Scarce & Rare Sightings 2021

29th December

ISLAY: A male and female LESSER SCAUP (both 1cy) at Loch Skerrols today (Ian Dearing).

27th December

ISLAY: At least one first-winter male LESSER SCAUP still at Loch, also 3 Pochard at Loch Gorm (Peter Roberts).

17th December

MULL: An unconfirmed report of a RING-BILLED GULL (age not given) at Lochdon (Andy Oldacre per Mullbirds).

12th December

MID-ARGYLL: A LONG-TAILED DUCK on Loch Ederline today (Frank Cavanagh) – always scarce inland!

11th December

NORTH ARGYLL: A credible, though unconfirmed report, of a ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD showing many features of this species in a field by the bridge near Glasdrum, Loch Creran.
ISLAY: Still at least 4 1cy LESSER SCAUP at Loch Skerrols.

10th December

MID-ARGYLL: A 1cy (first-winter) BONAPARTE’S GULL was found at Blackmill Bay on Luing yesterday early afternoon (David Jardine).

9th December

TIREE: A new 1cy (first-winter) male RING-NECKED DUCK at Loch a’ Phuill today brings the total number of this species on the island to four (John Bowler).

8th December

ISLAY: A GREAT WHITE EGRET was found this afternoon on pool opposite East Lodge on the Ballygrant road (Gary Turnbull).

6th December

TIREE: A ‘SIBERIAN’ CHIFFCHAFF was at Balephuil today (John Bowler).

2nd December

ISLAY: A male AMERICAN WIGEON was at Loch Indaal, off the Gaelic colledge, Bowmore and 3 1cy male LESSER SCAUP still at Loch Skerrols.

26th November

TIREE: A LEACH’S PETREL  flew past Aird on a sea-watch this morning – also a Pomarine Skua (John Bowler).

24th November

MID-ARGYLL: A party of 5 PINTAILS arrived at Loch Gilp today – 4mm & a f/imm (John Halliday) – a good record for Argyll mainland.
ISLAY: The group of 5 LESSER SCAUP are still present at Loch Skerrols. Also the RED-BREASTED GOOSE was seen again from the road towards Ballygrant at Esknish.
KINTYRE: A TODD’S CANADA GOOSE was reported this afternoon between Machrihanish and Campbeltown at ‘The Laggan’ area (Tom Lowe).

TODD’S CANADA GOOSE – Kintyre 24th Nov (Tom Lowe).

23rd November

TIREE: The KILLDEER was relocated this afternoon near Balevullin (John Bowler).
ISLAY: Now 5 LESSER SCAUP reported this morning (f +4 mm all 1cy’s) at Loch Skerrols today (Adam Wilson).

KILLDEER – Tiree 23rd Nov (John Bowler)

22nd November

TIREE: A KILLDEER at Greenhill today (John Bowler). Bird was first found yesterday at Kilkenneth by crofter Ewan Malcolm. Fourth for Argyll if accepted.
ISLAY: A report of now 4 LESSER SCAUP (f +3mm all 1cy’s) at Loch Skerrols today (Adam Wilson).
KINTYRE: Three RED KITES today circling over Lephenstrath farm & then they cruised out to sea & across towards the headland (Mull of Kintyre) (Ann & Noel Hand).
MID-ARGYLL: A first-winter LITTLE GULL again at the head of Loch Gilp (Jim Dickson).

LITTLE GULL – Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll 22nd Nov (Jim Dickson)


21st November

TIREE: YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER again in the garden at Balephuil today (John Bowler).
ISLAY: A report of 3 LESSER SCAUP at Loch Skerrols today (per BirdGuides).

14th November

TIREE: A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER in the garden at Balephuil today (John Bowler).

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER – TIree 15th Nov (John Bowler)

13th November


RED-BREASTED GOOSE – Islay 13th Nov (Bob McMillan)

12th November

MULL: A LITTLE AUK showing well today off Croggan, Loch Spelve (Mike Murphy).

LITTLE AUK – Loch Spelve, Mull 12th Nov (Mike Murphy)

11th November

Update on some recent sightings: ISLAY – the RED-BREASTED GOOSE, AMERICAN WIGEON, LESSER SCAUP, CACKLING GOOSE and POCHARDS are still present on the island as well as a few Snow Buntings. MULL – the RED-BACKED SHRIKE not reported after 4th Nov, the odd report of Snow Buntings, Bramblings and Kingfisher. Fieldfares nos  still small. COWAL – a single Great Crested Grebe back at Loch Long, also high numbers of Siskin reported. MID-ARGYLL –  Redwings nos appear to have peaked as birds move through and Fieldfare nos starting to pick up with some flocks up to 200 birds. Goldeneye nos still very low however good nos of Wigeon.

