From Mar 1st 2019 posts on this page are for scarce & rare sightings. Descriptions will be required for species listed by the Argyll, Scottish & British rare bird committees prior to their acceptance. Rare bird forms are available from Jim.
The Argyll Bird Club now has a Facebook group if you wish to post your own sightings and photographs for all other reports. In addition, please submit any relevant records to BTO BirdTrack or the Argyll bird recording system. Contact Malcolm Chattwood email:
The 2019 Argyll Bird Report (ABR31) is available here as a PDF download – (click above)
Recent Reports of Scarce & Rare Sightings 2020
In the current difficult times we hope that you can still enjoy some good bird watching either at home or while out exercising. We will keep track of summer migrants arriving and produce a regularly updated table. Please send any early migrant sightings to Jim at Many thanks and keep safe 🙂
SPRING MIGRANTS TABLE (update 05/5/20): SPRING MIGRANTS – click here
TIREE: Sea-watch off Aird 0705-0805hrs in NW7-8 with highlights of 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS and 1 POMARINE SKUA. Also a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is still at Balephuil (John Bowler). A LITTLE EGRET was new today at Milton (Martin Finnigan).
ISLAY: The ROSY STARLING was noted again in Bowmore yesterday and a RING OUZEL was near Bruichladdich yesterday (Naturetrek group per Peter Roberts). Today – male GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Gruinart floods, adult SABINE’S GULL and juv ICELAND GULL at Loch Gruinart & WOOD SANDPIPER still present (Dan Brown per Twitter feed).
KINTYRE: A LEACH’S PETREL and an adult LITTLE GULL past Machrihanish Seabird Obs today – also Velvet Scoter and 4 Long-tailed Ducks (Eddie Maguire).
MID-ARGYLL: A dead Swift was found in an Ardrishaig garden today – specific identity to be confirmed but thought to be a COMMON? (Alan Dykes).
KINTYRE: A Swift was seen at Machrihanish on 22nd Oct (Caroline & Bill Anderson) – identity not confirmed as to COMMON or PALLID.
ISLAY: The HOOPOE in the Bridgend area is still being seen.. The WOOD SANDPIPER is still present at Gruinart and recent reports of both CACKLING and TODD’S CANADA GEESE.
The Argyll total of YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS this autumn currently stands at 33 birds. Please get in touch if you have reports not already submitted – many thanks.
ISLAY: An imm (1cy) YELLOW WAGTAIL of ‘undetermined race’ was seen from the north hide at RSPB Gruinart reserve this morning (Elaine & Eddie Prince).
ISLAY: Adult ROSY STARLING in Bowmore today (per Ian Brooke) – presumably the same bird that has been seen there on and off since 18th June. A CACKLING GOOSE was noted at Grainel today (Steve Percival).
COWAL: An Argyll record site count of 8 LITTLE EGRETS at the Holy Loch today (George Newall, Alistair McGregor). N.b. At least another 6 birds elsewhere in Argyll.
TIREE: Three YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS and a ‘Siberian’ CHIFFCHAFF at Balephuil today. Also record numbers of Blue Tits recently with up to 6 birds at Balephuil (John Bowler).
ISLAY: A TODD’S CANADA GOOSE at Gruinart today (Steve Percival), WOOD SANDPIPER still near the north hide (Richard Belter) and now 2 CURLEW SANDPIPERS at Gruinart flats (per Ian Brooke).
JURA: A report of an adult HOBBY at Ardfin (nr Jura House) today from Louise Muir et al.
MULL: A report of a RED-NECKED GREBE from Eas Force, Loch Tuath (Pam & Arthur Brown)
ISLAY: A CURLEW SANDPIPER was at Gruinart flats this morning (Peter Roberts) and reports of 1-2 CACKLING GEESE – Gruinart/Ballinaby recently.
TIREE: A DUSKY WARBLER was at Balephuil today, skulking but very vocal – a new species for Argyll if accepted by the SBRC (John Bowler).
COWAL: a juvenile MARSH HARRIER in flight today at Auchalick Bay, mobbed by crows (Allister Hamilton).
TIREE: The 1cy RING-NECKED DUCK was seen better today and now sexed as a male, therefore an additional bird to the 1cy female last week at Loch a’ Phuill. Also a record count for Tiree of 4 Coal Tits at The Glebe (David Jardine).
MULL: A report of a RED KITE opposite the Salen hotel today (Jan & Peter Daisy).
ISLAY: A WOOD SANDPIPER at the north hide, RSPB Loch Gruinart again today – found yesterday by Richard Belter.
NORTH ARGYLL: A RED KITE this morning flying along the coast at Benderloch (Daniel Brooks).
TIREE: A COAL TIT at The Glebe (scarce visitor to the island) (David Jardine), a ‘Greenland’ NW REDPOLL, LESSER WHITETHROAT, 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS and a ‘Siberian’ CHIFFCHAFF were the highlights at Balephuil (John Bowler/David Jardine).
