Sightings in October 2012

September 28th 2012


Long-tailed Tit – 8 in garden Clashmore, 31st October (GS)

Redwing and Fieldfare – c1000 Cnocnaneach, 31st October

Woodcock – 1 near Rhicarn, 30th October (AS)

Brambling – 2 Clachtoll, 30th October (AS). Look out for these ‘Chaffinch like’ finches, it is expected that we will have an irruption of them due to a failed food supply in Scandinavia.

Fieldfare – 100+ over Torbreck, 26th October (GR) First large numbers in Assynt this autumn; they also arrived with the first snow today!

Moorhen – 1 Loch an Aigeil, 25th October

Wigeon – 1 (female) Loch an Aigeil, 25th October

Little Grebe – 3 Loch Inver, 25th October

Redwing – 4 feeding on Rowan berries Culag Wood, 25th October

Greylag Goose – 20 flying over Lagg, 25th October

Tawny Owl – 1 giving ‘kewick’ call Culkein Drumbeg at 8.30pm, 23rd October

Rock Pipit – c50 near Achnacarnin, 23rd October

Mistle Thrush – 6 Lagg, 23rd October

Reed Bunting – 4 Culkein Store, 23rd October

Rock Dove – c40 Clashmore, 23rd October

Goldeneye – 2 (females) Loch na Claise, 23rd October

Long-tailed Tit – 8 Balchladich, 23rd October

Long-tailed Duck – 2 Clashnessie Bay, 5 Balchladich Bay, 23rd October

Great Northern Diver – 1 Loch Dhrombaig, 21st October

Shag – c100 feeding on Loch Dhrombaig, 21st October

Goldfinch – 12 Culkein Drumbeg, 21st October

Whooper Swan – 7 Loch Assynt near Inchnadamph, 20th October (HM)

Redwing – 40+ Inchnadamph, 20th October (HM)

Kestrel – 1 (male) Culkein Drumbeg, 20th October

Golden Plover – 1 Clachtoll, 20th October

Goldeneye – 1 (male) River Inver near Little Assynt Field, 20th October

Whooper Swan – 4 flying north over Little Assynt, 20th October

Long-tailed Tit – 7 Little Assynt, 20th October

Goldcrest – 1 Little Assynt, 20th October

Bullfinch – 1 (female) Little Assynt, 20th October

Long-tailed Duck – 6 Balchladich Bay, 19th October. Possibly some of the seven from 17th October, but no sign of the full winter male.

Whooper Swan – 1 juvenile Clashnessie Bay; 7 adults Loch na Claise and 4 adults Oldany Estuary, 19th October.

Ringed Plover – 23 Bay of Culkein, 19th October. This included one bird colour ringed as a chick at Achiltibuie in 2011.

Turnstone – 2 Bay of Culkein, 19th October

Greylag Geese – 25 over Culkein Drumbeg, 18th October

Whooper Swan – 4 (2 adults 2 juveniles) over Culkein Drumbeg, 18th October

Peregrine – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 17th October

Greylag Goose – 5 Clashmore, 17th October and 11 on 19th October

Goldeneye – 1 (female) Loch na Claise, 17th and 19th October. First 2012 autumn record for Assynt?

Tufted Duck – 4 (1 male 3 female) Loch na Claise, 17th October

Great Northern Diver – 4 Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Red-throated Diver – 2 Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Black Guillemot – 12 Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Long-tailed Duck – 7 Balchladich Bay, 17th October. It has been a good autumn for long-tailed duck sightings around Assynt and this raft included a fantastic full winter male.

Treecreeper – 1 Duart, 16th October

Bullfinch – 1 (female) Drumbeg, 16th October

Blackbird – 5 Drumbeg, 16th October. Looks like our winter thrushes are starting to arrive in small numbers.

Song Thrush – 2 Drumbeg and Duart, 16th October

Fieldfare – 1 Drumbeg, 16th October

Little Grebe – 1 Lochan Sgeireach Stoer, 15th October

Barnacle Goose – c30 A’Chleit off Loch Kirkaig, 15th October

Rock Dove – 28 Inverkirkaig, 15th October

Curlew – 13 Loch Kirkaig, 15th October

Yellowhammer – 1 (male) Achmelvich Bridge, 15th October

Twite – 24 Clachtoll, 15th October

Redwing – 1 Culkein Stoer, 15th October

Mistle Thrush – 2 Culkein Stoer, 15th October

Turnstone – 26 Bay of Culkein, 15th October

Rock Pipit – 14 Bay of Culkein, 15th October

Long-tailed Tit – 10 Unapool, 14th October (MM)

Turnstone – c30 off Culkein Drumbeg, 14th October

Carrion Crow – 1 Culkein Stoer, 14th and 17th October

Linnet – 3 Culkein Stoer, 14th October

Goldfinch – 10 Culkein Stoer, 14th October

Dunlin – 3 Bay of Culkein, 14th October

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Bay of Culkein, 14th and 17th October

