Sightings in October 2012

September 28th 2012


Long-tailed Tit – 8 in garden Clashmore, 31st October (GS)

Redwing and Fieldfare – c1000 Cnocnaneach, 31st October

Woodcock – 1 near Rhicarn, 30th October (AS)

Brambling – 2 Clachtoll, 30th October (AS). Look out for these ‘Chaffinch like’ finches, it is expected that we will have an irruption of them due to a failed food supply in Scandinavia.

Fieldfare – 100+ over Torbreck, 26th October (GR) First large numbers in Assynt this autumn; they also arrived with the first snow today!

Moorhen – 1 Loch an Aigeil, 25th October

Wigeon – 1 (female) Loch an Aigeil, 25th October

Little Grebe – 3 Loch Inver, 25th October

Redwing – 4 feeding on Rowan berries Culag Wood, 25th October

Greylag Goose – 20 flying over Lagg, 25th October

Tawny Owl – 1 giving ‘kewick’ call Culkein Drumbeg at 8.30pm, 23rd October

Rock Pipit – c50 near Achnacarnin, 23rd October

Mistle Thrush – 6 Lagg, 23rd October

Reed Bunting – 4 Culkein Store, 23rd October

Rock Dove – c40 Clashmore, 23rd October

Goldeneye – 2 (females) Loch na Claise, 23rd October

Long-tailed Tit – 8 Balchladich, 23rd October

Long-tailed Duck – 2 Clashnessie Bay, 5 Balchladich Bay, 23rd October

Great Northern Diver – 1 Loch Dhrombaig, 21st October

Shag – c100 feeding on Loch Dhrombaig, 21st October

Goldfinch – 12 Culkein Drumbeg, 21st October

Whooper Swan – 7 Loch Assynt near Inchnadamph, 20th October (HM)

Redwing – 40+ Inchnadamph, 20th October (HM)

Kestrel – 1 (male) Culkein Drumbeg, 20th October

Golden Plover – 1 Clachtoll, 20th October

Goldeneye – 1 (male) River Inver near Little Assynt Field, 20th October

Whooper Swan – 4 flying north over Little Assynt, 20th October

Long-tailed Tit – 7 Little Assynt, 20th October

Goldcrest – 1 Little Assynt, 20th October

Bullfinch – 1 (female) Little Assynt, 20th October

Long-tailed Duck – 6 Balchladich Bay, 19th October. Possibly some of the seven from 17th October, but no sign of the full winter male.

Whooper Swan – 1 juvenile Clashnessie Bay; 7 adults Loch na Claise and 4 adults Oldany Estuary, 19th October.

Ringed Plover – 23 Bay of Culkein, 19th October. This included one bird colour ringed as a chick at Achiltibuie in 2011.

Turnstone – 2 Bay of Culkein, 19th October

Greylag Geese – 25 over Culkein Drumbeg, 18th October

Whooper Swan – 4 (2 adults 2 juveniles) over Culkein Drumbeg, 18th October

Peregrine – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 17th October

Greylag Goose – 5 Clashmore, 17th October and 11 on 19th October

Goldeneye – 1 (female) Loch na Claise, 17th and 19th October. First 2012 autumn record for Assynt?

Tufted Duck – 4 (1 male 3 female) Loch na Claise, 17th October

Great Northern Diver – 4 Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Red-throated Diver – 2 Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Black Guillemot – 12 Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Long-tailed Duck – 7 Balchladich Bay, 17th October. It has been a good autumn for long-tailed duck sightings around Assynt and this raft included a fantastic full winter male.

Treecreeper – 1 Duart, 16th October

Bullfinch – 1 (female) Drumbeg, 16th October

Blackbird – 5 Drumbeg, 16th October. Looks like our winter thrushes are starting to arrive in small numbers.

Song Thrush – 2 Drumbeg and Duart, 16th October

Fieldfare – 1 Drumbeg, 16th October

Little Grebe – 1 Lochan Sgeireach Stoer, 15th October

Barnacle Goose – c30 A’Chleit off Loch Kirkaig, 15th October

Rock Dove – 28 Inverkirkaig, 15th October

Curlew – 13 Loch Kirkaig, 15th October

Yellowhammer – 1 (male) Achmelvich Bridge, 15th October

Twite – 24 Clachtoll, 15th October

Redwing – 1 Culkein Stoer, 15th October

Mistle Thrush – 2 Culkein Stoer, 15th October

Turnstone – 26 Bay of Culkein, 15th October

Rock Pipit – 14 Bay of Culkein, 15th October

Long-tailed Tit – 10 Unapool, 14th October (MM)

Turnstone – c30 off Culkein Drumbeg, 14th October

Carrion Crow – 1 Culkein Stoer, 14th and 17th October

Linnet – 3 Culkein Stoer, 14th October

Goldfinch – 10 Culkein Stoer, 14th October

Dunlin – 3 Bay of Culkein, 14th October

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Bay of Culkein, 14th and 17th October

Redshank – 3 Bay of Culkein, 14th October

Long-tailed Duck – 1 (winter female) Bay of Culkein, 14th October

Rock Dove – c35 over Stoer Primary School, 14th October

Black-headed Gull – 1 winter adult off Kylesku, 13th October

Red-throated Diver – 2 off Kylesku, 13th October

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) chasing finches through a large rose bush Unapool, 13th October

Greenfinch – 6 on feeder Unapool, 13th October

Fieldfare – 40+ heading south over Culkein Stoer, 12th October (IF)

Long-tailed Tit – 12 over Clashnessie, 10th October

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) Clashmore, 10th October. She unsuccessfully flew in to a flock of c25 Starling and c20 Twite which were feeding.

