Sightings in July 2013

July 1st 2013

BIRDS

GOLDEN EAGLE – Live video of an Assynt Golden Eagle chick can now be viewed in the Assynt Visitor Centre – see ‘Live Eagle Pictures’ under ‘News’ for more details of this exclusive and unique opportunity.
HURRY HURRY The young eagle started to wing flap on 15th July so may fledge soon.
UPDATE The young bird first flew on 21st but the adults will probably continue bringing food for a few days yet.

Sanderling – 6 Bay of Culkein, 31st July (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 10 juveniles east of Point of Stoer, 29th July (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 2 very new chicks on Culkein beach today, 29th July (DAH). The adult has been on the eggs since at least 3rd July so nice to see these chicks hatched.

Greylag Geese – 23 adults Oldany, 29th July (DAH)

Merlin – 1 (female) Culkein Drumbeg, 27th July (DAH)

Twite – 10 Culkein Drumbeg, 27th July (DAH)

Grey Heron – 7 (adults and juveniles) Oldany Estuary, 27th July (DAH)

Curlew – 12 Oldany Estuary, 27th July (DAH)

Great Skua – Report of one killing an adult Grey Heron in Loch Kirkaig, 26th July (David Kinghorn). Andy Summers has had reports of juvenile herons being taken by skuas in the past. It seems that the skuas take herons flying over water where they knock the heron out of the air and once on the surface of the sea the heron has no defence as it is not a sea based bird. This fits exactly with the description of this most recent event given by DK.

Mixed Gulls – Total of 195 gulls which was made up of 110 Common, 61 Herring and 24 Black-headed with just one of these an adult and the other 23 being juvenile birds. Balchladich Bay, 26th July (DAH)

Redshank – 27 adults Rubh’an Dunain, 26th July (DAH)

Puffin – 1 adult off the jetty Bay of Culkein, 26th July (DAH)

Whimbrel – 4 Bay of Culkein, 26th July (DAH)

Dunlin – 54 Bay of Culkein, 26th July (DAH) This included 5 juvenile birds; either this was a new flock of Dunlin from that recorded on the 24th or more birds have arrived as there were no juveniles that day.

Sanderling – 2 adults Bay of Culkein, 26th July (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 10 Clashnessie Bay, 26th July (DAH). These birds all appeared to be juveniles.

Black-throated Diver – 1 adult Loch na Bruthaich, 24th July (DAH)

Sedge Warbler – 1 singing Culkein Stoer, 24th July (DAH). The warm weather must have triggered this singing.

Knot – 1 adult in breeding plumage Bay of Culkein, 24th July (DAH). Superb to see an adult still in this condition as they are normally ‘grey’ winter birds here.

Ruff – 1 adult winter male Bay of Culkein, 24th July (DAH). This is the second ever record in Assynt of this species.

Dunlin – 43 (all adults) Bay of Culkein, 24th July (DAH)

Teal – 5 (1 adult female 4 juveniles) Clashnessie Bay, 24th July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 adults Clashnessie Bay, 24th July (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 5 juveniles Clashnessie Bay, 24th July (DAH)

Arctic and Common Tern – 40+ on and flying around islands off Culkein Drumbeg together with one juvenile arctic, 24th July (DAH)

Shag – 11 along with two chicks on nest islands off Culkein Drumbeg, 24th July (DAH)

Song Thrush – 2 Culkein Drumbeg, 23rd July (DAH

Red-throated Diver – 2 Loch Dhrombaig, 23rd July (DAH)

Merlin – 1 female hunting around Stoerhead Lighthouse car park, 22nd July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 2 juveniles off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 22nd July (DAH)

Black-headed Gull – 1 adult Loch Kirkaig, 22nd July (DAH)

Blackcap – still one singing male in trees on path to Falls of Kirkaig just below Achins Bookshop, 21st July (DAH)

Greenshank – 3 Loch Kirkaig, 21st and 22nd July July (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 1 adult female and 6 juveniles Loch Kirkaig, 21st July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 7 adults Loch Kirkaig, 21st July (DAH)

Swift – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 21st July (DAH). Not a frequent sighting in Assynt.

