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 Bird Sightings Records : Hebrides : April 2011

 

 

 

 

   This table is Hebrides Bird Sightings period April 2011
Sat
30/04/11
Snowy Owl Sollas - North Uist
  • Snowy Owl
  • Nyctea scandiaca, Bubo scandiacus
  • Gaelic: Comhachag-bhan
  • UK: 3 records a year (BTO) (1958-2004 total of 159 records)
  • UK: accidental, former breeder
  • WI: Scarce vagrant (very small numbers recorded in most years) TBC
  • Distribution: Primarily resident circumpolar - North of the Arctic Circle. Europe, North Asia, North North America. Nomadic bird - shortage of prey forces it to more Southern tundra breeding sites. Nests on ground - a scrape on a mound, rock or gravel bar. (Areas with good visibility & good hunting). An abandoned eagle nest sometimes used. Breeds in May, laying 5 -14 eggs). Winter: fields & prairie
  • Diet: Hunting style "sitting and waiting", bird has sharp talons & catches prey on ground, in air or fish from surface of water. Lemmings, voles & other rodents, small birds , fish, carrion
  • All white. Upright stance. Body barrel-shaped. Head rounded. Eyes yellow & staring. Bill black. Male almost pure white. Female (largest bird) & young covered with narrow black bars & crescent-shaped spots. Heavily feathered feet (together with bird's thick plumage suitable for life in the Arctic)

Recent sightings have been on the machair near the car parking area

Merlin

Christine Morrison sent in this Merlin photograph for the collection

"This photo of a male merlin was taken after he took out a starling on the roof of our house in Crossbost on April 18th 2010"

Great Skua

Dods Macfarlane sent in this Great Skua photograph for the collection

( 2010)

Sat
30/04/11
Gyr
(White Morph)
Suainebost - Isle of Lewis  
Gyr Falcon

Julie Sievewright sent in this photo of a Gyr Falcon taken at Habost in Ness last year (Sunday 25th April, 2010)

Habost is next to Suainebost where a Gyr Falcon white morph was seen today

Sat
30/04/11
Dotterel Balranald - North Uist  
Sat
30/04/11
Lapland Bunting Butt of Lewis  
Sat
30/04/11
Snow Bunting Butt of Lewis
  • Snow Bunting (Snowflake, Snaa Fuhl)
  • Plectrophenax nivalis
  • Gaelic: Gealag-an-t-sneachd
  • UK: Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
  • UK: AMBER LIST 70 - 100 prs (Summer) 11,000 birds (Winter) RSPB
  • Breeds: Tundra, treeless moorland (rock crevices). Arctic: (Circumpolar) Greenland, Iceland, North America, North Europe - A Few in North Scotland. (Has bred on St Kilda)
  • Winter: Heads South: South Europe, Central Asia, South USA
  • Diet: Ground feeder: Mostly seeds (summer insects for young), rocky shores (follows wrack-line), short & open vegetation, sand dunes
  • Large buntings. Summer males: Heads & underparts all white with black back & wing tips. Females & juveniles pale ginger above, white below. In Autumn & winter the white has a sandy or buff wash & males' upperparts more mottled. Flight: large white wing patches. Not shy. Forms flocks
  • Listen to a Snow Bunting (RSPB site)
Snow Bunting

Andy L sent in this photo of a Snow Bunting for the collection

( 2010)