A total of 27 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS have been seen across Argyll so far this autumn since 27th Sep.
TIREE: 1CY fem RING-NECKED DUCK now at Loch Bhasapol (David Jardine). 3 Chiffchaffs new at Balephuil including a ‘Siberian’ CHIFFCHAFF and a LESSER WHITETHROAT was at Meningie (John Bowler).
TIREE: At least 12 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS on the island (John Bowler/David Jardine).
COLL: At least 4 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS on the island in recent days (per John Bowler).
TIREE: Off Aird today a sea-watch included: 1 SOOTY SHEARWATER and 1 POMARINE SKUA (John Bowler) plus 1 POMARINE SKUA off Vaul (David Jardine). Also 2+ YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS at Balephuil, 1 at Cornaigmore and 2 at Cornaigbeg (John Bowler) and 1 at Hynish (David Jardine).
MULL: A report of a juvenile SABINE’S GULL of Caliach Point (Arthur Brown per Mullbirds).
ISLAY: The HOOPOE is still being seen in the Bridgend area.
TIREE: Still at least 7 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS on the island today.
ISLAY: At least 7 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS were found on The Oa today (RSPB per Islaybirdblog).
ISLAY: A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER was seen today on The Oa during a circular walk (Nick Rentmore).
TIREE: At least 8 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS this morning when only two gardens checked – 5 at Balephuil (John Bowler) and 3 at the Glebe (Jim Dickson).
ISLAY: The HOOPOE is still present in the Bridgend area (Louise Muire per Ian Brooke).
TIREE: YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Balephuil and RING-NECKED DUCK at Loch a’ Phuill are still present today.
MID-ARGYLL: A fly over RED KITE at Barsloisnoch (nr Lochgilphead) today (James Lehmann).
TIREE: A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER was new today at Balephuil (John Bowler). The 1cy female RING-NECKED DUCK is still at Loch a’ Phuill.
TIREE: A 1cy female RING-NECKED DUCK was new in at Loch a’ Phuill today (John Bowler).
TIREE: A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER this morning at Heylipol (Jim Dickson).
COLONSAY: A 1cy SURF SCOTER found at Kiloran Bay today by David Jardine is a new species for Colonsay/Oronsay.
ISLAY: A HOOPOE today at Whin Park, near Bridgend (Mary Redman, James How et al).
TIREE: John Bowler has had a very busy 7-10 days with around numerous birders visiting the island over that spell. News out today includes – the 1w Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was present at Balephuil on 15-23 Sep and has now gone. A Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper at Sorobaidh Bay on 22-23 Sep – found by Simon Nichols. Adult American Golden Plover at Sandaig/Greenhill on 21-22 Sep. 1CY Marsh Warbler at Balephuil on 19 Sep (only). 1CY Pied Flycatcher at Balephuil on 20 Sep (only). Lesser Whitethroats at Balephuil on 10-17 Sep and 19-24 Sep (all John Bowler unless stated otherwise).
LITTLE EGRETS – an update on numbers – at least 7 at the Holy Loch and 2 at head of Loch Riddon Cowal today. Have been 4 at West Loch Tarbert Kintyre recently and another 2 at Loch Laich North Argyll. These are record numbers for Argyll – please let us know if you see any others at this time – many thanks.
TIREE: The YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER appears to have been last seen on 19th Sep. Here are some more photos just received:
TIREE: News broke late on Tues 15th Sept of a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) in a garden at Balephuil – found by John Bowler. This is the first ever record of this species in Britain & the Western Palearctic. Initial fears of a mega twitch were allayed due to reduced numbers of available places on ferries and planes and allowed careful management of viewing to be organised along Covid-19 guidelines for social distancing. Up to 80 birders arrived Wed- Fri and all were well behaved and no stress was caused to the bird which regularly posed well within 2 metres of the many photographers! Around £1,000+ has been collected for some Tiree covid related projects – BACS transfers can be made to the Just Giving Link is below https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ybflycatchertiree
MULL: A juvenile Turtle Dove was at Caliach on 16 Sep (Ewan Miles, Iolo Williams) and this or another was at Arinagour COLL on 17 Sep (David Jardine) – also a Lapland Bunting on Coll on 18 Sep (David Jardine).
TIREE: A juvenile COMMON ROSEFINCH at Balephuil today (John Bowler).
MID-ARGYLL: The juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER is still at Loch na Cille.
MID-ARGYLL: The juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER is still present with Dunlin & Ringed Plovers at Loch na Cille today (Jim Dickson).
MID-ARGYLL: The juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was located again at Loch na Cille this afternoon in poor weather conditions (Jim Dickson). An adult LITTLE GULL was at Loch Caolisport today (John Boyd).
ISLAY: The GLOSSY IBIS is still present in a barley field on the road leading to Craigens – seen by several of the Islay bird folk and photos taken by Peter Roberts.
TIREE: A LESSER WHITETHROAT was at Balephuil today – also 15 Common Redpolls (John Bowler).
