay of Culkein, 30th July

Razorbill – 4 – 2 adult and 2 juvenile birds Bay of Culkein, 30th July

Dunlin – 12 Bay of Culkein, 30th July. This was a mixture of adult birds in breeding plumage, winter adults and ‘1st winter’ birds, so it looks like the autumn migration has started.

Ringed Plover – 19 Bay of Culkein, 30th July. This included 12 juvenile birds which were hatched on the beach over approximately the last six weeks.

Arctic Tern – 30+ on off shore island Culkein Drumbeg, 30th July. This included 7 fully fledged birds and two large downy chicks.

Redshank – 3 Culkein Drumbeg harbour, 30th July

Black Redstart – Possible 1 (female) in garden Strathan, 18th July (MS). There was one other record of Black Redstart in Assynt back in 1996 so this would be a great record if confirmed – keep looking!

Brambling – 1 (male) on garden feeder Strathan, 17th July (BS). A pair were seen in the same garden in 2011 so could we have some local breeding occuring?

Jackdaw – 39+ Elphin, 15th July. Nice to be able to see a good number of Jackdaws this far north-west.

Little Grebe – 2 Loch Awe, 15th July

Golden Eagle – 3 seen over Drumrunie, 14th July. Sorry, not Assynt sightings but great to know a few are around. Having looked at the recent movements of ‘Suilven’ and ‘Canisp’, the two satellite tagged immature Assynt eagles it was neither of them. See www.roydennis.org for more information.

Ptarmigan – 4 chicks on Quinag (G. Robertson), 14th July

Cuckoo – 1 juvenile being fed by host Meadow Pipit near Torbreck (GR), 14th July

Great Northern Diver – 1 Clashnessie Bay, 14th July. This was a year old bird.

Red-throated Diver – 3 Clashnessie Bay, 14th July

Golden Plover – 1 Clachtoll, 14th July

Redshank – 5 Clachtoll, 14th July

Lapwing – 16 (adults and juveniles) Clachtoll, 14th July

Moorhen – 1 Loch an Aigeil, 14th July

Guillemot – 2 adults and 2 chicks off Rubh’an Dunain, 14th July. Good to see the young birds, most likely from Handa Island.

Puffin – 3 off Rubh’an Dunain, 14th July

Black-headed Gull – 11 (9 adult and 2 juveniles) flying over Bay of Culkein, 14th July

Curlew – 2 Bay of Culkein, 14th July

Sanderling – 3 adults Bay of Culkein, 14th July. Could this be some early returning migrants making use of the northerly winds?

Goldfinch – 2 (1 adult and 1 juvenile) Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July

Shelduck – 6 (2 adult and 4 juveniles) off Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July

Arctic Tern – 20+ with at least 9 juvenile birds off-shore islands Culkein Drumbeg. 13th July

Black-throated Diver – 2 Loch Drumbeg, 13th July

‘Comic’ Terns – 30+ Common and Arctic Terns on island Loch Roe, 12th July

Song Thrush – 1 adult bird breaking open snales on ‘anvil’ near Achmelvich, 12th July

Bullfinch – 1 (male) near Achmelvich Bridge, 12th July

Siskin – 30+ flying near Achmelvich Bridge, 12th July

Buzzard – 1 adult bird carrying a Slow worm near Achmelvich Bridge, 12th July

Little Grebe – 4 (2 adults and 2 juveniles) Lochan Sgeireach Stoer, 12th July

Great Northern Diver – 1 in full summer plumage Loch Inver Bay, 11th July

Common Whitethroat – 3 (1 adult and 2 juveniles) Glencanisp, 11th July

Treecreeper – 4 (2 adults and 2 juveniles) Glencanisp, 11th July

Yellowhammer – 1 (male) Glencanisp, 11th July

Blackcap – 1 (male) Glencanisp, 11th July

Spotted Flycatcher – 3 (1 adult and 2 juveniles) Glencanisp, 11th July

Red-throated Diver – 4 Balchladich Bay, 10th July

Little Grebe – 2 Loch na Claise, 10th July

Wigeon – 4 including an eclipse male Loch na Claise, 10th July

Lapwing – 16 including at least 5 juvenile birds Loch na Claise, 10th July

Long-tailed Duck – 1 summer plumage adult male Bay of Culkein, 10th July. A rare west coast summer record as this species is normally a winter sighting. Bird still present 12th and 14th July.

