Sightings in April 2013

March 31st 2013


Red Kite – 1 over Clashnessie, 30th April (Howard Grey). Our first 2013 record after a good number last year.

Merlin – Achnacarnin, 30th April.

Peregrine– Clachtoll, 27th April

Pinkfoot Goose – single in with Greylag Geese at Culkein Stoer, 27th April

Whimbrel – Single at Culkein Stoer, 27th April. See photo on Gallery-Birds

White Wagtail – 6 individuals with 4 Pied Wagtails, 27th April

Wigeon – 2 pairs Loch Borallan, 26th April

Twite – 103 trapped by Tony Mainwood at Clachtoll as part of his ongoing ringing project, 25th April. This included two re-trapped birds from 2009 and 2 birds which had originaly been ringed in Orkney. After leaving Clachtoll Tony went to Reiff to do some trapping and ringing there. At Reiff only six hours later he retrapped one of the birds he had just ringed at Clachtoll 15kms away; just one of the amazing bits of information coming out of Tony’s hard work.

House Martin – 6 flying over seas in Lochinver Harbour, 24th April

Redwing – 10 Achmelvich, 24th April

Slavonian Grebe – 1 off Strathan, 21st April (Andy Summers)

Pomarine Skua – single pale morph bird seen at Elphin chasing Meadow pipits, 20th April (Bill Badger) and then again on 22nd April (Bill Badger and Roy Dennis). An unusual sighting for Assynt not just because of the bird species but also the inland location. See photo on Gallery-Birds by A. Venters.

Willow Warbler – 1 singing Nedd, 20th April (Ian Evans)

Ring Ouzel –  6 at Ben Gharbh, 19th April (Andy Summers).

Teal – 2 pairs at Inchnadamph, 19th April (Andy Summers).

Greenshank – Inchnadamph, 19th April (Andy Summers).

Goosander – 3 (female) flying over Brackloch, 19th April (L and L Pearce)

Cuckoo – 1 seen and heard Inchnadamph, 19th April (Helen Morrison)

Linnet – 27 Clachtoll, 19th April (Tony Mainwood) These, birds together with the Twite below, were caught my Tony as part of his Twite ringing project at Clachtoll. This is a large number of Linnet and compares with a total of just over 30 caught by Tony for the whole of spring 2012 so maybe indicates an increase in their population, let’s hope so.

Twite – 44 Clachtoll, 19th April (Tony Mainwood)

Eider – 7 (4 male, 3 female) Lochinver Bay, 19th April (R and E Kershaw)

Chiffchaff – Culag woods, 18th April (Roz Summers).

40+ Redwing – Inchnadamph, 18th April

Swallow – Lochinver 17th April (Brian Scott).

Jackdaw – c20 Elphin, 17th April

Grey Heron – 3 Loch Awe, 17th April

Red-throated Diver – 3 Loch Unapool at east end of B869, 17th April

Goldenye – 2 (females) Loch Ruighean an Aitinn near Drumbeg, 17th April

Redwing – 11 Culkein Drumbeg, 17th April

Great Northern Diver – Lochinver bay, 16th April.

Twite – 6 Culkein Drumbeg, 16th April

Golden Eagle – Soaring over Cul Beg, 16th April.

Redwing – small parties along Lochinver to Stoer road, presumeably heading north, 15th April

Curlew – 5 at Stoer beach 15th April

Merlin – 1 (female) Culkein Drumbeg, 15th April

Tufted Duck – 1 adult male Loch an Aigeil, 14th April

Lapwing – 8 Clashmore, 14th April

Lapwing – 8 Clachtoll 15th April

Great Skua – 3 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th April

Black-headed Gull – singles at Bay of Culkein (1st winter) and on Loch na Claise (adult), 14th April

Fulmar – c95 on cliffs east of Point of Stoer, 14th April

Black Guillemot – 3 off Bay of Culkein, 14th April

Turnstone – 24 Bay of Culkein, 14th April

Golden Plover – 2 Culkein Stoer, 14th April

Common Gull – c80 feeding on croft land Culkein Stoer, 14th April. We had the first decent rain overnight for many weeks so the gulls were taking advantage of the increased invertebrate activity.

