Scarce and Rare Sightings 2023

Please send your sightings to Jim Dickson (Argyll Bird Recorder) to: 

 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 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 2022 ARGYLL BIRD REPORT Volume 34 with Systematic List for 2022 was published on 21 March 2023 as a PDF – (available to ABC members only by an emailed link)



Recent Reports of Scarce & Rare Sightings 2023


22nd December

MID-ARGYLL: The adult male RING-NECKED DUCK still on the loch at Glenfeochan House today (Bob Grove/David Jardine). A 1cy LITTLE GULL reported (per Birdguides) between Oban & Mull.

20 December

MID-ARGYLL: An adult male RING-NECKED DUCK on the loch at Glenfeochan House today (Bob Grove).

13th December

TIREE: A white-morph SNOW GOOSE was new at Caoles (East Tiree) today – a large Greater type so not thought to be from the Coll population. Also a male GREEN-WINGED TEAL at Loch Riaghain and a reports of a GLOSSY IBIS at Scarinish on 7 Dec and Miodar on 11 Dec (John Bowler).
KINTYRE: A fem VELVET SCOTER at Rhunahaorine Point, Sound of Gigha today – also high counts of 20 LONG-TAILED DUCK & 49 SLAVONIAN GREBE there (David Jardine/Jim Dickson).

SNOW GOOSE – Caoles, Tiree 13th Dec (John Bowler)

20th November

TIREE: A GREY PHALAROPE was at Balephetrish Bay today (John Bowler).

19th November

MULL: A SHORE LARK was found along the south shore of Loch na Keal around 9.30 am and photographed by the roadside by Daniel Brooks & Freddie Montague-Dennis. This is only the second record for Argyll with the last accepted record (of three birds) on Islay 18-19 October 1976. There have been other historic but unsubstantiated reports of birds in Argyll.

SHORE LARK – Loch na Keal, Mull 19th Nov (Freddie Montague-Dennis)

18th November

TIREE: A LESSER WHITETHROAT was at Balephuil today (John Bowler)

16th November

KINTYRE: A male SURF SCOTER seen distantly with Common Scoters off Rhunahaorine Point today (David Jardine).

15th November

MID-ARGYLL: Three LITTLE AUKS at sea seen off the Garvellachs Is. (David Jardine).

7th November

TIREE: A male GREEN-WINGED TEAL was new at Loch a’ Phuill this morning (John Bowler).
ISLAY: The female AMERICAN WIGEON at Cornabus & the RED-BREASTED GOOSE at Gruinart are still present on the island with reports last w/e.

2nd November

ISLAY: An adult BONAPARTE’S GULL off Bruichladdich this morning (Dan Brown).
KINTYRE: A LAPLAND BUNTING on the road up to the Mull of Kintyre, male RING OUZEL & TREE SPARROW still at Lephenstrath ( A&N Hand, Jim Dickson).

RING OUZEL – Lephenstrath, Kintyre 2nd Nov (Jim Dickson)

31st October

KINTYRE: A TREE SPARROW again in the garden at Lephenstrath Bridge & a male RING OUZEL nearby (Ann & Noel Hand).
MID-ARGYLL: A HAWFINCH seen near the group of 30+ WAXWINGS in Oban just after midday (Neil McMahon et al)

30th October

TIREE: A calling tristis Siberian’ CHIFFCHAFF at Meningie (next to Loch a’ Phuill) this afternoon (John Bowler).

29th October

KINTYRE: A TREE SPARROW – scarce in Argyll was a new garden species for Ann & Noel Hand at Lephenstrath.

27th October

MULL: A sighting of a PALLID SWIFT candidate along the shore at Lochbuie then headed off west (Theo de Clermont et al).
TIREE: The FIRECREST at Balephuil is still there today.

26th October

ISLAY: The female AMERICAN WIGEON showing again on the pool towards Cornabus & a juv AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER found on the Gruinart flats this afternoon (Dave Fairhurst). The 1w LESSER GREY SHRIKE is still at Braigo.
TIREE: The FIRESCREST is still at Balephuil today (John Bowler, Andy Robinson).

