Sightings in April 2014

March 31st 2014


97 Twite and 75 Linnets at Clachtoll, 30th April (Tony Mainwood).

Osprey – a pair over River Inver, 30th April (DAH)

Greenshank – single on River Inver opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery, 30th April (DAH)

Dipper – single on River Inver opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery, 30th April (DAH)

Ring Ouzel – slopes of Ben Gharbh 29th April, (AS)

Grasshopper Warbler – Little Assynt (Don O’Driscoll) and near Ardvar (Becky Garvie) both 28th April

Turnstone – single bird in breeding plumage Bay of Culkein, 28th April (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – 1 skein past Stoerhead Lighthouse containing c140 birds, 28th April (DAH). These birds like those from the day before were making for Lewis but were only 0.5 metres above the water.

Whimbrel – 8 past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 28th April (DAH)

Skylark – 8+ birds displaying and feeding near Stoerhead Lighthouse, 28th April (DAH)

Cuckoo – calling and being seen off by many small passerines Stoer, 28th April (Julie and Howard Grey)

7 Red-throated Divers and 2 Razorbills – Lochinver bay, 27th April (AS).

Pink-footed Goose – 3 skeins past Stoerhead Lighthouse with a total of c500 birds, 27th April (DAH). These skeins all came over the lighthouse heading north and then turned north-west to make for Lewis.

Puffin – 2 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 27th and 28th April (DAH)

Whimbrel – single past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 27th April (DAH)

Sanderling – 2 Bay of Culkein, 27th April (DAH)

Dunlin – 6 Bay of Culkein, 27th April (DAH)

Greenshank – 2 Loch Kirkaig, 25th April (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 7 (5 male 2 female) Loch Kirkaig, 25th April (DAH)

House Martin – single Culkein Drumbeg, 24th April (Jim and Corinne France)

Arctic Tern – single feeding in Clachtoll Bay, 24th April (DAH)

Kestrel – male near Clashnessie, 24th April (DAH)

Cuckoo – calling near Brackloch, 24th April (Les and Liz Pearce)

Redwing – singing bird Elphin, 23rd April (Don O’Driscoll)

Bullfinch – pair feeding in garden Badnaban, 23rd April (Les and Liz Pearce). Photo on Gallery-Birds

Puffin – 2 off Rubh’an Dunain, 22nd April (DAH)

Black Guillemot – 5 off Rubh’an Dunain, 22nd April (DAH)

Common Gull – 56 Bay of Culkein, 22nd April (DAH)

Dunlin – single Bay of Culkein, 22nd April (DAH)

Goldeneye – 2 pair Loch Drumbeg, 22nd April (Jim and Corinne France)

Goldfinch – 2 Culkein Drumbeg, 21st April (DAH)

Lesser Redpoll – 6 Culkein Drumbeg, 21st April (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 2 Loch Dhrombaig, 21st April (DAH)

Common Sandpiper – 1 Culkein Drumbeg harbour,(DAH) and 2 Stoer (AS) both sightings 21st April

Common Sandpiper – 2 at Loch Sgeireach, Stoer  21st April (AS).

White Wagtail – 2 Culkein Drumbeg harbour, 21st April (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – single Loch Inver, 20th April (Gwen Richards)

Common Sandpiper – 2 Badnaban, 20th April (Gwen Richards)

Merlin – female seen on two occasions hunting along cliffs below Stoerhead Lighthouse, 20th April (DAH)

Turnstone – 21 Bay of Culkein, 20th April (DAH)

Swallow – single Bay of Culkein (DAH) and Balchladich (Chris Goodman), both 20th April

Black Guillemot – 7 Bay of Culkein, 20th April (DAH)

White Wagtail – 9 Bay of Culkein, 20th April (DAH)

Red Grouse – male Gleann Leireag, 19th April (DAH)

Jackdaw – 37+ Elphin, 19th April (DAH). A number of these birds were pulling hair from the backs of cattle and flying to nest area.

Common Sandpiper – 2 River Traligill, Inchnadamph, 19th April (DAH)

Sand Martin – 5 River Traligill, Inchnadamph, 19th April (DAH)

Grey Wagtail – female on River Traligill, Inchnadamph, 19th April (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – 4 skeins with total c500 birds west over Loch a Chairn Bhain, 19th April (DAH)

Mixed Gulls – c450 east end Loch a Chairn Bhain, 19th April (DAH)

Chiffchaff – singing at Glencanisp, 19th April (AS).

