Please send your sightings for this page to Jim Dickson : e-mail megjdickson5pluscom (megjdickson5pluscom) .
MIGRANTS: autumn migration of waders is now underway. It will soon be time to report late dates for passerine and other migrants! Please let Jim know of any autumn migrants you see (or hear.
Click on the link below for a list Spring migrants recorded during in 2016:
SPRING MIGRANTS 2016 to 15 June
For comparison, a table of arrivals reported in 2015 is at the link below:
0 SPRING MIGRANTS 2015
Please try out our new bird video clip being trialed here. https://vimeo.com/150587929
RECENT REPORTS July 2016
26 July: Nine Common Swifts spiralling high over the large car park in Lochgilphead, Mid-Argyll at lunchtime today (Jim Dickson).
25 July: A Nuthatch seen in a garden at Manse Brae, Lochgilphead, Mid-Argyll today was also present yesterday (Faye and Bob Henderson).
24 July: A lot more waders around at Loch Gilp/Loch Crinan/Add Estuary today.
At 09:40: 187 Dunlin and 2 Sanderling at extreme low tide edge at Loch Gilp and 2 adult Black-tailed Godwits, 1 juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit and 132 Dunlin (all adults) at Loch Crinan. Three juvenile Greenshanks still at the Add Estuary (no sign of the 2 adults from yesterday) and a Common Swift flying over.
At 11:00 an adult Curlew Sandpiper took off from Loch Gilp with around 70 or so Dunlin and headed towards Otter Ferry direction leaving about 110 Dunlin at the tide edge which soon also flew off toward Otter Ferry. Also 2 Whimbrels on the mussel bed (Jim Dickson).
23 July: Highlights of Jim’s WeBS count at Loch Crinan/Add Estuary today were a breeding plumage Black-tailed Godwit and 5 Greenshanks together (2 adults and 3 juveniles) (Jim Dickson).
22 July: An account from Neil Brown of a remarkable ‘fall’ of migrants at the CES (Constant Effort Sites) ringing site at Aros Moss, Machrihanish. He was late in opening the nets due to a heavy mist but as he walked around the moss opening the nets, the mist cleared and sun came out and so did the Willow Warblers. He says: “I think the weather conditions created classic ‘fall’ conditions as sometimes seen at Coastal sites, Willow Warblers just seemed to be dripping from the vegetation and their constant calling and singing was simply awesome. I tried counting sections and at one point got to 73 before losing count, I found it hard to estimate numbers but 300-500 may be conservative!. The visit total of 101 birds maybe a record catch for the site with 59 being Willow Warbler plus a further 36 Willow Warblers caught in a couple of quickly erected ‘extra’ nets. The number caught certainly wasn’t representative of the amount present.” Neil Brown.
We’ve just received an excellent video clip of a Black Kite seen near Machrihanish, Kintyre on 11 May. Many thanks to Aidan Maccormick for supplying the video – here are some stills from it:
21 July: This Common Sandpiper family group was photographed at Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll this morning (Jim Dickson).
20 July: At Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll today there were; 182 Oystercatchers, 2 Whimbrel, a juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 adult Sanderlings, 8 Dunlin, 11 Common Redshanks, 3 Common Sandpipers and 2 Greenshank. And at the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll: 9 adult Sanderlings, 21 Dunlin, 18 Common Redshanks and 5 Common Sandpipers. Nearby a Grasshopper Warbler still reeling. An Osprey was there yesterday. (Jim Dickson).
At least twelve Common Swifts tearing around and swooping in under the eaves at the Primary School in Dunoon, Cowal today (Tom Callan).
19 July: Among other waders on the point at Machrihanish Seabird Observatory today, a cracking male Ruff still partly in breeding plumage (Eddie Maguire).
18 July: The WeBS Count tables for April to June have now been added to the website – click on the WeBS Count tab to see them. Records include: 5 Wigeon at Loch Tulla in June, 2 Garganey at Loch Gruinart in May, 3 Greater Scaup at Loch Gilp in May (a new species here), 16 Great Northern Divers at Loch Indaal in June, 2 Water Rails at Loch Ederline (detected using a tape lure), 3,024 Dunlin at Loch Gruinart in May and 7 Greenshank at Loch Tulla in June.
Katie our regular counter for the Sound of Gigha has been unable to carry out counts recently because of other commitments. We are anxious to cover this important site if possible and if anyone thinks they might be interested please contact Paul Daw at monedulaglobalnetcouk. The counts involve a once a month visit from September through to March with the spring/summer months as an optional extra. As an inducement – the site regularly produces a wide range of species including: Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, all 3 species of diver, Slavonian Grebe, Whimbrel, etc.!
A flock of 60+ juvenile (delinquent!) Common Starlings have been flying around demolishing fat balls and terrorising the local birds at Cairnbaan, Mid-Argyll. Previous records of Starlings there have been of just the odd bird over the last few years. Perhaps a very good breeding season? (Jim Dickson).
A rather unexpected find this afternoon was this Short-eared Owl near Otter Ferry, Cowal.
Also the first brood of very small young Red-breasted Mergansers at Otter Ferry this afternoon (Tom Callan).
On Tiree today: an adult Little Grebe, a moulting adult Bar-tailed Godwit, a male Ruff and 5 Black-tailed Godwits at Loch an Eilein; a Black-tailed Godwit at Kenovay; a juvenile Iceland Gull again at Kilkenneth (Toby Green); 2 Arctic Skuas at Gott Bay and increasing numbers of Sanderlings on the beaches. Also a male Common Whitethroat, a male Grasshopper Warbler, a Robin and a Common Redpoll at Balephuil (John Bowler).
17 July: A Nuthatch was seen in the garden at Corra, Otter Ferry, Cowal this morning (Tom Callan).
Today at Portrigh, Carradale, at least 50 Goldfinches (adult & juvenile) were present, being relentlessly persuade by a female Sparrowhawk (Alasdair Paterson).
