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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : September 2007

 

 

 

 

This table is Hebrides Bird Sightings period September 2007
Sun 30th September, 2007 Snowy Owl Aird Uig - Uig - Isle of Lewis    
Sun 30th September, 2007 Lapland Bunting Nr Snishival + Loch Druidbeag + West Gerenish - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Sun 30th September, 2007 Pied Flycatcher S Glendale - South Uist - Outer Hebrides
  • 32,000 pairs in UK (Late April - September visitor)
  • Breeds: Europe, North-West Asia
  • Winters: Africa
  • Habitat: Mature woodland, open forest, (prefers oaks) town parks & gardens
  • Bit smaller than house sparrow, looks a bit like a pied wagtail
  • Male mostly black upperparts, white below, bold white patch on folded wing.
  • Female browner
  • Diet: Insects, (feeds caterpillars to nestlings), fruit & seeds late summer & on migration
  • BTO records
  • Listen to a pied flycatcher on RSPB site
 
Sun 30th September, 2007 Ring-necked Duck Nr Snishival - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Sun 30th September, 2007 Yellow-browed Warbler Snishival - South Uist
+ Benbecula - Outer Hebrides
   
Sun 30th September, 2007 Barred Warbler Castlebay - Barra    
Sun 30th September, 2007 Common Rosefinch Barra    
Sat 29th September, 2007 Marsh Warbler Howmore - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Sat 29th September, 2007 Ring Ouzel Barra - Outer Hebrides

(The real McCoy this time... )

  • 6,500 pairs in the UK - in decline - on the Red List
  • Migrant breeder, passage visitor
  • Arrive March, April leave in September
  • Winters: Africa and Middle East
  • Diet: Spring-early summer earthworms and insects, otherwise mostly berries
  • Like a blackbird but males have a pale wing panel and striking white breast band.
  • Shy, but often with other thrushes after breeding season
  • BTO records
  • Listen to a ring ouzel on the RSPB site
 
Sat 29th September, 2007 Yellow-browed Warbler Snishival - South Uist
+ Benbecula - Outer Hebrides
   
Sat 29th September, 2007 Pied Flycatcher Barra - Outer Hebrides    
Sat 29th September, 2007 Lesser Whitethroat Barra - Outer Hebrides
  • Secretive warbler
  • Migrant breeder, passage visitor
  • Arrives: April - May
  • Leaves: August - September
  • Estimated 64,000 pairs in UK (summer)
  • Breeds: Eurasia
  • Winters: Africa - india
  • Diet: Autumn berries, insects (nectar pre-migration)
  • Habitat: Scrub, semi-desert! hedges!
  • Breaking cover shows white outer tail feathers
  • Looks like has a mask: dark cheek feathers contrasting with white throat
  • BTO records
  • Listen to a lesser whitethroat on the RSPB site
 
Fri 28th September, 2007 Yellow-browed Warbler South Glendale - South Uist    
Fri 28th September, 2007 Lapland Bunting Ardvule - South Uist    
Fri 28th September, 2007 Glaucous Gull Butt of Lewis + Knockaird - Outer Hebrides  
Fri 28th September, 2007 American Golden Plover Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides
  • Just 5 UK annual records
  • Breeds in North America
  • Winters in South America
  • Often when found is in company of golden plover
  • Habitat tundra (migration mudflats, grazing land)
  • Usually greyer, less yellow-brown than golden plovers, stonger head pattern
  • Diet: insects, seeds, leaves, berries
  • BTO records
 
Fri 28th September, 2007 Lesser Whitethroat Carnan - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 28th September, 2007 Ring Ouzel Brue - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 28th September, 2007 Greenfinch Great Bernera "The greenfinch are back - they have been away since spring." Sunny
Fri 28th September, 2007 Snowy Owl North of Brue - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides

Please do not enter the crofts as the bird is easily disturbed

See Mark Witherall's photo of a Brue Snowy Owl last year

 
Fri 28th September, 2007 Spotted Sandpiper Bragar - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 28th September, 2007 Dotterel Bornish Machair - South Uist - Outer Hebrides
  • Medium size plover
  • 630 pairs in UK in summer - Amber list
  • Breeds: UK - Europe, Asia, Alaska
  • Winters: Mediterranean
  • Habitat: "High tops" grassland with stones (on migration mudflats)
  • Diet: Insects, small invertebrates & spiders (from under stones...)
  • Female more bright in colour than male
  • Adults mostly grey-brown upperparts, bright chestnut belly, a white chest band, throat and eyestripe, dark cap
  • Male stays on the nest & incubates the eggs
  • Listen to a dotterel on the RSPB site
  • BTO records
 
Thu 27th September, 2007 Little Bunting Carnan - South Uist - Outer Hebrides
  • 29 annual UK records
  • Breeds: Europe & North Asia coniferous forest
  • Winters: South Europe, South Asia
  • Diet: Seeds (breeding season also small invertebrates)
  • Looks like a small (female) reed bunting but black crown stripes, white eye-ring, dark border at rear of it's chestnut cheeks
  • BTO records
 
Wed 26th September, 2007 Glaucous Gull Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Wed 26th September, 2007 Pectoral Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides
  • 56 UK records a year (BTO)
  • Fat-bodied, small-headed , larger than dunlin
  • males in breeding season have an inflatable throat sac - expands and contracts rhythmically during display flights and it creates a series of hollow hoots
  • wet fields , freshwater pools, marsh or lochsides, boggy ground on (migration mudflats)
  • breeds on the Arctic coast of East Siberia, North America, winters in South America
  • ID amongst waders - sharp contrast between the dark-patterned chest and the white belly AKA the pectoral line
  • Yellowish legs, bill has pale base
  • 2 pairs of white lines down the back like a pair of braces.
 
Head up! It's shrike time...who is going to see one first?
Tue 25th September, 2007 Great Shearwater Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Tue 25th September, 2007 Sooty Shearwater Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides
  • Seabird which breeds in Island burrows (not ours!)
  • Feeds mostly on small squid and fish at the surface
  • Good sense of smell
  • Smaller than a herring gull
  • Dark brown body, long wings (pale band underneath)
  • In summer/autumn it is on it's way back to the Southern Ocean to breed
  • See from sea-watching places
 
Tue 25th September, 2007 Sabine's Gull Shawbost - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides
See Martin's photo of the Sabine's gull
  • Passage visitor
  • 140 annual UK records
  • Breeds: Arctic (forms colonies)
  • Winters: Pacific and Atlantic Ocean
  • Habitat: Coastal wet heath during breding season, mostly at sea otherwise
  • Diet: Fish and small invertebrates
  • Smaller than a black-headed gull
  • Juvenile sounds like a young tern
  • BTO records
 
Tue 25th September, 2007 Glaucous Gull Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Monday 24th September, 2007 American Golden Plover Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides

See Martin's photo of the American Golden Plover

See Martin's photo of the American Golden Plover

Martin S

John Burgis

News from Iceland over the last few days (our neighbours of the moment...)

Blue-winged teals, Canada goose, long-billed dowitchers,American golden plover, buff-breasted sandpiper, snow goose, Bonaparte's gull, Eurasian curlew, spotted sandpiper, bar-tailed godwit, American wigeon...

 

Monday 24th September, 2007 Pectoral Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Monday 24th September, 2007 North Western Redpoll Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides

100+

Martin S
Monday 24th September, 2007 Common Rosefinch North Bay - Barra - Outer Hebrides    
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Baird's Sandpiper Loch Paible - North Uist
+Butt of Lewis
  • Only 4 UK records annually
  • Breeds: Northern tundra - East Siberia to West Greenland
  • Winters: South America
  • Habitat Coastal & Alpine tundra (migration mudflats, grazing land)
  • Diet mostly insects, small crustaceans
  • BTO site says a Baird's Sandpiper lays a clutch of eggs that is up to 120% of her body mass in four days...
  • May be hybriding with white-rumped sandpiper
 
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel      
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Grey Phalarope      
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Sooty Shearwater      
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Storm Petrel  
  • Smallest of the seabirds 12-26cm
  • Relatives of the petrels
  • Feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface (whilst hovering)
  • Fluttering sometimes bat-like flight.
 