Snipe – 1 on beach Bay of Culkein, 10th July. Photo on Gallery-Birds

Dunlin – 6 Bay of Culkein and 2 Balchladich Bay, 10th July

Long-tailed Tit – 4 (1 adult and 3 juvenile birds) near Little Assynt All Abilities car park, 9th July

Red-breasted Merganser – 1 adult female and 7 juvenile birds Loch Crocrach, 9th July

Stonechat – 1 (male) near Strathcroy, 9th July

Greenfinch – 5 (2 adult and 3 juvenile birds) on peanut feeder Culkein Drumbeg, 8th July

Twite – 6 (2 adult and 4 juvenile birds) feeding on seed heads Culkein Drumbeg, 8th July. From the colour-rings on the legs of both adults we know that they were ringed at Clachtoll in the spring of 2012 so have not left the area to breed.

Kestrel – 1 (male) near Clashnessie, 6th July

Manx Shearwater – 2 off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 6th July

Sand Martin – 2 over Stoer Head Lighthouse, 6th July

Swallow – 1 juvenile bird on phone wires at southwest corner of Loch Drumbeg, 5th July. Is this our earliest fledged Swallow this year?

Black-throated Diver – 1 Loch Eileanach, 5th July

Greenshank – 2 above Glenleraig, 4th July

Bullfinch – 2 pairs – one near Nedd Bridge and one at Drumbeg/Lochinver road junction, 4th July

Whimbrel – 2 calling over Clachtoll (AS), 4th July

Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1 juvenile on feeders Torbreck (GR), 3rd July

Short-eared Owl – 1 west of Skiag Bridge (GR/PM), 1st July. A rare record for Assynt.

Great Skua – 15+ off Rubh’an Dunain, 1st July These birds were busy forcing food from the huge number of Kittiwakes, Fulmars and auks which were feeding between Rubh’an Dunain and Point of Stoer.

Linnet – 2 juvenile birds Culkein Stoer, 1st July

Dunlin – 1 Bay of Culkein, 1st July

Manx Shearwater – 3 past Point of Stoer, 1st July

Greenshank – 1 Bay of Culkein, 1st July

 

OTHERS

Grayling butterfly – 2 near car park Stoer Head Lighthouse, 31st July

Harbour Porpoise – 2 off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 31st July

Minke Whale – several sightings off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 31st July

Mountain Hare – 1 Glencanisp, 15th July (JC)

Minke Whale – 1 off Clachtoll heading south, 14th July

Basking Shark – 1 Bay of Culkein, 13th July

Golden-ringed Dragonfly – 2 Glencanisp, 11th July

Red Admiral butterfly – 1 Glencanisp, 11th July

Speckled Wood butterfly – 1 Glencanisp, 11th July

Harbour Porpoise – 3 off Balchladich Bay, 10th July

Meadow Brown butterfly – 2 on path to Loch Crocach, 9th July

Slow Worm – near path to Loch Crocach, 9th July

Magpie Moth – 3 on path to Loch Crocach, 9th July

Giant tachinid fly Tachina grossa – 4 feeding on thyme plants above Glenleraig, 4th July and a single in Glencanisp, 11th July. There have been occasional previous records of these large parasitic flies in Assynt. This fly, which is the largest example of the species in Europe, is approximately 1.5-2.0 cm long and the adults lay eggs in the caterpillars of Northern Eggar and Fox Moths. Photo on Gallery-Insects.

Minke Whale – 1 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 1st July

Common Dolphin – 150+ off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 1st July

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Recent Sightings

Goosander

single female on River Inver opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery (DAH) (11/12)

Dipper

four birds on River Inver opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery (DAH). One bird could be seen, and heard, singing. (11/12)

Otter

two animals on the shore beside Church of Scotland, Lochinver (Gwen Richards) (11/12)

Whooper Swan

three birds feeding, Loch an Aigeil (DAH). Photo Gallery - Birds (10/12)

Dipper

single bird on Oldany River (DAH) (10/12)

Long-tailed Tit

6+ birds in trees, Glenleraig (Ian Evans) (09/12)

Sparrowhawk

single bird hunting through trees, Glenleraig (Ian Evans) (09/12)

Glaucous Gull

single 1st-winter bird Balchladich Bay (DAH) (09/12)

Map