Sightings in October 2013

September 30th 2013


Song Thrush – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 30th October (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 1 Clashnessie Bay, 30th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 3 Clashnessie Bay, 30th October and 2 Loch Dhrombaig, 31st October (DAH)

Brambling – 3 Strathan, 29th October (Brian Scott)

Golden Eagle – over viewpoint Lochinver end B869, 28th October (P and H Mugridge)

Starling – c250 Clachtoll, 27th October (AS)

Black Guillemot – single winter plumage bird Bay of Culkein, 27th October (AS)

Long-tailed Duck – stunning winter male Bay of Culkein, 27th October (Gwen Richards)

Bar-tailed Godwit – single bird still showing well Bay of Culkein, 27th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 3 Bay of Culkein, 27th October (DAH)

Turnstone – 36 Bay of Culkein, 27th October (DAH)

Goldeneye – 1 female Loch na Claise, 27th October (DAH). Assynt’s first Goldeneye of the winter.

Tufted Duck – 9 (4 males, 3 females) Loch na Claise, 27th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – single adult Loch na Clasie, 27th October (DAH)

Goldcrest – 4+ feeding in gorse near Loch Poll track, 26th October (DAH)

Reed Bunting – c40 near Loch Poll track, 26th October (DAH). A large number of these birds for Assynt which are most likely winter visitors from north and east Europe.

Greylag Geese – 9 flying over Oldany, 26th October (DAH)

Little Grebe – 1 Oldany Estuary, 26th October (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 9 (6 eclipse males and 3 females) Oldany Estuary, 26th October (DAH)

Lesser Redpoll – c100 near Polchaple, Culkein Drumbeg, 26th October (DAH)

Stonechat – 3 (2 males, 1 female), 24th October (DAH). Good numbers of Stonechat are showing throughout Assynt at the moment which is good news.

Long-tailed Tit – 6 Glencanisp, 24th October (DAH)

Bullfinch – 2 (a pair) Glencanisp, 24th October (DAH)

Lesser Redpoll – 18 Glencanisp, 24th October (DAH)

Goldcrest – 2 Glencanisp, 24th October (DAH)

Blackcap – 3 (1 male, 2 female/juveniles) Glencanisp, 24th October (DAH)

Fieldfare – c130 over Glencanisp, 24th October (DAH)

Redshank – 3 Bay of Culkein, 23rd October (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 3 (1 eclipse plumage male and 2 females) Bay of Culkein, 23rd October (DAH)

Goldfinch – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 23rd October (DAH)

Mistle Thrush – 9 Culkein Drumbeg, 23rd October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – single on Loch an Aigeil, 21st October; 3 over Drumbeg viewpoint and 6 over Oldany Island, 24th October; 15 over Lochinver, 26th October (P and H Mugridge)

Great Northern Diver – 1 Clashnessie Bay, 21st October (DAH)

Brambling – 1 male Culkein Stoer, 21st October (DAH)

Dunlin – 1 1st-winter bird Bay of Culkein, 21st October (DAH)

Turnstone – 36 Bay of Culkein and 28 Rubh’an Dunain, 21st October (DAH)

Goldfinch – 3 Culkein Drumbeg, 3 Culkein Stoer and 2 Raffin, 21st October (DAH)

Song Thrush – 8 Culkein Drumbeg, 21st October (DAH)

Dipper – Loch Assynt shore, 20th October (P and H Mugridge)

Guillemot – 8 Achmelvich Bay, 20th October (Romany Garnett)

White-tailed Eagle – immature bird on Eilean Chrona, 20th October (DAH). This bird was observed for over two hours during which time it made two attacks on passing gannets; both times it knocked the gannets to the water but did not follow up its attack – both gannets recovered and flew away. Earlier on the 20th Gwen Richards had seen a White-tailed Eagle being mobbed by gulls off Stoerhead Lighthouse – same bird?

Long-tailed Duck – 2 Clashnessie Bay, 20th October (DAH) and 4 Bay of Culkein, 20th October (Gwen Richards). Also on the same date a female was recorded on freshwater Lochan Dubh above Nedd; an odd record as this duck is very much a marine species (Paul Walton).

