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

House Martin

two birds nest building on Drumbeg Hotel (DAH) (25/05)

Greylag Goose

eight adult birds with 15 goslings Loch Drumbeg (DAH) (25/05)

WALRUS - NOT AN ASSYNT SIGHTING BUT -

UPDATE The Walrus was spotted yesterday, the 24th, in Wick harbour. --------------------------------------------- You may have seen in the news that the Walrus which was first reported from Orkney on 9th March was spotted on 16th May, near Kinlochbervie. If it should turn up in Assynt it would be very much appreciated if you could quickly let us know on assyntwildlife@gmail.com. We can then let those that are monitoring its condition know. We would also ask that you do not do anything which will disturb the animal and please keep dogs on a lead and well away from it, thank you. (25/05)

Slow-worm

single seen in Ardvar garden (Beccy Garvie) (24/05)

Harbour Porpoise

six off Bay of Stoer (DAH) (24/05)

Long-tailed Duck

two male birds, one in summer plumage, Bay of Stoer (DAH) (24/05)

Common Tern

three birds feeding Bay of Stoer (DAH) (24/05)

Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

single on nettles Culkein Drumbeg and two flying near Stoer (DAH) (24/05)

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