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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : January 2008

 

 

 

 

This table is Hebrides Bird Sightings period January 2008
Thursday 31st January, 2007 Great White Egret Loch Druidibeag - South Uist    
Thursday 31st January, 2007 Black- throated Diver Goat Island Stornoway    
Thursday 31st January, 2007 Iceland Gull

Gramsdale - Benbecula

Ardivachar - South Uist

Stornoway Harbour

   
Thursday 31st January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

   
Wednesday 30th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

North Ford - Benbecula

   
Tuesday 29th January, 2008

 

Kentish Plover

North Bay - South Uist - Outer Hebrides

   
Tuesday 29th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Gramsdale - Benbecula

Ardivachar - South Uist

   
Tuesday 29th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Ardivachar - South Uist

   
Tuesday 29th January, 2008 Great White Egret Loch Fada - South Uist    
Tuesday 29th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull Ardivachar - South Uist    
Tuesday 29th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

   
Tuesday 29th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Gramsdale - Benbecula

Ardivachar - Douth Uist

   
Monday 28th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Loch Barvas - Isle of Lewis

North Bay - South Uist

Loch Boisedale - South Uist

 

   
Monday 28th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Loch Barvas - Isle of Lewis

North Bay - South Uist

   
Monday 28th January, 2008 Kumlien's Gull Ardivachar - South Uist    
Sunday 27th January, 2007

Pintail 1   (drake)        West Gerinish/Lochbee

Glaucous Gull 3x1stw    Just South of Ardivachar

Iceland Gull 2x1stw        Just South of Ardivachar

W F Goose 23               Just North of the Range buildings at West Gerinish.

Terry Fountain
Sunday 27th January, 2007 Iceland Gull

The Range - South Uist

   
Sunday 27th January, 2007 Glaucous Gull

Ardivachar - South Uist

   

BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH Sat 26th & Sun 27th January, 2008

Details via the above link.

How many species can you get on the Western Isles in your garden in a hour?

Leaflets in Stornoway Library and An Lanntair while seed available from a variety of outlets including Willowglen, Lewis Crofters and the Home Improvement Centre

Martin
RSPB Conservation Officer (Western Isles)

More About the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

In the late 1970s, the RSPB asked their junior members to count the birds in their gardens - over the same weekend.
It was so successful that it has been a regular event ever since.

Monitoring the garden birds helps show which birds are in need of help so that the RSPB can prioritise their bird conservation work.

Since 1979:
House sparrows count - dropped by 52%
Starling count - dropped by 76%.
Chaffinch count - increased by 36%
Great tits count - increased by 52%.

Saturday 26th January, 2008 Great White Egret

Oban Liniclate - Benbecula

   
Saturday 26th January, 2008 Ring-necked duck Loch Eaval - Near Balranald - North Uist Female bird seen here occasionally since October
  • Ring-necked duck
  • Aythya collaris
  • Scarce visitor, less than 20 annual UK records (usually 1 - 3 WI annually)
  • Small diving duck - looks like a tufted duck
  • Breeds: North America
  • Winters: South - Central America
  • Diet: (Aquatic - feeds by diving) tubers, plant seeds, molluscs, small fish, invertebrates
  • Habitat: Marsh areas, lochs, lakes, bays, rivers ( preferably with thick vegetation)
  • Grey bill has white band, head purple & shiny, white breast, yellow eyes, back grey
  • Adult female, pale brown head & body, dark brown back, dark bill has more subtle light band than male, brown eyes
  • BTO records
 
Saturday 26th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Loch Barvas - Isle of Lewis

Balranald - North Uist

Ardivachar - South Uist

   
Saturday 26th January, 2008 Snow Buntings Balranald - North Uist

There is a flock of about 100 birds at Balranald this winter

  • Snow Bunting
  • AKA: Snowflake, Snaa Fuhl
  • Plectrophenax nivalis
  • UK Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
  • AMBER LIST: UK 70 - 100 prs (Summer) 11,000 birds (Winter) RSPB
  • Breeds: 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
  • Breeding Habitat: Tundra, treeless moorland (rock crevices)
  • 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: snow bunting (RSPB site)

 

The most Northerly breeding landbird, the Inuit equivalent of our house sparrow.