Razorbill and Guillemot – large numbers off Stoerhead Lighthouse with a small number of juveniles alongside adults, 20th July (DAH)

Swallow – 2 adults and 5 juveniles Culkein Drumbeg, 20th July (DAH)

House Martin – 3 adults with young being fed in nest Culkein Drumbeg, 20th July (DAH)

Spotted Flycatcher – 1 adult and 1 juvenile Torbreck, 20th July (Gwen Richards)

Long-tailed Tit – 8 mixed flock of adults and juveniles Strathan, 18th July (DAH)

Bullfinch – 1 male Strathan, 18th July (DAH)

Redshank – 3 adults off Strathan, 18th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 2 Loch Kirkaig, 18th July (DAH)

Sanderling – 12 Bay of Culkein, 18th July (DAH)

Storm Petrel – 1 discovered on croft at Clashnessie alive and well enough to be released back to sea, 16th July (R and E Kershaw). This bird most likley got disorientated in the strong SW winds. Just to remind us how small these amazing birds are there is a photo of this particular bird in the hands of its rescuer on Gallery-Birds. Sad addition to this story – on 22nd July Howard Grey found a very recently dead Storm Petrel in a garden at Stoer; there is no way to tell but it could have been the same bird which may have been too tired or ill to survive.

Buzzard – 1 carrying food near Elphin, 16th July (DAH)

Mistle Thrush – 2 near Ledbeg House, 16th July (DAH)

Dipper – 1 on Ledbeg River near Ledbeg House, 16th July (DAH)

Arctic Skua – 1 pale and 1 dark phase Bay of Culkein, 15th July (DAH)

Dunlin – 45 Bay of Culkein, 15th and 18th July (DAH). The autumn passage migration has certainly started; 44 of these birds were adults with just one juvenile present.

Sanderling – c90 Bay of Culkein, 15th July (DAH). One of these adult birds was colour ringed so we will update this sighting once its history is known. We now know it was ringed on 2nd July 2009 at Zackenberg, Greenland as an adult bird where it was sharing incubation duties with a female which, from ringing data, is known to winter in Mauritania. Our bird is at least six years old and has also been recorded in Ireland, France and Orkney. Full story in Articles – A Tale of Two Birdies.

Twite – 1 adult and 1 juvenile Stoer, 14th July (DAH)

Dunnock – 1 adult and 1 juvenile Stoer, 14th July (DAH)

Reed Bunting – singing male ‘Lexie’s Loch’ Clachtoll, 14th July (DAH)

Sand Martin – 5 feeding over Loch Leathed a Bhaile Fhoghair ‘Lexie’s Loch’ Clachtoll, 14th July (DAH)

Manx Shearwater – small numbers off Stoer and Clachtoll bays, 14th July (DAH)

Robin – 1 adult and 2 juveniles Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July (DAH)

Bullfinch – 2 (a pair) Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July (DAH)

Stonechat – 2 adults and 1 juvenile Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July (DAH)

Lapwing – 8 Culkein Stoer, 12th July (James Pam)

Black-throated Diver – 6 Loch Drumbeg, 11th July (Wendy Glover)

Grey Wagtail – 1 on River Kirkaig at ‘Pool B, Beat 23’, 11th July (DAH)

Blackcap – 2 singing males on path to Falls of Kirkaig just below Achins Bookshop, 11th July (DAH)

Goldcrest – 1 singing male Inverkirkaig, 11th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 5 (all adults) Loch Kirkaig, 11th July (DAH). Things seem to come in fives at Loch Kirkaig!

