Sightings in October 2014

October 4th 2014


Dipper – 2 near old mill at Alltanabradhan, 31st October (Paul and Lis Burnett)

Long-tailed Duck – 4 (2 male 2 female) Clashnessie Bay, 31st October (DAH)

Snow Bunting – 2 females near Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Iceland Gull – single adult feeding off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 2 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Great Skua – single off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Kittiwake – c110 past Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Fieldfare – single in with c250 Redwing Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Long-tailed Duck – single Loch Inver, 30th October (DAH)

Redwing – c30 Nedd, 29th October (Ian and Pat Evans)

Goldfinch – 8 feeding on dead thistle heads near Lochinver Primary School, 29th October (DAH)

Little Grebe – 2 Lochan Sgeireach, Stoer and single Loch Culag, 29th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – single Loch Kirkaig, 29th October (DAH)

Pied Wagtail – single male Inverkirkaig, 29th October (DAH)

Brambling – single on garden feeder Torbreck, 28th October (Gwen Richards)

Great Skua – single off Rubh’an Dunain, 28th October (DAH)

Knot – single Rubh’an Dunain, 28th October (DAH)

Purple Sandpiper – 4 Rubh’an Dunain, 28th October (DAH)

Turnstone – 32 Rubh’an Dunain, 28th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 2 off Rubh’an Dunain, 28th October (DAH)

Redwing – c50 Achnacarnin and c140 Culkein Stoer, 28th October (DAH). After a slow start it looks like some of our winter thrushes are on the move, although there are not many berries around this year.

Moorhen – 2 Loch an Aigeil, 28th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 7 over Culkein Drumbeg, 6 adults over Stoer and 4 (2 adult 2 juvenile) on sea off Rubh’an Dunain, all 28th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 4 (2 adult 2 juvenile) Loch an Aigeil, 27th October (Ian and Pat Evans)

Slavonian Grebe – winter plumage individual in Lochinver bay, 27th October (AS), 29th October (DAH)and 30th October (AS)

Brambling – single male at Clachtoll garden, 27th October (AS)

Brambling – single female at Clachtoll garden, 26th October (AS)

Barnacle Goose – 3 Culkein Stoer, 26th October (AS)

Pink-footed Goose – 2 Culkein Stoer, 26th and 28th October (AS)

Golden Plover – 3 Culkein Stoer, 26th October (AS) and 6 Culkein Stoer, 28th October (DAH)

Turnstone – 26 Culkein Stoer, 26th October (AS)

Tufted Duck – 6 Loch na Claise, 24th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 2 in winter plumage Bay of Culkein, 24th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 5 (2 adults, 3 juveniles) Culkein Stoer, 24th October (DAH)

Snipe – 2 Culkein Stoer, 24th October (DAH)

Wheatear – single male Culkein Stoer, 24th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 38 (30 adults, 8 juveniles) Loch Ruighean an Aitinn near Drumbeg, 23rd October (Corinne France). Photo on Gallery-Birds.

Brambling  – at Badnaban, 23rd October (Brian Scott)

Redwing – 10 near old fank Gleann Leireag road, 23rd October (DAH)

Blackcap – female near Glenleraig, 23rd October (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 4 females Loch Nedd, 23rd October (DAH)

Brambling – 2 females on garden feeder Badnaban, 22nd October (Les Pearce). Photo on Gallery-Birds.

Barnacle Goose – 36 in two skeins over Bay of Culkein, 22nd October (DAH)

Woodcock – single on road near Stoer Hall, 22nd October (DAH)

Curlew – 7 on Stoer green, 22nd October (AS)

Whooper Swan – 7 Culkein Stoer, 21st October (Paul and Lis Burnett)

Teal – 8 in reeds at Loch na Claise, 21st October (AS)

Wigeon – 3 at Loch an Aigeil Clachtoll, 21st October (AS)

Redwing – flock of around 50 between Stoer and Clashnessie, 21st October (AS)

Brambling – pair in garden at Clachtoll in winter plumage, 21st October (AS)

Kestrel – female hunting Culkein Stoer, 20th October (DAH)

Black-headed Gull – 80 (71 adult 9 1st-winter) Bay of Culkein, 20th October (DAH)

Barnacle Goose – 6 on sand Clashnessie Bay and 82 in 5 skeins flying over Culkein Stoer, 20th October (DAH)

Barnacle Goose – c12 Culkein Stoer, 19th October (Paul and Lis Burnett)

Raven – 33 Glencanisp area, 18th October (Don O’Driscoll)

Kittiwake – c150 off Rubh’an Dunain and c200 off Point of Stoer, 18th October (DAH)

Merlin – female/juvenile unsuccessfully pursuing one of 43 Ringed Plover Bay of Culkein, 18th October (DAH)

Brent Goose – 7 (1 adult and 6 1st-winter) Bay of Culkein, 16th October (DAH). These birds were members of the sub-species bernicla which originate in Russia and Western Siberia and have dark grey flanks and belly unlike the pale-bellied sub-species hrota which we would normally expect to see and which come from Svalbard.

