Scarce & Rare Sightings 2021

11th October

ISLAY: A GREY PHALAROPE was at a small rock pool just north of Saligo Bay (Tim Daley). Good numbers of Barnacle geese now arriving on Islay.
MID-ARGYLL: Small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare beginning to arrive now – also some reports of Brambling.
NORTH ARGYLL: A report of another 2 LITTLE EGRET – at Port Ramsay/ Fènnachrochan, Lismore (David Jardine). This takes the current Argyll total to around 13 or 14 birds.


ISLAY: The RED-BREASTED GOOSE was seen again today – among a large group of Barnacle Geese (John Wills). Also at Loch Gruinart a juv RED KITE was reported by Teresa Morris.
TIREE: Juv PECTORAL SANDPIPER again at Loch an Eilein (John Bowler).
COWAL/ISLAY/KINTYRE/MID-ARGYLL: An update on LITTLE EGRET sightings – recent reports have included up to 6 at the Holy Loch/Loch Riddon in Cowal, 2 on Islay, 1 at Campbeltown Loch, Kintyre and 3 at Loch Gilp, Mid-Argyll. Worth looking out for others around our Argyll coastline and please report any you see to

RED-BREASTED GOOSE – Islay 5th Oct (Sam Hood)


5th October

ISLAY: An adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE of unknown origin was found with Barnacle Geese at Loch Gruinart today (James How).

4th October

TIREE: A Juv PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Baugh with Golden Plovers (John Bowler). Could be the same bird seen briefly with Golden Plover at Barrapol last week?

PECTORAL SANDPIPER – Baugh, Tiree 4th Oct (John Bowler)

2nd October

TIREE: An early morning seawatch from Hynish produced; 1 juvenile SABINE’S GULL, 1 Grey Phalarope, 1 Leach’s Petrel,  11 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Pomarine Skua, 8 Arctic Skua, 12 Great Skua, 6 Arctic Tern, 4 Fulmar, 8 Black Guillemot, 4 GN Diver, 1 RT Diver, 68 Eider, 30 Shag, 190 Manx Shearwater, 1,230 large auk (mostly Razorbills), 1,835 Gannet, 3,630 Kittiwake (John Bowler).
ISLAY: A CURLEW SANDPIPER was at Loch Gruinart this morning (Sam Hood).

30th September

TIREE: A first-year male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK was found in the morning at Balephuil (John Bowler, Jim Dickson, Stuart Gibson, David Jardine). The bird was very flighty and seen at three locations around Balephuil. A new species for Argyll and only the sixth record for Scotland if accepted by the BBRC. A first year COMMON ROSEFINCH was found at Balemartine in the morning (David Jardine).

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK – Tiree 30th Sep (Jim Dickson)
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK – Tiree 30th Sep (Jim Dickson)

28th September

COWAL: An adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL was at Blairmore, Loch Long today (Neil Hammatt).
KINTYRE: A SNOW BUNTING was near the Machrihanish seabird observatory this morning (Mandy Hodkinson).

SNOW BUNTING – MSBO, Kintyre 29th Sep (Jo Goudie)

27th September

TIREE: Single LAPLAND BUNTINGS were noted at Beinn Hough (David Jardine) and at The Reef (John Bowler). Female RING-NECKED DUCK still at Loch Bhasapol and male at Loch a’ Phuill.

Male RING-NECKED DUCK – Tiree 27th Sep (Jim Dickson)
Male RING-NECKED DUCK – Tiree 27th Sep (Jim Dickson)

26th September

TIREE: The juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was seen again at Clachan, north Tiree this morning. Also, the female RING-NECKED DUCK is still at Loch Bhasapol and a male RING-NECKED DUCK new at Loch a’ Phuill. A probable – distant PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Barrapol and 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS plus 9 Great Skuas past Hynish this morning.

Female RING-NECKED DUCK (on right) at Loch Bhasapol, Tiree 26th Sep (Jim Dickson).

25th September

TIREE: The juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was seen again at Clachan, north Tiree this afternoon. Also, the female RING-NECKED DUCK is still at Loch Bhasapol and a Eurasian Coot there.

Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Tiree 25th Sep (Jim Dickson)
Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Tiree 25th Sep (Jim Dickson)
Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Tiree 25th Sep (Jim Dickson)

23rd September

TIREE: A juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was found at Clachan today by Michael Thornton. Three SOOTY SHEARWATERS were the highlight of a sea watch off Aird this morning (John Bowler).
ISLAY: A GREEN SANDPIPER was at Cornabus this morning (Ed Burrell).