Red-throated Diver – 2 Loch Dhrombaig and 2 in Bay of Culkein, 14th April

8 Siskins – Elphin 13th April (Bill Badger).

Pink-footed Goose – c100 flying NW over Stoer Primary School; 2 skeins over Nedd (Ian Evans); 2 skeins over Raffin (David Hall) all 13th April. Looks like the change in wind direction has got the geese on the move

Great Spotted Woodpecker – 1 drumming at Glencanisp Lodge, 13th April

Black-throated Diver – singles on Lochan Fearna and Loch Druim Suardalain, 13th April

Wheatear – 3 (2 male 1 female) Culkein Drumbeg, 12th April

Red-breasted Merganser – 6 (3 pair) off Culkein Drumbeg, 12th April

Shelduck – 2 (a pair) Oldany Estuary, 12th and 15th April

Redwing – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 12th April

Yellowhammer – 1 female near Achmelvich Bridge, 11th April

Wigeon – 4 (2 pair) Loch Ruighean an Aitinn near Drumbeg, 11th April

Bullfinch – 3 (1 male 2 female) Nedd, 11th April

Mistle Thrush – 2 near fank Glenleraig, 11th April

Wheatear – more records from Clashnessie (R and E Kershaw) and near Raffin (Leigh Sedgley), all on 10th April

Wheatear – singles at Stoerhead and Balchladich, 9th April (Claire Belshaw). At last they have made it to Assynt; the cold weather and easterly winds have really held them back this year. We usually have these sub-saharan migrants back on territory by 22nd-24th March.

Swallow – Inver bride, Lochinver  8th April (Stuart Belshaw).

Eider – 10 Bay of Culkein, 7th April (G Richards/P MacKenzie)

Magpie – 2 in garden trees Raffin, 5th April (John Trinby). These two birds were last seen the following day by John and also David Hall. Magpies are a very rare Assynt bird with the last record being 16th April 2010 again at Raffin; prior to that one was at Loch Assynt Lodge on 20th March 1992 and the first record for Assynt was one in Lochinver on 15th April 1986.

Great Skua – 1 past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 5th April (Leigh Sedgley). The first 2013 Assynt record.

6 Wheatears – Clachtoll, 5th April (Alison Boothman).

Red-throated Diver – 2 in Clashnessie Bay, 2nd April (L and L Pearce)

Goldeneye – 2 males Loch Fasg an t-Seanna Chlaidh (near Achmelvich Bridge), 2nd April (Andy Summers)

Whooper Swan – 2 Loch Fasg an t-Seanna Chlaidh (near Achmelvich Bridge), 2nd April (Andy Summers)

Black-throated Diver – 2 Loch Drumbeg, 2nd April. This pair continue to show really well.

Red-breasted Merganser – 5 (2 male 3 female) Oldany Estuary, 1st April

Curlew – 16 Oldany Estuary, 1st April

Reed Bunting – 3 (1 male 2 female) Culkein Drumbeg, 1st April

Eider – 18 (8 male 10 female) off Culkein Drumbeg, 1st April



Pipistrelle Bats – flying at Torbreck 25th April.

Pine Marten – 1 feeding in garden near Torbreck, 28th April (MR). See infra-red photo on Gallery-Mammals.

White-tailed Bumblebees – two in garden at Clachtoll feeding on Flowering currents, 27th April.

Slow Worms – 6 adults under tin at the back of Visitor Centre, Lochinver, 26th April.

Otter – 1 Lochinver bay 16th April

Pipistrelle bats – flying at Nedd 15th April (Ian Evans).

Toads – 12+ at Loch Awe (after the first rain for so long there are lots of toads moving). Herons feedings on toads at Loch an Ordain 15th April.

Small Tortoiseshell – single at Clachtoll 15th April

Harbour Porpoise – 1 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th April (Leigh Sedgley)

Grey Seal – 1 off Rubh’an Dunain, 14th April

Orca – pod of around 5 females heading north past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 8th April (Leigh Sedgley) The first sighting of 2013.

White-tailed Bumblebee – 1 feeding in garden Ardvar, 2nd April (Beccy Garvey)

Common Lizard – 1 basking on path at Little Assynt, 1st April (H and J Grey)

Red Admiral Butterfly – 1 in Clachtoll garden, 1st April (Andy Summers)

Harbour Seal – 24 hauled out Oldany Estuary, 1st April

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Recent Sightings


Single bird hunting near Calda House, Loch Assynt (DAH) (11/01)


30+ birds, Elphin (DAH) (11/01)


Single bird in birch woodland, Torbreck (Michael Rochester) (10/01)

Pied Wagtail

Single male bird feeding along strand line, Bay of Culkein (DAH). This is a very early record for this species. Last year the first record was 1st February, and that was early. (09/01)


Ten birds feeding in beached seaweed, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (09/01)

Barnacle Goose

33 birds feeding on croft, Culkein Stoer (DAH) (09/01)


Single bird hunting, Culkein Stoer (DAH) (09/01)


Seven birds, Culkein Stoer (DAH) (09/01)