Ringed Plover – 5 (2 adults and 3 juveniles) Loch Kirkaig, 11th July (DAH)

Greenshank – 5 (2 adults and 3 immatures) Loch Kirkaig, 11th July (DAH)

Yellowhammer – singing males at Strathan and Inverkirkaig, 11th July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 3 Bay of Stoer, 11th July (DAH). These stunning adult birds did not seem to be concerned by the nearby human bathers!

Stonechat – 2 Drumbeg peat road, 11th July (James Pam)

Sparrowhawk – 1 Drumbeg peat road, 11th July (James Pam)

Redwing – juveniles near Elphin, 10th July (Bill Badger)

Arctic Skua – 1 pale phase off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th July (DAH)

Cuckoo – 1 calling Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans)

Redshank – 50+ Culkein Stoer, 9th July (James Pam). Looks like the passage migration may have started so keep a look out for waders.

Kittiwake – good numbers passing and feeding off Rubh’an Dunain, 8th July (DAH)

Whimbrel – 2 Culkein Stoer near Rubh’an Dunain, 8th July (DAH)

Curlew – 6 Culkein Stoer, 8th July (DAH)

Arctic Tern – 2 feeding Bay of Culkein, 8th July (DAH)

Dunlin – 2 Bay of Culkein, 8th July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Bay of Culkein and 2 off Rubh’an Dunain, 8th July (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 1 Bay of Culkein, 8th July (DAH)

Common Tern – c100 feeding and nesting Loch Glencoul off Kylesku, 7th July (DAH)

Great Tit – 1 adult and 4 juveniles Glencanisp road, 5th July (DAH)

Song Thrush – 2 adults and 2 juveniles Glencanisp road, 5th July (DAH)

Robin – 2 adults and 2 juveniles Glencanisp Lodge, 5th July (DAH)

Snipe – 1 Glencanisp road, 5th July (DAH)

Common Sandpiper – 2 Loch Druim Suardalain, 5th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 2 adults Loch Druim Suardalain, 5th July (DAH)

Yellowhammer – Singing male Glencanisp road, 5th July (DAH)

Blackcap – Singing male Glencanisp road, 5th July (DAH)

Spotted Flycatcher – 1 adult feeding two juveniles Polchaple, 4th July (DAH)

Linnet – 2 (a pair) Clashnessie, 2nd July and same at Stoerhead Lighthouse, 3rd July (DAH)

Common Sandpiper – 2 Clashnessie Bay, 2nd July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Balchladich Bay, 1 Bay of Clachtoll and 1 Clashnessie Bay, 2nd July (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 3 adults and 2 juveniles Clachtoll, 2nd July (DAH)

Whimbrel – 1 Clachtoll, 2nd July (DAH)

Redshank – 1 adult with 1 juvenile Clachtoll, 2nd July (DAH)

Lapwing – 9 adults and 7 juveniles Clachtoll, 2nd July (DAH). Good to see a decent number of young birds.

Common Gull – 49 Bay of Clachtoll and 30 Loch an Aigeil, 2nd July (DAH)

Sandwich Tern – 2 Balchladich Bay, 2nd July (DAH). Photo on Gallery – Birds

Arctic Tern – 2 Bay of Culkein and 4 Clashnessie Bay, 2nd July (DAH)

Common Scoter – 4 (3 male 1 female) Bay of Culkein, 2nd July (DAH). Perhaps some of the 18 from last week still around?

Great Northern Diver – 2 in full breeding plumage Bay of Culkein, 2nd July (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 6 adults, 7 juveniles and an adult on eggs (photo Gallery – Birds) Bay of Culkein, 2nd July (DAH)

Skylark – single bird singing near Culkein Drumbeg, 1st July (DAH). An unusual location for this species.

 

OTHERS

Speckled Wood butterfly – several in garden Nedd, 30th July (Ian M Evans)

Minke Whale – At least one feeding off Stoerhead Lighthouse for approximatley 2 hours during the afternoon, 29th July (DAH/L. Sedgley).

