Sightings in March 2012

February 29th 2012


Pink-footed Goose – 44 heading NW over Culkein Drumbeg, 31st March (IME)

Peregrine – 1 immature harassing gulls Oldany Estuary, 31st March

Shelduck – 1 (male) Oldany Estuary, 31st March

Kittiwake – 10+ off Raffin, 30th March

Eider – 35 (11 male 24 female) off Raffin, 30th March

Moorhen – 1 Loch an Aigeil, 30th March

Divers – 5 Great Northern and 1 Red-throated off Culkein Bay, 30th March

Turnstone – 31 Bay of Culkein, 30th March

Redwing – 8 Nedd, 28th March

Golden Eagle – 1 (sub-adult male) low over road Glenleraig, 28th March This bird put up three Red Grouse and showed well for about 5 minutes.

Greenshank – 3 Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, 28th March Quite an early record, and then two Oldany Estuary, 30th March.

White-winged gulls – 2 Glaucous and 15 Iceland (varying ages) near fish farm Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, 28th March These birds formed part of a large mixed flock of Great Black-backed, Herring, Common and Black-headed Gulls totalling over 140 birds.

Shelduck – 2 (males) Bay of Culkein, 27th March

Bean Goose – 1 in with 20 Greylags Clashmore, 27th March A straggler from the big influx last autumn perhaps.

Whooper Swan – 1 Loch na Claise, 27th and 30th March

Lapwing – 3 Loch Neil Bhain; 7 Clachtoll; 20 Loch na Claise, 27th March

Glaucous Gull – 2 immature birds flew past Clachtoll, 27th March

Eider – 5 (3 males, 2 females) Bay of Stoer, 27th March

Reed Bunting – 2 (a pair) in reeds at Loch an Aigeil, 27th March

Shag – Pair – 1 bird incubating nest 1 bringing nesting material on off-shore island Culkein Drumbeg, 26th March

Glaucous Gull – 1 immature bird flew past Stoer Head Lighthouse, 26th March

Wheatear – more males at Culkein Drumbeg, Clashnessie and Stoer Head Lighthouse, 26th March Looks like the males are setting up their territories before the females arrive.

Merlin – 2 over Culkein, 26th March

Great Northern Diver – 10 Clashnessie Bay, 26th March Eight of these birds were swimming and fishing together, quite a sight.

Lesser Black-backed Gull – 2 Oldany Estuary, 26th March Two of our breeding birds return

Redwing – 30 Inchnadamph, 26th March (HM) Could be these birds starting to move through again on spring migration.

Chiffchaff – singing Culag Wood, 26th March (AS)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Loch Dhrombaig, 25th March

Goldeneye – 6 (2 males 4 females) Loch Ruighean an Aitinn near Drumbeg, 25th March One of the males was displaying, the females were more interested in feeding!

Iceland Gull – 1 (3rd winter) Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, 25th March

Glaucous Gull – 2 (one adult and one 1st winter) Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, 25th March

Wheatear – several males on crofts at Clachtoll (AS), 24th March (is this the first?).

Raven – incubating eggs on nest near Loch Culag, 23rd March (AS).

Snipe – male drumming at Stoer, 23rd March (JG)

Barn Owl – Inchnadamph, 22nd March (HM)

Great Northern Diver – Lochinver bay, 22nd March (AS)

Eider – 6 including four male Lochinver bay, 22nd March (AS)

Stonechat – 1 on ‘egg box’ near Pollan, 22nd March First record this year, good to know they are still around. (HG) A female also showed near Strathcroy on 26th March.

Iceland Gull30 Loch a Chairn Bhain, 16th March This is an exceptional number of these gulls which have never been seen in such numbers in Assynt before. They were on Eilean a Ghamhna along with Herring and Great Black-backed gulls.

Black-throated Diver – 1 Loch Dhrombaig, 16th March This bird was in full breeding plummage.

Tawny Owl – calling Culkein Drumbeg, 8.30pm 14th March

Great Northern Diver – 5 off Rubh’an Dunain, 14th March

Iceland Gull – 1 (2nd winter) flying over Culkein, 14th March

Black-headed Gull – 11 Bay of Culkein, 14th March This comprised six winter adult and five 1st winter birds.

Razorbill – 7 Clashnessie Bay, 13th March This included two first winter birds.

Grey Heron – 8 active nests in Culag wood, 12th March.

Teal – Pair at Loch an Ordain, 12th March.