25th October

ISLAY: A good candidate for a female AMERICAN WIGEON at the junction between road to The Oa & to Cornabus (Dave Fairhurst, Ed Burrell).
TIREE: A FIRECREST in a garden at Balephuil this afternoon (John Bowler).

24th October

ISLAY: The 1w LESSER GREY SHRIKE and RED-BREASTED GOOSE are still on the island – also a report of 3 CACKLING GEESE there.
KINTYRE: A report of a GREAT WHITE EGRET at West Loch Tarbert 1km west of Kennacraig (Neil McMahon). Also at least 30 LITTLE EGRETS now across Argyll…

23rd October

MID-ARGYLL: A WAXWING was seen at Port Ann today (Dan Brown).

21st October

JURA: A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER calling in trees by church at Craighouse today (Neil McMahon).
TIREE: A TREECREEPER at Carnan Mor, Balephuil today showed clean white underparts, a broad white supercilium and white crown/nape spots all consistent with a Northern race bird (John Bowler). This race from Scandinavia & Eastern Europe has not previously been confirmed in Argyll before – most UK records tend to be on the east coasts or particularly in the Northern Isles.

20th October

Easterly winds are now bringing in more thrush species – with an increase in Fieldfares as well as BRAMBLINGS and now reports of RING OUZELS with 1 at Kilmartin MID-ARGYLL (David Jardine) & on TIREE 1 poss 2 first-winter birds at Carnan Mor – where also a HAWFINCH and nearby a male POCHARD at Loch a’ Phuill (John Bowler).
ISLAY: More sightings of the adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE at Gruinart today.

17th October

ISLAY: The 1w LESEER GREY SHRIKE was seen again near Sanaigmore today.
MID-ARGYLL: A report of 2 GLOSSY IBIS on farmland near Ardfern this afternoon.
RED KITES – a mini influx today with at least 3 on Islay, 1 on Mull and 2 on Seil Island.

16th October

MID-ARGYLL: The HOOPOE is still present at the Tayvallich caravan park. Two GLOSSY IBIS were seen near Toberonochy, Luing today (Neil Young).

15th October

ISLAY: The LESSER GREY SHRIKE is still near Sanaigmore today, also a report of a HOBBY at Gruinart (Paul Disken).
TIREE: A presumed ‘SIBERIAN’ type LESSER WHITETHROAT at Balephuil today (John Bowler).

14th October

MULL: A juv SABINE’S GULL & LEACH’S PETREL were noted off the north coast of Iona this morning – also a LESSER WHITETHROAT & PIED FLYCATCHER on the island (David Jardine).
ISLAY: The LESSER GREY SHRIKE is still near Sanaigmore today.
TIREE: A big arrival of thrushes included 1,200 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare at Balephuil, plus 2 WAXWINGS flying around there at dusk (John Bowler).

13th October

MULL: A LEACH’S PETREL was seen at Loch Spelve today.
ISLAY: The RED-BREASTED GOOSE & LESSER GREY SHRIKE are still present and a 2cy GLAUCOUS GULL – perhaps the long stayer was at Gruinart (Theo de Clermont, Ewan Miles – Nature Scotland et al).
MID-ARGYLL: The HOOPOE is still at Tayvallich and the CATTLE EGRET is still at Balvicar.

CATTLE EGRET – Mid-Argyll 13th Oct (John Speirs)

12th October

TIREE: Both juv AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS were seen again today – at Sandaig & Barrapol (John Bowler).
MID-ARGYLL: A CATTLE EGRET was found in the fields behind the Balvicar store, Seil Island (Kim Lappin).

LESSER GREY SHRIKE – Islay 12th Oct (Jim Dickson)
LESSER GREY SHRIKE – Islay 12th Oct (Jim Dickson)
CATTLE EGRET – Mid-Argyll 12th Oct (Kim Lappin)

11th October

MID-ARGYLL: A HOOPOE at Tayvallich caravan park today and apparently been there since at least 9th Oct (Jane Smith et al).
ISLAY: Returning adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE at Gruinart today (James How), also the 1w LESSER GREY SHRIKE still at Sanaigmore.
TIREE: A LEACH’S PETREL off Aird, north coast today (John Bowler).
KINTYRE: At least 7,000 REDWINGS seen from the main roads from the Laggan down to Southend, also 500+ CHAFFINCH (David Jardine, Jim Dickson).

