Sightings in September 2013

August 31st 2013

BIRDS

Rock Dove – 56 at Clachtoll, 30th September (AS)

Brambling – 1 (possible female) under peanut feeder Balchladich, 30th September (Gordon Sleight). A good record and the first Brambling of the winter.

Shag – c135 on rocks below Stoerhead Lighthouse, 30th September (DAH)

Starling – c90 Balchladich, 30th September (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – 52 over Lagg, 30th September (DAH). A slightly unusual location for these birds which were very low probably due to the very strong south-easterly wind today. Then later in the day c200, in four skiens, flew low over the water off Stoerhead Lighthouse working hard against the wind.

White Wagtail – 2 Bay of Culkein and 1 Balchladich, 30th September (DAH)

Goldfinch – 5 Culkein Stoer, 30th September (Ian Forbes)

Greenshank – 2 Loch Kirkaig, 30th September (Ian Forbes)

Whimbrel – 1 Loch Kirkaig, 30th September (Ian Forbes)

Gannet – 150+ off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th September (DAH). These birds were part of the massive feeding activity including the dolphins and whale mentioned in ‘Others’ below.

Pink-footed Goose – c340 over Rubh’an Dunain in three skeins, 29th September (DAH)

White-tailed Eagle – a juvenile bird over Culkein Stoer, 29th September (DAH). This huge eagle was seen out of the area by a pair of Ravens which were dwarfed by it.

Merlin – 1 female over the bay, 29th September (DAH). A hard day for the waders and other small birds at Culkein Stoer!

Sparrowhawk – 1 female Bay of Culkein, 29th September (DAH). This female tried her luck with the waders etc. in the bay but no luck. She then sat on a rock in amongst the seaweed for 10 minutes wondering what to do next!

Swallow – 1 Drumbeg, 27th September (DAH). Not so many Swallows in evidence now so keep looking and let’s see what the last date is.

Starling – 85 Drumbeg, 27th September (DAH)

Stonechat – 2 near all abilities car park Little Assynt, 27th September (DAH)

Moorhen – 1 immature Loch na Claise, 27th September (DAH)

Wigeon – 4 Loch na Claise, 27th September (DAH)

Tufted Duck – 3 Loch na Claise, 27th September (DAH)

Tawny Owl – 1 ‘kewick’ calling at 2:25am Culkein Drumbeg, 26th September (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 2 Loch Culag, 25th September (Clarinda). These beautiful birds are a real reminder that we are now into autumn.

Skylark – 3 on passage, Clachtoll, 24th September (AS)

Linnets – 45 at Clachtoll and ringed by Tony Mainwood on 24th September (AS)

Snow Bunting – single bird at Achmelvich, 23rd September (Chris Goodman)

Grey Plover – single bird at Achmelvich, 23rd Septemebr (Chris Goodman)

Pink-footed Goose – c45 over Raffin, 23rd September (DAH)

Skylark – 1 on passage near Stoerhead Lighthouse, 23rd September (DAH)

Turnstone – 1 Bay of Culkein, 23rd September (DAH)

Dunlin – 2 Bay of Culkein, 23rd September (DAH)

Sanderling – 3 Bay of Culkein, 23rd September (DAH)

Swallow – 2 Bay of Culkein, 23rd September (DAH)

Meadow Pipit – c50 near Rienachait, 23rd September (DAH)

Grey Wagtail – 2 flying over Oldany Estuary, 23rd September (DAH)

White-tailed Eagle – immature bird over Stoer, 21st September (AS)

Swallow – 16 (adults and juveniles) on phone wire Culkein Drumbeg, 21st September (DAH). Keep looking out for these summer visitors so we can get an idea of their last date with us before they start their amazing journey to South Africa. Just to remind you the first record this year was 17th April!! (by Brian Scott).

Snipe – 4 lifted from croft land Culkein Stoer, 20th September, (DAH)

Redshank – 4 adults Bay of Culkein, 20th September (DAH)

Bar-tailed Godwit – 3 adults Bay of Culkein, 20th September (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 5 adult males in eclipse plumage Bay of Culkein, 20th September (DAH)

Pied Wagtail – 9 (adults and juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 20th September (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 40 (adults and juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 20th Septmeber (DAH). One of these adult birds had coloured rings on its legs which tells us that it was a bird which fledged near Achiltibuie at least one year ago.