Flocks in flight: Hindmost birds leap-frog the front ones, creating a blizzard-like flurry of white wings & tails-markings - hence the Orkney name snowflake

 
Saturday 26th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Stornoway - Isle of Lewis

Gramsdale - Benbecula

Balranald - North Uist

Ardivachar - South Uist

   
 

 

Western Isles Council is writing to First Minister Alex Salmond following speculation that Scottish ministers will refuse permission for the 181 turbine wind farm on Lewis.

The Scottish Government has insisted no final decision has been taken ...

Press Association web site 26th January, 2008

 

 
 

 

See more stories on this topic Saturday 26th January, 2008

 
 

The Scottish government said today that the future of the Lewis windfarm was still being considered by ministers.
politics.co.uk   Friday 25th January, 2008


 
 

 

BBC's Gaelic news service, has learned that Scottish Government ministers are going to refuse permission for the 181 turbine scheme.

BBC web site    Friday 25th January, 2008

 

 
Thursday 24th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull Loch Barvas - Isle of Lewis    
Tuesday 22nd January, 2008 Great White Egret

Loch Grogarry - Stilligarry - South Uist

NF 764 395

   
Tuesday 23rd January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

   
Monday 22nd January, 2008 American Wigeon Loch Bee - South Uist    
Sunday 20th January, 2008

Today’s list.

Glaucous Gull 3 (1stw)               Ardivachar  (just south on the edge of the Range there is some flooded land)

Iceland Gull 3 (2x1stw 1xAdult)  

Snow Bunting 8

Pink Footed Goose 7

Merlin 1

Kentish Plover was at North Bay today

Terry's photographs of the gulls:

Glaucous gull
Iceland Gull
Iceland Gulls
Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull
Iceland Gull
Glaucous gull
1st winter
Iceland Gull
1st winter

Iceland Gulls
1st winter and an adult bird

Iceland Gull
1st winter
flight
Iceland Gull
adult
flight
Iceland Gull
1st winter
flight
Iceland Gull
1st winter with Glaucous Gull 1st winter

 

Terry Fountain
Sunday 20th January, 2008 American Wigeon Loch Bee - South Uist    
Sunday 20th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

   
Sunday 20th January, 2008

 

Kentish Plover

North Bay - South Uist - Outer Hebrides

  • Kentish Plover
  • AKA: Snowy Plover
  • Charadrius alexandrinus
  • 34 annual UK records BTO
  • UK Former Breeder, Scarce Visitor
  • Breeds: "Locally" in Europe, Asia, (NOT KENT or rest of UK)
  • Winters: South Europe - Central Africa, South-East Asia
  • Habitat: Beaches, mudflats, rivers, lochs
  • Small wader, like ringed plover, but smaller, paler, longer-legged & thinner-billed. Breast band never complete, & usually as dark lateral patches on sides of breast. Greyish-brown above, white below. Summer adults' breast markings black, otherwise brown. Legs black. Flight: Flight feathers blackish & strong white wingbar
  • Diet: Inland: Insects. Coastal: Crustaceans, worms, molluscs (run & pause)
 
Sunday 20th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull Ardivachar - South Uist    
Sunday 20th January, 2008 Iceland Gull Ardivachar - South Uist    
Saturday 19th January, 2008 American Wigeon Loch Bee - South Uist    
Saturday 19th January, 2008 Bonaparte's Gull Balgarva - South Ford - South Uist
  • Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Larus philadelphia
  • UK ( in any month), accidental, 3 annual records BTO
  • Breeds: Ground-nesting or in conifers (only tree-nesting gull). Prefers lakes, marsh or bogland in coniferous woodland or forest. N North America (Alaska), Canada
  • Winters: Migrates to coastal waters: south to Mexico. (Vagrant to Western Europe), mixes with black-headed gulls
  • Small gull (31-34cm. Similar but smaller than black-headed gull. Winter head white & adult has large ear-spot. Summer adult has black hood (not brown). Short, thin & black or mainly black bill. Body mostly white with pale grey upperwings & back (extending to hind-neck in winter). Underwing pale. Wing tips dark. Short pinkish legs (orange in summer). 1st summer bird similar to first winter, but paler. Less than 5% get a dark hood in their 1st summer. Graceful tern-like flight.
  • Diet: (Foraging in flight, wading, swimming or on ground). fish, crustaceans insects, wading. Rarely scavenges.