Great-spotted Woodpecker – drumming at Glencanisp, 19th April (AS).

Cuckoo – first calling cuckoo at Inchnadamph, 19th April (Helen Morrison)

White Wagtail – single male at Clachtoll, 19th April (Andy Summers).

Sand Martin – three pairs prospecting nest holes in dunes at Clachtoll, 19th April (AS).

Merlin – single Altanabradhan, 19th April (Roz Summers).

Osprey – single feeding over Loch na Gainimh, below Suilven, 19th April (reported).

Great-northern Diver – single in full breeding plumage in Lochinver bay,  19th April (Roz Summers)

Lapwing – five to seven pairs displaying at Clachtoll, 19th April (AS).

Twite – 77 at Clachtoll along with 45 Linnets ringed by Tony Mainwood of The Highland Ringing Group, 18th April.

Willow Warbler – 2 singing Lochinver (DAH) and two singing Culkein Drumbeg, all 18th April (Gwen Richards)

Osprey – single bird over Inchnadamph, 16th April (Helen Morrison)

Swallow – single Inchnadamph, 16th April (David Tyson)

Meadow Pipit – 20 feeding on Culag Park, Lochinver, 16th April (DAH)

Sand Martin – 5 over Loch an Aigeil, 16th April (DAH)

Greenshank – 2 Oldany Estuary (DAH) and 2 head of Loch Nedd (Ian and Pat Evans), both 15th April

Goosander – pair Oldany Estuary, 15th April (DAH)

Redwing – 6 Culkein Drumbeg, 15th April (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – c60 flying north-west over Culkein Drumbeg, 15th April (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – single Loch Nedd, 14th April (Ian and Pat Evans)

Kittiwake – 20+ off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th April (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Balchladich Bay, 14th April (DAH)

Sand Martin – single feeding over reeds Loch na Claise, 14th April (DAH)

White-tailed Eagle – single bird over Drumbeg, 14th April (Jim and Margaret Rosenburg)

Mixed gulls – c195 gulls Oldany Estuary comprising c50 Great Black-backed Gulls; 3 Common Gulls and c140 Herring Gulls, 13th April (DAH)

Reed Bunting – pair in garden, Cathair Dhubh, 12th April (Roger Glover). Photo of male on Gallery-Birds

Lesser Black-backed Gull – 2 adults Bay of Culkein, 12th April (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – c75 feeding on croft land Culkein Stoer, 12th April (DAH). Most likely these birds had started their northwards spring migration yesterday and got held/turned back by the bad weather over night.

Redwing – 27 feeding Culag Park, Lochinver, 12th April (DAH)

Chiffchaff – singing near Lochinver Primary School, 12th April (Jane Young)

Red-throated Diver – singles in breeding plumage, Bay of Clachtoll and Clashnessie Bay, 10th April (DAH)

Linnet – pair courtship feeding near B869 viewpoint, 10th April (DAH)

Lesser Black-backed Gull – adult feeding on Culag Park, Lochinver, 9th April (DAH). Another of our summer breeders has returned.

Black-headed Gull – adult feeding on Culag Park, Lochinver, 9th April (DAH)

Twite and Linnet – 97 and 24 respectively ringed as part of ongoing project at Clachtoll, 8th April (Tony Mainwood)

Eider – 14 (7 pair) Bay of Culkein, 8th April (DAH)

Turnstone – 17 Bay of Culkein, 8th April and 26 on 12th April (DAH)

Golden Plover – 24 Balchladich, 8th April (DAH)

Tufted Duck – 13 (7 male 6 female) Loch na Claise, 8th April (DAH)

Twite – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 8th April (DAH)

Greenshank – 2 Loch an Tairbh, Torbreck, 7th April (Gwen Richards)

Great Skua – off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 7th April (Leigh Sedgley)

Kestrel – male over Clashnessie, 6th April (DAH)

Reed Bunting – 2 males Culkein Drumbeg, 5th April (DAH)

Redwing – 60+ Culag Park, Lochinver, 5th April (DAH)

Bullfinch – female feeding in garden Baddidarach, 4th April (Chris and Fran Barley)

Iceland Gull – 2nd-winter bird feeding on Culag Park, Lochinver, 4th 9th and 12th April (DAH)

Redwing – c40 in Alder, Nedd garden, 4th April (Ian and Pat Evans)

Peregrine – hunting over Stoer, 3rd April (Howard and Julie Grey)

