Bird species recorded in Assynt

December 3rd 2020

This is the complete list of bird species which have been recorded in Assynt, to the best of our knowledge. We intend to re-post it on our website at each addition to the list, or when the taxonomic order changes significantly.

It is ordered taxonomically as per British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU). 2017. The British List: a Checklist of Birds of Britain (9th edition). Ibis 160: 190–240, and subsequent changes included in BOURC Reports.

As at 24 January 2020 the British List (Categories A, B, C) stood at 621 species.

The total bird species recorded in Assynt as at 3 December 2020 was 236


Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix – Scarce resident; may breed

Ptarmigan Lagopus muta – Common resident breeder

Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus – Common resident breeder

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa – Rare (introduced) visitor

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix – Rare visitor

Quail Coturnix coturnix – Rare summer visitor

Pheasant Phasianus colchicus – Scarce (introduced) resident

Brent Goose Branta bernicla – Increasing winter visitor

Canada Goose Branta canadensis – Rare visitor

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis – Increasing winter visitor

Snow Goose Anser caerulescens – Rare visitor

Greylag Goose Anser anser – Resident breeder; winter visitor

Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus – Passage migrant

Tundra Bean Goose Anser serrirostris – Rare winter visitor

White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons – Rare winter visitor

Mute Swan Cygnus olor – Rare visitor

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus – Regular winter visitor

Shelduck Tadorna tadorna – Uncommon breeder

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata – Vagrant

Garganey Spatula querquedula – Rare migrant; has bred

Shoveler Spatula clypeata – Rare migrant

Gadwall Mareca strepera – Rare passage migrant

Wigeon Mareca penelope – Uncommon breeder

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos – Resident breeder; winter visitor

Pintail Anas acuta – Rare visitor

Teal Anas crecca – Scarce resident breeder; winter visitor

Pochard Aythya ferina – Rare winter visitor

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula – Scarce breeder; scarce winter visitor

Scaup Aythya marila – Rare winter visitor

King Eider Somateria spectabilis – Rare visitor

Eider Somateria mollissima – Common breeder; scarce in winter

Surf Scoter Melanitta perspicillata – Vagrant

Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca – Rare winter visitor

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra – Scarce winter visitor

Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis – Scarce winter visitor

Goldeneye Bucephala clangula – Common winter visitor

Smew Mergellus albellus – Vagrant

Goosander Mergus merganser – Scarce resident; may breed

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator – Resident breeder

Swift Apus apus – Rare passage migrant

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus – Common summer breeder

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon Columba livia – Common resident breeder

Stock Dove Columba oenas – Rare visitor

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus – Common resident breeder

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur – Occasional vagrant

Collared Dove Steptopelia decaocto – Common resident breeder

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus – Scarce winter visitor and occasional breeder

Corncrake Crex crex – Occasional summer breeder

Spotted Crake Porzana porzana – Rare visitor

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus – Scarce resident breeder

Coot Fulica atra – Rare winter visitor

Crane Grus grus – Rare vagrant

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis – Scarce resident breeder

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena – Rare visitor

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus – Rare visitor

Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus – Rare visitor

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis – Rare visitor

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus – Common resident

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus – Scarce summer breeder

Golden Plover Pluviailis apricaria – Summer breeder; passage migrant

Grey Plover Pluviailis squatarola – Rare winter visitor

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula – Common resident breeder; winter visitor

Dotterel Charadrius morinellus – Rare summer breeder

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus – Regular passage migrant; occasional breeder

Curlew Numenius arquata – Common resident (breeder); winter visitor

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica – Scarce passage migrant; rare winter visitor

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa – Scarce passage migrant

Turnstone Arenaria interpres – Common winter visitor

Knot Calidris canutus – Rare winter visitor

Ruff Calidris pugnax – Rare passage migrant

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea – Rare passage migrant

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii – Rare passage migrant

Sanderling Calidris alba – Passage migrant; winter visitor

Dunlin Calidris alpina – Regular winter visitor; scarce summer breeder

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima – Regular winter visitor