10th November

MID-ARGYLL: A first-winter LITTLE GULL was just off the front green at Lochgilphead, Loch Gilp this afternoon (Jim Dickson).

5th November

ISLAY: A juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL was seen just north of Bruichladdich pier today (Dan Brown) – first report of the autumn/winter.

4th November

ISLAY: An adult ‘RUSSIAN’ WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE with Greenland birds – in fields to the east of Loch Gruinart. Also noted at Gruinart a very distant and therefore only ‘possible’ WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER with Dunlin and a dark & rufous juvenile harrier that showed good features for a Nearctic NORTHERN HARRIER – one to look out for tomorrow.. (Dan Brown).
MULL: The 1cy RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still present in the Salen area.

‘RUSSIAN’ WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Greenland bird at back) – Islay 4th Nov (Dan Brown)

3rd November

ISLAY: A Juv/first-winter male LESSER SCAUP was new in and a bit flighty today at Loch Skerrols (Dan Brown).
MULL: A RED KITE today high over Balmeanach (Jacqui and Mike Murphy).

LESSER SCAUP – Loch Skerrols, Islay 3rd Nov (Dan Brown)

2nd November

GENERAL: Thrushes & finches – large flocks of finches, particularly SISKINS have been recorded across Argyll in the last week including 200+ in COWAL, 175 on JURA and more than usual on ISLAY. The largest numbers of BRAMBLING for many years are being reported now and today 70 were noted along the east side of JURA along with counts of 350 CHAFFINCH and 110 GOLDFINCH. An obvious influx of FIELDFARE arrived today and included hundreds on ISLAY, c 550 on JURA and c200 around the wider Moine Mhor area. Also many flocks of 100+ REDWINGS being noted and 1,000 on JURA
MULL: The 1cy RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still showing ar Aros, nr Tobermory today.
JURA: A ‘SIBERIAN’ CHIFFCHAFF was seen nr the school in Craighouse today (Dan Brown).
ISLAY: Birds of note across the island today included – 5 male COMMON POCHARD, 1 CACKLING GOOSE, 1 fem RING-NECKED DUCK, 2 LITTLE EGRETS, male AMERICAN WIGEON, RED-BREASTED GOOSE (un-ringed), 1 LITTLE AUK.

RED-BREASTED GOOSE – Islay 2nd Nov (Mark Shields)


1st November

TIREE: An early sea-watch off Aird produced 3 POMARINE SKUAS and 4 LITTLE AUKS, also 3 late MANX SHEARWATERS.  Also a LAPLAND BUNTING at the Reef (John Bowler).

31st October

ISLAY: A group of 5 drake COMMON POCHARD found on Loch Gorm today (highest number in Argyll for many years) – with an impressive count of 237 TUFTED DUCKS (Dan Brown).
MULL: A 1cy RED-BACKED SHRIKE was found today at Aros nr Tobermory (Dr Mark Williams).

1cy RED-BACKED SHRIKE – Aros, Mull 31st Oct (Mark Williams)
1cy RED-BACKED SHRIKE – Aros, Mull 31st Oct (Mark Williams)

30th October

GENERAL: Still good numbers (hundreds rather than thousands) of REDWINGS being reported however very few FIELDFARES this autumn (small counts only). More than average numbers of BRAMBLING being reported (double figures in some places) and in last week or so has seen widespread reports of RING OUZEL (mostly singles).
ISLAY: Another report of the RED-BREASTED GOOSE at Gruinart today, also the LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER was reported again from the RSPB Gruinart north hide and the drake AMERICAN WIGEON is still at Loch Skerrols.
TIREE: The two female RING -NECKED DUCKS at Loch a’ Phuill have remained there in recent days and therefore different from the two reported from Islay. A ‘SIBERIAN’ CHIFFCHAFF was at Balephuil on 26th Oct (John Bowler).

29th October

ISLAY: A LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER found at RSPB Gruinart reserve, north hide (James How). A RED-NECKED GREBE reported from Uiskentuie, Loch Indaal – seen close in early afternoon (Dave Nevitt). Also an AMERICAN WIGEON, two RING-NECKED DUCKS on Loch Skerrols (first found yesterday) & also a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Gruinart on Wed 27th (details required from the finders please, thanks).
MULL: A SOOTY SHEARWATER was seen off north Mull from a whale watching boat (Joe Fryer – per Mullbirds website).

