Sightings in September 2012

August 29th 2012


Jackdaw – 28 feeding near Elphin, 29th September

Brent Goose – 10 Bay of Culkein and 6 Clashnessie Bay, 28th September. All these birds were of the ‘pale bellied’ race which arrive at this time from Greenland or Arctic Canada.

Red-breasted Merganser – 4 (females) Loch Druim Suardalain, 27th September

Siskin – c50 Glencanisp, 27th September

Lapwing – 8 Clachtoll, 27th September

Scaup – 1 (female), Loch na Claise, 26th September. This duck, which is not a regular in Assynt, ticked the boxes for a genuine Scaup and not a Tufted/Scaup hybrid.

Tufted Duck – 14 (males and females), Loch na Claise, 26th September. Looks like our winter ducks are starting to arrive.

Carrion Crow – 1 Culkein Stoer, 26th September. Another rare sighting of this corvid for Assynt; could this be same bird seen in the same area in May?

Little Grebe – 2 Loch na Claise, 24th September

Black Guillemot – 3 winter plumage birds off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 24th September

Tufted Duck – 2 (male and female) Loch na Claise, 24th September

Goosander – 1 (female) Balchladich Bay, 24th and 26th September

Starling – c135 Blachladich, 24th September

Red-throated Diver – 5 (adults and 1st winter birds) off Balchladich, 24th September

Long-eared Owl – 1 Culkein Stoer, 23rd September

Red-breasted Merganser – 6 Oldany Estuary, 23rd September

Swallow – 8 (adults and juveniles) Culkein Drumbeg, 23rd September

Goldfinch – 3 (1 adult 2 juvenile) Culkein Drumbeg, 23rd September

Wheatear – 2 Stoer, 22nd September

Moorhen – 1 (1st winter) Loch an Aigeil, 22nd September

Kestrel – 1 (male) near Lagg, 22nd September and then again over Oldany Estuary, 23rd September

Stonechat – 7 (4 male 3 female) between start of Glencanisp road and Crocaneach, 22nd September. Great to have records of so many Stonechat and Goldcrest.

Goldcrest – 3 seen and several more heard Glencanisp to Crocaneach, 22nd September

Stonechat – 3 near Strathcroy, 21st September

Ringed Plover – c25 Bay of Culkein, 21st September. This included one colour ringed juvenile bird which was ringed at Achiltibuie this year.

Sanderling – 10 Bay of Culkein, 21st September. We have good numbers of Sanderling this year.

Greylag Goose – 9 flying over Achnacarnin, 21st September. Has anyone seen any other Greylags?

Mallard – 15 Loch an Aigeil, 20th September

Starling – c65 Achmelvich, 20th September

Twite – c25 Achmelvich, 20th September. This included two colour ringed birds; one ringed at Clachtoll spring 2010 and one spring 2012.

Meadow Pipit – 15 near Nedd Bridge, 19th September. Good numbers of Meadow Pipit around each day at the moment as they move through on passage south.

Stonechat – 1 (1st winter male) Culkein Drumbeg, 19th September

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Bay of Culkein, 18th, 21st and 24th September

White-tailed Eagle – 1 Glencanisp, 17th September (AV)

Black-throated Diver – 1 (immature) Loch Dhrombaig, 17th September

Great-black Backed Gull – 45 Oldany Estuary, 16th September

Red-throated Diver – 1 adult in summer plumage Bay of Culkein, 15th September

Sanderling – 4 Clashnessie Bay, 15th September

Arctic Skua – 2 pale morph birds Clashnessie Bay, 15th September

Merlin – 1 (female) Clashnessie, 15th September

Arctic Tern – 2 juvenile birds feeding off Bay of Culkein, 14th September

Arctic Skua – 2 dark morph birds over Bay of Culkein, 14th September

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 14th September. This bird also flew at the feeding waders in the bay once but was unsuccesful; a hard day for the waders!

Peregrine – 1 (male) Bay of Culkein, 14th September. This bird flew at the feeding waders in the bay twice in two hours, it took an Oystercatcher first time but was unsuccesful on the second attempt.

Snow Bunting – 1 Quinag, 12th September (MB)

Ptarmigan – 6 put to flight by two hunting Golden Eagles, Sail Ghorm, 12th September (MB)

Pink-footed Goose – Six skeins over Culkein Drumbeg (550+ birds in total), 12th September. Wind from the north-west today so looks like they were making the most of it.

Wigeon – 8 past Rubh’an Dunain, 11th September

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 11th September. This bird flew through, and put up, the waders feeding in the bay causing a Sanderling to crash dive into the waves – it escaped.

Pink-footed Goose – 10 over Culkein Drumbeg (AH) and 50 over Stoer (JG), 11th September. This is three days earlier than the last two years.