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris subruficollis – Vagrant

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola – Common resident breeder; winter visitor

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus – Scarce winter visitor

Snipe Gallinago gallinago – Common resident breeder

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus – Vagrant

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius – Rare visitor

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos – Common summer breeder

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus – Rare visitor

Redshank Tringa totanus – Common resident breeder

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola – Rare visitor

Greenshank Tringa nebularia – Common summer breeder

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla – Summer breeder; scarce offshore winter

Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea – Vagrant

Sabine’s Gull Xema sabini – Rare visitor late summer/autumn

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus – Scarce, but increasing summer and winter visitor; possible occasional breeder

Franklin’s Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan – Vagrant

Common Gull Larus canus – Common resident breeder

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis – Vagrant

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus – Common resident breeder

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus – Rare winter visitor

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides – Rare winter visitor

Herring Gull Larus argentatus – Common resident breeder

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus – Scarce summer breeder

Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis – Scarce passage migrant

Little Tern Sternula albifrons – Scarce passage migrant

Common Tern Sterna hirundo – Scarce summer breeder

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea – Scarce summer breeder

Great Skua Stercorarius skua – Common offshore summer/passage; occasional breeder

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus – Rare visitor

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus – A few breeding pairs; seen offshore summer/passage

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus – Passage migrant

Little Auk Alle alle – Vagrant

Common Guillemot Uria aalge – Scarce summer breeder

Razorbill Alca torda – Scarce summer breeder

Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle – Common resident

Puffin Fratercula arctica – Summer visitor offshore

Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata – Summer breeder; winter visitor offshore

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica – Summer breeder; winter visitor offshore

Great Northern Diver Gavia immer – Winter visitor offshore

White-billed Diver Gavia adamsii – Rare winter visitor

Wilson’s Petrel Oceanites oceanicus – Rare autumn passage migrant

Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus – Passage migrant; seen offshore summer

Leach’s Petrel Hydrobates leucorhous – Rare autumn passage migrant

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis – Common resident breeder

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris borealis – Rare autumn passage migrant

Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea – Rare autumn passage migrant

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus – Passage migrant; seen offshore summer

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus – Rare autumn passage migrant

White Stork Ciconia ciconia – Vagrant

Gannet Morus bassanus – Common offshore; non-breeder

Shag Gulosus aristotelis – Common resident breeder

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo – Common resident (breeder?)

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea – Common resident breeder

Great White Egret Ardea alba – Vagrant

Little Egret Egretta garzetta – Vagrant

Osprey Pandion haliaetos – Common summer visitor (former breeder)

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos – Scarce resident breeder

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus – Common resident breeder

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis – Rare visitor

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus – Rare passage visitor

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus – Occasional visitor

Red Kite Milvus milvus – Rare visitor (increasing)

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla – Rare visitor (increasing)

Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus – Rare winter visitor

Buzzard Buteo buteo – Common resident breeder

Barn Owl Tyto alba – Scarce resident breeder

Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus – Rare winter visitor

Tawny Owl Strix aluco – Common resident breeder

Long-eared Owl Asio otus – Rare summer breeder

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus – Possible breeder; winter visitor

Hoopoe Upupa epops – Rare visitor

Roller Coracias garrulus – Vagrant

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis – Rare visitor

Bee-eater Merops apiaster – Rare visitor

Wryneck Jynx torquilla – Rare visitor

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major – Scarce resident breeder

Kestrel Falco tinnunculas – Scarce resident breeder

Merlin Falco columbarius – Scarce summer breeder; increasing in winter

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus – Scarce resident breeder

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio – Vagrant

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor – Vagrant

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor – Vagrant

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator – Vagrant

Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus – Vagrant

Jay Garrulus glandarius – Rare visitor

Magpie Pica pica – Rare visitor

Jackdaw Coloeus monedula – Locally resident breeder

Rook Corvus frugilegus – Rare visitor

Carrion Crow Corvus corone – Rare visitor

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix – Common resident breeder