Dunlin – 2 adults Bay of Culkein, 20th September (DAH)

Stonechat – 3 (adult male and two juveniles), near viewpoint above Rhicarn, 19th September (DAH). The two juveniles had only recently fledged as they still showed bright gapes and were constantly being fed by the adult.

Long-tailed Tit – 2 Culag Wood, 19th September (DAH)

Goldcrest – 3+ Culag Wood, 19th September (DAH)

Great Spotted Woodpecker – female Culag Wood, 19th September (DAH)

Brent Goose – single off Culkein Drumbeg, 19th September (Corinne France)

Little Grebe – 1 Loch Ruighean an Aitinn, Drumbeg, 18th September (Graeme Cook)

Stonechat – 4 near Oldany Farm, 18th September (DAH)

Golden Eagle – adult having fun with Hooded Crows and Ravens over River Inver near CALL tree nursery, 18th September (DAH)

Grey Wagtail – winter adult on River Inver near CALL tree nursery, 18th September (DAH

Goosander – 1 female on River Inver near CALL tree nursery, 18th September (DAH)

House Martin – 3 feeding over River Inver near CALL tree nursery, 18th September (DAH)

Bullfinch – 2 juvenile birds, Glencanisp, 18th September (DAH)

Sparrowhawk – female near Clashmore, 18th September (Graeme Cook)

Pink-footed Goose – c200 in two skeins heading south-east over Culkein Drumbeg, 17th September at 5pm (DAH). 2012’s first sighting was 11th September so maybe the bad weather over the last three days held them up this year. The skeins continued until well after 10pm and a phone call to the RSPB’s Loch of Strathbeg reserve on the 18th confirmed that ‘overnight’ their number of ‘pinks’ had increased to around 2000 birds – ours? Many thanks to all who reported skeins the same day (Leigh Sedgley; Corinne France; Graeme Cook)

Peregrine – adult male chasing Rock Dove in level flight across shore at Bay of Culkein. Rock Dove easily got away from its pursuer as Peregrines do not have great stamina for this type of hunt. 17th September (DAH)

Teal – 2 female, Loch na Claise, 17th September (DAH)

Wigeon – 3 (1 adult male in eclipse plumage and 2 female) Loch na Claise, 17th September (DAH)

Lapwing – 9 Loch na Claise, 17th September (DAH)

Stonechat – 3 Clashnessie, 17th September (DAH)

Dipper and Grey Wagtail (immature) – Bone Caves, 17th September (AS)

Linnet, Twite, Goldfinch – mixed flock c90 in total, Clachtoll, 16th September (Graeme Cook)

Sanderling – 2 Bay of Stoer, 16th September, (Graeme Cook)

Bar-tailed Godwit – 5 Culkein Stoer, 16th September (PE)

Brent Geese – 3 Culkein Stoer, 16th September (PE)

Herring Gull – 41 Oldany Estuary, 16th September (DAH)

Great Black-backed Gull – 48 Oldany Estuary, 16th September (DAH)

Merlin – 1 (female or juvenile) hunting near Achnacarnin, 15th September (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 2 males in eclipse plumage, Bay of Culkein, 15th September (DAH)

Lapwing – 3 Culkein Stoer, 15th September (DAH)

Black-headed Gull – 2 adults and 1 first-winter bird, Bay of Culkein, 15th September (DAH)

Brent Goose – 19 Clashnessie Bay and two skeins, 15 and 60 birds, over Culkein Stoer, all ‘pale bellied’ birds, 15th September (DAH)

Chiffchaff – calling in Clashmore garden, 13th September (Gordon Sleight). A late record for this warbler and often at this time of year it can be young birds simply ‘finding their voice’ before heading off on migration.

Black-throated Diver – 1 flying over Lochinver Harbour, 13th September (R. Chappell/E. Jones)

Whimbrel – 1 flying and calling over Culkein Drumbeg, 13th September (DAH)

Linnets – 35 ringed at Clachtoll by Tony Mainwood, 13th September.