22nd September

COLL: A juvenile SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER was found this afternoon north of Gallanach at Bagh an Trailleich by David Jardine. Will be a first record for Coll if accepted by the BBRC.

Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Coll 22nd Sep (David Jardine)
Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Coll 22nd Sep (David Jardine)
Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Coll 22nd Sep (David Jardine)
Juv SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER – Coll 22nd Sep (David Jardine)

20th September

TIREE: An adult female RING-NECKED DUCK was found at Loch Bhasapol today and perhaps a returning individual (John Bowler).

18th September

KINTYRE: A 1cy (first-winter) MEDITERRANEAN GULL at West Tarbert Bay, Isle of Gigha (David Jardine).
MULL: A juvenile DOTTEREL was on Iona today – reported to Ewan Miles at Mullbirds by Janis Allen & Christine Walker.

DOTTEREL – Iona – 18th Sep (J Allen C Walker)

17th September

MID-ARGYLL: A 1cy (first-winter) MEDITERRANEAN GULL at Crinan Ferry, Add Estuary (Jim Dickson).

15th September

COWAL: Now six LITTLE EGRETS at the Holy Loch (David Gilmour et al). A similar pattern of arrival to last year when a group arrived and then dispersed throughout Argyll – more to come?
MID-ARGYLL: The 1cy MEDITERRANEAN GULL was again at Loch Gilp this afternoon (David Jardine).
KINTYRE: A possible RED KITE was seen near Clachan today (Amanda Chadderton). Another was seen recently at Arduaine, Mid-Argyll (per Darren Thomas).
TIREE: A Juv MARSH HARRIER was at Barrapol and later at the Reef (John Bowler). A TREE SPARROW was new in at Hynish (Keith Gillon). A juv LITTLE STINT still at Gott Bay (Keith Gillon).

14th September

MID-ARGYLL: A 1cy (first-winter) MEDITERRANEAN GULL this afternoon at head of Loch Gilp (Jim Dickson).

1cy MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Loch Gilp 14th Sep (Jim Dickson)

12th September

TIREE: An ARCTIC WARBLER was found today at Balinoe by John Bowler. This will become a new species for Argyll if accepted by the SBRC. The BARRED WARBLER was seen again at Balemartine (Keith Gillon).

ARCTIC WARBLER – Tiree 12th Sep (John Bowler)

11th September

KINTYRE: A juvenile LITTLE GULL with Kittiwakes late pm flying north off the west side of Gigha – from the Islay ferry (1,000+ Kittiwakes on the sea just to north of Gigha) (Jim Dickson).
TIREE: A juvenile COMMON ROSEFINCH again at Balephuil (John Bowler). A juv MARSH HARRIER at Balephuil / Balemartine  (Keith Gillon).

10th September

TIREE: A juvenile SPOTTED REDSHANK  at Loch a’ Phuill (Calum Scott). BARRED WARBLER again at Balemartine (Ewan Forbes & Tony O’Connor).
ISLAY: A juvenile CURLEW SANDPIPER still at Loch Gruinart. Also 57 Pale-bellied Brent Geese there today and an influx of Wheatears around the island (Jim Dickson).


9th September

TIREE: A Juv COMMON ROSEFINCH at Balephuil, also 1 Lesser Whitethroat and 1 Garden Warbler (John Bowler).

8th September

ISLAY: A new CURLEW SANDPIPER – at Carnain, Loch Indaal. Also a Little Egret, 2 Greenshank, 71 Wigeon, Slavonian Grebe, 49 Common Scoter, Osprey and White-tailed Eagle there (Jim Dickson).
TIREE: A 1cy BARRED WARBLER, 1 EURASIAN REED WARBLER, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 5 Willow Warbler and 2 Goldcrest at Balephuil (John Bowler). A 1cy Pied Flycatcher at Vaul (Calum Scott). A 1cy Pied Flycatcher at Balemartine (Keith Gillon), with a BARRED WARBLER and a Common Redstart (Ewan Forbes, Tony O’Connor). A Juv WOOD SANDPIPER at Loch a’ Phuill (Calum Scott).

Juv CURLEW SANDPIPER – Loch Indaal, Islay 8th Sep (Jim Dickson).

7th September

TIREE: 1cy BARRED WARBLER, 1 Garden Warbler and 1 Sedge Warbler at Balephuil. A 1cy PECTORAL SANDPIPER,  juv Wood Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 4 juv Red Knot, 3 Greenshank and 23 Black-tailed Godwits at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler). A 1cy LITTLE GULL at Gott Bay (Keith Gillon).
COLONSAY: Two SOOTY SHEARWATER with 500+ Manx Shearwater feeding off Balnahard (David Jardine).