On Tiree today: 5 adult Black-tailed Godwits at Loch an Eilein; a breeding plumage Bar-tailed Godwit and 7 Sanderlings at Sorobaidh Bay and a dead Harbour Porpoise there; a Great Skua over Balinoe; a juvenile Robin and new fledged brood of Barn Swallows at Balephuil (John Bowler).
16 July: A Nuthatch was seen visiting a peanut feeder at Glenview, Dalmally, Mid-Argyll today (Scott Paterson).
On Tiree today: 76 Curlews and Grasshopper Warbler and Common Whitethroat singing at Balephuil (John Bowler).
Two juvenile Greenshanks and 11 Common Sandpipers at the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll (Jim Dickson).
At Portrigh, Carradale, Kintyre at least 100 Twite were in the as yet uncut silage fields (Alasdair Paterson).
A Lesser Redpoll was with Siskins and Goldfinches at bird feeders at Tullochgorm (Minard), Mid-Argyll (Paul Daw).
15 July: A total of 22 Black Guillemots in Oban Harbour at 05:15 hrs today and, on Tiree, 5 Black-tailed Godwits at Loch an Eilein and a female Gadwall with a brood of 2 young at Loch na Faing (John Bowler).
Two juvenile Greenshanks, 1 Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpipers at Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll (Jim Dickson).
14 July: ca. 180 juvenile Starlings gathered at the Islandadd bridge, Bellanoch, Mid-Argyll (John Halliday).
Single Sandwich Tern seen and heard calling at Kirn, Dunoon at 13:00 (Paul Daw).
13 July: A Sandwich Tern feeding at Loch Indaal, Islay today was there most mornings this week (Mike Peacock).
12 July: These fascinating photos taken by Blair Urquhart’s young son Struan depict an interaction between a White-tailed Eagle and a Golden Eagle over Kilmichael Glen, Mid-Argyll today. The first shows the White-tailed Eagle and despite the blurring, in the second the Golden Eagle can be seen escorting it away, while they are talon grappling in the third (Struan Urquhart per Blair Urquhart).
On Tiree today: a female Tufted Duck with b/3 at Loch an Eilein and the juvenile Robin still at Balephuil (John Bowler).
11 July: An adult male Common Rosefinch was seen and heard singing at a Forestry Commission site at Ballochgair (north of Peninver), Kintyre at 11:30 today (Bob Relph).
As well as the adult Greenshank, a single Whimbrel is at Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll today (Jim Dickson).
On Tiree, a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at Balephuil and there were lots of juvenile birds about, including Twite and Wheatear (John Bowler).
10 July: An adult Greenshank at Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll this morning as well as a lot of very wet looking birds around the Crinan Ferry road, Moine Mhor (Jim Dickson).
On Tiree today: a female Hen Harrier, 12 adult Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Dunlin at Loch a’ Phuill. The third calendar year Glaucous Gull still present to south of loch but very weak and moved off track by hand as vulnerable to being run over (John Bowler).
9th July: New developments on the male Bufflehead seen in Oban Bay in April. We’ve just received photos taken by Przemek Wronski in late afternoon of 21 of April, opposite St. Columba’s Cathedral, Oban. Although recently accepted by BBRC as a genuine vagrant, one of the photos shows a yellow colour ring on the right leg and it now seems clear that this should be treated as a likely escape. A male Bufflehead reported in Cumbria over last winter and occasionally to 6 June also had a yellow colour ring (still to find out which leg…) and perhaps could even be the same individual having moved north a bit in April and then traveled back to Cumbria? Many thanks to Przemek for the new photographs.
A jaunt from Moine Mhor (Drimvore) via Loch Crinan to Crinan Ferry, Mid-Argyll today, before the rain set in, produced the following totals of selected species: 65 Greylag Geese, 105 Canada Geese, a female Teal, a male Wigeon, 3 Red-throated Divers, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Dunlin, 5 Common Sandpipers, 19 Common Redshanks, 4 Common Swifts, 75+ Barn Swallows, 1 Jay, 12 Sky Larks, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Sedge Warblers, 65 Common Starlings, 6 Whinchats, 16 Common Stonechats, 25 Pied Wagtails, 80+ Meadow Pipits, 45 Linnets, 6 Lesser Redpolls, 35 Goldfinches, 60+ Siskins, 50 + Common Chaffinches, 3 Reed Buntings. Also a family of Spotted Flycatchers at Cairnbaan and the loads of finches (mainly juveniles) about is surely a sign of a very good breeding season for them (Jim Dickson).
Adult and juvenile Grasshopper Warbler at Balephuil, Tiree (John Bowler).
8th July: Today on Tiree: 26 Sanderlings, 27 Dunlin and 11 Bar-tailed Godwits at east end of Gott Bay Also there, a late brood of Common Shelducks and some 750 Arctic Terns, including 600+ second calendar year birds (John Bowler).
7th July: On Tiree today: a presumed bleached / worn third calendar year Glaucous Gull at Loch a’ Phuill also present on 6 July (see photos, comments welcome – to JohnBowlerrspborguk.) A Greenshank was there too. Also a Black-tailed Godwit at The Reef and a male Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Balephuil (John Bowler).
5th July: Seems to have been a good year for Spotted Flycatchers in Argyll. A family of Spotted Flycatchers and a male Yellowhammer were at Kilmartin, Mid Argyll today. At the Add Estuary a reeling Grasshopper Warbler and three families of Whinchats (Jim Dickson).
A Spotted Flycatcher at Keills (Loch Sween), Mid-Argyll was catching flies outside John’s kitchen window this morning. Also a family of Common Pheasants just up the hill are the first John has seen there in 22 years. Another Spotted Flycatcher, was seen at Carsaig (nr Tayvallich) yesterday (John Aitchison).
A second calendar year Iceland Gull was at Greenhill, Tiree today (John Bowler) and an Iceland Gull was seen at Treshnish lochan, Mull (Anand Prasad).
