Sightings in December 2014

November 30th 2014



Sanderling – single Bay of Culkein, 31st December (Ian and Pat Evans)

Goldeneye – pair Loch Druim Suardalain (DAH) and three pairs Loch Ruighean an Aitinn (Ian and Pat Evans), 31st December

Peregrine – single male near Lagg/Loch Poll, 29th December (DAH)

Bar-tailed Godwit – single Oldany Estuary, 29th December (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 14 (8 male 6 female) Oldany Estuary, 29th December (DAH). Lots of displaying going on.

Jack Snipe – single bird flushed twice from drainage ditch Culkein Drumbeg, 28th December (DAH)

Common Scoter – single male in Culkein Drumbeg harbour area, 28th December (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 6 Bay of Stoer, 27th December (DAH)

Curlew – 25 Loch na Claise, 27th December (DAH)

Goldeneye – singles Lochan Sgeireach (m), Stoer; Loch na Claise (m) and Loch Eileanach (f), 27th December (DAH)

Snipe – single over Bay of Culkein, 27th December (DAH)

Gannet – adult feeding Bay of Culkein, 27th December (DAH)

Redshank – 3 Bay of Culkein, 27th December (DAH)

Turnstone – 39 Bay of Culkein, 27th December (DAH)

Song Thrush – 5 Culkein Drumbeg, 26th December (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – 2 Loch Dhrombaig, 26th December (DAH)

Black Guillemot – single off Culkein Drumbeg, 26th December (DAH)

Shag – c75 on off-shore islands Culkein Drumbeg, 26th December (DAH)

Little Grebe – single Oldany Estuary, 26th December (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 7 (4 male 3 female) Oldany Estuary, 26th December (DAH)

Treecreeper – singles seen in gardens at Nedd (Ian and Pat Evans) and Culkein Drumbeg (DAH), 24th December

Goldeneye – single female Loch Drumbeg, 23rd December (DAH)

Redwing – 5 and a single Fieldfare Clachtoll, 23rd December (DAH)

Fieldfare – single with 5 Redwing Clashmore, 22nd December (DAH)

Barnacle Goose – 18 Culkein Stoer, 22nd December (DAH)

Redshank – 2 Bay of Culkein, 22nd December (DAH)

Turnstone – 6 Bay of Culkein, 22nd December (DAH)

Tawny Owl – single bird calling Nedd, 20th December and Culkein Drumbeg, 21st December(DAH)

Brambling – single 1st-winter male feeding in Baddidarach garden during week, 18th December (Mark and Jan Snowden). Photo on Gallery-Birds.

Grey Wagtail – single on croft Torbreck, 17th December (Gwen Richards)

Meadow Pipit – 3 along with 6 Rock Pipit on croft Oldany, 16th December (DAH)

Stonechat – 3 (2 male 1 female) on croft Oldany, 16th December (DAH)

Fieldfare – single on croft Oldany, 16th December (DAH)

Teal – 5 (4 male 1 female) Oldany Estuary, 16th December (DAH)

Fieldfare – single seen and ‘chack-chack’ call heard Nedd, 15th December (Ian and Pat Evans)

Cormorant – single immature Loch Kirkaig, 15th December (DAH)

Goldeneye – single female Lochan Sgeireach, Stoer, 15th December (DAH)

Redwing – 6 on croft Oldany along with 4 Blackbirds and 3 Song Thrush, 15th December (DAH)

Coal Tit – 7 on seed feeder Culkein Drumbeg, 14th December (Corinne France)

Goldeneye – single male Loch na Claise, 13th December (DAH)

Tufted Duck – 6 (4 male 2 female) Loch na Claise, 13th December (DAH)

Turnstone – 35 Bay of Culkein, 12th December (DAH)

Curlew – 11 Clachtoll (DAH) and 14+ Stoer Green (Ian and Pat Evans), 12th December

Golden Eagle – adult trying to fly against gale force winds low over the crofts Clachtoll, 12th December (DAH)

Great Tit – 4 feeding on live Red Deer stag Torbreck, 11th December (Gwen Richards). It would seem that these birds are looking for insects on the stag. Gwen reports that two weeks earlier she had seen two Great Tits doing the same thing so the increase in numbers could suggest that they are learning from each other.

Purple Sandpiper – 2 Bay of Culkein, 10th December (DAH)

Great Northern Diver – single Clashnessie Bay, 10th December (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 Clashnessie Bay, 10th December (DAH)

Merlin – female Culkein Drumbeg, 10th December (DAH)

Long-tailed Tit – 3 on garden feeder Badnaban, 8th December (Les and Liz Pearce)

Kestrel – single female Culkein Stoer and single juvenile near Clashmore, 8th December (DAH)

Song Thrush – 6 Culkein Stoer, 8th December (DAH)

Greater White-fronted Goose – single adult Culkein Stoer, 8th December (DAH)

Greylag Goose – 13 Culkein Stoer, 8th December (DAH)

Turnstone – 27 Bay of Culkein, 8th December (DAH)

Oystercatcher – 56 Bay of Culkein, 8th December (DAH)

Red-breasted Merganser – 6 (3 male 3 female) Oldany Estuary, 8th December (DAH)

Curlew – 18 Culkein Drumbeg harbour area, 8th December (DAH)

Buzzard – 2 Culkein Drumbeg, 8th December (DAH)

Woodcock – 3 near Oldany, 6th December (DAH)

Fulmar – 50+ off Point of Stoer, 2nd December (DAH)

Purple Sandpiper – 4 Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd December (DAH)

Turnstone – 24 Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd December (DAH)

Red-throated Diver – 2 off Rubh’an Dunain, 2nd December (DAH)

Goldfinch – 4 Culkein Stoer, 2nd and 8th December (DAH)

Reed Bunting – single male Culkein Stoer, 2nd December (DAH)

Redwing – 3 Culkein Stoer, 2nd December (DAH)

Black-headed Gull – 4 (3 adult 1 1st-winter), Bay of Culkein, 2nd December (DAH)

Ringed Plover – 22 Bay of Culkein, 2nd December (DAH)

Water Rail – single in garden Badnaban, 1st December (Les and Liz Pearce). A rare record for Assynt with a photo on Gallery-Birds. Bird still showing well (for a Water Rail!) on 8th December.



Harbour Porpoise – single off Stoerhead Lighthouse, 25th December (DAH)

Common Toad – single rescued alive from road drain at rear of Visitors Centre Lochinver, 15th December (DAH)

Otter – 2 (mother and juvenile) Bay of Culkein, 10th and 22nd December (DAH)

Water shrew – accidentally trapped in vegetable beds Nedd, 9th December (Ian Evans)

Pygmy shrew (+ flea) – accidentally trapped in vegetable beds Nedd, 8th December (Ian Evans). Full story at Land Mammal Snippets.

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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)