Raven Corvus corax – Common resident breeder

Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus – Occasional winter visitor

Coal Tit Periparus ater – Common resident breeder

Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus – Common resident breeder

Great Tit Parus major – Common resident breeder

Skylark Alauda arvensis – Common summer breeder

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla – Vagrant

Sand Martin Riparia riparia – Scarce summer breeder (increasing)

Swallow Hirundo rustica – Common summer breeder

House Martin Delichon urbicum – Common summer breeder

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus – Common resident breeder

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix – Rare summer breeder

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus – Rare visitor

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus – Common summer breeder

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita – Scarce summer breeder

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus shoenobaenus – Scarce summer breeder

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia – Scarce (increasing) summer breeder

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla – Scarce summer breeder; rare winter visitor

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin – Rare summer breeder

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca – Rare summer visitor

Whitethroat Sylvia communis – Rare summer breeder

Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla – Vagrant

Goldcrest Regulus regulus – Scarce resident breeder

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes – Common breeding resident

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris – Common breeding resident

Rose-coloured Starling Pastor roseus – Vagrant

Starling Sturnus vulgaris – Common breeding resident; winter visitor

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus – Scarce summer breeder

Blackbird Turdus merula – Common breeding resident; winter visitor

Fieldfare Turdus pilaris – Winter visitor

Redwing Turdus iliacus – Winter visitor; scarce breeder

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos – Common breeding resident; winter visitor

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus – Scarce breeding resident; winter visitor

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata – Scarce summer breeder

Robin Erithacus rubecula – Common breeding resident; winter visitor

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca – Rare visitor

Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis – Vagrant

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros – Rare passage migrant

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus – Occasional summer breeder

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra – Scarce summer breeder

Stonechat Saxicola rubicola – Common breeding resident

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe – Common summer breeder

Dipper Cinclus cinclus – Common breeding resident

House Sparrow Passer domesticus – Locally common breeding resident

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus – Rare visitor

Dunnock Prunella modularis – Common breeding resident

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava – Rare summer visitor

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea – Scarce summer breeder

Pied/White Wagtail Motacilla alba – Common summer breeder/passage migrant

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis – Common breeding resident; very few over winter

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis – Scarce summer breeder

Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus – Common breeding resident

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs – Common breeding resident

Brambling Fringilla montifringilla – Rare winter visitor

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes – Rare summer visitor

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula – Scarce breeding resident

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrina – Vagrant

Greenfinch Chloris chloris – Common breeding resident

Twite Linaria flavirostris – Summer breeder; winter visitor (resident)

Linnet Linaria cannabina – Scarce summer breeder

Lesser Redpoll Acanthis cabaret – Summer breeder; winter visitor

Arctic Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni – Rare winter visitor

Crossbill Loxia curvirostra – Rare passage (irruptive) migrant; possible breeder

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis – Scarce breeding resident (increasing)

Siskin Spinus spinus – Scarce summer breeder; winter visitor

Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus – Rare visitor

Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis – Rare summer breeder; winter visitor

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella – Scarce breeding resident

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla – Rare visitor

Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus – Scarce breeding resident

Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis – Vagrant


D Haines – 03.12.2020

Report a Sighting

Recent Sightings


Single animal in Culkein Drumbeg garden (DAH) (04/12)


Single female bird hunting, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (04/12)


Single male bird, Lochan na Leobaig, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (04/12)

Red-breasted Merganser

Six birds (three pair) Lochan na Leobaig, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH) (04/12)


200+ birds over trees Glen Canisp road (DAH) (02/12)


Single male bird flying over trees calling, Richarn (DAH) (02/12)


Single bird, Clachtoll beach shore (John Gilbertson) (02/12)

Herring Gull

c495 birds on and around the fish farm off Eilean a' Ghamhna, Loch a' Chàirn Bhàin (DAH) (01/12)