Lockdown bird list(s) (March-December 2020)

December 22nd 2020

Lockdown bird list(s) 

The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic put paid to many activities locally, nationally and internationally. One such activity which produces data used at all three levels is called ‘Shorewatch’.

Shorewatch is a scheme of land-based monitoring for, and recording sightings of, cetaceans. Whale and Dolphin Conservation operate this scheme, and they rely on a large number of dedicated volunteers around Scotland to carryout the monitoring at specified locations.

The pandemic put paid to this for almost all of 2020 as many of the staff employed by WDC were furloughed. As such the volunteers were not allowed to actively carry on Shorewatching.

The lighthouses at Stoer Head, Assynt; Rhue, near Ullapool and Tiumpan Head, near Stornoway are just three of the 25+ Shorewatch sites around the Scottish coast. While there is a bit of competition between these three sites to get the ‘best’ sightings the data obtained is the overriding priority.

The results

Now, to cut a long story short, this trio of sites decided to have another, more formal (serious!) competition during lockdown. A Lockdown Bird List for each local area with no prizes whatsoever up for grabs.

With no real end in sight to lockdowns we decided that 17 December would be the end date. The results were sent to me to be collated, mainly because I can ‘publish’ them on this website. The accompanying table shows the lists from each of the three areas. The birds and sites are both simply given in alphabetical order. It just so happens that the number of bird species recorded in each area also matches the site order!

From the Stoer Head site we can see both of the other lighthouses so we thought there wouldn’t be too much of a difference in the three area lists. However, each site recorded a number of species that the other two hadn’t. Stoer and Tiumpan each recorded 12 species not seen in either of the other areas, while Rhue had 4 unique records.

Between us we recorded a combined figure of 141 different bird species, with only 71 of those being recorded in all three areas.

Not a very scientific data set, but a bit of fun and really interesting to see the variations.

Many thanks to Steve Dodd (Tiumpan) and the Pringle Family (Ullapool) for all the watching and recording and then for sending me their records.

Hopefully we don’t have to plan a Lockdown Bird List rematch in 2021!

David Haines

The lists

Assynt Tiumpan Ullapool
Blackbird
Blackcap
Bullfinch
Bunting Lapland
Bunting Reed
Bunting Snow
Buzzard
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Collared Dove
Cormorant
Crow Carrion
Crow Hooded
Crow – Hybrid
Cuckoo
Curlew
Dipper
Diver Black-throated
Diver Great N.
Diver Red-throated
Duck Long-tailed
Duck Pintail
Duck Tufted
Dunlin
Dunnock
Eagle Golden
Eagle White-tailed
Eider
Fieldfare
Fulmar
Gannet
Godwit Bar-tailed
Goldcrest
Goldeneye
Goldfinch
Goosander
Goose Barnacle
Goose Brent
Goose Greylag
Goose Pink-footed
Grebe Little
Grebe Slavonian
Greenfinch
Greenshank  
Guillemot
Guillemot Black
Gull Black-headed
Gull Common
Gull Great B-b.
Gull Glaucous
Gull Herring
Gull Iceland
Gull Lesser B-b.
Harrier Hen
Heron Grey
House Martin
House Sparrow
Jackdaw
Kestrel
Kittiwake
Lapwing
Linnet
Magpie
Mallard
Merganser Red-breasted
Merlin
Moorhen
Oystercatcher
Osprey
Owl Tawny
Peregrine
Pheasant
Pigeon Feral
Pipit Meadow
Pipit Rock
Plover Golden
Plover Ringed
Puffin
Raven
Razorbill
Redpoll
Redshank
Redwing
Robin
Rock Dove
Rook
Sanderling
Sand Martin
Sandpiper Common
Sandpiper Purple
Scoter Common
Shag
Shearwater Great
Shearwater Manx
Shearwater Sooty
Shelduck
Siskin
Skua Arctic
Skua Great
Skua Pomarine
Skua Long-tailed
Skylark
Snipe
Snipe Jack
Sparrowhawk
Spot Flycatcher
Starling
Starling Rose-coloured
Stonechat
Swallow
Swan Whooper
Swift
Teal
Tern Arctic
Tern Common
Tern Sandwich
Thrush Mistle
Thrush Song
Tit Blue
Tit Coal
Tit Great
Tit Long-tailed
Treecreeper
Tree Sparrow
Turnstone
Turtle Dove
Twite
Wagtail Grey
Wagtail Pied
Wagtail White
Warbler Grasshopper        
Warbler Sedge
Warbler Willow
Warbler Yellow-browed
Wheatear
Whimbrel
Whitethroat Common
Wigeon
Woodcock
Woodpecker Great Spotted
Woodpigeon
Wren
TOTALS 124 104 97 141 combined  
UNIQUE to AREA 12 12 4    

 

 

 

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