4th July: At Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre today a flock of ca. 50 Common Scoters (all males) flew S at 11:05hrs and 20+ Sandwich Terns in the area included their earliest ever juvenile for the second day running. The juvenile was standing by the small Arctic Tern colony at Big Scone Island off the village: the very early date suggests that it may be locally bred! (Eddie Maguire).
A third-year Mediterranean Gull at the Add Estuary today. Also 2 adult Greenshanks, 5 Common Sandpipers and a male Hen Harrier there (Jim Dickson).
On Tiree today: 3 Whooper Swans at Loch Bhasapol and Greenshanks at both Loch Bhasapol and The Green; a male Common Whitethroat, a male Grasshopper Warbler and a Robin at Balephuil. And a group of ca 45 Risso’s Dolphins were feeding off the Green for 3 hrs this morning (John Bowler).
03 July: Juvenile White-tailed Eagle seen near Newton, Cowal today; also a Common Cuckoo nearby at Barr Mor (Nigel Scriven).
A Great Northern Diver in breeding plumage was seen about half a mile up Loch Fyne from Otter Ferry, Cowal today and this first House Martin out the nest at Otter Ferry appeared in the rain this morning (Tom Callan).
01 July: Three Greenshanks were at the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll today. Also a juvenile Black-headed Gull there – the first juvenile B-h Gull was at Loch Gilp on 29 June (Jim Dickson).
On Tiree, 80 Pied Wagtails were roosting at Balephuil (John Bowler).
These beautiful Corn Crake photos are three of a series taken on Oronsay, Colonsay this morning. Morgan caught it as it came out to preen after a rain shower (Morgan Vaughan).
RECENT REPORTS June 2016
30 June: A Nuthatch at Stronafian, near Colintraive, Cowal with up to three birds there over the spring (Karen McMillan per George Newall). Also, a Greenshank still at Loch Gilp (was there on 28 Jun) (Jim Dickson).
29 June: On Tiree today: a Greenshank and 2 Great Skuas at Loch a’ Phuill; a female Hen Harrier at Heylipol; juvenile Robin and reeling Grasshopper Warbler at Balephuil (John Bowler).
28 June: A single Nuthatch was at the bird table in our garden at Barcaldine, North Argyll on 20 Sep 2015; and another one yesterday (27 June) which I managed to photograph. It appeared again this morning so may become a regular! (Clive Craik).
27 June: At Linne Mhuirich (nr. Tayvallich), Mid-Argyll, Chris saw a Common Swift last week – the first he’s seen there in 17 years! (Chris Purslow).
On Tiree today: a second calendar year Iceland Gull headed north at Traigh Ghrianal this afternoon and 1,200 Kittiwakes were on the rocks there (mostly second calendar year birds). The juvenile Robin is still at Balephuil (John Bowler).
26 June: On Tiree today: a Wood Pigeon, a male Common Whitethroat and a juvenile Robin (from Coll? as none breed on Tiree) at Balephuil as well as the first brood of fledged Barn Swallows there and 4 recently fledged young Willow Warblers (first seen on 17 Jun); 2 Great Skuas at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler).
25 June: The female Long-tailed Duck was still on Loch Gilp first thing and associating with some female Eiders and their chicks. Today it was out in the middle of the loch and a bit more towards Lochgilphead (Jim Dickson).
On Tiree today: a Long-eared Owl in a garden at Baugh; 2 Whimbrel at Sandaig; a Wood Pigeon, a male Grasshopper Warbler and a juvenile Robin at Balephuil (John Bowler).
24 June: A female Long-tailed Duck was found among the female Common Eiders with chicks on the front at Ardrishaig, Mid-Argyll today (Stuart Witts).
On Tiree today: a single Golden Plover at Sandaig and a juvenile Robin at Balephuil (John Bowler).
23 June: On Tiree today: a Barn Owl at Balephuil at 23:50 hrs – a very rare mid-summer record form Tiree. Also 2 Whooper Swans and 2 Black-tailed Godwits at Loch an Eilein (John Bowler).
22 June: An Odd Couple. The photos of this ‘pair’ of Scoters were taken by Kevin West at the lochan at Easter Ellister on 15 June. The male is clearly a Velvet Scoter but the female is a Common Scoter. The same mixed pair was reported at this location last year. Malcolm Ogilvie comments “Jane Dawson kept, and bred, both Common and Velvet Scoters and although it is now several years ago since she gave up, both species are pretty long-lived and I refuse to believe it is a coincidence that they are on one of her duck breeding ponds. But don’t ask me where they are when they’re not on that pond, i.e. in winter.” (Kevin West per Ian Brooke/Jim Dickson).
Today on Tiree; 260 Kittiwakes at Loch a’ Phuill including ca 200 second calendar year birds – 3 Great Skuas and 35 second calendar year Arctic Terns were also there (John Bowler).
This immature White-tailed Eagle, in heavy moult, was photographed at Port Ellen, Islay today (Mike Peacock).
21 June: Today ca 3,000 Manx Shearwaters were seen between Coll and Tiree; also an Arctic Skua, a Great Skua and 30 Puffins. And 2 Orcas 2/3 the way between Mull and Coll – John’s first in 15 years of looking here (John Bowler).
At the Sound of Gigha, Kintyre today: 90+ Common Scoter (mostly males) and a group of 3 (non-breeding plumage) Black-throated Divers. Good numbers of Northern Gannet in Loch Fyne at present including a group of 100+ on the water off Inverneill, Mid-Argyll (Jim Dickson).
19 June: Five European Storm-petrels were seen between Tiree and Coll today (John Bowler).
Jim has just found that the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) have accepted the record of the adult male Bufflehead found by Richard Turner in Oban Bay on 15 April 2016. It has not been placed in Category E (escapes etc.) so, as a genuine vagrant, it becomes a new species for Argyll . The Snowy Owl found in Glen Orchy on 27 Feb was also accepted by BBRC.