28th October

ISLAY: A juv/1cy YELLOW WAGTAIL was seen briefly nr the head of Loch Indaal today and perhaps showing features of the much rarer EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL (Ed Hutchings).

26th October

ISLAY: A CACKLING GOOSE was seen from the Port Askaig – Errobus road nr Skerrols today (Gary Turnbull). A dead LITTLE AUK was found at Claddach, nr Portnahaven (Mary Redman). A RING OUZEL was in a garden ar Bruichladdich, eating Cotoneaster berries (Peter Roberts).

25th October

ISLAY: A RING OUZEL was with Redwings in a Port Ellen garden today.

24th October

ISLAY: A CACKLING GOOSE photographed at RSPB Gruinart reserve today (James How) presumably the same bird reported there from the 12th Oct (John Overfield et al). As a BBRC assessed species, a reminder that any reports require a write up and photos to be formally submitted. Yesterday a LITTLE AUK was at Loch Indaal and a 1cy MEDITERRANEAN GULL was seen at Machir Bay (Lance Degnan). Ten BRAMBLING were counted along the Glen Road towards Port Charlotte (Dave & Sian Nevitt). A RING OUZEL was at Gatehouse, JURA today (Louise Muir).

CACKLING GOOSE – Islay 24th Oct (James How)

22nd October

COLL: A “Siberian” blythi type LESSER WHITETHROAT was on the island today (Greg Smith).
ISLAY: A RED KITE was reported from the Oa today (Lance Degnan).

21st October

TIREE/COLL: Three LESSER WHITETHROATS today including the long stayer “Siberian” blythi at Balephuil – joined by a much more sandy brown coloured bird showing features of “Central Asian” halimodendri LESSER WHITETHROAT at Croft, Balephuil and a new “Siberian” blythi type bird at The Glebe (Jim Dickson/Stuart Gibson). An immature RING OUZEL was new in at Heylipol then flew towards Loch a’ Phuil (John Bowler). Another RING OUZEL was reported on Coll (Greg Smith)

putative ‘Central Asian’ LESSER WHITETHROAT – Tiree 21st Oct (Jim Dickson)
putative ‘Central Asian’ LESSER WHITETHROAT – Tiree 21st Oct (Jim Dickson)
putative ‘Central Asian’ LESSER WHITETHROAT – Tiree 21st Oct (Jim Dickson)

20th October

TIREE: A “Todd’s” CANADA GOOSE in with Barnacle Geese just north of Balephetrish Hill – presumably the returning bird from previous winters (John Bowler).

17th October

TIREE: A GREAT WHITE EGRET today at Loch a’ Phuill – feeding along the south shore. The juv DOTTEREL still present at Balevullin and the presumed “SIBERIAN” LESSER WHITETHROAT still at Balephuil (Jim Dickson/Stuart Gibson). YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER still at Balephuil (John Bowler).

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER -Balephuil, Tiree 17th Oct (John Bowler)
GREAT WHITE EGRET – Tiree 17th Oct (Jim Dickson)

16th October

TIREE: Two YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS at Balephuil and “SIBERIAN” LESSER WHITETHROAT still present there (John Bowler).
MULL: A juvenile SABINE’S GULL was seen with Kittiwakes off the north end of Iona this morning (Andrew Russell). A RED KITE was seen at Kellan Wood, Loch na Keal (Pete Walkden).
COLL: A PIED FLYCATCHER reported on the island today (Greg Smith).

15th October

TIREE: A LESSER WHITETHROAT at Balephuil was showing characteristics of “Siberian” race blythi and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER still there (John Bowler). A nominate race LESSER WHITETHROAT was at Heylipol, fem RING-NECKED DUCK at Loch Bhasapol and a juvenile DOTTEREL was at Balevullin (Jim Dickson/Stuart Gibson).
KINTYRE: A juvenile LONG-TAILED SKUA was seen from Rhunahaorine Point today (Tom Lowe).

LONG-TAILED SKUA – Kintyre 15th Oct (Tom Lowe)
Juv DOTTEREL Balevuillin, Tiree 15th Oct (Jim Dickson)

14th October

TIREE: A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER was at Balephuil early evening (John Bowler). A late Manx Shearwater and Puffin on a seawatch from Aird this pm (Jim Dickson/Stuart Gibson).

13th October

ISLAY: A report of a CACKLING GOOSE from the Loch Gruinart viewpoint platform at 15.40 and a different individual from the CACKLING GOOSE at Gruinart yesterday (John Overfield).

Older Entries »