Recent Sightings

Bird and other Natural History Sightings in the Outer Hebrides.

Please note that the sightings below do not reflect the variety of species you can see in a normal day out birding or wildlife watchinthg. These reports concentrate on more unusual species or significant counts or movements.

To report sightings please contact Steve at: steveduffield70@gmail.com

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20th October:

North Uist: 70 Barnacle Geese flew south-east over Carinish this morning. 2 Jack Snipe and a Wheatear were at Balranald today; plus a Bonxie was off Aird an Runair.

South Uist: Seawatching at Ardvule (0815 1000) produced a Manx Shearwater, Great Skua, 185 Kittiwakes, 20 Great Northern Divers and 35 Black-tailed Godwits. A male Blackcap was at North Loch Eynort.

Long-tailed Duck, Grey Heron and Redwing (John Kemp)

19th October:

North Uist: A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Carinish today.

South Uist: A seawatch from Ardvule (0805 1345) produced a southerly passage of 429 Gannets, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Fulmars, 1 Storm Petrel, 26 Great Northern Divers, 391 Kittiwakes, 3 Great Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 6 Pomarine Skuas, 394 Guillemots, 15 Razorbills, 381 Auks sp., 6 Black Guillemots, 31 Long-tailed Ducks and 60 Black-tailed Godwits. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull and 2 immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls were at Ardivachar. A Wheatear was at Balgarva. A female Blackcap is in South Glendale. A Ring Ouzel, 30 Redwings, 5 Bramblings and 4 Siskins were at North Loch Eynort today. 20 Bramblings were seen going to roost in Bornish tonight.

Mediterranean Gull (Steve Duffield)

18th October:

North Uist: A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Carinish first thing in the morning.

South Uist: The White-rumped Sandpiper was off Hebridean Jewellery this morning. A Brent Goose was in the south-west corner of Loch Bee. A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was in the south bay at Ardvule this afternoon. 10 Siskins were at North Loch Eynort.

17th October:

North Uist: A male Blackcap is at Carinish. A Fieldfare was at Clachan. 6 Siskins, 2 redpolls and a Brambling are at Langass Lodge. A Wheatear was at Aird an Runair and 18 Barnacle Geese flew south here around mid-day. Another Wheatear was near Balranald visitor centre.

South Uist: The juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was seen at Baltgarva again this evening.

16th October:

Lewis: 15 Pink-footed Geese dropped in at Port of Ness and a further 55 flew south-east there this morning. A Turtle Dove and Blue Tit were also at Port of Ness and a Jack Snipe was at the Butt.

South Uist: 2 Woodcock, 7 Siskin, Brambling, 15 Redwing at North Loch Eynort, plus 6 Barnacle Geese heading north-west. 3 Bramblings were on the shore at Peninerine and 3 Barnacle Geese flew south. A Yellow-browed Warbler, Chiffchaff, female Blackcap, 3 Fieldfare and 50 Redwings were at Druidibeg. A Wheatear was at Balgarva. 413 Barnacle Geese flew south in 25 minutes at Ardvule this morning; also 19 Black-tailed Godwits in south bay and a Wheatear present.

15th October:

Lewis: 5 Jack Snipe were by the lighthouse at the Butt this morning. 500 Golden Plover and 100+ Snipe were at Eoropie. A Goldeneye and 2 Common Redpolls were at Loch Stiapabhat. A Turtle Dove and ringtail Hen Harrier were in Port of Ness.

North Uist: A mixed flock of 34 geese over Langass included 32 Barnacle and 2 Pink-feet heading south-east; also 30 Bramblings and a couple of Siskins there. 2 Chiffchaffs were at Scotvein, Grimsay this afternoon.

Benbecula: 15 Barnacle Geese flew south-east over Balivanich in the afternoon and a Chiffchaff was also seen.

South Uist: The juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was at Balgarva again today. 3 Bramblings and 8 Redwings were at Howmore this evening, plus 5 Barnacle Geese flew south. 2 Blackcaps are in South Glendale. 1,234 Barnacle Geese flew south (08:25 - 10:40). Ardvule. A Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Bramblings and 30 Redwings were at North Loch Eynort. 40 Black-tailed Godwits and a Ruff were on the south side of Ardvule.

                                                                                                                  Whooper Swans (Paul Ross); Barnacle Geese and White-rumped Sandpiper (John Kemp)

14th October:

Lewis: A ringtail Hen Harrier, Common Redpoll, Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff are in Port of Ness.