This Lesser Redpoll photographed at Poltalloch (nr. Kilmartin), Mid-Argyll today is a new visitor to the garden there (Fiorna).
A Eurasian Jay flew across the road in front of Margaret’s car south of Inveraray this morning at around 08:30 (Margaret Owens-Smith)
This juvenile Common Whitethroat was photographed on Coll (per Davie Rutherford).
18 June: three Spotted Flycatchers (2 adult, one juvenile) flitting around a Tayvallich, Mid-Argyll garden today have been there for most of June (Morag Rea).
Today on Tiree; 15 Collared Doves and a Siskin at Balephuil; 3 Great Northern Divers and 2 Sandwich Terns at Sorobaidh Bay; a Black-tailed Godwit at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler).
17 June: 5 Great Skuas at Ceann a’ Mhara, Tiree today (John Bowler).
This exotic visitor to a garden in Bullwood Road, Dunoon today is thought to be a Rose-ringed (Ring-necked) Parakeet (Michael Kent). The white patch at the base of the bill is not typical and could be due to feather loss. Probably an escaped cage bird: there was a previous Argyll record of a Rose-ringed Parakeet at Hunter’s Quay, Dunoon on 2nd Oct 2009.
16 June: two Red Knot at Loch a’ Phuill, Tiree today (John Bowler).
15 June: a Turtle Dove was found at Kinnabus, Islay today (Phill Catton per David Wood) and on Tiree a Wood Pigeon was at Carnan Mor (John Bowler).
14 June: today on Tiree; 2 House Martins with a partially built nest at Scarinish; 2 Whimbrel over the Glebe as well as 4 Greenfinches (2 male, 1 female and 1 juvenile) and a Common Redpoll there (John Bowler).
13 June: on Tiree today; a Common Cuckoo, a male Blackcap, a male Common Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher at Balephuil; a Common Swift over Carnan Mor (John Bowler).
12 June: on Tiree today: 2 Greenshanks, a Sandwich Tern, 2 Great Skuas at Loch a’ Phuill; a Whinchat at Meningie; a Common Cuckoo and a male Common Whitethroat at Carnan Mor (John Bowler).
11 June: three Ptarmigans were seen on Meall nan Gobhar (Glen Etive) North Argyll today (Alan Gibson).
On Tiree today: a Spotted Flycatcher and a Dunnock at The Glebe; 3 Greenshanks and a House Martin at Loch a’ Phuill (Keith Gillon per John Bowler).
10 June: a White-throated Sparrow was found at Vaul this morning by Keith Gillon. Seen again at 20:00 but not since. Argyll’s second record of this North American species, following the bird at Otter Ferry, Cowal in 2014. No sign / sound of yesterday’s Icterine Warbler at the Glebe (John Bowler). Also on Tiree, an Arctic Skua at Loch a’ Phuill (Keith Gillon).
More reports of Painted Lady butterflies: near Loch Clachaig, south of Cairnbaan, Mid-Argyll on 08 Jun (Roger Broad) and in a garden at Bullwood (nr Dunoon ), Cowal on 08 and 09 Jun (Cherry Cook).
09 June: an Icterine Warbler found by Keith Gillon was singing and showing occasionally at the Glebe, Tiree this morning. Six 1st summer Black-tailed Godwits were at Baugh and a Common Swift was at the Glebe (John Bowler). Also on Tiree, a single Tree Sparrow at Kirkapol this morning (Alison Morgan).
A Common Quail was heard calling briefly at Ford, Mid-Argyll today (Roger Broad).
The Mute Swans on Loch Etive, Mid-Argyll, still had 4 young this morning and a female Common Eider was leading a flotilla of 7 downy young. In Oban, Mid-Argyll, at least 5 Common Swifts were flying around the usual nest site on High Street (Mike Harrison).
08 June: four Common Swifts were flying around Connel bridge, Mid-Argyll. One was seen entering the hole in a bridge girder which is thought to have been used as a nest site in previous years. At the mouth of the Lusragan Burn on Loch Etive a pair of Mute Swans were accompanied by 4 downy young. A pair of Song Thrushes have been collecting food and depositing faecal sacs in my garden in Connel, the first for many years (Mike Harrison).
A Turtle Dove was briefly at Balephuil, Tiree in the fog late morning before heading off north and the male Common Whitethroat was still there. A single Whimbrel was at Gott Bay (John Bowler).
Also on Tiree, a juvenile Robin at Heanish (Alison Morgan). The last Robin breeding record on Tiree was in 2007 (John Bowler).
07 June: on Tiree today: a single Red Knot at Traigh Bhagh; a Whimbrel, 8 Bar-tailed Godwits and an Irish colour-ringed Oystercatcher at Soa; 2 Wigeon, 2 Great Northern Divers and 2 Sandwich Terns at Gott Bay; a Common Redpoll near Loch Bhasapol (John Bowler). Also on Tiree a single Bar-tailed Godwit was feeding with a group of Oystercatchers at the top of the beach at Balemartine and a Great Northern Diver off Cornaig beach in the evening (Alison Morgan) and a Wood Pigeon was at the Manse (Keith Gillon).
06 June: on Tiree today: a Turtle Dove at Beinn Hough flew towards Greenhill; a Common Swift was over Vaul (Keith Gillon). A Common Cuckoo, a male Blackcap, a male Common Whitethroat and a singing Grasshopper Warbler were at Balephuil, and Grasshopper Warblers were singing at Balemartine last night (05 Jun) and at Vaul on Saturday night (04 Jun). Also 2 Goldfinches at Balephuil and 2 Common Sandpipers at Happy Valley late pm (John Bowler).
05 June: on Tiree today: immature male Marsh Harrier at Loch Bhasapol and a Common Whitethroat and 2 Siskins at Vaul (Keith Gillon); a Blackcap, a male Common Whitethroat and 2 Siskins at Balephuil and a pair of House Martins nesting at Scarinish will, if successful, be only the 2nd breeding record for Tiree. But no sign of the elusive song-bird at The Glebe… Also a Barn Swallow on Lunga, Treshnish Isles (John Bowler).
At Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre today; a summer-plumaged Ruddy Turnstone still hanging around the point and at least 2 Painted Lady Butterflies (Eddie Maguire).
Painted Lady butterfly at Tullochgorm (Minard), Mid-Argyll this morning (Paul Daw).
04 June: a late audio-taping of more complete song and brief flight views, suggest the mystery songster lurking all day at the Glebe was actually a Thrush Nightingale – rather than a Marsh Warbler frequently mimicking a luscinia…. (Keith Gillon).
On Tiree, today: a probable Marsh Warbler at The Glebe found at 13:00 by Keith Gillon – giving occasional bursts of mimic-full song and sub-song on and off all afternoon but essentially not showing yet… Also at The Glebe: a Whimbrel, 3 Wood Pigeons, a Spotted Flycatcher, a male Greenfinch and 2 Common Redpolls, with 2 Sandwich Terns nearby at Gott Bay (Keith Gillon per John Bowler). At Carnan Mor; 2 Common Whitethroats and 4 Common Redpolls and a new Chiffchaff at Balephuil with persistent stuttering “chif, chif, chif-o-chif, chif, chi-of-chif, chif, chif” call (see photo). An obvious arrival of Painted Lady butterflies today (John Bowler).
Two Common Swifts seen over Kirn, Dunoon, Cowal today (Andrew Webster).
A Common Quail was heard calling at Lochbuie, Mull at 04:55 this morning (Brian Jones per Alan Spellman).
03 June: briefly, in front of the hide at Loch a’ Phuill, Tiree this morning: an adult Little Stint, adult Curlew Sandpiper, male Ruff and ca 90 Dunlin (all headed off NW) and a male Common Whitethroat at Balephuil (John Bowler).
Small numbers of waders at Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre today included 25 Sanderlings, a Dunlin and 2 Whimbrels (Eddie Maguire).
At the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll today: four pairs of Common Shelducks each with large broods. 11 female Common Eiders with a total of 41 tiny ducklings now in one group. Also there, a male Hen Harrier hunting and a single Grey Wagtail (Jim Dickson).
02 June: On Tiree today: 2 Wood Pigeons, a male Common Cuckoo, a male Common Whitethroat and a singing Garden Warbler at Balephuil (John Bowler) and 4 Red Knot at Traigh Bhi (Graham Todd).
01 June: A Corn Crake was calling today in the field opposite Machrihanish Airbase guardroom (MACC: ex RAF / Defence Estates). Apparently this bird has been present since at least mid-May (Davie McPherson / Stuart McGougan per Eddie Maguire).
On Tiree today: 4 Red Knot at Balephetrish Bay included 1 red bird and 130 Sanderling there included leg-flagged birds from Ghana and Mauritania. A Common Cuckoo still at Balephuil and a male Common Chiffchaff at The Glebe (John Bowler). Also on Tiree: a ringtail Hen Harrier at Ruaig (Traigh Mhor) this afternoon; a pair of Sand Martins at Caolas and a Common Eider with 2 young in a bay on the SE coast (Alison Morgan).
A juvenile Iceland Gull was at Heylipol Church Loch, Tiree (Keith Rainford) and a House Martin was at Balephuil in the evening (John Bowler).
RECENT REPORTS May 2016
31 May: a juvenile Iceland Gull was at Hough Bay, Tiree today (Toby Green per John Bowler).
30 May: Two female Common Eiders on Loch Fyne at Minard, Mid-Argyll this morning had broods of 4 and 5 very small young respectively (Paul Daw).
A Common Chiffchaff and a Spotted Flycatcher were at Kinnabus, Islay today (David Wood).
29 May: On Tiree today: a Wood Pigeon, 2 Common Chiffchaffs, a male Common Whitethroat and male and female Siskin at Balephuil; 5 male and a female Blackcaps and a Spotted Flycatcher at Carnan Mor (John Bowler). And a Yellow-legged Gull was reported at Rubha Saltaig, Tiree, with 3 Pintail (2m, 1f) among the Eiders on Saltaig sea inlet (Alison Morgan).
A walk around the Duntrune gardens area (Moine Mhor), Mid-Argyll today produced several singing Common Whitethroats, Tree Pipits, Blackcaps, Garden Warbler and Redstart (Jim Dickson).
A male Hen Harrier was hunting over clear-fell at Tullochgorm (Minard), Mid-Argyll this morning (Paul Daw).
28 May: On Tiree today: 2 female Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler and 2 Spotted Flycatchers at Balephuil; a female Blackcap, and a male Common Whitethroat at Carnan Mor; 15,000+ Manx Shearwaters feeding in enormous rafts off West Hynish towards Skerryvore (John Bowler).
This Osprey seen during the Argyll Bird Club field trip today was photographed at Bellanoch Bridge, Moine Mhor, Mid-Argyll by Caroline Anderson.
During the ABC trip to Loch Gilp, the Add Estuary and Taynish NNR, Mid-Argyll members saw 63 species with the highlights being great views of an Osprey at the Add Estuary and of a Wood Warbler at Taynish NNR after a patient wait for it to show itself well (Jim Dickson).
A Turtle Dove was at Upper Killeyan, the Oa, Islay this evening (David Wood). The first reported in Argyll this spring.
27 May: During a BTO Woodcock Survey in Knapdale Forest, Mid-Argyll today, birds were seen/heard on seven occasions during the 75 minute census period. This is a significant increase on the maximum of four registrations seen at this site over the last three springs, suggesting a slight improvement in the fortune of this declining species. All records of roding birds are welcome. A pair of Red-throated Divers were also seen flying over during the survey (David Jardine).
This Iceland Gull was caught flying around with the Herring Gulls in Oban, Mid-Argyll today (Derek Pretswell).