Golden Eagle – 1 Achmelvich bridge, 12th March This bird was being mobbed by a buzzard and talons were being exposed in ‘tumbling’ flight.

Yellowhammer – 1 singing male Achmelvich bridge, 12th March

Common Scoter – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 12th March Still present on 14th march

Golden Eagle – 2 Oldany, 11th March

Twite – 61 Clachtoll, 11th March This included four birds colour-ringed by Tony Mainwood. They were an adult from spring 2010; a juvenile from autumn 2010; an adult from spring 2011 and a juvenile from autumn 2011. Still 40+ birds on 27th March.

Pied Wagtail – 2 Clachtoll, 11th March

Lapwing – 9 Clachtoll, 11th March

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 11th March Giving the waders a scare!

Razorbill – 2 Bay of Culkein, 11th March

Redshank – 6 Bay of Culkein, 11th March

Turnstone – 41 Bay of Culkein, 11th March

Common Gull – 40 Clashnessie Bay, 11th March

Goldeneye – 3 (1 male, 2 female) Loch Drumbeg, 9th March

Shelduck – 2 (1 male, 1 female) Oldany Estuary, 9th 11th and 14th March These appear to be the first returning birds of 2012

Twite – c25 Clachtoll, 8th March

Moorhen – 2 Loch an Aigeil, 8th March

Lapwing – 7 near Loch na Claise, 8th March Some aggression being shown by two of these birds

Skylark – 8 Culkein, 8th March Only one was singing but flock was quite active

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Bay of Culkein, 8th 11th and 14th March This could be the same bird which has been in the bay since early February

Purple Sandpiper – 3 Bay of Culkein, 8th March

Eider – 6 Bay of Culkein, 8th March Raft consisted of two male and four female birds; also single pair Lochinver bay.

Greylag Goose – 16 Oldany, 8th March

Great Northern Diver – 2 Loch Dhrombaig, 7th March

Whooper Swan – 2 Loch Neil Bhain, 7th March

Iceland Gull – 2 Lochinver bay 6th March

Great-spotted Woodpecker – Lochinver 6th March.

Linnet – Clachtoll, 3rd March (first of season)

Skylark– 4 Clachtoll, 3rd March (first of season)

Great-spotted Woodpecker – garden Lochinver, 3rd March

Fieldfare – 15+ Stoer peat track, 2nd March

Oystercatcher – 2 Shores of Loch Assynt, 2nd March

Lapwing – Ledmore, 2nd March

Siskins – 3 Glencanisp Lodge

Whooper Swan – 2 Loch Awe, 1st March These birds still present on 7th and 16th March



Palmate Newt – 3 in roadside pool near Gleann Ardbhair, 28th March (DAH)

Glue fungus Hymenochaete corrugata – rare fungus found at Inverkirkaig (SB) See news for photo and more information

Carrion Beetle Oiceoptoma thoracicum – 1 in garden Lochinver, 24th March (RR) See Gallery-Insects for photo or Other Invertebrates for more information and photo.

White-tailed Bumblebee – Clachtoll, 24th March (ES)

Common Carder Bumblebee – Clachtoll, 24th March (ES)

Red Admiral Butterfly – Clachtoll, 24th March (ES)

Small Tortoishell Butterfly – Clachtoll, 23rd March (JG) and Culkein Drumbeg, 25th March (DAH)

Double-striped Pug moth – in house at Nedd, 22nd March, (IME)

Bats (probably pipistrelles) – flying at Torbreck (GR) and Nedd (IME), 22nd March

Possible Mink footprints on Mink raft at Loch Culag, 21st March (AS).

Common Lizard – 1 near Stoer, 20th March (JHG)

Red Admiral – 1 Nedd, 18th and 23rd March (PSG)

Adder – 1 male near Garvie Bay, Inverpolly, 17th March Sorry, not an Assynt record however it is the first local sighting of the year. Even more important is the fact that as adders are in steep decline and being very vulnerable to heath fires, such as the devastating fire in Inverpolly last year, it is great to get a record from that area.

Slow Worm – near Achin’s Bookshop Inverkirkaig, 14th March (AD)

Dung Beetle Geotrupes stercorarius – First record of year Oldany Dornie, 12th March (IME)

Common Seal – 21 Oldany Estuary, 10th March (DAH)

Lesser Celandine – 1 plant in flower near Oldany Estuary, 9th March (DAH)

Stoat – in ermine, Clachtoll, 7th March

Pine Marten – Culag Woods, 1st March

Otter – Lochinver Bay, 1st March

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