Sightings in July 2014

June 30th 2014


Stonechat – 5 (both adults along with 3 juveniles) near Little Assynt Field car park, 29th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – single adult Clashnessie Bay, 27th July (DAH)

Oystercatcher – c175 Clashnessie Bay, 27th July (DAH)

Redshank – 8 on rocks below Stoerhead Lighthouse, 27th July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 adults Bay of Culkein, 27th July (DAH)

Sanderling – 10 adults Bay of Culkein, 27th July (DAH)

Grey Heron – 3 Loch Awe, 26th July (DAH)

Common and Arctic Tern – c150 around off shore islands Culkein Drumbeg, 25th July (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – female and seven juveniles River Inver near Little Assynt Field car park, 24th July (Gwen Richards)

Dipper – single River Inver near Little Assynt Field car park, 24th July (Gwen Richards)

Kestrel – single adult female/juvenile past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 24th July (DAH)

House Martin – 31 Culkein Drumbeg, 24th July (DAH)

Osprey – over River Inver near Inveruplan, 23rd July, (Gwen Richards)

Starling – 300+ Raffin, 23rd July (Leigh Sedgley)

Black-throated Diver 5 adults Clashnessie Bay, 22nd July (DAH)

Common Scoter – 23 over Clashnessie Bay, 22nd July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – single feeding Bay of Clachtoll, 21st July (DAH)

Arctic Skua – 3 off Clachtoll, 21st July (DAH)

Grasshopper Warbler – single bird ‘reeling’ Gleann Leireag, 20th July (Ian and Pat Evans)

Merlin – adult female over Stoerhead Lighthouse, 20th July (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 5 juveniles Bay of Culkein, 20th July (DAH)

Dunlin – 38 (36 adults 2 juveniles) Bay of Culkein, 20th July (DAH)

Sanderling – single adult Bay of Culkein, 20th July (DAH)

Black Guillemot – juvenile Bay of Culkein, 20th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 11 Achmelvich Bay, 19th July (Reported)

Black Guillemot – 16+ adults off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 18th July (DAH)

Fulmar – 23 adults and 11 chicks on cliffs below Stoerhead Lighthouse, 18th July (DAH)

Common Scoter – 8 males off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 18th July (DAH)

Swift – 2 over Raffin and single over Stoerhead Lighthouse, 18th July (DAH)

Goldcrest – single in garden Nedd, 17th July (Ian and Pat Evans)

Goldfinch – single juvenile Culkein Drumbeg, 17th July (DAH)

Cuckoo – single near Alltannabradhan, 17th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 2 adults Loch na Creige Leithe, Clachtoll and single adult Loch Culag, 17th July (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 adults Clashnessie Bay, 17th July (DAH)

Starling – c70 Clashnessie, 16th July (DAH)

Oystercatcher – c95 Bay of Culkein, 16th July (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – single immature bird Bay of Culkein, 16th July (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 19 (7 adults, 9 juveniles and 3 chicks) Bay of Culkein, 16th July (DAH).

Dunlin – 12 (11 adults and 1 juvenile) Bay of Culkein, 16th July (DAH). While the juvenile could be a Scottish bred bird it is the first sign that the ‘autumn’ passage migration has started.

Black-throated Diver – 2 Clashnessie Bay, 14th July (DAH)

Common Scoter – c25 males past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th July (DAH)

Common and Arctic Terns – adults and chicks on off shore island Culkein Drumbeg, 14th July (DAH)

Dipper – single Oldany River, 13th July (DAH). First record from this area for several years.

Stonechat – 4 juveniles near Oldany, 13th July (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – adult female and three mid size juveniles Oldany Estuary, 13th July (DAH). Photo on Gallery-Birds.

Mistle Thrush – single Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July (DAH)

Long-tailed Tit – 3 juveniles Culkein Drumbeg, 13th July (DAH)

Wren – In June we posted a sighting from Stevan Lockhart, Clachtoll concerning an occupied Wren nest in hanks of wool which were hanging out to dry. On 11th July Stevan sent us a further update to confirm that at least three, as yet, unfledged Wrens have been seen at the entrance to the nest. Photo on Gallery-Birds. A final update confirmed that four wrens fledged on 20th July and Stevan has posted a short two minute video at

Gannet – 25+ feeding off Rubh’an Dunain, 11th July (DAH)

Common Tern – 2 feeding off Rubh’an Dunain, 11th July (DAH)

Dunlin – single Bay of Culkein, 11th July (DAH)

Common Scoter – c20 flying south off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th July (DAH)

Sparrowhawk – female carrying food near Glenleraig, 9th July (DAH)

Eider – 6 (3 males 3 females) off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 6th July (DAH)

Arctic Skua – 2 (one pale one dark) Stoerhead Lighthouse, 6th July (DAH)

House Sparrow – 35 (adults and juveniles) Culkein Drumbeg, 6th July (DAH)

Great Skua – 9 Bay of Culkein, 5th July (DAH). Following small creel boat.