On Tiree today: a Pectoral Sandpiper arrived at Sorobaidh Bay; a Spotted Flycatcher was at Balephuil; a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Common Redpolls at The Manse; 6 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Canada Goose x Greylag hybrid at Salum; a Whimbrel near the Ringing Stone (John Bowler).
26 May: A Common Swift at Upper Killeyan, the Oa, Islay today was their first of the year (David Wood).
Two Corn Crakes were heard calling on Easdale Island, Mid-Argyll today. According to the ferryman there the first record of one there this year was about 10 days ago (Rob Lightfoot). There have been two other reports of calling Corn Crakes on Easdale Island recently (Jenny Smith and Andrew Sandeman per Andy Robinson)
On Tiree today: a Black-tailed Godwit at Loch an Eilein; a Common Sandpiper at Traigh Bhagh (John Bowler).
25 May: This evening an Iceland Gull was seen at Bellochantuy, Kintyre; feeding on kelp on the beach with other gulls (Graeme Garner).
24 May: Two Common Swifts seen between Dunoon and Sandbank, Cowal today (George Newall).
Nine Whinchat territories were counted around the Moine Mhor, Mid-Argyll today, as seen from the roads. There appears to be a big increase in House Martin numbers over the last week (Jim Dickson).
A newly arrived Spotted Flycatcher was at Balephuil, Tiree (John Bowler).
23 May: On Tiree today: 3 immature Common Goldeneye at Loch Riaghain – very late for here; 1,600 Dunlins at Vaul Bay included 2 colour-ringed birds from Galicia, NW Spain; 770 Ringed Plovers at Vaul/Ruaig; 8 Black-tailed Godwits at The Reef; a Common Whitethroat at Balephuil (John Bowler).
22 May: A Water Rail with 7 or 8 tiny black chicks was seen crossing the road that cuts through the Moine Mhor towards Bellanoch, Mid-Argyll today. A lucky sighting as young Water Rails are rarely seen. Also a male Hen Harrier has been seen twice in the area during the last week (Mary John).
On Tiree today: 2 House Martins and 2 male Common Whitethroats at Carnan Mor; a White Wagtail at Sorobaidh Bay; a female Blackcap and a Cuckoo (Common sadly!) at Balephuil (John Bowler).
Reported on Mull: a group of 15-20 Black Terns at Garmony, Mull. A tight group feeding off shore by the fish farm there (Jacqui Murphy per Alan Spellman). An exceptional record for a species that has not been reported in Argyll since 2010.
21 May: On Tiree today: a White Wagtail at Traigh nan Gilean and 5,000+ Manx Shearwaters feeding offshore there in enormous rafts; a dark-morph Arctic Skua at Loch a’ Phuill and 26 Common Scoters in Gott Bay (unusual here) (John Bowler).
20 May: Three Black-tailed Godwits at Vaul, Tiree today (John Bowler).
19 May: A single Pale-bellied Brent Goose was on the river at the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll this morning and 300+ Ringed Plover and Dunlin were still there (Jim Dickson).
18 May: A Common Quail was on the bridge along the Aros Moss road (nr. Machrihanish), Kintyre tonight. It was at side of the road and Neil got within a meter of it before it flew off (Neil Brown).
A female type Marsh Harrier was at Tayinloan ferry terminal, Kintyre flying along the beach looking for prey (Phil and Tammy Holgate per Eddie Maguire).
At the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll this morning there were 158 Ringed Plovers and 239 Dunlins: also 24 Dunlins at Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll (Jim Dickson).
17 May: No sign of the Western Subalpine Warbler at Kinnabus, Islay, today
A Tree Sparrow was on feeders at a garden in Ardtun, Mull (Rebecca Burton, per Alan Spellman).
This Spotted Flycatcher was photographed at RSPB Gruinart reserve woods, Islay today (Jim Dickson).
These photos of the Kinnabus, Islay ‘Western’ Subalpine Warbler were taken on the evening of 16 May by Jim Dickson:
16 May: A suspected ‘Western’ Subalpine Warbler was found at Kinnabus, Islay, today (David Wood). This is potentially a new sub-species for Argyll. One previous record of the ‘Eastern’ race was on Tiree on 28 May 2012.
These photos from David Wood, who says it’s thought to be a 1st summer bird.
On Tiree today: a juvenile Iceland Gull and a Wood Pigeon at Heylipol Church loch; a Wood Sandpiper at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler) and a Wood Warbler at Sandaig (Trevor Wright).
A Ring-billed Gull was at Dervaig, Mull today (Andy Hitchcock, per Alan Spellman).
Waders at the Add Estuary, Mid-Argyll had increased this morning, with 53 Ringed Plovers, 97 Dunlins and 2 Sanderlings (Jim Dickson).
15 May: A ringing ‘first’ for Neil Brown: a Common Cuckoo – caught on the Aros Moss CES (nr Campbeltown), Argyll today. He’s never caught one before in over twenty years of ringing!
A Green Woodpecker was seen at Killiechronan, Mull this morning (Arthur Brown per Alan Spellman). There were odd reports of Green Woodpeckers in this general area in 2014 and 2015.
On Tiree today: 3 Wood Pigeons and a newly arrived Chaffinch at Balephuil; 550 Ringed Plovers at Ruaig/Vaul (but no sign of the Dotterel) (John Bowler).
14 May: An Arctic Skua was on Lunga in the Treshnish Isles today and a Dunnock was singing there (John Bowler).
Photographed on Tiree 12-14 May 2016:
13 May: A female Shoveler with a brood of 8 young seen at Westport Marsh (nr Campbeltown), Kintyre today (Eddie Maguire/Iomhar McMillan).
On Tiree today: a male and a female Ruff on a pool near Heylipol church; a female Dotterel on Vaul golf course this evening with 120 Ringed Plovers (Jim Dickson). Four Minke Whales were seen in Gunna Sound (John Bowler).
