Sightings in November 2012

October 31st 2012


Moorhen – 1 Loch na Claise and Loch an Aigeil, 30th November

Goldeneye – 3 (1 male 2 female) Loch an Aigeil, 30th November

Woodcock – 4 Torbreck, 30th November (G. Richards)

Tawny Owl – in trees at telephone exchange Culkein Drumbeg, 29th November

Purple Sandpiper – 5 Rubh’an Dunain, 28th November

Red-throated Diver – 1 off Bay of Culkein, 28th November

Reed Bunting – 2 (1st winter birds) Culkein Stoer, 28th November

Greylag Geese – 12 Culkein Stoer, 28th November. The first Greylags at this location this winter, nice to see them back.

Fieldfare – 1500+ near Torbreck, 28th November (A. Summers). Although the Waxwing are the big excitement the huge number of Fieldfare this year are an even more thrilling sight as they fly over and fill the sky.

Chaffinch – 12+ Baddidarach, 27th November

Red-breasted Merganser – 6 (4 male 2 female) Loch Inver, 27th November

Great Northern Diver – 4 off Glas Leac Loch Inver, 27th November

Goldeneye – 11 (9 male 2 female) Loch na Claise, 27th and 30th November

Fieldfare – c200 Inverkirkaig, 26th November (A. Summers)

Yellowhammer – 6 opposite TIC Lochinver, 26th November (A. Summers)

Wigeon – 1 (male) Loch Inver, 26th November (A. Summers)

Stonechat – 2 (a pair) near Lagg, 25th November

Goldfinch – 6 Oldany, 25th November

Peregrine – 1 (male) near Oldany, 25th November This bird was chasing the mixed thrush and waxwing flock without success.

Greenfinch – 10 Culkein Drumbeg, 25th November

Fieldfare and Redwing – mixed flock c800 near Polchaple, 25th November

Starling – 110 Clachtoll, 25th November (A. Summers)

Curlew – 11 Clachtoll, 25th November (A. Summers)

Mixed flock of tits – c35 comprising Great, Blue and Long-tailed near Strathcroy, 24th November

Grey Phalarope – 1 (1st winter bird) Bay of Culkein, 24th November. This is a rare record for Assynt with the last one being November 2008.

Great Northern Diver – 1 off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 24th November

Gannet – 7 off Stoer Head Lighthouse, 24th November

Golden Eagle – 1 (female) over Loch a Chairn Bhain, 23rd November

Fieldfare – c100 Nedd Bridge, 23rd November

Fieldfare and Redwing – mixed flock c300 near Duart, 23rd November

Tawny Owl – 1 giving ‘kewick’ call Culkein Drumbeg, 10.30 pm 22nd November

Little Grebe – 1 Loch Inver, 21st November (R. Garnet)

Barn Owl – 1 hunting Clashnessie, 21st November. There was enough light at 4.00 pm to watch this majestic bird through the scope as it floated across the grazing and twice settled on fence posts.

Siskin – 4 Inverkirkaig, 21st November

Sparrowhawk – 1 Inverkirkaig, 21st November

Brambling – 2 (a pair) Strathan, 21st November

Yellowhammer – 1 (male) Strathan, 21st November

Fieldfare – c800 Strathan and c350 Inverkirkaig, 21st November

Dunlin – 1 Bay of Culkein, 20th and 24th November

Turnstone – 28 Bay of Culkein, 20th November

Golden Plover – 8 on Meall Dearg, Stoer, 20th November (C. Belshaw)

Goldeneye – 10 (5 male 5 female) Loch na Claise, 20th November

Whooper Swan – 3 (adults) Loch na Claise and 5 (2 adult 3 immature) Bay of Culkein, 20th November

Greylag Goose – 13 Loch na Claise and 16 Clachtoll, 20th November

Pink-footed Goose – 2 Loch na Claise, 20th November

Black Guillemot – 1 Balchladich Bay, 20th November

Long-tailed Duck – 1 (male) Balchladich Bay, 20th November. What a stunning bird!