Starling – c100 Clachtoll, 13th September (R. Chappell/E. Jones)

Sparrowhawk – 1 hunting low through Clachtoll, 12th September (DAH)

Merlin – 1 near Loch an Aigeil, 12th September (R. Chappell/E. Jones). Both this bird and the Sparrowhawk above will no doubt have been ‘enjoying’ the influx and large gathering of Meadow Pipits at the moment – see below.

House Sparrow – 10 Inverkirkaig, 12th September (DAH)

Common Sandpiper – 1 Loch Kirkaig, 12th September (DAH). A very late record for this wader which spends the winter in Africa.

Meadow Pipit – 25 Culkein Drumbeg and 15 Inverkirkaig, 12th September (DAH). These birds start to be very obvious at this time of year as they feed up for their southward migration and also as good numbers of birds already on migration pass through Assynt.

Eider – 10 Loch Dhrombaig, 11th September (DAH). This raft of Eider included one adult male in eclipse plumage.

Redshank – 3 adults Bay of Culkein, 11th September (DAH). The three Redshank at the bay on the 8th were juveniles so today’s three adults are a great example that waders are constantly on the move at this time of year.

Ringed Plover – 26 (adults and juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 11th September (DAH)

Stonechat – 2 just above Clashnessie, 11th September (DAH)

Sparrowhawk – male on fence post near Lagg, 11th September (DAH)

White-tailed Eagle – immature bird Loch Glencoul, 10th September (R. Chappell/E. Jones)

Reed Bunting – 4 Clachtoll, 9th September (R. Chappell/E. Jones)

Pied Wagtail – roost of c100 in reeds at Loch an Aigeil, 9th, 11th and 12th September (R. Chappell/E. Jones)

Sanderling – 5 Bay of Culkien, 9th September (DAH)

House Martin – 4 over Nedd, 9th September (IME)

Swallow – c15 over Nedd, 9th September (IME)

Woodcock – 1 flew over road near Loch Poll at 9:00pm, 8th September (DAH)

White Wagtail – 1 Bay of Culkein, 8th September (AS)

Wigeon – 1 off Rubh’an Dunain, 8th September (DAH)

Redshank – 3 juveniles Bay of Culkein, 8th September (DAH)

Bar-tailed Godwit – 4 Bay of Culkein, 8th and 9th September and only 2 on the 10th (DAH)

Twite – 35 (included 19 juveniles) Clachtoll, 6th September (Tony Mainwood). These birds were caught and ringed by Tony as part of his ongoing programme at Clachtoll. Tony now no longer uses colour rings but simply attaches a metal leg ring with a unique number to one leg of each bird, however there are still a good number of ‘colour-ringed’ Twite around so keep looking and send your sightings to assyntwildlife@gmail.com and we will pass them on to Tony.

Skylark – 3 put up on hill behind Stoerhead Lighthouse car park, 6th September (DAH)

Fulmar – 97 ‘loafing’ just off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 6th September (DAH)

Peregrine – juvenile male flew through waders, without making a kill, Bay of Culkein, 6th September (DAH)

Turnstone – 6 Bay of Culkein, 6th September (DAH)

Tawny Owl – 1 ‘kewick’ calling at 4:40 am Culkein Drumbeg, 6th September (DAH). That’s not a bad way to get woken up!

Kittiwake – 7 (3 adults and 4 1st-winter) Rubh’an Dunain, 5th September (DAH)

Sanderling – 5 Rubh’an Dunain, 5th September (DAH)

White Wagtail – 2 Rubh’an Dunain, 5th September (DAH)

Brent Goose – 6 ‘pale bellied’ birds Bay of Culkein, 5th September (DAH). Photo on Gallery-Birds

Bar-tailed Godwit – 4 Bay of Culkein, 5th September then 5 on 6th September (DAH)

Tufted Duck – single female Loch na Claise, 5th September (DAH)

Teal – 3 Loch na Claise, 5th September (DAH)

Snipe – 3 over Loch na Claise, 5th September (DAH)

Starling – c55 Balchladich, 5th September (DAH)

Lapwing – 11 Balchladich, 5th September (DAH)

Reed Bunting – 4 (adults and juveniles) Balchladich, 5th September (DAH)

Twite – 15 Balchladich, 5th September (DAH)

Goldfinch – 3 (1 adult and 2 juveniles) Culkein Drumbeg, 4th September (DAH). One juvenile bird was still begging for food from the adult and was given some.