HOOPOE – Mid-Argyll 11th October (Jim Dickson)

10th October

ISLAY: A TODD’S CANADA GOOSE reported at Cornabus and 1w LESSER GREY SHRIKE now at Sanaigmore.

9th October

ISLAY: Brief reports coming in from across the island of a 1w LESSER GREY SHRIKE at Smaull (Annie Rudd), CACKLING GOOSE at Gruinart and a TAIGA BEAN GOOSE near Bridgend.

7th October

TIREE: A juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Loch a’ Phuill is perhaps the bird from Barrapol having moved after snipe shooting in that area (John Bowler).
MULL: A POMARINE SKUA was seen off Caliach Point today (David Walsh).

6th October

TIREE: The juv PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Middleton is still there but has moved further north a bit (Jim Dickson, Stuart Gibson).

4th October

TIREE: A new juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was found at Kilkenneth this morning (Jim Dickson, Theo de Clermont) . No further sign of the AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER or RED-EYED VIREO today.

3rd October

TIREE: The 1w BARRED WARBLER was seen again and photographed at the Glebe (Theo de Clermont), the AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER showing well for short spells at Kilmoluaig and BAIRD’S SANDPIPER still at Vaul Bay.

BARRED WARBLER – Tiree 3rd Oct (Theo de Clermont)

2nd October

TIREE: A first-winter BARRED WARBLER was seen briefly at The Glebe, Scarinish this morning and the 1w RED-EYED VIREO still there (Theo de Clermont, Jim Dickson).

1st October

TIREE: The first-winter male AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER, RED-EYED VIREO, BAIRD’S SANDPIPER & 1 PECTORAL SANDPIPER still present. Also juv CURLEW SANDPIPER at Barrapol & 8 Pale-bellied BRENT GEESE past Balephetrish.

30th September

TIREE: A first-winter male AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER was seen at Kilmoluaig, south of Loch Bhasapol late morning by Theo de Clermont, following it being first heard calling earlier by David Jardine and ID then confirmed by Jim Dickson as this species – only 6th record for Scotland and 8th for UK. Also, the BAIRD’S SANDPIPER is still at Vaul Bay and the RED-EYED VIREO was showing well in calmer conditions at The Glebe, Scarinish.

AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER – Tiree 30th Sep (Jim Dickson)
AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER – Tiree 30th Sep (Jim Dickson)
AMERICAN YELLOW WARBLER – Tiree 30th Sep (Jim Dickson)

29th September

TIREE: The BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was again at Vaul Bay, also PECTORAL SANDPIPERS gain at Middleton & Barrapol and now 2  juv AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS  at Barrapol.  – also 4  SOOTY SHEARWATERS, 9 GREAT SKUAS & 3 ARCTIC SKUAS off West Hynish.

28th September

TIREE: The RED-EYED VIREO was re-found at The Glebe & was Dan Pointon’s 300th species in Scotland this year and equals previous Scottish year record with 3 months still to go! The BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was again at Vaul Bay, also PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Middleton & Barrapol. A juv AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was new at Barrapol and 2 CURLEW SANDPIPERS were on the island along with 1 BARNACLE GOOSE new in – also 3 SOOTY SHEARWATERS & 1 ARCTIC SKUA off West Hynish.

AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER – Tiree 28th Sep (Jim Dickson)
AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER – Tiree 28th Sep (Jim Dickson)


27th September

TIREE: Juv PECTORAL SANDPIPER again at Barrapol and a new juv found at Middleton late morning (Theo de Clermont & Jim Dickson). The juv BAIRD’S SANDPIPER is still at Vaul Bay. SOOTY SHEARWATERS & GREAT SKUA seen off West Hynish.

26th September

TIREE: A RED-EYED VIREO at The Glebe early afternoon and juv BAIRD’S SANDPIPER still at Vaul Bay (David Jardine, Stuart Gibson Hayley Douglas, Jim Dickson).

RED-EYED VIREO – Tiree 26th Sep (Jim Dickson)
RED-EYED VIREO – Tiree 26th Sep (Jim Dickson)

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