South Uist: 2 Blackcaps, a Common Redpoll and a Brambling in South Glendale. 19 Bramblings were at Smerclate and 8 Whooper Swans flew south. A Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Blackcaps and 4 Fieldfare were in Druidibeg plantation. 8 Redwings and a Chiffchaff were at Loch Eynort. A Fieldfare and 15 Redwings were at Ormiclate. 23 Barnacle Geese came in off the sea at Ardvule whilst 6 Long-tailed Ducks and a Goldeneye were on the loch there; also 7 Black-tailed Godwits. 25 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Bramblings were at Ardivachar.

Insects: A Red-line Quaker and 5 Small Wainscots were caught on Eriskay last night. 2 Angle Shades, a Dark Sword-grass and Brindled Ochre were caught in South Glendale. A Black Darter was seen at Loch Carnan today.

Reed Bunting, Turnstone and Redpoll (John Kemp)

13th October:

Lewis: A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Willoglen, Stornoway today with a Chiffchaff and Grey Wagtail nearby. Around 50 Bramblings were in the Castle Grounds and good numbers of Goldfinch were around. 3 Jack Snipe were at the Butt and a flock of 12 Greenland White-fronted Geese flew south-west over there late morning. 3 Common Redpolls (north-western) were at Eoropie.

North Uist: A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Clachan na Luib this morning and 40 Chaffinch flew south over Carinish. A Common Redpoll was by Loch Sandary.

Benbecula: 13 Barncale Geese came in off the sea at Stinky Bay. 5 Bramblings were at Torlum.

South Uist: A juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was at Balgarva this afternoon. A wing-tagged Marsh Harrier flew east at Loch Bee. 38 Black-tailed Godwits were at Ardivachar. 2 Blackcaps and a Brambling were in South Glendale. 36 Black-tailed Godwits were at Ardvule with 10 Pintail and 27 Brent Geese heading south. 15 Whooper Swans were on Loch Bornish. 6 Bramblings, a Chiffchaff and 5 Redwings at Loch Druidibeg, plus 20 Barnacle Geese south there. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Bornish plus 20 Whooper Swans flew south over there.

Barra: A Common Rosefinch was in Castle Bay today; also 5 Yellow-browed Warblers on the island. Also a Mistle Thrush, Yellowhammer and a Redstart.

                                                                                                                White-rumped Sandpiper (John Kemp); Long-tailed Ducks and Pintail (Paul Ross)

12th October:

Lewis: 11 Snow Buntings and a Jack Snipe were at the Butt this morning. A Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a male Blackcap and 2 Siskins were in Port of Ness.

North Uist: The Tree Pipit is still in Carinish this morning with 5 Whooper Swans over this afternoon. 40 Bramblings were at Cnoc a Lin machair with 2 Brent Geese and 100 Snipe at Rubh' Arnal. A Yellow-browed Warbler and Blackcap were at Langass Lodge. 18 Barnacle Geese heading south and a Wheatear were on Baleshare this morning. 2 Lesser Whitethroats were in Knockintorran. 45 Bramblings were by the visitor centre at Balarnald. A Short-eared Owl, Snow Bunting, Water Rail and Common Scoter were at Aird an Runair. 58 Bramblings were on Berneray.

Benbecula: 3 Bramblings and a Chiffchaff were in Torlum. 2 Wheatears were at Borve Point.

South Uist: 3 Blackcaps in South Glendale. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Chiffchaff, 10 Bramblings and 4 Common Redpoll were at North Loch Eynort today. A Yellow-browed Warbler and 2 Common Redpolls were in Bornish. 28 Slavonian Grebes were off Balgarva. A Lapland Bunting was on Kilaulay machair. A Chiffchaff was at Druidibeg. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and 35 Bramblings were in Lochboisdale first thing this morning and 8 Whooper Swans flew south in the evening.

Barra: A Cetti's Warbler (2nd for Scotland) was reported from Nasg on the west side of Castle Bay this afternoon. A Marsh Warbler was also trapped near Gleann.

Insects: A very late Snout, single Brindled Ochre, Dark Sword-grass, Red Sword-grass, 5 Small Wainscot and a Diamond-back Moth were trapped in South Glendale last night.

                                  Tree Pipit and Wheatear (Steve Duffield); Diamond-back Moth, Red Sword-grass and Snout (John Kemp)

11th October:

Lewis: 4 Snow Buntings were at the Butt and a male Red-breasted Flycatcher was in Port of Ness.

North Uist: 220 Bramblings, a Lesser Whitethroat and female Blackcap are at Knockintorran. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Langass Wood and 19 Pink-footed Geese flew north-east over there early afternoon. At least 1 Yellow-browed Warbler and a Blackcap were at Langass Lodge. A Tree Pipit was in Carinish this afternoon. A Yellow-browed Warbler, female Blackcap and Brambling were at Kallin, Grimsay.