A singing Lesser Whitethroat was reported from Loch Buie, Mull today (Ian Burgess per Alan Spellman).
12 May: Two Magpies were at Southend, Kintyre today (Sandra McIntosh per Eddie Maguire). Very tempting to suspect they could be from Northern Ireland…
Very quiet at Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre today, apart from 70 Dunlins flying by (Eddie Maguire/Iomhar McMillan).
11 May: An elusive Reed Warbler singing at Balephuil, Tiree this morning was only the 4th record for Tiree. Also at Balephuil: a male and 2 female Blackcaps, a Common Whitethroat, a Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Spotted Flycatchers, and at Carnan Mor; 2 Wood Pigeons and a female Blackcap. A Wood Warbler was at Meningie late in the day (John Bowler).
Three Common Swifts at Connel, Mid-Argyll today (Mike Harrison).
10 May: A Garden Warbler found at Balephuil, Tiree late this afternoon was the first for Tiree this spring (John Bowler).
A male Hawfinch was seen on feeders at Octofad Farm (Rhinns), Islay today (Tony & Irene Miller per Ian Brooke).
At Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre; fly-by waders today included a summer-plumaged Grey Plover, 7 Red Knots, 40 Dunlins and 3 Ruddy Turnstones: a Whimbrel was on the shore (Eddie Maguire/Iomhar McMillan).
The first Common Swifts (6) were over Campbeltown, Kintyre today (Eddie Maguire).
A Little Ringed Plover was found at Loch Kinnabus, Islay this morning. Also, Spotted Flycatchers finally made it to the Oa peninsula, with 2 around Kinnabus this morning (David Wood). Little Ringed Plovers are still rare birds in Argyll with only four previous records; the last on Islay in 2013.
09 May: Lots of arrivals on Tiree today: a Common Cuckoo, 2 female Blackcaps, a male Common Whitethroat, a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a Robin and 2 Common Redpolls at Balephuil; a Wood Pigeon, a male Common Whitethroat, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Robin, a Chaffinch and 2 Common Redpolls at Carnan Mor; a Rook and a Spotted Flycatcher at Meningie; 2 Cuckoos, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher at the Glebe, a male and female Blackcap at Cornaigmore and a juvenile Iceland Gull at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler).
At Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre today: a Green Sandpiper flew N (too close to photograph!), a Black-tailed Godwit was nearby and 3 White Wagtails were on the shore (Eddie Maguire).
The Magpie is still at Southend, Kintyre : also seen on 3rd May (Grant Edmonson).
Surveying near Loch Awe, Argyll last week Clive McKay had 7 singing Grasshopper Warblers in one morning. There seemed to be a bird in every patch of suitable habitat. Any comments from other areas? (Clive McKay).
08 May: Three Greater Scaup (2 males + female) and a male Tufted Duck were in Loch Gilp, off Ardrishaig, Mid-Argyll today (David Jardine/Jim Dickson).
A single Common Tern was seen at Loch Gilp later (David Jardine).
An adult White-tailed Eagle flew N well offshore at Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre early afternoon and a Coot was a new arrival at Westport Marsh. Also at the marsh, a Greylag Goose, 2 Teal, a Wigeon, 4 male and 2 female Shovelers and 4 Little Grebes: lots of Mallard ducklings too (Eddie Maguire/Iomhar McMillan).
A female Ring Ouzel was seen at 15:00 today, north of Croig, Mull (Dave and Helen Tanner – York per Alan Spellman).
An adult White-tailed Eagle flew N well offshore at Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre early afternoon and a Coot was a new arrival at Westport Marsh. Also at the marsh, a Greylag Goose, 2 Teal, a Wigeon, 4 male and 2 female Shovelers and 4 Little Grebes: lots of Mallard ducklings too (Eddie Maguire/Iomhar McMillan).
Near Dalvore, Moine Mhor, Mid-Argyll today: singing Common Whitethroat, Blackcaps, Sedge Warblers, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Whinchats, Grey Wagtail, among other species and a Peregrine Falcon over the wood. No surprises on the Add Estuary/L Crinan WeBS other than 7 Whimbrels and 9 Dunlins. Canada Geese now with chicks…..also at least 80 Barn Swallows over one field at Barsloisnoch, Mid-Argyll (Jim Dickson).
07 May: first Common Swift seen at Connel today (Mike Harrison).
On Tiree today: a male Pied Flycatcher at Scarinish; male & female Blackcap, Grasshopper Warbler and Robin at Balephuil; 3 Goldcrests at Carnan Mor; 95 Ringed Plover, 290 Dunlin and 4 Whimbrel at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler).
Migrants still trickling in to Taynish NNR, Mid-Argyll with Spotted Flycatcher today and arrival of Common Whitethroat, and Sedge Warbler in the last few days but still no Garden Warbler. Still no Wood Warbler in woodland CBC plot. An Osprey on Lochan Taynish early this morning was new here (John Halliday).
The drake Garganey is still at Westport Marsh, Kintyre along with 5 Shovelers (4 drakes) (Angus Murray).
06 May: A Green Woodpecker was heard calling at Innellan, Cowal for about 30 mins today: it was first heard there on 22 Mar (Alan Reid).
Two very obliging Whimbrel in a field beside the road at Ballimeanoch, Loch Awe, Mid-Argyll today provided the opportunity for this photo (Roger Broad). Roger has been monitoring Osprey nests and found ‘very few incubating yet and many sites either unoccupied or just a single bird seen. Unless things change for the better it is going to be a very poor year for Ospreys in Argyll’.
A visit to Luing, Mid-Argyll today found: Great Northern Diver, 5 Ringed Plovers, 8 Dunlins, a Common Cuckoo, Common Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Lesser Redpoll (Linda & David Gibson).
A second winter Iceland Gull was at the top of Loch Fyne, opposite the Tree Shop this morning (Jonathan Platt).