Redwing – c10 Stoer, 3rd April (Howard and Julie Grey)

Sand Martin – 3 over Loch an Aigeil, 3rd April (DAH)

Chiffchaff – single bird heard singing in garden, 2nd April (Ian and Pat Evans)

Great Spotted Woodpecker – single along River Inver path, 2nd April (DAH)

Siskin – 3 along River Inver path, 2nd April (DAH)

Chiffchaff – single bird seen and heard singing along River Inver path, 2nd April (DAH)

Whooper Swan – single immature on grass near Loch na Bruthaich, 2nd April (DAH). This bird would not fly when approached so the SSPCA were contacted. The SSPCA arranged for bird to be restrained but it swam off to sea so could not be checked over. No sign of bird the following day. Sadly Howard Grey reported finding the bird dead near Clashnessie on 7 April. Photo on Gallery-Birds.

Redwing – 2 Stoerhead Lighthouse, 1st April (Leigh Sedgley)

Whooper Swan 2 Loch Leathed a Bhaile Fhoghair, Stoer, 1st April (Howard and Julie Grey)

Fulmar – c150 on cliffs and flying to east of Point of Stoer, 1st April (DAH)

Eider – 8 (5 male 3 female) off Rubh’an Dunain, 1st April (DAH)

Greylag Goose – 12 Culkein Stoer, 1st April (DAH)

Lapwing – 8 Culkein Stoer, 1st April (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 2 Bay of Culkein, 1st April (DAH)

Long-tailed Duck – 3 females Bay of Culkein, 1st April (DAH)

Bar-tailed Godwit – our single wintering bird still showing well Bay of Culkein, 1st April but no sign of this bird on 8th or 12th April (DAH)

Redshank – single Bay of Culkein, 1st April (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – single Bay of Culkein, 1st April (DAH)

Turnstone – 13 Bay of Culkein, 1st April (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Loch na Bruthaich, near Clashnessie, 1st April (DAH)



Green-veined White Butterfly  -Inchnadamph 29th April (AS)

St Mark’s Fly Bibio marci – several in flight Clachtoll, 28th April (Ann Cook)

Leaf-mining moth Incurvaria pectinea – in garden Nedd, 28th April (Ian and Pat Evans). This was a male and the larva of this species feed on hazel leaves. Photo on Gallery-Moths

Harbour Porpoise – 5 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 25th April (Leigh Sedgley)

Otter – swimming across Clachtoll Bay towards split rock, 24th April (DAH)

Bank Vole – feeding on peanut feeder in garden Inchnadamph, 24th April (Helen Morrison). Photo on Gallery-Land Mammals. This is a first record for this species in the 10km square NC22.

Stoat – caught rabbit and then was robbed by Buzzard at Clachtoll, 20th April (William MacPhail)

Small Tortoise Butterfly – feeding in garden at Clachtoll, 20th April (AS)

Harbour Porpoise – single feeding off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 20th April (DAH)

Emperor Moth – female on house wall Raffin, 19th April (B. Gibson and S. Bartrum). Several reports of this large moth have been received. The warm weather the last few days has most likely tempted them out.

Wood Anemone – several in flower on bank of River Traligill at Inchnadamph, 19th April (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 2 feeding off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th April (DAH)

Otter – feeding in Balchladich Bay, 14th April (DAH)

Slow-worm – one removed dead from road gully in car park to rear of Visitors Centre, Lochinver, 12th April (DAH)

Weasel – one found dead Nedd, 11th April (Anne Nicoll). Photo by Ian Evans on Gallery-Land Mammals. See 6th April below, this could be the same animal as Weasel records are not common in Assynt.

Common Frog tadpoles – many in roadside ditches Pollachapuill, Culkein Drumbeg, 7th April (DAH). Photo on Gallery-Amphibians and Reptiles.

Weasel – in garden Nedd, 6th April (Ian and Pat Evans)

White-tailed bumblebee – 9 queens on flowering currant bush Clachtoll, 5th April (AS)

Beech Mast fungus Xylaria carpophila – along River Inver walk, 2nd and 14th April (Gwen Richards)

Common Toad – single rescued from road gully in car park to rear of Visitors Centre, Lochinver, 2nd April (DAH). See item under Articles about this risk to our amphibians and reptiles and what you can do to help.

Common Frog – large adult on path at east end of trees on River Inver, 2nd April (DAH)

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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)