South Uist: The Shore Lark / Horned Lark is still showing well on the beach at Askernish; also 33 Barnacle Geese flew south this morning. An immature Glaucous Gull was at Rubha Ardvule; also 2 Lapland Buntings and 2 Snow Buntings flew over, plus 2 Barnacle Geese north-east and 20 south later. 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Chiffchaff and Blackcap were at North Loch Eynort. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Daliburgh. A Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Bramblings and 30 Redwings were in scrub along the track onto the machair at Grogarry.6 Bramblings were at Kinlcoh, Grogarry, 4 at Howmore with 3 Common Redpolls (north-western) and 37 Bramblings were at Snishival. 20 Bramblings and 40 Redwings were in Bornish. 41 Barnacle Geese and 58 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Hebridean Jewellery; also a Wheatear there. 20 Barnacle Geese flew south at Ardivachar with 2 Wheatears there. 20 Long-tailed Ducks were at Ardvule, plus a Wheatear. 2 Swallows were in Lochboisdale.

Insects: A Pearly Underwing and Red Sword-grass were trapped in South Glendale last night.

           Shore / Horned Lark (Paul Ross - 2 photos); rear view Shore / Horned Lark (John Kemp) showing coverts Shore / Horned Lark and Tree Pipit (Steve Duffield); Pearly Underwing (John Kemp); Red-breasted Flycatcher (Tony Marr)

10th October:

Lewis: A Yellow-browed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackaps, a Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and 5 Bramblings were in Port of Mess. 550 Golden Plover and a Ruff were on Eoropie machair.

South Uist: The Shore Lark or Horned Lark was still on the shore at Askernish today; a male Snow Bunting flew north, around 150 Pink-footed Geese flew south off-shore and a Wheatear was nearby. Later in the evening 50 Black-tailed Godwits and 300 Barnacle Geese heading south off Askernish. 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Chiffchaff, 10 Bramblings and 2 Siskin were at North Loch Eynort; 120 Pink-footed Geese also flew south-east over in the early afternoon. 4 Common Redpolls (north-western) and 2 Bramblings were at Howmore with 13 Barnacle Geese heading south-east in the afternoon. 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 70+ Barnacle Geese flew south off Ardvule this morning. A Little Stint and Snow Bunting were on the beach at Kildonan. 3 Wheatears at Ardvule. 10 Common Scoters were off Howmore. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in Bornish; a Snow Bunting was flying over and 32 Brambling dropped in to roost. 2 Siskins, 2 Brambling, 5 Goldcrests and 30 Redwings in South Glendale today.

Barra: 6 Yellow-browed Warblers were seen on the island today but no sign of the Tanager. Plenty of Redwings and Bramblings around generally on the island plus a Garden Warbler and 3 Blackcaps at Nask as well as 2 Common Redpolls. 4 Common Redpolls Castle Bay.

Insects: A Satellite was trapped at Carinish last night and is the first for the Outer Hebrides.

          Shore Lark and Satellite (Steve Duffield); Snow Bunting (Paul Ross); Yellow-browed Warbler (Tony Marr)

Shore Lark / Horned Lark (John Kemp)

9th October:

Lewis: A grey morph Gyr Falcon was at the Butt again today. 50 Bramblings were seen near the birdge over to Great Bernera this afternoon. A Yellow-browed Warbler, 21 Redwings and a Brambling were in Carloway. 3 Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Woodcock were in Port of Ness.

Harris: 4 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Pied Flycatcher were in a plantation around the central area of the island and another Yellow-browed Warbler was in Tarbet near the Harris Tweed shop.

North Uist: A Yellow-browed Warbler and Brambling were in Carinish this morning; also a Pink-footed Goose heading north-west and 30 Brent Geese heading south-east in the afternoon. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a male Blackcap and 4 Brambling were at Langass Lodge with 15 Barnacle Geese heading south-east. 5 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Siskin and a Brambling were in Lochmaddy. 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, a female Blackcap and 4 Common Redpolls were on the edge of Bogach Loch Steinabhat plantation (opposite Macians quarry). A Bonxie flew east over Clachan Sands. A Whitethroat and 4 Bramblings were at Clachan Farm whilst a Wheatear was close by. At least 1 Yellow-browed Warbler was in Grenitote. 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, 40 Brambling and a Blackap were in the Loch Sandary area this morning.

Benbecula: A Stock Dove was at Nunton today.