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Sabine's Gull Ardvule Point - South Uist    
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 American Golden Plover Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Pectoral Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Pale-bellied Brent Geese Ardvule - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Ruff South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Sunday 23rd September, 2007 Lapland Bunting The Range - South Uist
+ Butt of Lewis
   
Sat 22nd September, 2007 American Golden Plover Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sat 22nd September, 2007 Baird's Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sat 22nd September, 2007 Lapland Bunting Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 Sabine's Gull Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 Great Shearwater Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 Grey Phalarope Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 American Golden Plover Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 Snowy Owl Mangersta - Uig - Isle of lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 21st September, 2007 Baird's Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Thu 20th September, 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel Ardvule - South Uist
+ Brue - Isle of lewis - Outer Hebrides
   
Thu 20th September, 2007 Whimbrel Ardvule - South Uist
  • 350 pairs breeding in the UK
  • 3000 birds UK passage - winters South Africa
  • like a curlew (is bit smaller), In flight, shows a white 'V' shape up its back from the tail.
  • Very distinct dark stripe eye to bill, pale mid-crown stripe
  • distinctive call hear it on RSPB site
  • Tundra, moor, heath, on passage marsh & estuary
 
Thu 20th September, 2007 Grey Phalarope Ardvule - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Thu 20th September, 2007 Sooty Shearwater Ardvule - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Thu 20th September, 2007 Sabine's Gull Ardvule - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 Cormorant Branahuie - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides "Spotted a Cormorant diving off Branahuie / Melbost beach. Absolutley spectacular as the sea was very calm"
Steve
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 Snowy Owl Mangersta - Uig - Isle of lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 Lapland Buntings Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 Little Stint Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 Snow Bunting Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 Lapland Bunting Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Wednesday 19th September, 2007 American Golden Plover Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Tues 18th September, 2007 Lapland Buntings Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Tues 18th September, 2007 Little Stint Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Tues 18th September, 2007 Baird's Sandpiper Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sun 16th September, 2007 Lapland Buntings Balranald - North Uist
+ Butt of Lewis
   
Sun 16th September, 2007 Curlew Sandpiper Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sun 16th September, 2007 Little Stint Loch Paible -Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sat 15th September, 2007 Sooty Shearwater Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Sat 15th September, 2007 Pectoral Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 14th September, 2007 Grey Phalarope Ardvule Point - South Uist    
Fri 14th September, 2007 Buff-breasted Sandpiper Loch Bee - South Uist
  • Dunlin sized wader
  • Black eye on plain face, pale eye ring
  • Legs mustard yellow
  • Less than 20 UK records annually
  • Diet: mostly invertebrates, plant seeds
  • Habitat is tundra, grazing land, machair, estuaries, golf courses, air fields, pools or mudflats on the sea shore - prefers dry or short grass...
  • Breeds in Northern Canada
  • Winters in South America
  • BTO records

In 2005 Andy Robinson managed to get an American Golden Plover and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper - in the same picture!