Robin – 2 (1 adult and 1 immature) Culkein Drumbeg, 4th September (DAH). These birds were fighting over a territory and the adult has started its ‘winter’ song at 5.45 am – very nice.

House Martin – 2 Culkein Drumbeg, 4th September (DAH). Keep looking for these summer visitors so we can record the last date they were seen.

Sanderling – 4 Bay of Culkein, 3rd September (DAH)

Turnstone – 6 Bay of Culkein, 3rd September (DAH). Two of these birds were still showing significant amounts of summer plumage.

Oystercatcher – 80 Bay of Culkein, 3rd September (DAH)

Knot – 3 juveniles Bay of Culkein, 3rd September (DAH)

Bar-tailed Godwit – single bird still present Bay of Culkein, 3rd September (DAH)

Black-headed Gull – 5 (4 adults; 1 juvenile) Loch an Aigeil and 2 (1 adult; 1 juvenile) Bay of Culkein, 3rd September (DAH)

Lesser Black-backed Gull – 2 Clachtoll; 4 Loch Kirkaig and 1 Loch an Aigeil, 3rd September (DAH)

Little Grebe – 3 (1 adult and 2 juveniles) Loch Culag, 3rd Septmber (DAH)

Brent Goose – 22 Bay of Culkein, 2nd September

House Martin – 1 over Loch Drumbeg, 2nd September (DAH)

OTHERS

Red Admiral butterfly – single flying at Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th September (DAH)

Humpback Whale – 1 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th September (DAH and Leigh Sedgley). This massive whale was seen feeding with the dolphin for around three hours and kept many residents and visitors transfixed.

Common Dolphin – c300 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th September (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 1 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th September (DAH)

Basking Shark – 1 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 29th September (Leigh Sedgley)

Adder – 1 large female sitting on road at Brackloch 29th September (Les Pearce)

Baby Otter – found abandoned in Lochinver bay behind the church. Still there after 24 hours and so was taken to the otter rescue centre on Skye. 25th September (AS).

Red Admiral butterfly – singles flying at Stoer and Clashnessie, 23rd September (Howard Grey)

Stoat – 2 Oldany Dornie, 23rd September (DAH)

Basking Shark – 1 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 23rd September (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 4 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 23rd September (DAH)

Destroying Angel Amanita virosa – many fruiting bodies of this deadly poisonous fungi Culag Wood, 19th September (Roz Summers). Photo on Gallery-Fungi

Stoat – 1 on path to Old Man of Stoer, 18th September (Graeme Cook)

Common Darter – female near River Inver opposite CALL tree nursery, 18th September; 4 with a pair maiting Culag Wood, 19th September (DAH)

Palmate Newt – 1 crossing road Culkein Drumbeg, 17th September (Graeme Cook)

Peacock butterfly – single at Ledbeg House, 17th September (Bill Badger)

Red Admiral butterfly – 2 at Clachtoll, 16th September (AS).

Basking Shark – 1 off Culkein Stoer, 10th September (A. Summers). This is only the second report of this species in Assynt this year.

Perennial sow-thistle Sonchus arvensis – large patch in flower Culkein Stoer, 8th September (IME). First record at this locality for this coastal plant which is rare in Assynt. Photo on Gallery-Flowering Plants and Ferns.

Risso’s Dolphin – 4 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 8th September.

Common Dolphin – 30+ off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 8th September and c10 on 9th September.

Minke Whale – 3 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 8th September and 2 on 9th September.

Harbour Porpoise – many sighted off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 8th and 9th September. These animals, and the three species above, were recorded by Whale and Dolphin Conservation during ten Shorewatch recording periods as part of the nationwide Big Shorewatch Weekend.

Slime fungus Fuligo muscorum – two clumps of this bright orange-yellow fungus on grass near Raffin, 6th September (DAH). Photo on Gallery-Fungi.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly – several flying at Culkein Stoer, 5th September (DAH)

Tree wasp – nest in post box at Clachtoll, 3rd September (AS). Photo on Gallery-Other Insects.

Palmate Newt – 1 crossing very wet road, 2nd September Culkein Drumbeg (DAH)

Sand Star Astropecten irregularis – found at Achmelvich beach, 1st September (AS). Photo on Gallery-Marine.

Report a Sighting

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