South Uist: A Yellow-browed Warbler, Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcaps were at North Loch Eynort. A Shore Lark was on the beach at Askernish.

Barra: The 1st winter Scarlet Tanager was seen at Creachan again today. 28 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Hawfinch, 12 Siskins and 200 Bramblings were also on the island today

                                                                  Bramblings (June Williams); Slavonian Grebe and Long-tailed Duck (Ted Smithies); Merlin and Shore Lark (John Kemp)

8th October:

Lewis: A Red-breasted Flycatcher was west of the Butt this morning and the Tree Pipit was still at the lighthouse. At least 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Bramblings and a Blackcap were in Carloway today plus another Brambling was in the garden at Kirvick.

North Uist: 4 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Corncrake were seen in the Knockintorran / Paiblesgarry area today. A Pied Flycatcher was at Langass Wood. A female Blackcap and Brambling were at Carinish. A Yellow-browed Warbler and Wood Warbler were in Lochmaddy today. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were by the Crogaire Beag Quarry today. 4 Bramblings and a Wheatear were by Loch Sandary today. A pair of Ring-necked Ducks were reported from Loch Sturmore today. A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Claddach Vallay and another was at Clachan na Luib.

Benbecula: 100+ Redwings and 3 Chiffchaff were at Torlum this morning whilst 21 Brambling and 30 Whooper Swans flew south there.

South Uist: A Yellow-browed Warbler and male Blackcap were at kinloch, Grogarry. A Yellow-browed Warbler and a male and female Blackcap were at Druidibeg. A Yellow-browed Warbler, 15 Redwings, male Blackcap, a Siskin and 24 Bramblings were in South Glendale today.

Barra: The 1st winter Scarlet Tanager was reported at Creachan again mid-afternoon (Birdguides) but not since although 4 Yellow-browed Warblers were there. A Barred Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher were also seen today.

Insects: 2 Angle Shades, 3 Brindled Ochre, a Large Wainscot, Dark Sword-grass, 2 Small Wainscot and an Autumn Green Carpet were trapped in South Glendale last night.

moths (John kemp)

7th October:

Lewis: A Tree Pipit, Reed Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Goldcrests, 3 Robins and a Brambling were within the walls the the Butt lighthouse. A Jack Snipe, Redstart and 3 Wheatears were nearby. 150 Snipe, a Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit were on Eoropie machair.

North Uist: A Red-breasted Flycatcher was in Lochmaddy today. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap and a few Brambling were between Langass Lodge and Clachan. A Lesser Whitethroat was at Knockintorran. A Storm Petrel, 4 Manx Shearwaters, 25 Bonxies and 8 Arctic Skuas were seen on the crossing between Lochmaddy - Uig this afternoon.

Benbecula: A Ring Ouzel, 14 Redwings, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Brambling were at Torlum.

South Uist: 2 Blackcaps and 3 Redwings were in Druidibeg plantation this morning. 10 Greenland White-fronted Geese were on the west side of Loch Bee along with a Ruff and 2 Black-tailed Godwits; 85 Barnacle Geese also flew over. A Little Stint was at Balgarva and 6 Whooper Swans flew south. 17 Brent Geese were near Hebridean Jewellery. 15 Bramblings were in South Glendale this evening. 80+ Black-tailed Godwits were at Howmore today.

Barra: The Scarlet Tanager was showing well at times at Creachan today; also a Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, Common Redpoll, 17 Bramblings and a few Redwings there. A Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher were at Nask. A Yellow-browed Warbler and 2 Chiffchaffs were in North Bay. Also lots of Bramblings on the island today including over 30 in North Bay. 11 Brent Geese were at Eoligarry and 2 juvenile Arctic Terns were off Ardmhor ferry terminal.

Marine Sightings: An Orca and a Minke Whale were seen from the ferry between Lochmaddy and Uig, Skye this afternoon.

           Scarlet Tanager and Bramblings (Steve Duffield); Scarlet Tanager and Yellow-browed Warbler (John Kemp)

6th October:

North Uist: 300 Barnacle Geese flew south-east over Claddach Baleshare around 12:30 today.

Benbecula: A Long-tailed Duck flew south off Stinky Bay.

South Uist: A Ruff was in North Bay this morning. A Little Stint was at Balgarva. A large movement of Snipe today included 140 at Bornish. An adult pale morph Pomarine Skua and a Long-tailed Duck were off Ardivachar.  2 Pomarine Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, 5 Bonxies, 4 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red- throated Divers and 3 Common Scoters south passed Ardvule between 12:00 - 14:00.

Barra: A Scarlet Tanager was found at Creachan woodland early this afternoon and still present at 18:45.