 
Fri 14th September, 2007 Sooty Shearwater Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 14th September, 2007 Great Shearwater Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Fri 14th September, 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel Butt of Lewis - Outer Hebrides    
Thur 13th September, 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel Ardvule - South Uist    
Thur 13th September, 2007 Whimbrel South Uist    
Thur 13th September, 2007 Glaucous Gull South Uist    
Thur 13th September, 2007 Buff-breasted Sandpiper Loch Bee - South Uist    
Wed 12th September, 2007 Sparrowhawk Point - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides "i saw a sparrow hawk in Bayble and another on a croft post in Portvoller . As usual excellent photo opportunity but no camera with me when will i learn ?" Andy L
Wed 12th September, 2007 Lapland Buntings Labost - Isle of Lewis    
Wed 12th September, 2007 Great Shearwater Labost - Isle of Lewis    
Wed 12th September, 2007 Pectoral Sandpiper Balgarva    
Wed 12th September, 2007 Red-backed Shrike Castlebay - Barra    
Wed 12th September, 2007 Rose-coloured Starling Castlebay - Barra    
Tue 11th September, 2007 Mediterranean Gull Ardvule - South Uist
  • Bit bigger than a black-headed gull
  • head is black in the breeding season
  • Estimated UK breeding population 90 -100 prs
  • Adults white wing-tips and underwings, juveniles have more wing markings
  • large, slightly drooped beak - adult's is bright red
  • Amber List species
  • Summer diet: insects,
  • Winter diet: marine fish and molluscs
  • RSPB info
  • BTO info
 

Headsup!

Some of the reports to the Icelandic Bird Pages over the last day or two which have differed from ours include American Wigeon, Bue-winged teal, and snow geese....

 

Tue 11th September, 2007 Little Stint Balgarve - Little Uist    
Tue 11th September, 2007 Booted Warbler Barra    
Tue 11th September, 2007 Slavonian Grebe Loch Eilean an Staoir    
Tue 11th September, 2007 Buff-breasted Sandpiper Baleshare - South Uist    
Tue 11th September, 2007 Lapland Buntings Baleshare - South Uist    
Tue 11th September, 2007 Wood Sandpiper Howmore - South Uist    
Mon 10th September 2007 Sabine's Gull Aird an Runair + Griminish - North Uist
+ Barra
   
Mon 10th September 2007 Arctic Skua Aird an Runair + Griminish - North Uist    
Mon 10th September 2007 Wood Sandpiper Howmore - South Uist    
Mon 10th September 2007 Mediterranean Gull Ardvule - South Uist    
Mon 10th September 2007 Blue Fulmar  
  • A colour phase of the Fulmar - Fulmarus glacialis
  • The usual white plumage is replaced by grey.
  • Not regarded as a subspecies
  • This phase can be predominant in an Arctic population
 
Mon 10th September 2007 Great Skua Butt of Lewis    
Mon 10th September 2007 Arctic Terns Griminish - North Uist    
Mon 10th September 2007 Pale-bellied Brent Geese Griminish - North Uist    
Mon 10th September 2007 Storm Petrel Butt of Lewis
+ Griminish - North Uist
   
Mon 10th September 2007 Pomarine Skua Butt of Lewis
+ Barra
   
Mon 10th September 2007 Baird's Sandpiper Butt of Lewis - Ness - Outer Hebrides    
Mon 10th September 2007 Great Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost
+ Barra
Lots of Great shearwater on the move too  
Mon 10th September 2007 Grey Phalarope Butt of Lewis    
Mon 10th September 2007 Sooty Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost
+ Griminish - North Uist
THOUSANDS of sooty's on the move this weekend  
Mon 10th September 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel Butt of Lewis    
Sun 9th September 2007 Great Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost + Griminish + Ardvule - South Uist    
Sun 9th September 2007 Wood Sandpiper Howmore - South Uist    
Sun 9th September 2007 Lapland Buntings Orasay - South Uist    
Sun 9th September 2007 Sooty Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost + Griminish + Ardule - South Uist    
Sun 9th September 2007 Red-throated Diver Butt of Lewis    
Sun 9th September 2007 Pomarine Skua Brue - Isle of Lewis
+ Griminish - South Uist
   