Common Scoter – 10 Clashnessie Bay, 20th October (DAH)

Greenfinch – 5 Inchnadamph, 20th October (DAH)

Lesser Redpoll – 3 Inchnadamph, 20th October (DAH)

Redwing – c40 Strathan, 20th October (DAH)

Fieldfare – c1000 in trees and flying around Strathan, 20th October (Brian Scott)

Fieldfare – c300 over Clachtoll, 20th October (AS)

Blackcap – 1 male at Clachtoll, 20th October (AS)

White-tailed Eagle – 2 (1 full adult, 1 immature) Culkein Drumbeg, 19th October (DAH)

Gannet – 6 adults feeding off Culkein Drumbeg, 19th October (DAH)

Brambling – 1 male Culkein Drumbeg, 19th October (DAH)

Lesser Redpoll – c25 Culkein Drumbeg, 19th October (DAH)

Fieldfare – c500 Nedd, 18th October (Paul Walton)

Blackcap – 1 female/immature Culkein Drumbeg, 17th October (C and J France)

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Bay of Culkein, 17th October (DAH); single bird still present 20th October (Gwen Richards) and 23rd October (DAH)

Turnstone – 14 Bay of Culkein, 17th October (DAH)

Razorbill – 3 off Clachtoll, 17th October (DAH)

Little Grebe – 3 Loch Culag, 17th October (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 12 (1 male 11 female) Loch Kirkaig, 17th October (DAH)

Redwing and Fieldfare – mixed flock of c110 birds over Inverkirkaig, 17th October (DAH)

Merlin – one through garden Culkein Drumbeg, 16th October (Corinne France)

Red Grouse – 2 near Clashmore, 16th October (I MacKenzie)

Great Spotted Woodpecker – immature female Polchaple, Culkein Drumbeg, 16th October (DAH)

Fieldfare – c60 Polchaple and c130 Clashnessie, 16th October (DAH)

Redwing and Fieldfare – mixed flock of c500 birds over Torbreck, 15th October (I and P Evans)

Common Tern – 1 winter adult bird off Culkein Drumbeg, 15th October (DAH)

Teal – 6 (2 male 4 female) Oldany Estuary, 15th October (DAH)

Wheatear – single female/1st-winter bird, Clachtoll, 15th October (DAH)

Turtle Dove – still showing well at Clachtoll, 15th October (DAH)

Black-headed Gull – winter adult Clashnessie Bay, 15th October (DAH)

Moorhen – immature Loch an Aigeil, 15th October (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Bay of Clachtoll, 15th October (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – single off Clashnessie Bay and 3 Bay of Stoer, 15th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – single in winter plumage Clashnessie Bay and two in summer plumage Bay of Stoer, 15th October (DAH)

Long-tailed Duck – singles Clashnessie Bay and off Culkein Drumbeg, 15th October (DAH)

Common Scoter – 1 1st-winter bird Clashnessie Bay, 15th October (DAH)

Brambling – 1 in garden Baddidarach, 15th October (C. Barley)

Fieldfare – 3 Culkein Drumbeg, 14th October (DAH)

Redwing – c60 Strathan, 13th October (AS)

Black-headed Gull – 6 Lochinver, 13th October (Gwen Richards)

House Sparrow – 14 Achnacarnin, 13th October (DAH)

Golden Plover – 2 Achnacarnin, 13th October (DAH)

Wheatear – single Clachtoll, 13th October (Steve Tattersley)

Red-throated Diver – 3 Bay of Stoer, 13th October (Steve Tattersley)

Great Northern Diver – 3 Bay of Stoer, 13th October (Steve Tattersley)

Long-tailed Duck – single Clashnessie Bay, 13th October (Steve Tattersley)

Whooper Swan – 12 over Highland Stoneware pottery Lochinver, 12th October (B. Harkins and J. Crooks)

Jackdaws – c90 at Clachtoll, 12th October (AS). Also a report of 60+ at Achnacarnin on the same day (Claire Belshaw). This is very unsual so far north but these birds could be some of the ‘Nordic’ race of Jackdaw which are migratory coming from north and east Europe. Update 27th October – after some photographs were looked at by several people it seems unlikely these birds were ‘Nordic’ Jackdaws but could have been a flock of UK birds looking for a new territory; current resesearch indicates that this does occur.

Redwing – c20 Glencanisp, 11th October (Howard Grey)

Black Guillemot – 3 Bay of Stoer, 11th October (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 1 Bay of Stoer, 11th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 1 Bay of Stoer, 11th October (DAH)

Turtle Dove – juvenile-1st winter bird still moving around the Clachtoll area with c30 Rock Doves, 11th October (AS/DAH). Last record for this bird was 15th October still at Clachtoll (DAH).

Whooper Swan – 5 (2 adults and 3 juveniles) Loch na Claise, 10th October (DAH)

Little Grebe – 1 Loch na Claise, 10th October (DAH)

Moorhen – 2 Loch na Claise, 10th October (DAH)

Wigeon – 14 Loch na Claise, 10th October (DAH)

Tufted Duck – 13 Loch na Claise, 10th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 1 adult Clashnessie Bay, 10th October (DAH)

Bar-tailed Godwit – 1 Rubh’an Dunain, 10th October (DAH)

Golden Plover – 3 Rubh’an Dunain, 10th October (DAH)

Kittiwake – 28 (adults and 1st winters) off Rubh’an Dunain, 10th October (DAH)

Peregrine – 1 (female) over Culkein Stoer, 10th October (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 36 Bay of Culkein, 10th October (DAH)

Turnstone – 35 Bay of Culkein, 10th October (DAH)

Turtle Dove – a juvenile-1st winter bird feeding in garden at Clachtoll, 10th October (AS). A very rare Assynt record; last record was from near Ardvar in 1992. A photo of this most recent bird is on Gallery-Birds.