ISLAY: A GLOSSY IBIS was found this evening near Craigens by Nicholas Radcliffe and ID confirmed by his son Alex Radcliffe.
MID-ARGYLL: No sign of the reported SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER at Loch na Cille today.
ISLAY: The adult BONAPARTE’S GULL is still at Loch Gruinart (Jim Dickson).
MID-ARGYLL: The juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER still present at Loch na Cille today (Allan Russell). The GREAT EGRET is still at the head of Loch Fyne today (John Nadin).
ISLAY: The adult BONAPARTE’S GULL is still at Loch Gruinart today – also now 7 Curlew Sandpipers there (Jim Dickson), the adult ROSY STARLING is still in Bowmore (Gary Turnbull) and a one hr sea watch at Frenchman’s Rocks this pm produced 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 3 Great Skuas (Jim Dickson).
MULL: At Caliach Point (0810-1300): 2 Leach’s Petrel, 4 Storm Petrel, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 7 Great Skua, 15 Red-throated Diver and a Grey Phalarope (Graeme Garner).
NORTH ARGYLL: On Lismore – An adult Little Egret today at Port Ramsay (David Jardine).
TIREE: 1 Leach’s Petrel and 2 Sooty Shearwater off Aird and 1 Leach’s Petrel off Vaul (Keith Gillon).
ISLAY: An adult ROSY STARLING today in central Bowmore – garden to rear of Vets (Samara Johnson) – presumably the same bird that was there earlier in the summer?
MID-ARGYLL: A report of a possible SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER with Dunlin at Loch na Cille (Allan Russell).
COLONSAY: A report of 2 juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPERS at Kiloran Bay yesterday 7th Sept (David Jardine).
TIREE: a 1cy RED-BACKED SHRIKE seen briefly at Vaul today (Keith Gillon).
KINTYRE: A ROSEATE TERN was seen and heard at the Machrihanish SBO by Eddie Maguire and other observers this am. First report of one there for several years.
ISLAY: The adult BONAPARTE’S GULL was seen again at Loch Gruinart this am – also a LAPLAND BUNTING and 2 CURLEW SANDPIPERS there (Jim Dickson).
TIREE: A LAPLAND BUNTING at Gott Bay (Keith Gillon).
TIREE: A 2hr sea-watch of Aird this am 0615-0815hrs produced (all birds heading west): 19 Leach’s Petrel, 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Common Scoter, 6,500 Manx Shearwater, 2 Black-throated Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 125 Fulmar, 216 Gannet, 24 Kittiwake (7 x 1w), 12 Great Skua and 2 Arctic Tern (John Bowler). Also 3 more Leach’s Petrels west off Aird and 3 more Common Scoters 0815-0900hrs (Keith Gillon). A Lapland Bunting was at Sandaig (John Bowler).
COLONSAY: 1 Pomarine, 2 Arctic and 1Great Skua S and 224 Manx Shearwaters in 90 minute seawatch this am (David Jardine).
COWAL: Six Little Egrets at the Holy Loch and another 2 at Loch Riddon.
ISLAY: Two juvenile SABINE’S GULLS at Loch Gruinart as the tide came in. Some phone-scoped shots from James How. Also: 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, 4 Arctic Terns, a total of 19 Pale- bellied Brents. At Frenchman’s Rocks: one juvenile SABINE’S GULL, 1 Leach’s Petrel, 3 Storm Petrels, 450 Manx, 5 Bonxies, 17 P-b Brents and an earlier Pomarine Skua past (John Sweeney per Angus Murray).
TIREE: A Green Sandpiper flew across the road at Cornaigmore, 1 Sooty Shearwater and 1 Storm Petrel off Hynish (Keith Gillon).
COLONSAY: A juv CURLEW SANDPIPER was at Tra’igh nam Ba’rc this evening (David Jardine).
ISLAY: A seawatch off Frenchman’s Rocks this am produced an adult WHITE-BILLED DIVER and a juv SABINE’S GULL (John Sweeney). The adult BONAPARTE’S GULL is still at Loch Gruinart and 2 juv CURLEW SANDPIPERS also there (Jim Dickson).
ISLAY: An adult BONAPARTE’S GULL was found at Loch Gruinart this evening (James How), A juv CURLEW SANDPIPER was on the sands at Loch Indaal and a GREEN SANDPIPER was flushed from a burn at Craigens (Jim Dickson).
MULL: The adult male TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL still at Ardrioch, Dervaig this morning (David Jardine).
TIREE: A first-year PIED FLYCATCHER at Balephuil today – the third there this autumn (John Bowler).
MID-ARGYLL: The GREAT EGRET is still at the head of Loch Fyne (Simon Morton).
MULL: The male TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL is still going to peanut feeders at Ardrioch Farm, Dervaig (Pam & Arthur Brown per Alan Spellman).
MID-ARGYLL: The GREAT EGRET is still at the head of Loch Fyne today (Andrew Russell). The female MARSH HARRIER was seen hunting the fields around Drimvore this morning (Jim Dickson).