Eider – 3 (first winter males) Balchladich Bay, 20th November

Mistle Thrush – 2 Balchladich, 20th November

Woodcock – 1 near Strathcroy, 20th November

Sparrowhawk – 1 (female) Culkein Drumbeg, 20th November

Blackbird – 5 Inver Terrace, 19th November

Fieldfare – c35 Glen Canisp road, 19th November

Golden Eagle – 2 over Stoer School, 18th November (C. Miller)

Purple Sandpiper – 4 Badnaban, 18th November (G. Richards). Our first record this winter.

Redwing and Fieldfare – c70 mixed flock Culkein Drumbeg, 18th November

Curlew – 10 Oldany Estuary, 18th November

Grey Heron – 10 Oldany Estuary, 18th November

Goldeneye – 9 (6 male 3 female) Loch na Claise, 17th November

Jack Snipe – 1 Culkein Stoer, 17th November

Rock Pipit – c17 Bay of Culkein, 17th November

Great Northern Diver – 1 Bay of Culkein, 17th November

Turnstone – 44 Bay of Culkein, 17th November

Teal – 3 (1 male 2 female) Bay of Culkein, 17th November

Goldfinch – 1 Nedd and 2 Drumbeg, 16th November

Redwing – c70 Drumbeg, 16th November

Goldeneye – 4 (1 male 3 female) Loch Ruighean an Aitinn, 16th November

Little Grebe – 1 Loch Nedd, 16th November

Siskin – c8 Nedd and c25 Drumbeg, 16th November

Sparrowhawk – 1 (male) Nedd, 16th November

Redwing and Fieldfare – c120 Nedd, 16th November

Goldfinch – 3 on garden feeder Torbreck, 14th November (G. Richards)

Redwing and Fieldfare – c35 over Torbreck, 14th November (G. Richards)

Whooper Swan – 5 (2 adult 3 immature) near Cam Loch, 14th November (G. Richards)

Goldfinch – 2 Clachtoll, 14th November

Twite – c25 Clachtoll, 14th November

Black-headed Gull – 1 (adult) Bay of Culkein and 1 (first winter) Loch an Aigeil, 14th November

Turnstone – 18 Bay of Culkein, 14th November

Starling – c110 Bay of Culkein, 14th November

Gannet – 2 (1 adult and 1 first winter) off Rubh’an Dunain, 14th November

Long-tailed Duck – 1 (female) Clashnessie Bay, 14th November

Woodcock – 1 Torbreck, 13th November (G. Richards)

Tufted Duck – 4 (1 male 3 female) Loch na Claise, 12th November (G. Sleight)

Goldeneye – 6 (4 male 2 female) Loch na Claise, (G. Sleight) and 1 female Loch an Aigeil, 12th November

Barnacle Goose – 1 flying over Culkein Stoer, 12th November

Carrion Crow – 1 Culkein Stoer, 12th November. Looks like this crow has decided to stay with us.

Turnstone – 2 Bay of Culkein, 12th November

Redshank – 6 Bay of Culkein, 12th November

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Bay of Culkein, 12th November

Great Northern Diver – 1 Clashnessie Bay, 12th November

Stonechat – 2 (a pair) Clashnessie, 12th November

Treecreeper – 1 near Loch Poll track, 11th November

Stonechat – 1 (male) Oldany farm, 11th November

Mistle Thrush – 2 near Oldany farm, 11th November. Feeding on rowan berries along with ten Redwing.