Eider – eclipse male Bay of Culkein, 5th July (DAH)

Dunlin – 7 Bay of Culkein, 5th July (DAH)

Black-throated Diver – 6 adults off Port Alltan na Bradhan, 5th July (DAH)

Sparrowhawk – juvenile ‘visited’ bird table Ardvar, 3rd July (Sarah Corkish)

Merlin – two birds mobbing Buzzard near Ledmore, 3rd July (DAH)

Great Spotted Woodpecker – juvenile male Gleann Leireag, 1st July (DAH)



20+ Common Dolphin. probable Minke Whale and numerous Harbour Porpoise including mother and calf – off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st July (National Whale and Dolphin Watch event)

Otter – mother and cub feeding in sea foam below Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st July (DAH)

Minke Whale – 4, including a calf, off Achmelvich, 28th July (reported)

Minke Whale – 2 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 27th July (Leigh Sedgley). One of these animals was just 400 metres off shore.

Adder – female on road verge west end of Loch Assynt, 25th July (Dave Park)

Minke Whale – two feeding off Culkein Drumbeg, 25th July (DAH)

Minke Whale – single off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 24th July (DAH)

Orca (Killer Whale) – probable sighting of single male off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 22nd July (G. Gorbould). Not often single Orca are seen so wonder if there is any connection between it and this one which was found on North Uist –

Harbour Porpoise – 3 off Clashnessie Bay, 22nd July (DAH)

Basking Shark – single off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 22nd July (DAH)

Minke Whale – single off Clachtoll, 21st July and also off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 22nd July (DAH)

Vapourer moth Orgyia antiqua – 60+ caterpillars on small birch tree along Lochinver breakwater, 21st July (Gwen Richards)

Grayling butterfly – single on croft Torbreck, 20th July (Gwen Richards)

Otter – near Cathair Dhubh, 17th July (Reported)

Harbour Porpoise – 2 off Clachtoll and 6 off Culkein Drumbeg, 17th July (DAH)

Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Dark-green Fritillary butterflies – all feeding on Marsh Thistles near Achins Bookshop, Inverkirkaig, 17th July (DAH)

Common Dolphin – c55 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 14th July (DAH)

Six-radiate Moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita – on sand Bay of Stoer, 13th July (Ian and Pat Evans). This is the same species as was recorded from Port Alltan na Bradhan on 4th July but this jellyfish can have between 4 and 8 of the purple jelly discs which are the gonads. Photo on Gallery-Marine.

Speckled Wood butterfly – 3 Oldany Dornie, 13th July (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – 3 (2 adult 1 calf) off Rubh’an Dunain, 11th July (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – several sightings off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th July (Leigh Sedgley)

Bottlenose Dolphin – c12 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 6th July (DAH)

Wreck of 100’s of dead jellyfish – Four species of jellyfish found dead on the beach at Port Alltan na Bradhan, 4th July (Roger Glover). The species were, Bluefire Jellyfish Cyanea lamarckii, Four-radiate moon Jellyfish Aurelia aurita, possibly Lion’s Mane Jellyfish Cyanea capillata and Rhizostoma pulmo. Photographs by D. Haines on Gallery-Marine.

Hoary Plantain Plantago media – growing on lawn at Achnacarnin, 3rd July (Ian and Pat Evans). This plant has not previously been recorded from the north-west and is usually found on basic soils. Ian could not explain how it got here, but possibly it came in with grass seed for patching. Photo on Gallery-Flowering Plants and Ferns.

Common Field-speedwell Veronica persica – growing in vegetable plot at Clashmore, 3rd July (Ian and Pat Evans). This plant is by no means common in Assynt and this is a new locality.

Weasel – dragging kicking field vole off road near Cruachan, 3rd July (Ian and Pat Evans)

Bottlenose Dolphin – 2 (adult and calf) off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 1st July (DAH)

Common Dolphin – c40 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 1st July (DAH)

Common Darter dragonfly – 2 Gleann Leireag, 1st July (DAH)

Adder – female Gleann Leireag, 1st July (DAH)

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Recent Sightings


Single bird hovering between road and waterfall, Clashnessie (Neil McCrimmon) (26/11)

Fieldfare and Redwing

A mixed flock of c30 fieldfare and c10 redwing in tall aspens, Nedd (Ian Evans). Mixed flock of 200+ birds over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (23/11)


Single bird by River Inver, Brackloch (Carol Langford) (22/11)


Single hen bird in back garden, Nedd (Ian Evans).  Rarely seen in this part of Assynt (21/11)

Great Northern Diver

Single bird, Bay of Stoer (John Gilbertson) (21/11)

Redwing and Fieldfare

c80 birds in a mixed flock flying over the B869 by Rhicarn (Richard Chappell and Ennis Jones) (20/11)


Single bird in tree overhanging river Inver, Little Assynt (Richard Chappell and Ennis Jones) (20/11)


Single bird hovering by roadside, Inchnadamph (Richard Chappell and Ennis Jones) (20/11)