Stonechat – 1 (male) near Loch Poll Hydro track, 10th September

Ring Ouzel – 4 Meall Meadhonach, Suilven, 9th September (MB)

Ptarmigan – 1 Meall Meadhonach, Suilven, 9th September (MB)

Raven – 10 near Raffin, 9th September

Great Skua – 4 over Stoer Head Lighthouse car park, 9th September

Shag – c140 on rocks below Stoer Head Lighthouse, 9th September

Reed Bunting – 4 Culkein Stoer, 9th September

Black Guillemot – 4 off Bay of Culkein, 9th September

Teal – 6 Bay of Culkein, 9th September

White Wagtail – 4 Culkein Drumbeg, 8th September

Mixed Finch flock – c80 comprising Greenfinch, Linnet and Twite Balchladich, 8th September

Mixed Waders – 120+ feeding waders at Bay of Culkein, 7th September. Not a huge number of waders by some standards but quite unusual for Assynt. This included 53 Ringed Plover, 27 Knot (a very high count) and 15 Redshank.

Goldcrest – 2 Inverkirkaig, 7th September

Lesser Black-backed Gull – 3 (adults) Loch Kirkaig, 7th September

Red-breasted Merganser – 8 (females) Loch Kirkaig, 7th September

Cormorant – 3 (1 adult 2 juvenile) Bay of Culkein, 5th September

White Wagtail – 10 in with a total of 27 pied/white wagtails Bay of Culkein, 5th September

Arctic Tern – 1 (juvenile) Bay of Clachtoll, 5th September

Razorbill – 14 (adults and juveniles) Bay of Stoer, 5th September

Sanderling – 39 Bay of Culkein (all juveniles), 9 Bay of Stoer, 4th September

Greenfinch – 10 (adults and juveniles) Clachtoll, 4th September

Linnet – c20 (adults and juveniles) Clachtoll, 4th September

Goldfinch – 6 (juveniles) Clachtoll, 4th September

Manx Shearwater – 10 off Rubh’an Dunain, 4th September

Great-spotted Woodpecker – 1 (juvenile male) on peanut feeder Culkein Drumbeg, 3rd September (MMc)

Barn Owl – 1 (adult) near Stoer in daytime roost, 2nd September (SL). Photo on Gallery-Birds

Lapwing – 22 Clachtoll, 2nd September (AS)

Redshank – 3 Oldany Estuary, 2nd September

Little Grebe – 4 (1 adult 3 juvenile) Loch na Claise, 2nd September

Linnet – 8 (adults and juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 2nd September

Knot – 2 (adult winter) Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd September

Turnstone – 3 Bay of Culkein and 6 Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd September

Ringed Plover – 6 Bay of Culkein and 33 Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd September

Dunlin – 5 Bay of Culkein and 8 Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd September

Sanderling – 20 Bay of Culkein and 17 Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd September

Merlin – 1 adult Culkein Drumbeg, 1st September (CF)



Otter – Single in Bay of Culkein, 26th September

Harbour Porpoise – 5 off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 24th September

Highland or Common Darter Dragonfly – 10+ on track to Loch Poll, 23rd September

Harbour Porpoise – 8+ including juveniles off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 23rd September (LS)

Green Elfcup Chlorociboria aeruginascens – Several fruiting bodies found on small piece of birch in Culag Wood, 20th September. The blue-green staining of wood by the mycelium of this fungi is often seen but the fruiting bodies are less frequent. Photo on Gallery-Fungi

Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria – Many good examples in woodland near Oldany Estuary, 16th September

Otter – 3 Bay of Culkein, 14th September. First sighting was of an adult female and cub feeding as they swam out to Rubh’an Dunain and around an hour later a male appeared on the rocks in the bay where he preened and rolled in the sand to clean the salt from his fur.

Grey Seal – 1 in large waves Bay of Culkein, 14th September

Mountain Hare – 1 Quinag, 12th September (MB)

Minke Whale – 1 off Culkein Drumbeg, 12th September (CF)

Chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius – Several examples in woodland near Drumbeg, 10th September. Photo on Gallery-Fungi

Speckled Wood – 1 near Loch Poll Hydro track, 10th September

Common Dolphin – c40 off Clachtoll, 9th September (AV)

Small Tortoiseshell – 1 Bay of Culkein, 9th September

Harbour Porpoise – 5 off Rubh’an Dunain, 9th September

Basking Shark – 1 off Point of Stoer and a smaller individual off Rubh’an Dunain, 9th September

Stoat – 1 near Strathcroy, 2nd September

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Recent Sightings


single male bird in Torbreck garden (Gwen Richards) (30/09)

Yellow-browed Warbler

single bird in Torbreck garden (Gwen Richards) (30/09)


single reptile spotted on Baddidarach to Achmelvich path (Ballal Mirza) (29/09)

Brent Goose

single light-bellied bird on rock in Clashnessie Bay (DAH). This bird had two coloured leg rings and we are trying to establish its history. Update 30-9-20 - we have heard back from the Irish Brent Goose Ringing Group and this bird was ringed as a juvenile in South Dublin in December 2019. (29/09)

Little Grebe

three birds, Lochan Sgeireach, Stoer (DAH) (29/09)


single bird, probably juvenile, in 'dogfight' with Hooded Crow for over 10 minutes (Gwen Richards and Ian M. Evans) (29/09)

Viper's-bugloss (Echium vulgare)

single plant in fenced ground, Culkein Stoer (Ian M. Evans and Gwen Richards). First record of this plant in Assynt since 2006 (29/09)

Bar-tailed Godwit

single bird Bay of Culkein (Gwen Richards and Ian Evans) (29/09)