Great Skua – 3 heading east over Bay of Culkein, 16th October (DAH)

Jackdaw – c30 near Lagg, 16th October then 2 at Achnacarnin later the same day (DAH). These birds were also reported at Raffin later the same day (June Hall). This is very similar to 2013 when 60+ were recorded at Clachtoll and Achnacarnin on 12th October.

Goldfinch – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 15th October (DAH)

Hybrid Hooded/Carrion Crow – after one being recorded on the 11th two were seen at Clashmore on 14th October (DAH)

Long-tailed Duck – 2 winter plumage males Bay of Culkein, 14th October (DAH)

Teal – 5 Loch na Claise, 14th October (DAH)

Lapwing – 3 Loch na Claise, 14th October (DAH)

Moorhen – single adult Loch na Claise, 14th October (DAH)

Kittiwake – c200 off Clachtoll, 13th October (DAH)

Golden Eagle – pair seen from Brackloch, 13th October (DAH)

Great Spotted Woodpecker – single adult Brackloch, 13th October (DAH)

Yellowhammer – male and female Brackloch, 13th October (DAH)

Reed Bunting – 3 Brackloch, 13th October (DAH)

Rock Dove – c25 Inveruplan, 13th October (DAH)

Long-tailed Duck – single female Strathan Bay, 12th October (Gwen Richards)

Whooper Swan – 12 Loch Assynt, 12th October (Helen Morrison)

Long-tailed Tit – 12+ Oldany, 12th October (DAH)

Hybrid Hooded/Carrion Crow – single Bay of Culkein, 11th October (DAH). This is a new record for Assynt and was likely to have happened at some point as there has been a Carrion Crow in this area for two years now and earlier this year it was always seen in the company of one Hooded Crow.

Slavonian Grebe – single in winter plumage Bay of Culkein, 11th October (DAH)

Scaup – single 1st-winter female Bay of Culkein, 11th October (DAH)

Turnstone – 38 Bay of Culkein, 11th October (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 43 Bay of Culkein, 11th October (DAH)

Pink-footed Goose – 26 flying over Oldany Estuary, 11th October (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 8 Oldany Estuary, 11th October (DAH)

Grey Heron – 10 Oldany Estuary, 11th October (DAH)

Merlin – single female/juvenile trying to take one of the 40+ Twite in mid air without success at Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th October (DAH)

Moorhen – juvenile Loch Assynt, 9th October (Meryl Karr)

Great Skua – several off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 9th October (DAH)

Twite – c50 Raffin, 9th October (DAH)

Starling – c75 Culkein Stoer and c100 Raffin, 9th October (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – single in still in breeding plumage Bay of Culkein, 9th October (Ian Forbes)

Long-tailed Duck – single winter plumage female Bay of Culkein, 9th and 11th October (DAH)

Turnstone – 19 Bay of Culkein, 9th October (DAH)

Knot – single juvenile Bay of Culkein, 9th October (DAH)

Redwing – c15 in garden Culkein Stoer (Ian Forbes) and c10 Balchladich (DAH) both 8th October

Wigeon – 7 Loch an Aigeil, 8th October (DAH)

Dipper – 2 feeding in Loch Assynt at bay on north side of Ardvreck Castle, 8th October (DAH)

Whooper Swan – 20 on the sea off Clachtoll (Andy Summers), 8 over Inchnadamph (DAH) and 8 Loch na Claise (DAH) all 8th October

Whooper Swan – 30+ over Ardvar, 7th October (Beccy Garvie)

Swallow – 5 Bay of Culkein, 7th October (DAH) and 15 Lochinver, 7th October (AS)

Eider – 4 females Bay of Culkein, 7th October (DAH)

Redshank – single Bay of Culkein, 7th October (DAH)

Turnstone – single Bay of Culkein, 7th October (DAH)

Dunlin – 2 adults Bay of Culkein, 7th October (DAH)

Sanderling – 3 juveniles Bay of Culkein, 7th October (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 2 females Clashnessie Bay, 7th October (DAH)

