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

Kestrel

Two birds hunting near Oldany Farm (DAH) (17/08)

Scotch Argus butterfly

Six butterflies near Loch Poll track end (DAH) (17/08)

Speckled Wood butterfly

Four+ butterflies in trees around Loch Poll Hydro plant room (DAH) (17/08)

Common Darter dragonfly

30+ dragonflies on track to Loch Poll (DAH) (17/08)

Whimbrel

Single bird in shallows at low tide, Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (16/08)

Great Skua

Two birds drinking from freshwater streams on beach at low tide, Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (16/08)

Otter

Single animal, by Stac Fada (John Gilbertson) (16/08)

White-tailed Eagle

Single bird over Culkein Drumbeg (DAH).  Possibly same bird seen over Bay of Stoer (Charlie Leeson) (14/08)

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