Ma(n)y Birds

June 17th 2017

We have written in the past on the subject of birders and their bird lists. Some of us keep lists of birds seen or heard over different time scales, e.g. month list, year list, life list or at different locations e.g. garden list, Assynt list, Sutherland list … you get the idea.

Fortunately we are not too bad in this respect only keeping lists for Assynt, month, year and life birds!

Before we migrated permanently to Assynt our holidays here were typically taken in May/June and September so we had a quick look at our May/June totals only as far back as 2001. Not a true comparison to be honest since the number of days we were here clearly had an impact on the number of birds seen e.g. in 2001 over 3 days we only recorded 44 bird species. Typically for a two week visit in May/June we would record between 80 and 95 species.

One interesting fact which did emerge from our lists was that the first time we recorded Goldfinch in May/June was 2009. We had had the odd record prior to that but they had all been outwith the breeding season. Every year since, Goldfinch has been recorded on our May and June lists.

This May we ended up recording 105 bird species, our second highest ever May count; the highest being 108 in 2012. We also added two new species to our own Assynt list during May, Kingfisher and Temminck’s Stint, taking us to 178 Assynt birds.

The complete Assynt list currently stands at 233 species, so we have some way to go yet.

D and A Haines

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Recent Sightings

Shag

107 (plus 7 Cormorants) on rocks below Stoer Head Lighthouse (DAH) (22/10)

White-tailed Eagle

single immature bird flying over Clachtoll (AS) (22/10)

Brambling

two at Inverkirkaig with Redwings (AS) (21/10)

Whooper Swan

single immature on Maiden Loch, Clachtoll (AS) (21/10)

Ring-billed Gull

single 2nd-winter bird in with Common Gulls Stoer green (DAH) (21/10)

Moorhen

single adult bird Loch an Aigeil (DAH) (21/10)

Brambling

seven birds, including males, on peanut feeder in Balchladich garden (Gordon and Lesley Sleight). Time to start looking more closely at all the Chaffinch flocks that have appeared in the last few days! (20/10)

Great Northern Diver

four winter plumage birds Bay of Stoer (DAH) (20/10)

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