Wheatear – 1 near Ardvar, 9th October (Ian Evans)

Storm Petrel – feeding over the waves at Culkein Stoer, 3pm 9th October (AS)

Black-headed Gull – 7 (adult and 1st-winter birds) over Culkein Drumbeg, 9th October (DAH)

Robin – adult seen carrying food in to building Culkein Stoer, 8th October (Ian Forbes). This indicates a very late breeding attempt.

House Sparrow – 44+ at Clachtoll 8th October (AS)

Whooper Swan – 27 over Ardroe, 8th October (Claire Belshaw)

Robin – 11 singing on winter territories between cattle grid at west end of Drumbeg and Drumbeg Stores, 8th October (DAH). A number of these birds could be winter visitors from scandinavia.

Goldfinch – 2 Drumbeg, 8th October (DAH)

Buzzard – 3 over Culkein Drumbeg, 8th October (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – c100 flying south-east over Culkein Drumbeg, 8th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 2 adults and 4 juveniles Bay of Culkein, 7th October (Marian MacLeod). A photo, of this family of swans newly arrived from Iceland, is on Gallery-Birds.

Merlin – female Culkein Stoer, 6th October (Ian Forbes)

Brent Goose – 6 pale-bellied birds Bay of Culkein, 6th October (Gwen Richards)

Dunlin – a single at Bay of Culkein, 6th October (Gwen Richards)

Curlew – 2 at Inverkirkaig, 6th October (AS).

Hen Harrier – adult female/juvenile over Loch na Claise, 5th October (H and J Grey). A good start to the month for raptor sightings!

Golden Eagle – 2 over Quinag, 5th October (Gwen Richards)

Golden Plover – 30 Creag Mhor, Quinag, 5th October (Gwen Richards)

Snipe – 15 seen at Culkein Stoer, 4th October (AS).

2 Redshank, 15 Ringed Plover and 2 Curlew– Culkein Stoer, 4th October (AS).

White-tailed Sea Eagle – Adult seen flying over Loch Roe, 1st October (RG)

Rock Pipit – 4 near Lochinver pier, 3rd October (AS)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Bay of Culkein, 2nd October (Ian Forbes)

Short-eared Owl – 1 Culkein Stoer, 1st October (Ian Forbes)

Brambling – 1 male feeding in garden Balchladich, 1st October (Gordon Sleight). This follows Gordon’s sighting yesterday of a possible female also feeding in his garden.


Common Seal – c26 Oldany Estuary, 30th October (DAH)

Otter – 1 swimming across Achmelvich Bay, 27th October (Romany Garnet)

Otter – fresh spraints near Clachtoll Broch, 21st October (P and H Mugridge)

Silver Y moth – 1 Stoerhead Lighthouse, 20th October (Gwen Richards)

Red Admiral butterfly – 2 Stoerhead Lighthouse, 20th October (Gwen Richards)

Slow Worm – 1 on path to cemetery Lochinver, 17th October (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 7+ off Bay of Stoer, 15th October (DAH)

Peacock butterfly – singles Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) and Torbreck (Gwen Richards), both 15th October

Peacock butterfly – 1 Drumbeg, 12th October (DAH)

Peacock, Red Admiral – Clachtoll, 12th October (AS).

Red Admiral butterfly – single at Clachtoll, 6th October (AS).

 Otter – 1 Adult in Lochinver bay 2pm, 3rd October (AS)

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Recent Sightings

Blue Jellyfish

c 10 small jellyfish (c4cm diameter) on beach, Clachtoll (Mhairi Leeson) (21/05)

Arctic Skua

Single bird chasing common terns, Bay of Clachtoll (Mhairi Leeson) (21/05)

Ringed Plover

Single bird on rocks, Bay of Clachtoll (Mhairi Leeson) (21/05)


Three Red-throated Divers and a single Great Northern Diver, all in breeding plumage, Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (21/05)

Arctic Tern

Two birds feeding, Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (21/05)

Canada Goose

Two birds, Loch Neil Bhain and then later Bay of Culkein (DAH). Photo Gallery - Birds (20/05)

Carrion Crow

Single adult bird, Achnacarnin (DAH) (20/05)


c. 170 birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (20/05)