An obvious arrival of migrants today on Tiree with the warmer weather: a Wood Pigeon, 4 Collared Doves, 2 Common Chiffchaffs, male and female Blackcaps, 2 newly arrived Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 3 Common Redpolls and 2 Goldfinches at Balephuil. Also the first Green-veined Whites here; groups of Dunlin and Ringed Plover all over the island including 800 Dunlin and 300 Ringed Plover at Ruaig machair and 1,050 Dunlin and 150 Ringed Plover at Balephetrish Bay; a Common Cuckoo showed well at Baugh; scattered Corn Crakes calling in many places; a Common Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warblers at The Glebe; a flock of 65 Arctic Terns west of Miodar; 2 Whimbrel at Vaul (John Bowler).
A Wood Pigeon on the Oa, Islay was the first reserve record for 9 yrs, despite them breeding a few miles up the road. Also there today: Common Chiffchaff and male Blackcap. A Great Skua was seen offshore and a good number of Red-throated Divers moving past NW, with 48 in total from )8:30-09:30, in groups of between 4 and 13. Common Cuckoos Grasshopper Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Barn Swallows seemingly arriving over last couple of days (David Wood).
Three Common Swifts were soaring around Glassary Primary school, Kilmichael Glassary, Mid-Argyll this morning and one definitely entered the roof space, so hopefully they’ll be nesting there again (Lynsey Gibson).
A Garden Warbler was singing near Woodhouse, Minard, Mid-Argyll this morning (Paul Daw).
Another Garden Warbler was heard at Ardkinglas Woodland, Mid-Argyll, where a Nuthatch was also recorded (David Jardine).
A Marsh Harrier was reported ‘over Jura’ today (Louise Muir per Ian Brooke).
05 May: On Tiree today: a Sedge Warbler singing at Balephuil; 25 Arctic Terns and 2 Goldfinches at Loch a’ Phuill; 2 Whimbrel at West Hynish; one Black-tailed Godwit at Loch an Eilein (John Bowler).
A Wood Warbler was singing in the wood by the car park at Kilmory, Lochgilphead, Mid-Argyll this morning (Jonathan Platt).
04 May: Good views of the Lesser Yellowlegs at the N. Hide at Loch Gruinart, Islay again today. From the south hide there were 29 Black-tailed Godwits, one with colour rings: Right Leg: Orange over Green plus BTO/metal ring on lower tarsus. Left Leg: Yellow over Green (Peter Roberts).
A 30 minute sea-watch (11:15-11:45) from just south of Ardrishaig, Mid-Argyll into Loch Fyne gave: 3 Fulmars, 36 Manx Shearwaters, 65 Northern Gannets, 270 Kittiwakes, 78 large auks (mainly Guillemots), 1 Black Guillemot and 3 Puffins, with 14 Kittiwakes seen flying N over Lochgilphead at 10:30. Also, in fields around Drimvore to Barsloisnoch, Moine Mhor area: 4 Pink-footed Geese still present and 16 White Wagtails (Jim Dickson).
At least 32 Siskins around garden bird feeders at Carsaig (Tayvallich), Mid-Argyll, mostly males. Maybe on their way further North? (Jon Close).
On Tiree today: a Sedge Warbler (1st of year here), a House Martin and 2 Goldfinches at Balephuil: 2 Coal Tits reported from a garden at Kenovay (1st seen there on 3 May), 3 Puffins off Hynish; 40 Black-tailed Godwits at Heylipol (John Bowler).
03 May: An immature Pomarine Skua was photographed flying S at MSBO this morning and the male Garganey over Westport Marsh, (nr Campbeltown), Kintyre this afternoon (Eddie Maguire).
At Heylipol, Tiree this morning: 98 Black-tailed Godwits, a juvenile Iceland Gull and a Greenland Wheatear. Elsewhere on Tiree: female Greater Scaup still at Loch an Eilein; 4 Arctic Terns and 3 Greenland Wheatears at Sandaig; a Siskin at Balephuil in the evening (John Bowler).
02 May: A Lesser Yellowlegs was in front of the North Hide at Loch Gruinart RSPB Reserve, Islay this evening (James How).
A drake Gadwall flew S at Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre this morning and a drake Garganey and a Black-tailed Godwit were at nearby Westport Marsh in the afternoon (Eddie Maguire).
100+ Black Tailed Godwits still around and now 5 Whimbrel, at 08:00 this morning, on the shinty pitch at Lochgilphead, Mid-Argyll (Jon Close).
Black-tailed Godwits galore on Tiree today. A female Greater Scaup, 78 Black-tailed Godwits and a House Martin at Loch an Eilein; 180 Black-tailed Godwits (inc. a French leg-flagged bird) and 5 Arctic Terns at Loch Bhasapol (but no sign of the Green-winged Teal); 135 Black-tailed Godwits at Loch a’ Phuill, as well as 220 Ringed Plovers, 75 Dunlin and 4 Arctic Terns (John Bowler).
01 May: On Tiree today: a newly arrived drake Green-winged Teal, 6 Gadwall and 2 male and a female Greater Scaup at Loch Bhasapol; 84 Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Balephetrish Bay; a female Greater Scaup at Loch an Eilein; a Common Cuckoo (1st of year on Tiree), a Common Chiffchaff and 2 Common Redpolls at Carnan Mor (John Bowler).
At Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll this morning; a new ‘batch’ of Black-tailed Godwits, with 189 birds on the mud and grassy banks including 3 colour-ringed birds too distant to read. Also 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 4 Common Sandpipers. A total of 55 Northern Wheatears counted from Dunadd round to Drimvore/Dalvore/Barsloisnoch and the Add Estuary. Also 4 singing Whinchats, a singing Wood Warbler at Dalvore wood and 2 more singing between Bellanoch and Cairnbaan. And around Barsloisnoch Farm area, a total of 16 Whimbrels, 14 White Wagtails, and 4 Pink-footed Geese, including a very pale bird.
A first-winter Glaucous Gull was photographed by Machrihanish Seabird Observatory, Kintyre today (Eddie Maguire).
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