Redshank – 3 Bay of Culkein, 14th October

Long-tailed Duck – 1 (winter female) Bay of Culkein, 14th October

Rock Dove – c35 over Stoer Primary School, 14th October

Black-headed Gull – 1 winter adult off Kylesku, 13th October

Red-throated Diver – 2 off Kylesku, 13th October

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) chasing finches through a large rose bush Unapool, 13th October

Greenfinch – 6 on feeder Unapool, 13th October

Fieldfare – 40+ heading south over Culkein Stoer, 12th October (IF)

Long-tailed Tit – 12 over Clashnessie, 10th October

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) Clashmore, 10th October. She unsuccessfully flew in to a flock of c25 Starling and c20 Twite which were feeding.

Moorhen – 1 adult Loch na Claise, 10th October

Teal – 11 (female) Loch na Claise, 10th October

Eider – 9 (1 male 8 females) Clachtoll Bay, 10th October

Black Guillemot 2 winter adults Bay of Stoer, 10th October

Wigeon – 1 (female) Loch’an Aigeil, 10th October

Kestrel – 1 (male) near Store, 10th October

Stonechat – 3 (2 males 1 female) Glencanisp, 9th October

Chiffchaff – 1 Glencanisp, 9th October

Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1 (adult female) Glencanisp Road, 9th October

Golden Plover – 1 Clachtoll, 8th October

Gadwall – 27 (males, females and juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 8th October. This is a new record for Assynt and the two duck species listed below were in with them; the wind today was off the north-west so it looks like it brought a few Iceland birds with it.

Scaup – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 8th October

Long-tailed Duck – 2 (pair) Bay of Culkein, 8th October

Barnacle Goose – 30 over Culkein Drumbeg, 8th October

Red-throated Diver – 3 Clashnesie Bay, 8th October (IF)

Tufted Duck – 6 (1 male, 5 female) Loch na Claise, 7th October

Red-breasted Merganser – 3 (females) Oldany Estuary, 7th October

Goosander – 1 (female) Oldany Estuary, 7th October

Teal – 6 (females) Oldany Estuary, 7th October

Stonechat – 1 (male) near Oldany, 7th October

Red-throated Diver – 1 off Rubh’an Dunain, 7th October

Great Northern Diver – 1 adult, still in breeding plumage, Bay of Culkein, 7th October

Turnstone – 3 Clashnessie Bay, 7th October

Ringed Plover – 30 Clashnessie Bay, 7th October

Pink-footed Goose – c120 over Culkein Drumbeg, 6th October

Swallow – 2 Elphin, 6th October. Summer and winter visitors next to each other on our sightings page! Keep watching for the ‘last’ Swallow.

Whooper Swan – 5 Loch an Aigeil, 4th October (JG). First Assynt record this autumn of these fantastic birds from Iceland.

Swallow – 1 Drumbeg viewpoint, 3rd October (IF)

White-tailed Eagle – 1 over Inverkirkaig, 3rd October (RK)



Common Darter dragonfly – 3 (males) on School Path, Culag Woods, 25th October

Harbour Porpoise – 2 off Balchladich Bay and 4 off Rubh’an Dunain, 23rd October

Otter – 2 (mother and immature) Clashnessie Bay, 23rd October

Pygmy Shrew – 1 found dead in garden Strathan, 21st October (CC) A new location record for this under recorded shrew.

Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus – 1 on Stoer Peat track, 21st October (IAM) A late record for this insect.

Common Darter dragonfly – 1 River Inver near Little Assynt Field, 20th October

Harbour Porpoise – 2 off Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Common Darter dragonfly – 2 (males) near Drumbeg, 16th October

Painted Lady – 1 near Inverkirkaig, 15th October. A very worn example of this migrant buttefly quite late in the year, photo on Gallery-Insects

Red Admiral – 1 Strathan, 14th October (CC)

Red Deer – 3 stags roaring on skyline south of Oldany, 10th October

Grey Seal – 3 Clachtoll Bay, 10th October

Dolphin species – c20 heading north off Achmelvich, 3rd October (RG)

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Recent Sightings

Great Northern Diver

single bird in almost complete breeding plumage, Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (15/10)

Great Skua

single bird over Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (15/10)

Pink-footed Goose

single skein of c130 birds heading south-east over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (14/10)


single animal crossing road at Culag River bridge, Lochinver (DAH) (14/10)

Long-tailed Tit

noisy, active flock of c12 birds, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (14/10)

Common Dolphin

two small, very active pods (12 and 6) off Clachtoll (DAH) (13/10)

Great White Egret

single bird feeding along north-east side of Loch Borralan (Les and Liz Pearce). This is the first known record of this Grey Heron sized bird in Assynt. It also follows on from Les and Liz adding Little Egret to the Assynt bird list last September! (Photo Gallery - Birds) (12/10)


c60 birds, Clashnessie (DAH) (12/10)