Sun 9th September 2007 Great Skua Butt of Lewis    
Sun 9th September 2007 Storm Petrel Butt of Lewis    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Sabine's Gull Butt of Lewis    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Leach's Storm Petrel Butt of Lewis    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Great Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Sooty Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Cory's Shearwater Butt of Lewis + Labost    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Lapland Bunting Butt of Lewis    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Kestrels Linshader - Uig 2 Ceri D
Sat 8th September, 2007 Little Stint Balgarva - South Uist    
Sat 8th September, 2007 Buff-brested Sandpiper Balgarva - South Uist (also seen on Kilda around this time0  
Sat 8th September, 2007 American Golden Plover Ardivachar - South Uist    
Fri 7th Sept, 2007 9 Black tailed Godwit, a buff breasted Sandpiper and a flock of around 20+ twite on the machair around Loch Siapabhat LNR.
Julie S
Wed 5th September, 2007 Glaucous Gull Stornoway - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides

Goat Island again - early AM

Wendy

I have seen recently which I haven't seen before is a sky full of skylarks ?? Flocking together and moving on .--- could these be skylarks migrating ? They were not settled for a clear observation and the wind was low but from the west
Chris B

Peter Cunningham wrote in his excellent book Birds of the Outer Hebrides that it has been suggested that in Autumn the Skylarks which have been in our island in the Summer leave, and their place is taken by visitors coming down from the North.

Birds of the Outer Hebrides
Peter Cunningham
Mercat Press
ISBN 0 906664 00 0

(The meadow pipits are also forming flocks, some will stay on the moor over winter, many will migrate).


A visit to the Icelandic Bird Pages to see their recent sightings is often interesting for our area - On Friday the 31st August they had a Common Rosefinch - we had two reported the same day...recently they had sightings of a Sabine's gull, sooty and great shearwater, willow warbler same as us, but additionally a Eurasian common dove, American Golden Plover, bar-tailed godwit, Eurasian curlews, white-rumped sandpiper and barn swallows so who knows what the wind will bring in when next it turns...exciting times ahead

Mon 3rd September, 2007 Glaucous Gull Howmore River - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    
Mon 3rd September, 2007 Lapland Bunting Glendale - South Uist - Outer Hebrides    

 

"We are a bit puzzled about the appearance of a pair of raptors in the Lochs area. We spotted a buzzard size bird (slightly smaller than) on a telegraph post some weeks ago. We were actually looking down on it from the road and it had a brown to golden back. As I have been away for a number of weeks I forgot to report it. This weekend both myself and our neighbours have seen this bird again and have had got quite a good look at it. In my expert (err...) opinion and from all the bird books and websites I have looked at, I think its a Marsh Harrier. I know this is very unlikely but:

It has a slightly longer tail than a buzzard, has yellow feet, it hovers almost kestrel like, and has a very distinct call unlike the buzzard's 'meow', it was almost like a sort of chirping. Our neighbours think there was a pair of them last night and they were feeding a youngster. They probably got a better look than I did at the pair together but from what I have seen and heard for myself I am sticking my neck out with the Marsh Harrier theory. It could be a hen harrier I guess, but its flight pattern and the hovering business don't stack for a hen harrier.

Am I horribly wrong?!

Helen "

Comments anyone?

Isle of Lewis Marsh Harrier reports that I could find over the last 5 years or so are of two birds one at Point, one at Ness.
(3 other other reports in the Uists) all in April or May.

Robert G

The photos that I was sent of this/these birds by the observers show a Buzzard, and not a Marsh Harrier. Buzzards can be very variable.

MArtin Scott RSPB

Sun 2rd September, 2007 Bonaparte's Gull Ardvule - South Uist - Outer Hebrides
  • Between 1958-2004 there were 118 UK records
  • Only gull to nest in trees!
  • BTO records
Sun 2nd September, 2007

Sooty Shearwater

Long-tailed Skua

Sabine's Gull

Labost - Outer Hebrides    
Sun 2nd September, 2007

Peregrine Falcon

Lesser Yellowlegs

Penerine - South Uist
- Outer Hebrides
   
Sun 2nd September, 2007 Grey Phalarope Ardvule - South Uist
+ Labost - Outer Hebrides
   
         

 

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