Little Auks around coast of Assynt

January 12th 2016

Little Auks continue to be washed up around the coast of Scotland.

This little fellow was rescued from a garden in Clashnessie on 11th January 2016. Little Auks which breed in Iceland and Greenland and winter in the North Sea have been blown, by the recent series of gales, on to the shores of Scotland.

Some are dead, others weak and needing help. If they are fit and strong they can be released back into a sheltered sea loch but if they are injured or weak they need to go to the Scottish SPCA who can be contacted on 03000 999 999. These cute little birds are not designed to walk and if they are blown ashore they often cannot take off again. So please help and keep a look out for these special birds.

There have been five live sightings of these auks reported around Assynt so far – starting off Oldany on 8th January 2016 then Clashnessie Bay, Loch a’ Chairn Bhain, Lochinver bay and Loch Dhrombaig. But don’t get fooled by the hundreds of other auks, Guillemots and Razorbills, which are also sheltering around our shores at the moment. The Little Auk is only about half the size of its bigger relatives at around 8 inches long.

Little Auk stranded at Clashnessie. Photo A. Summers
Little Auk stranded at Clashnessie. Photo A. Summers

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Recent Sightings

Greenshank

single bird heard calling, Loch Nedd (Ian M. Evans) (07/04)

Wheatear

three birds on croft land near Loch Ruighean an Aitinn, Drumbeg (DAH) (07/04)

Goldeneye

eight birds (3 male, 5 female) Loch Ruighean an Aitinn, Drumbeg (DAH) (06/04)

Pink-footed Goose

c70 birds heading north over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (05/04)

Redwing

four birds at Clachtoll (AS) (04/04)

Red-breasted Merganser

two pairs, Badnaban Bay (Dave Bird) (04/04)

Shelduck

three birds, Oldany estuary (DAH) (04/04)

Divers

three Great Northern and a single Red-throated Diver Loch Dhrombaig (DAH) (04/04)

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