 
Sat
30/04/11
Little Gull Butt of lewis
  • Little Gull
  • Larus minutus
  • Gaelic: Faoileag-bheag
  • UK: Passage - winter visitor
  • UK: winter 400-800, spring 200-700 BTO
  • W: Scarce passage visitor (very small numbers each year)
  • Breeds: North America, Asia
  • Winters: North USA, South Europe
  • Habitat: Breeding - Colonies in grassy freshwater marsh. Winter - estuaries, lochs, fields
  • Smallest gull, only 26cm (approx size of a Blackbird). Adults flight Tern-like but rounded wings, pale grey upperwing - no black wingtips, dark grey underwing. Summer bird pale grey, black head. Winter: head goes white, darker cap & eye-spot . Bill thin & black. Legs dark red.
    Juveniles: Dark wing mark "W" .
  • Diet: summer mostly insects. Winter, fish, invertebrates (marine)
  • Listen to Little Gull (RSPB site)
Sat
30/04/11
Marsh Harrier Port of Ness - Isle of Lewis
  • Marsh Harrier ( Eurasian Marsh Harrier, European Marsh Harrier, Western Marsh Harrier, Western Marsh-Harrier)
  • Circus aeruginosus
  • Gaelic: Clamhan l òin
  • WI: Scarce passage visitor (very small numbers recorded in most years. April - October
  • UK Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage Visitor. AMBER LIST 206 females (summer) BTO
  • Breeds: Shallow freshwater rivers or lakes. Europe to Asia, Africa
  • Winters: (UK small resident population) South of breeding range to Africa, Asia
  • Habitat: Marshland, reedbeds, farmland by wetlands
  • Diet: Small birds, mammals.
  • Largest harrier. Recognised by long tail, soaring light flight - wings held in shallow V-shape
  • Similar birds Hen harrier, Buzzard
Fri
29/04/11
Hoopoe Lochmaddy - North Uist
  • Hoopoe (Eurasian Hoopoe)
  • Upupa epops
  • UK: scarce spring passage visitor (Late April - May). Has bred
  • UK: 116 records a year, usually single birds
  • WI: Accidental/vagrant, approx 5 records in a century
  • Breeds: Nests in hole in tree or wall. Prefers farming areas with open grazing, open woodland, copses, hedges, bushes. savanna, steppe. Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Bangladesh
  • Winters: Tropical Africa, Asia (resident in many equatorial areas)
  • Diet: Feeds on insects mostly caught on ground & also pulled from underground - so short grass areas or bare patches. Has very short tongue in long bill so swallows food (Insects: worms, grasshoppers, crickets, larvae, locusts) by throwing it into the air & catching it way back in the gullet.
  • Exotic looker! Large Thrush-size. Pinkish-brown body. Black & white stripes. Long, narrow, downcurved bill. Both sexes have a flat ornamental crest of long feathers that rests folded on nape (when bird is excited they raise and expand forming a spectacular fan. Tail broad white band. Flight flappy & erratic. Wings broad & rounded.
  • Average lifespan 11years
  • Listen to a hoopoe (RSPB site)( "hoop-hoop-hoop")
Gannet Gannet Gannet

Andy Hartree sent in these photos of a Gannet for the collection

"I hope you enjoy the trio of a gannet's dive (middle one not quite sharp, but wanted to give the three shot sequence). I am particulary chuffed with the dive position of the third! Getting the half-closed dive position is not too tricky, but fully streamlined entry position is another story. In 250-odd shots yesterday at Port of Ness and today at Reef beach, I think I've got two decent harpoon poses and a good 8-10 birdless splashes!"

( 2010)

Christine Walling sent a link to her Hebrides web site where she has a film strip sequence of gannets diving and many other gannet photos


Bits & Pieces from Martin's Birding Blog

A busy day for migrants
29th April, 2011
"... Gadwall... Grasshopper Warbler ....Sand Martin, 4 Sedge Warblers... Wood Sandpiper, Whitethroat...and at least 3 Corncrake..."
Read More

 

Fri
29/04/11
Subalpine Warbler Grenitote - North Uist
  • Subalpine Warbler
  • Sylvia cantillans
  • WI: Very rare visitor (five or less records) TBC
Fri
29/04/11
Snowy Owl Grenitote - North Uist  
Fri
29/04/11
Bonaparte's Gull Siadar - Isle of Lewis  
Fri
29/04/11
Turtle Dove Bragar - Isle of lewis
  • Eurasian Turtle Dove (Turtle Dove)
  • Streptopelia tutar
  • Gaelic: Tutar
  • UK: RED LIST, 44,000 territories (summer) BTO
  • UK: Migrant reeder, Passage Visitor
  • WI: Regular but scarce passage visitor (very small numbers recorded in most years). March - Oct but mostly May-June & Sept. Approx 10 records a year
  • Habitat: arable land near townships, woodland edges, hedgerows & open land with some shrubs, gardens
  • Breeds: Europe, Central Asia, North Africa
  • Winters: south of breeding range to Central Africa
  • Diet: Seeds, cereal grain, weeds
  • Size of a large blackbird. Dainty dove. Smaller & darker than collared dove. Upperparts mottled chestnut & black. Black tail has white edge
  • Max recorded age: 7yr 1 mth
  • Listen to a Turtle Dove (RSPB site)
  • Similar bird: Collared Cove
Fri
29/04/11
Snow Bunting Butt of Lewis  
Fri
29/04/11
Lapland Bunting Labost - Isle of Lewis  