The bird was named after Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, he was a zoologist and Napoleon's nephew:

BBRC UK Bonaparte's Gull records 2000 - 2006:
10, 1, 4, 1, 5, 4, 9.

We also had a Bonaparte's Gull in Ardvule, South Uist on 2nd September 2007.

 
Saturday 19th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Ardivachar - South Uist

Loch Bhruda - North Uist

Gramsdale - Benbecula

   
Saturday 19th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Ardivachar - South Uist

Gramsdale - Benbecula

   
Friday 18th January, 2008 Iceland Gull Stornoway Harbour - Isle of Lewis    
Friday 18th January, 2008 American Herring Gull Steinish Estuary - Nr Stornoway - Isle of Lewis

The American herring gull is apparently similar to the herring gull, but a little larger and heavier, with a stronger bill, smaller head, with a flatter forehead.

The American herring gull is slimmer than the glaucous gull with a rounder head, eyes that are more centrally placed, a more slender bill, and with a less clear *gonys-angle (*not in my dictionary - please can anyone explain this?) and a narrower tip.

The gull's head often peaks on the crown well behind eyes. When it has settled it shows 3 or 4 equally spaced primary tips beyond tail.

Distinguishing the American herring gull from the herring gull is described as straighforward in first years (!) but otherwise extremely difficult, and for older birds is often impossible.

Apparently sound recordings of the American herring gull played to herring gulls in Western Europe got no response. (So perhaps they are unlikely to cross-breed and make identification even more difficult...)

*"Gonys-angle: this is difficult without drawing a picture, it's the angular bit of the lower mandible near the tip of the bill you should be looking at. Less pronounced in the American Herring Gull than say a Glaucous Gull"

Carl Chapman

 
Friday 18th January, 2008

A couple for today, the Bonaparte’s thanks to Steve Duffield.

Glaucous Gull 1             Ardivachair, South Uist

Bonaparte’s Gull 1         Ardivachair

 

Bonaparte’s Gull Bonaparte’s Gull Bonaparte’s Gull
Terry's photographs of the Bonaparte's Gull
Terry Fountain
Thursday 17th January, 2008 Hooded Crow Point - Isle of Lewis

Hooded Crow Andy's photographs of the hooded crow playing ball

what do you think of these couple of shots i took today of a local hoodie playing ball lol .I have seen them picking up objects before and drop them but this one picked up and droped this several times at one stage dropping the ball into a pool of water and then retrieving it . I have numerous shots of it in flight with it too it was something else

  • Hooded Crow
  • AKA: Hoodie, Hoodiecrow, Militia Crow, Scotch Crow, Danish Crow, Denmarks, Norway Crow, Dun Crow, Grey-backed Crow, Winter Crow, Grey Crow, Corby, Corbie, Royston Crow, (Some of these are for the hooded or the carrion crow) Gaelic: Feannag, Starrag
  • Corvus cornix
  • Western Isles: Common Resident Breeder,
  • UK summer 214,000 pairs BTO
  • Distribution: (North & West) Scotland, Europe, Asia
    Mostly bulky stick nests in tall trees, also cliff ledges (then uses seaweed in nest), buildings, pylons. Preferred breeding habitat: boggy areas
  • Diet: Omnivorous: Insects, grain, eggs (inc from puffin burrows), carrion, scraps (drops shellfish to break open)
  • Black and glossy head, throat, wings, tail & thighs. Otherwise contrasting ash-grey. Bill & legs black. Male largest otherwise sexes similar. Flight: slow, heavy, straight. Fledglings much blacker than parents. Juveniles duller plumage
  • listen to a hooded crow (RSPB site)

In the back issues of RSPB Birds magazine there is a series of articles about crow antics. Someone wrote about how they had seen a carrion crow pick up a piece of slate in it's beak, put it on the centre of their perspex skylight dome, jump on it and slide down SEVERAL TIMES