                                                                                        Bar-tailed Godwit and Snipe (Steve Duffield); Stonechat and Snipe (John Kemp)

5th October:

North Uist: 3 Pomarine Skuas were off Baleshare around mid-day with 1 south and 2 north. 7 Barnacle Geese flew south-east along the shore at Baleshare and 29 were in fields there. 37 Gadwall were on Loch Mor. A Willow Warbler was at Claddach Baleshare.

South Uist: Ardvule (0730-1005) produced a southerly passage of 1179 Gannets, a Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Storm Petrel, 13 Great Northern Divers, a Red-throated Diver, 43 Razorbills, 77 Guillemots, 97 Auks sp, 2 Pomarine Skuas ads (plus one north), an Arctic Skua ad, 2 Great Skuas north, 5 Kittiwakes, an Arctic Tern, 5 Scaup, a Common Scoter and 30 Barnacle Geese. A juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper was at Balgarva this afternoon. A juvenile Little Stint and juvenile Curlew Sandpiper were on the South Ford.

Barra: An American Golden Plover was at Eoligarry.

4th October:

Lewis: A grey Gyr Falcon was seen at the Butt today. Also around 820 Barnacle Geese came in from the north-east and passed down the west side along with 20 Whooper Swans. A Sooty Shearwater and 6 Manx Shearwaters flew west past the Butt. 2 Snow Buntings flew in off the sea there with 11 already present along with a Lapland Bunting. A Redwing also dropped in during the afternoon.

North Uist: A Whinchat is at Balelone. 20 pale-bellied Brent Geese flew west through the Sound of Harris from Berneray.

South Uist: 3 Lapland Buntings were on the machair west of Loch Bee. 10 Chiffchaff were at North Loch Eynort and 3 were at Druidibeg. Around 300 Barnacle Geese (in small flocks) were seen heading south over or off-shore from the island today. A sea-watch at Ardvule between 15:20 and 17:30 produced 5 Pomarine Skuas (4 ads, 1 imm), 3 Bonxies and 4 Arctic Skuas, 5 Red-throated and 1 Great Northern Diver, 35 Kittiwake and 76 Barnacle Geese south. A Sooty Shearwater and Manx Shearwater were seen from the Oban - Lochboisdale sailing.

Barnacle Geese (John Kemp)

3rd October:

Lewis: 2 adult Pomarine Skuas, 2 Bonxies, an Arctic Tern, 75 Kittiwakes and 120 auk sp. flew west past the Butt between 09:00 - 10:00.

Benbecula: A Pomarine Skua was seen at the side of the main road at Creagorry this morning.

South Uist: A seawatch from Ardvule (07:20-11:30) produced a southerly passage of 2168 Gannets, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 15 Great Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, 8 Pomarine Skuas, 24 Kittiwakes, 5 Arctic Terns, 14 Red-throated Divers, 47 Great Northern Divers, 25 Razorbills, 22 Guillemots, 14 Auk sp, 8 Black Guillemots, a Long-tailed Duck and 69 Pale-bellied Brents. In the evening 2 Pomarine Skuas, an Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxies, 4 Great Northern Divers, 6 Manx Shearwaters and an Arctic Tern flew south in an hour. A dark morph Pomarine Skua was close inshore at Stoneybridge in the afternoon before flying north and it or another adult flew north over Balgarva later in the afternoon. A Little Stint was on the South Ford. A Blackcap was in Bornish. A Sand Martin was at Carnan today.

Great Skua and Pomarine Skua (Steve Duffield)

2nd October:

Lewis: 4 Sooty Shearwaters and 4 juvenile Pomarine Skuas flew past the Butt this morning.

North Uist: A Buff-breasted Sandpiper was reported flying over Loch nam Feithean, Balranald this morning.

1st October:

Lewis: A Lapland Bunting, 18 Snow Buntings and a Whimbrel were at the Butt today. A ringtail Hen Harrier was at Loch Stiapabhat and a Ruff was at Fivepenny.

South Uist: A seawatch from Ardvule (0715 1255) produced 3,126 Gannets, a Storm Petrel, 9 Great Northern Divers, 3 Red-throated Divers, an Arctic Skua, 7 Pomarine Skuas (2 pale adults), 7 Great Skuas, 47 Kittiwakes, 3 Arctic Terns, 25 Razorbills, 21 Guillemots and 22 Auk sp. heading south; also a Leach's Petrel later on. A Snow Bunting was at Kilpheder. 2 Chiffchaffs were at North Loch Eynort and another was at Bornish.

Gannet and Pomarine Skua (John Kemp)