6th September

TIREE: Juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Loch Bhasapol (presume the long-staying bird from August) – together with 1 juv Wood Sandpiper, 1 Ruff and 1 Greenshank (part of a remarkable flock of 7 waders of 7 species – the others being 1 Snipe, 1 Redshank and 1 Lapwing!) (all Keith Gillon per John Bowler). Probable BARRED WARBLER seen briefly in flight at Balemartine at 2pm – Keith Gillon (presumably the Balephuil bird).
ISLAY: Juv CURLEW SANDPIPER again at Loch Gruinart – also 5 Ruff and a juv Greenshank still there (Jim Dickson).

3rd September

ISLAY: A juvenile CURLEW SANDPIPER was new in at Loch Gruinart today (Jim Dickson).

Juv CURLEW SANDPIPER – Loch Gruinart, Islay 3rd Sep (Jim Dickson)



2nd September

TIREE: A 1cy BARRED WARBER was at Balephuil today (John Bowler).

23rd August

TIREE: No further sign of the Bee-eater today. A WOOD SANDPIPER was at Milton (John Bowler).
MID-ARGYLL: A probable juvenile LONG-TAILED SKUA was seen sitting on the sea off Ellenabeich, Easdale island (Kim Lappin).

22nd August

COWAL: An adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL was at Otter Ferry today (Neil Hammatt).
TIREE: A BEE-EATER spp. calling in flight (but not seen) headed east over Baugh at about 12 noon – reported by Iain Livingstone and other members of the Clyde ringing group via Hayley Douglas.
ISLAY: A possible HONEY-BUZZARD flew along the cliffs at the Oa – only a silhouette seen but shape looked like this species (David Wood).

18th August

COLL/TIREE: A sea watch from the Oban to Barra ferry today produced 5 SOOTY SHEARWATERS – also seen were 5 Great & 3 Arctic Skuas and 40+ Storm Petrels (Bill McManus)

14th August

KINTYRE: A CORY’S SHEARWATER was reported off the Mull of Kintyre – feeding with Manx, Fulmars & Gannets – however was distant (Neil Hammatt).

13th August

MID-ARGYLL: A 2cy MEDITERRANEAN GULL was at the Add Estuary today (Jim Dickson).

2cy MEDITERRANEAN GULL – Add Estuary -13th Aug (Jim Dickson).

12th August

TIREE: 5 SOOTY SHEARWATERS –  the highlight of a sea watch from Hynish today (John Bowler).

11th August

MID-ARGYLL: A juvenile MEDITERRANEAN GULL was off the south side of Ardrishaig this pm (Andrew Russell).

5th August

TIREE: A lunchtime sea watch off Hynish by John Bowler produced:  2 SOOTY SHEARWATER, 3 STORM PETREL, 2 Great Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 1060 Manx Shearwater, 239 Gannet, 84 Puffin, 16 Fulmar, 165 Kittiwake, 32 Shag and 55 large auks (mostly Guillemots).

3rd August

MULL: Now 2 SOOTY SHEARWATERS off the north coast (Ewan Miles/Iolo Williams).
TIREE: The PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still present (John Bowler).

PECTORAL SANDPIPER – Tiree 3rd Aug (John Bowler)
SOOTY SHEARWATER – N Mull – 3rd Aug (Andy Tate)

2nd August

TIREE: A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was found today (John Bowler).

1st August

MULL: A SOOTY SHEARWATER was seen with a group of Manx Shearwaters off NW Mull (Andy Tate et al).

SOOTY SHEARWATER – NW Mull -1st Aug (Andy Tate)

31st July

MID-ARGYLL: An adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL was in with the Black-headed Gull flock at the Add Estuary this morning – during the ABC trip there (Jim Dickson).

25th July

KINTYRE: Two COMMON QUAIL were heard singing overnight 24th into 25th in the Stewarton area (Stu Crutchfield).

17th July

KINTYRE: A report of a ROSY STARLING in Machrihanish this afternoon (Murdo McDonald).
AT SEA: An adult intermedius LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL was 19km north of Tiree / 17.5km northwest of Coll on 17th July 2021, seen on/around RV Celtic Explorer – Irish state research vessel (Niall Keogh). This Scandinavian sub-species has occasionally been reported in Argyll and always good to receive excellent photos to confirm as in this case.

Intermedius L B B Gull N of Tiree on 17 Jul (Niall Keogh)
Intermedius L B B Gull N of Tiree on 17 Jul (Niall Keogh)
Intermedius L B B Gull N of Tiree on 17 Jul (Niall Keogh)

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