 

Andy L

Thursday 17th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull West Gerenish - South Uist

Glaucous Gull 1

Terry F

         

RSPB Scotland today called on Scottish Government Ministers not to be swayed by the spin of developers who want to build a massive wind farm in one of Europe's most highly protected wildlife sites ...

www.wildlifeextra.com 17th January, 2008

Wednesday 16th January, 2008 Barnacle Geese Loch Tiumpan - Tiumpanhead - Isle of Lewis

what an awesome day it was today i did get out for a short time and managed to photograph a few barnacle geese there were approx 30 of them on loch Tiumpan Point and managed to get a couple of flight shots.

Barnacle Geese Iceland Gull
Andy's photographs of the
Barnacle Geese

 

Andy L

Tuesday 15th January, 2008 American Wigeon Loch Bee - South Uist    
Tuesday 15th January, 2008 Mandarin Duck

Oban Truimsgarry - North Uist
NF 767 470

+Clachan - North Uist

Hen bird

 

MF

Tuesday 15th January, 2008 Glaucous Gulls The Range - South Uist    
Tuesday 15th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Gramsdail - North Ford - Benbecula
NF 815 556

+Loch Dusaray?

   
Tuesday 15th January, 2008 Snow Buntings

RSPB Balranald - North Uist

Loch Bee - South Uist

   
Tuesday 15th January, 2008 Ring-necked Duck

Loch Eaval - North Uist

A865 Opposite Hogha Gearraidh turnoff, near RSPB Balranald
NF719720

   
Tuesday 15th January, 2008 Goldfinches Callanish - Isle of Lewis

Two goldfinches in my garden for the first time ever - very exciting!

Ela S
Monday 14th January, 2008 What an absolutely gorgeous day that was. I may have stayed up all night, but the weather certainly woke me up and got me out snapping. Pictures of Egret and a Teal attached,
Great White Egret Great White Egret

Teal

Great White Egret Great White Egret Teal

 

G W Egret 1 LochGrogarry, South Uist

Greenshank 1 West Gerinish

Merlin 1 Balgarva

Glaucous Gull 3 West Gerinish-Ardivachair

Terry Fountain
Monday 14th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Loch Barvas - Isle of Lewis

NB 345 504

   
Monday 14th January, 2008 Scaup Loch Bee - South Uist    
Monday 14th January, 2008 Common Redpoll Stoneybridge - South Uist    
Sunday 13th January, 2008 Great White Egret

Loch Grogarry - Stilligarry - South Uist

NF 764 395

   
Sunday 13th January, 2008

 

Kentish Plover

Lochdar - South Uist - Outer Hebrides

(just before Hebridean Jewellers park on left)

NF 815 558

 

 

 

Sunday 13th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

Drake bird

based on Neill Hunt's notes

There are about 18 UK lesser scaup sites so far this year RBB.
BTO records show about 2 birds a year
BBRC records show 14 for 2006, as highest number in any year.

 
Sunday 13th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull


(2 birds) Ardivachar
NF 741 459

Drimsdale
NF 749 376

South Uist

   
Sunday 13th January, 2008 Iceland Gull
(2) Ardivachar -
South Uist
NF 741 459
   
Sunday 13th January, 2008 Great Northern Diver

Croir - Great Bernera

NB 152 401

Winter adult

SK
Friday 11th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

  Terry F
Saturday 12th January, 2008 Grey Phalarope

Coot Loch - Benbecula

NF770509

   
Friday 11th January, 2008 Iceland Gull

Gramsdail - North Ford - Benbecula
NF 815 556


(2) Ardivachar -
South Uist
NF 741 459

Loch Stiapabhat (at least 2 birds in the general area)
NB 528 642
+ Shader
NB 378 548
Isle of Lewis

I have attached pic’s of the Iceland (Gramsdale),a Grey Plover and G N Diver at Stinky Bay.