Redwing – 62 over Loch Poll, 11th November

Little Grebe – 1 Oldany Estuary, 11th and 18th November

Red-breasted Merganser – 9 (3 male 6 female) Oldany Estuary, 11th November

Grey Heron – 6 Oldany Estuary, 11th November

Greenfinch – 9 Culkein Drumbeg, 11th November

Goldfinch – 2 Culkein Drumbeg, 11th November

Shag and Cormorant – mixed raft feeding Loch Dhrombaig, 10th November

Great Northern Diver – 3 Loch Dhrombaig, 10th November

Fieldfare and Redwing – mixed flock c120 Nedd, 10th November

Fieldfare – c70 near Gleann Ardbhair, 10th November

Mistle Thrush – 1 near Ledmore Quarry, 10th November


As it looks like being a ‘waxwing winter’ we will put all sightings under one heading for ease of reference, so keep those records coming and watch our huge crop of rowan berries disappear!

30th November – 17 near viewpoint Drumbeg and 2 at rear of Drumbeg Stores (DA Haines). The birds to the rear of the shop were feeding on cotoneaster.

29th November – 25 to rear of TIC Lochinver (A. Summers). These birds were feeding on apples put out for them on the end of tree branches.

28th November – c100 near Torbreck (A. Summers)

27th November – c50 rear of TIC Lochinver, c25 Baddidarach and c500 between Achmelvich Bridge and Rhicarn (all DA Haines). Despite that 500 the numbers are falling and they are in much smaller flocks now; the rowan berries have been stripped in many places so the birds may move on soon.

25th November – c150 near Polchaple (DA Haines)

23rd November – c40 near Duart and c70 Drumbeg (both DA Haines)

22nd November – c100 Glen Canisp road (L. Sedgley)

21st November – 500+ Strathan (B. Scott), c150 Inverkirkaig and c50 behind TIC Lochinver (DA Haines) The sight of all these birds at Strathan is quite breathtaking and well worth a visit – two photos on ‘Gallery-Birds’.

20th November – 15 Clashmore, (DA Haines)

19th November – c80 Inver Terrace, Lochinver (DA Haines) Photo of a male on ‘Gallery-Birds’

18th November – c100 near Church of Scotland, Lochinver (G. Richards)

16th November – 115 on Aspen at Nedd (I. Evans), 10 Baddidarroch and c30 Inver (both G. Richards)

14th November – c60 near Oldany (DA Haines), c30 Clashnessie Bay car park (DA Haines), 20 Torbreck (G. Richards) and c40 on Aspen at Ardglas (G. Richards)

13th November – 40+ Ardglas Lochinver (G. Richards)

12th November – 20 Glendarroch (G. Richards) and 50 in garden Badnaban (L. Pearce) – photo on ‘Gallery-Birds’

11th November – c35 flying and 21 feeding on rowan berries near Oldany Estuary (A. Haines)

10th November – 60 Strathan (B.Scott), 100 Badnaban (Jean and Ronnie), c110 Culkein Drumbeg, (D. Haines) and 200 Glen Leireag (J. Jacobsen)

9th November – c120 Ardroe (C. Belshaw)

5th November – 100+ Strathan (B. Scott), c185 Culkein Drumbeg (M. MacRae) and 50 Drumbeg (F. Saywell)

4th November – 200+ Duartbeg (R. Burton) Not an Assynt record, sorry, but we do seem to be getting a lot of Waxwing on the west coast.

2nd November – 5 in garden Inverkirkaig (D. Jones)

1st November – 100+ near Stoer (C. Belshaw), 50+ in Drumbeg (E. Strachan) and 100 in garden Clashmore (G. Sleight)



Otter – 1 (male) Oldany Estuary, 29th November

Otter – 1 feeding in Balchladich Bay, 27th November

Otter – 1 feeding in Bay of Culkein and grooming on the pier, 20th November

Otter – 1 in stream at Clashnessie Bay, 19th November (B. Gibson)

Stoat – 1 still in ‘summer’ coat Clachtoll, 14th November

Grey Seal – Pup hauled out on Stoer beach but found its own way back to sea, 4th November (B. Cook) Photo and more information under ‘News’.

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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)