Harbour Porpoise – many close in sightings off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th July (DAH/L. Sedgley)

Otter – 1 feeding in rocks below Stoerhead Lighthouse, 28th July (Leigh Sedgley)

Greyling butterfly – 4 Culkien Drumbeg, 27th July (DAH)

Sea Pearlwort Sagina maritima – On roadside near Knockan and also at Achmelvich, both 27th July (P and I Evans). This plant has not been recorded in Assynt since 1953. Both this and the grass below are roadside halophytes (salt-lovers) which can be found far from coastal habitats most likely due to the use of salt on the roads in winter.

Reflexed saltmarsh-grass Puccinellia distans ssp. distans – On roadside near Knockan, 27th July (P and I Evans). This is a new plant record for Assynt with apparently no previous records between Durness and the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Harbour Porpoise – 1 adult and 1 immature off Clashnessie Bay, 26th July (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 4 feeding off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 24th July (DAH)

Red Admiral butterfly – 1 Bay of Culkein, 24th July (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 3 feeding and an adult with immature off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 22nd July (DAH)

Ground Beetle Leistus rufomarginatus – 1 on roof of car parked at Inverkirkaig, 21st July (I M Evans). This appears to be only the second record for this beetle in Highland with the other being on the Black Isle in 1993 (S Moran).

Greater Skullcap Scutellaria galericulata – Several flowering plants in shingle near Loch Kirkaig, 21st July (G Richards). This is a new record for this plant in the 10km square concerned. See photo on Gallery-Plants.

Three-spined stickleback – Adults and juveniles in brackish pool near Loch Kirkaig, 21st July (G Richards)

Grayling butterfly – several on the wing and resting near Inverkirkaig, 21st July (J Jacobson)

Pale Butterwort – several flowering plants of this less common insectivorous species near Inverkirkaig, 21st July (A Haines)

Shore Crab – 1 young of this species in rock pool near Kirkaig Bay, 21st July (I M Evans)

Harbour Porpoise – at least four off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 20th July (DAH)

Otter – 1 feeding in sea off Strathan, 18th July (DAH). This dog otter walked past the reporters no more than 6 metres away and camly fed in the rock pools and sprainted on the rocks all at the same distance or less; didn’t think you could hold your breath that long!

Emerald Moth – 1 near Assynt Centre, 17th July (M. Parsons-Game)

Red Admiral butterfly – 1 flying near Ledbeg House, 16th July (DAH)

Orca – pod of at least 4 (1 large male and 3 females) off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th July (Leigh Sedgley)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly – several flying Inverkirkaig, 11th July (DAH)

Dark-green Fritillary butterfly – several flying Inverkirkaig, 11th July (DAH)

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly – 1 flying Culkein Drumbeg, 11th July (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 3 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th July (Leigh Sedgley/DAH)

Minke Whale – 1 heading north off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th July (Leigh Sedgley)

Common Darter dragonfly – 1 flying Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans/D. Haines)

Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly – 1 flying Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans/D. Haines)

Large Red Damselfly – several flying Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans/D. Haines)

Meadow Brown butterfly – 1 flying Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans)

Dark-green Fritillary butterfly – 2 flying Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans/D. Haines)

Large Heath butterfly – good numbers flying Gleann Leireag, 10th July (Ian Evans/D. Haines)

Small Heath butterfly – 1 flying near Rubh’an Dunain, 8th July (DAH)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly – 2 Polchaple, 4th July (Romany Garnet)

Common Lizard – 2 Polchaple, 4th July (DAH)

Light Emerald moth – single at Polchaple, 4th July (DAH)

Puff-ball Fungi – 3 fruiting bodies on roadside verge Culkein Drumbeg, 1st July (DAH)

Six-spot Burnet moth – 1 feeding on Fragrant Orchid Culkein Drumbeg, 1st July (DAH)

Slow-worm – 1 female near Culkein Drumbeg peat road gate, 1st July (DAH)

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings

Goldeneye

single female Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (16/12)

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)

Map