Iceland Gull Iceland Gull Iceland Gull

Terry's photographs of the Iceland Gull

Terry Fountain
Friday 11th January, 2008 Grey Plover

Stinky Bay - Benbecula

NF 760 539

Grey Plover
Terry's photograph of the Grey Plover

 

Terry Fountain
Friday 11th January, 2008 Great Northern Diver

Stinky Bay - Benbecula

NF 760 539

Great Northern DiverTerry's photograph of the Great Northern Diver

Terry Fountain
Friday 11th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF 770 510

  Terry F
  Coot Stornoway - Isle of Lewis

Had a reliable report of a Coot seen crossing the road from Engy's garage into the large drainage ditch a couple of days ago.

Two or more coots are called a covert or cover of coot.

The white frontal plate above the bill is fleshy and has no feathers, and is where the phrase "bald as a coot" comes from.

Grahame & Jackie
Thursday 10th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Balgarva - South Uist

+ Loch Barvas - Isle of Lewis

NB 345 504

1st yr Glaucous Gull Balgarva (heading off to roost with other gulls).

Terry F
Thursday 10th January, 2008 Iceland Gull Stornoway Harbour - Isle of Lewis    
         
Tuesday 8th January, 2008 Woodcock Eaval - North Uist

One for today  Woodcock 1      Eaval (North Uist)

Terry Fountain
  White-tailed Eagle Uists White-tailed EagleI have attached a photo taken on the 7th January of a young White Tailed Eagle.

Terry Fountain
Tuesday 8th January, 2008 Hen Harrier

Barraglom - Great Bernera

NB 163 354

Male bird hunting low beside the road at Barraglom, flew over Loch Niosabhat then climbed high and back to Barraglom crossing the road and heading due west toward Uig

Suzanne
Tuesday 8th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF770510

   
Tuesday 8th January, 2008 Iceland Gull North Ford - Benbecula    
Monday 7th January, 2008

 

Kentish Plover

Lochdar - South Uist - Outer Hebrides

(just before Hebridean Jewellers park on left)

 

 

 

Sunday 6th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Loch Barvas - Isle of lewis

NB3450

Glaucous GullI have attached an image of the juvenile Glaucous Gull that has been hanging about Barvas.
The photo was taken by my Callum my 11 years old son

Callum and Frank Stark
Sunday 6th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF770510

   
Sunday 6th January, 2008 Goldeneye

(2 Pairs) Loch near Bernera Shop
+ (1pair) Loch near Bac Memorial - Isle of lewis

  SK
Sunday 6th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF770510

   
Saturday 5th January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Loch Barvas - Isle of lewis

NB3450

   
Friday 4th January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF770510

   
Thursday 4th January, 2008

Here are a few sightings for today with some pics.  I am hoping to get a few of the Quadrantids Meteor Shower during the wee hours also.

Grey Phalarope             Stinky Bay
Knot                             Stinky Bay
Lesser Scaup                Coot Loch
Scaup                           Coot Loch
Kentish Plover               South Ford

Grey Phalarope Grey Phalarope Grey Phalarope Knot
Grey Phalarope Grey Phalarope Grey Phalarope Knot
Terry F
         
Thursday 3rd January, 2008 Grey Phalarope Stinky Bay - Benbecula    
Thursday 3rd January, 2008

 

Kentish Plover

Lochdar - South Uist - Outer Hebrides

(just before Hebridean Jewellers park on left)

 

 

Terry F

Thursday 3rd January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF770510

   
Wednesday 2nd January, 2008

Here are some sighting’s for yesterday (Bird Race) and today.

1/1

Grey Phalarope              Stinky Bay
Lesser Scaup                Coot Loch
Scaup                           Coot Loch
Fieldfare                        Lochcarnan
Gold Finch                    Aird
Linnet                           Aird

2/1
Grey Phalarope              Stinky Bay (pics attached)

Grey Phalarope Grey Phalarope

 

Terry Fountain
Tuesday 1st January, 2008

Lesser Scaup

Scaup

Coot Loch - Benbecula

Far end of loch (opposite Borgh on B892)

NF770510

   
Tuesday 1st January, 2008 Grey Phalarope Stinky Bay - Benbecula    
Tuesday 1st January, 2008 Glaucous Gull

Creagorry - Benbecula

   

 

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