Little Auks around coast of Assynt

January 12th 2016

Little Auks continue to be washed up around the coast of Scotland.

This little fellow was rescued from a garden in Clashnessie on 11th January 2016. Little Auks which breed in Iceland and Greenland and winter in the North Sea have been blown, by the recent series of gales, on to the shores of Scotland.

Some are dead, others weak and needing help. If they are fit and strong they can be released back into a sheltered sea loch but if they are injured or weak they need to go to the Scottish SPCA who can be contacted on 03000 999 999. These cute little birds are not designed to walk and if they are blown ashore they often cannot take off again. So please help and keep a look out for these special birds.

There have been five live sightings of these auks reported around Assynt so far – starting off Oldany on 8th January 2016 then Clashnessie Bay, Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, Lochinver bay and Loch Dhrombaig. But don’t get fooled by the hundreds of other auks, Guillemots and Razorbills, which are also sheltering around our shores at the moment. The Little Auk is only about half the size of its bigger relatives at around 8 inches long.

Little Auk stranded at Clashnessie. Photo A. Summers
Little Auk stranded at Clashnessie. Photo A. Summers

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Recent Sightings

Garganey

single male Loch Neil Bhain (DAH). This is only the third Assynt record of this species. Photo - Gallery Birds (19/05)

Lapwing

three adult birds and one chick, Loch Neil Bhain (DAH) (19/05)

Whimbrel

two birds near Culkein Drumbeg jetty (DAH). Photo - Gallery Birds (19/05)

Risso's Dolphin

four animals off Stoerhead Lighthouse (DAH) (19/05)

Arctic Tern

15+ birds on offshore island Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (19/05)

Shelduck

pair still present Oldany estuary area (DAH) (19/05)

Golden Plover

at least four birds on grazing land Balchladich (Janet French) (18/05)

Arctic Skua

both a dark and a pale morph bird off Stoerhead Lighthouse (Mal Edwards) (17/05)

Map