Bits & Pieces from Martin's Birding Blog

Birds with Jewellery – part 1
29th April, 2011
"A few Black tailed Godwits have been about of late some sporting a range of gawdy leg rings.
Such birds are becoming more regular on the Hebs thanks to a big ringing programme in Iceland..."
Read More

'Recently' Black-tailed Godwits Ness - Isle of Lewis
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Limosa limosa
  • Gaelic: Cearra-ghob
  • WI: Uncommon passage Visitor (low numbers), Very rare winter visitor (five or less records)
  • Similar birds: Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Snipe
Thu
28/04/11
Dotterel Balranald - North Uist  
Thu
28/04/11
Bonaparte's Gull Siadar - Isle of Lewis  
Thu
28/04/11
Lapland Buntings Siadar - Isle of Lewis  
lapland Bunting David Knowles sent in this photo on the15th April

"Reckon I just found a Lapland Bunting in the garden at Breanish. Single male so far. Took lots of photos.
Can you confirm?"

 

Martin Scott confirmed it was a Lapland bunting...
"Certainly a male moulting into breeding (summer) plumage. A bit of a flurry of Lapland Buntings at the moment. Odd ones dotted all down the coast and small flocks at Ness and Balranald."

Brian Rabbitts wrote:
"A nice photo and a good bird to get in the garden. Last autumn there was an unprecedented influx of Lapland Buntings and perhaps not surprising a record passage this spring. These birds are making their way back to Greenland (they are one of the commonest passerines in the Arctic tundra). In spring we usually get a few but this year there have been exceptional numbers with the largest flock being 15."

(A flock of 30 was later recorded on the 25th April at Balranald, North Uist)

Thu
28/04/11
Glaucous Gull Siadar - Isle of Lewis
  • Glaucous Gull
  • Larus hyperboreus
  • Gaelic: Faoileag-mhor
  • UK: Winter Visitor, 200+ UK (winter) RSPB
  • WI: Uncommon winter and passage visitor (low numbers). Scarce in summer (very small numbers recorded in most years)
  • Breeds: Bird nests on ground or cliffs. Arctic & Northern Atlantic European coasts: Greenland, Iceland, North Russia, North North America.
  • Winters: Mostly North Atlantic & North Pacific oceans, some go as far south as Northern Mexico
  • Habitat: Seacoasts, lakes, rubbish tips, reservoirs, fishing ports (with other winter gulls)
  • Large gull. Bigger, bulkier bird than herring gull. Pale wingtips (no black in wings & tail)
    Adult pearl-grey above, thick yellow bill. Immatures very pale-grey, creamy-white or biscuit coloured with pink & black bill. More fierce looking than similar (smaller) Iceland gull
  • Diet: Omnivorous: mostly animals, also other seabirds (in flight) scavenges carrion, scraps & is a pirate
  • Listen to a Glaucous Gull (RSPB site)
  • Similar birds: Herring Hull, Iceland Gull
Wed
27/04/11
Golden Oriole Lochmaddy - North Uist  
Wed
27/04/11
Dotterel Balranald - North Uist  
Wed
27/04/11
Snowy Owl Grenitote - North Uist  
Tue
26/04/11
Lapland Buntings Brue & Ness - Isle of Lewis  
Tue
26/04/11
Dotterel Aird an Runair - North Uist  
Tue
26/04/11
Lapland Buntings

Balranald - North Uist

Drimsdale + Ardvule - South Uist

 
Tue
26/04/11
Snowy Owl Grenitote - North Uist  
Tue
26/04/11
Bonaparte's Gull Siadar - Isle of Lewis  

Bits & Pieces from Martin's Birding Blog

Hebrides Bird Sightings : Bee-eater Hebrides Bird Sightings : Bee-eater

 

Bee-eater at Callanish

25th April, 2011
"It was around Breasclate School and Hall, but also venturing down the road to Callanish going ‘inland’ as well as far as the Gift Shop. It was still around at 6pm at least.

Probably the second for the Hebrides with one a couple of years ago moving through the island chain from Barra to Dalbeg..."


Read More

 
Mon
25/04/11
Snowy Owl Grenitote - North Uist  
Mon
25/04/11
Lapland Buntings

Brue - Isle of Lewis

Balranald (30) - North Uist

 
Webmasters Gap Year...
 

 

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