Lesser Black-backed Gull – 2 adults Clashnessie Bay, 7th October (DAH)

Little Grebe – single on Loch na Bruthaich, 7th October (DAH)

Swallow – 2 feeding low over house drive Nedd, 6th October (Ian and Pat Evans)

Long-tailed Tit – 14 Culkein Drumbeg, 5th October (DAH)

Great Tit – 6 Loch Poll track, 5th October (DAH)

Goldcrest – 4+ Loch Poll track, 5th October (DAH)

Buzzard – 3 Elphin, 4th October (DAH)

White-tailed Eagle – single sub-adult/adult bird over Lochinver, 1st October (Robert Kinnaird) and two birds over Stoer, 2nd October (Claire Belshaw).

Goldfinch – 2 Elphin, 1st October (DAH)

Collared Dove – 12 Elphin, 1st October (DAH)

Jackdaw – 44 Elphin, 1st October (DAH)



Harbour Porpoise – 3 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 31st October (DAH)

Harbour Porpoise – dead adult washed up on Stoer beach, 27th October (AS). Photos on Gallery-Marine.

Otter – single at Culkein Stoer, 26th October (AS)

Stoat – Culkein Drumbeg, 23rd October (Mairi Macrae)

Common Toad – 4 (3 alive, 1 dead) removed from road drains at rear of visitor centre Lochinver, 22nd October (DAH)

Otter – single Clashnessie Bay, 20th October (Paul and Lis Burnett)

Otter – mother and cub near Rubh’an Dunain, 19th October (Paul and Lis Burnett). Photo on Gallery-Land Mammals.

Stoat – in garden at Clachtoll, 19th October (AS)

Common Darter dragonfly – 5 sunning themselves Culag Woods, 17th October (Gwen Richards)

Harbour Porpoise – pod of 5 including juvenile off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 17th October (Leigh Sedgley)

Red Admiral – single still flying Ardvar, 15th October (Beccy Garvie)

Common Pipistrelle – single male found dead at Glencanisp lodge, 14th October (Stuart Belshaw)

Otter – Unapool 14th October, (reported)

Otter – Loch Inver, 12th October (Gwen Richards)

Minke Whale – single off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th October (DAH)

Common Dolphin – c35 off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 10th October (DAH)

Otter – single Loch Inver, 8th October (Andy Summers)

Leatherback Turtle – On 8th October a local fishing boat brought in a dead Leatherback Turtle which sadly had become caught in the ropes of a line of creels. This animal was c2 metres long and its carapace was 1.5 metres so it was clearly an adult. UPDATE A necropsy of this animal has been undertaken by the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (SMASS) at Inverness and we hope to bring you the findings. The SMASS have said the following at present “This adult male was sadly reported entangled in creel ropes in deep water off Lochinver, NW Scotland. He weighed 283kg and measured about 180cm by 90cm.This is still only a third the weight these guys can grow up to, which is not bad considering this species subsist entirely on jellyfish. Last case reported to us was in 2009. Sad to see these great creatures in our PM room, but quite amazing anatomy“. Photograph on Gallery-Marine Full article and photo at Articles.

Water Vole – in garden pond Ardvar, 7th October (Beccy Garvie). This is the first record from this area of Assynt.

Blue-fin Tuna – unconfirmed report of 10 seen in Loch a’Chairn Bhain, 5th-11th October (Hamish Dixon)

Stoat – single hunting along dry stone wall Culkein Drumbeg, 5th October (DAH)

Green Carpet moth – in house Nedd, 2nd October (Ian Evans)

Red Admiral – singles Nedd, 1st October (Ian Evans) and Ardvar, 4th October (Beccy Garvie)

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Recent Sightings

Great Northern Diver

six birds in a variety of plumages, Loch Dhrombaig (DAH) (25/10)


single bird Clashmore (Ian Bailey) (25/10)


single bird on Torbreck croft (Gwen Richards) (25/10)

Long-tailed Duck

single winter plumage male on Loch Dhrombaig (DAH). This was a different bird from the one in Clashnessie Bay the day before, it was female. Photos Gallery - Birds (23/10)

Whooper Swan

18 flying over Ardvar garden (Beccy Garvey) (23/10)

White-tailed Eagle

single bird drifting over Glendarroch/Baddidarrach, on the north side of Lochinver (Chris and Fran Barley) (23/10)

Long-tailed Duck

single bird, Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (22/10)

Harbour Porpoise

three animals Clashnessie Bay (DAH) (22/10)