Moorhen – 1 adult Loch na Claise, 10th October

Teal – 11 (female) Loch na Claise, 10th October

Eider – 9 (1 male 8 females) Clachtoll Bay, 10th October

Black Guillemot 2 winter adults Bay of Stoer, 10th October

Wigeon – 1 (female) Loch’an Aigeil, 10th October

Kestrel – 1 (male) near Store, 10th October

Stonechat – 3 (2 males 1 female) Glencanisp, 9th October

Chiffchaff – 1 Glencanisp, 9th October

Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1 (adult female) Glencanisp Road, 9th October

Golden Plover – 1 Clachtoll, 8th October

Gadwall – 27 (males, females and juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 8th October. This is a new record for Assynt and the two duck species listed below were in with them; the wind today was off the north-west so it looks like it brought a few Iceland birds with it.

Scaup – 1 (female) Bay of Culkein, 8th October

Long-tailed Duck – 2 (pair) Bay of Culkein, 8th October

Barnacle Goose – 30 over Culkein Drumbeg, 8th October

Red-throated Diver – 3 Clashnesie Bay, 8th October (IF)

Tufted Duck – 6 (1 male, 5 female) Loch na Claise, 7th October

Red-breasted Merganser – 3 (females) Oldany Estuary, 7th October

Goosander – 1 (female) Oldany Estuary, 7th October

Teal – 6 (females) Oldany Estuary, 7th October

Stonechat – 1 (male) near Oldany, 7th October

Red-throated Diver – 1 off Rubh’an Dunain, 7th October

Great Northern Diver – 1 adult, still in breeding plumage, Bay of Culkein, 7th October

Turnstone – 3 Clashnessie Bay, 7th October

Ringed Plover – 30 Clashnessie Bay, 7th October

Pink-footed Goose – c120 over Culkein Drumbeg, 6th October

Swallow – 2 Elphin, 6th October. Summer and winter visitors next to each other on our sightings page! Keep watching for the ‘last’ Swallow.

Whooper Swan – 5 Loch an Aigeil, 4th October (JG). First Assynt record this autumn of these fantastic birds from Iceland.

Swallow – 1 Drumbeg viewpoint, 3rd October (IF)

White-tailed Eagle – 1 over Inverkirkaig, 3rd October (RK)



Common Darter dragonfly – 3 (males) on School Path, Culag Woods, 25th October

Harbour Porpoise – 2 off Balchladich Bay and 4 off Rubh’an Dunain, 23rd October

Otter – 2 (mother and immature) Clashnessie Bay, 23rd October

Pygmy Shrew – 1 found dead in garden Strathan, 21st October (CC) A new location record for this under recorded shrew.

Meadow Grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus – 1 on Stoer Peat track, 21st October (IAM) A late record for this insect.

Common Darter dragonfly – 1 River Inver near Little Assynt Field, 20th October

Harbour Porpoise – 2 off Balchladich Bay, 17th October

Common Darter dragonfly – 2 (males) near Drumbeg, 16th October

Painted Lady – 1 near Inverkirkaig, 15th October. A very worn example of this migrant buttefly quite late in the year, photo on Gallery-Insects

Red Admiral – 1 Strathan, 14th October (CC)

Red Deer – 3 stags roaring on skyline south of Oldany, 10th October

Grey Seal – 3 Clachtoll Bay, 10th October

Dolphin species – c20 heading north off Achmelvich, 3rd October (RG)

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Recent Sightings

Rock Dove

40 on croft near Clachtoll campsite (AS) (21/10)


6 near reedbed at Clachtoll (AS) (20/10)


single animal in marshy area, Clachtoll (Duncan Orr-Ewing) (20/10)

Common Dolphin

two animals off Clachtoll (Duncan Orr-Ewing) (20/10)

Winter Thrushes

two Redwing and a single Fieldfare, Clachtoll (Duncan Orr-Ewing). The first record as the thrushes start to arrive in Assynt and eat the Rowan berries. (20/10)

Red-necked Grebe

single bird still present in Loch Inver (Gwen Richards and Duncan Orr-Ewing) (19/10)


single birds at Clachtoll and Clashnessie (Duncan Orr-Ewing) (19/10)

Golden Plover

two birds, Clachtoll (Duncan Orr-Ewing) (18/10)