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 watching. These reports concentrate on more unusual species or significant counts or movements.

More detailed sightings and off-island wildlife can be found on this blog site: Birds, Bees and Outer Hebrides

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

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22nd April:

Lewis: A Cuckoo was seen near Gravir by Loch Odhain on Sunday 20th April.

North Uist: 8 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Rubh' Arnal and a 1st yr Glaucous Gull was near Kyles Paible. 2 drake Scaup are on Loch Sandary. 2 Common Redpoll were by Langass Lodge. Little Terns were seen at Kyles Paible, Berneray and Loch Euphort today. The immature Iceland Gull was at Loch a Ghoill, Loch Euphort this afternoon. At least 30 White Wagtails were around Loch Bhatarsaidh, Berneray this morning. 20 Whimbrel and 5 White Wagtails were at Ardivachar. Also 3 Whooper Swans and 400 Golden Plover came in off the sea from the north-west.

South Uist: The female Serin is still in South Glendale; also there a Siskin, male Blackcap and a Cuckoo. 22 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west over Eriskay this morning and 2 Black-throated Divers were off-shore. A drake Garganey, pair of Pintail and a pair of Gadwall were on the flooded machair at Bornish. Common Sandpipers were at Bornish and Loch Eynort.

Insects: 39 Hebrew Characters, a Powdered Quaker, 46 Red Chestnut, 3 Dark Sword-grass, a Puss Moth, Emperor Moth, a Brown Silver-line, Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Flame Carpet, 6 Acleris hyemana, an Acleris hastiana and an Agonopterix yeatiana were trapped in South Glendale last night. 3 Dark Sword-grass were caught in Carinish too.

      Serin, Siskin, Brown Silver-line, Dark Sword-grass, Emperor Moth and Powdered Quaker (John Kemp); White Wagtail (Tom McKinney)

21st April:

Lewis: A White-billed Diver was seen off Tiumpan Head today.

North Uist: The 2nd yr Iceland Gull is still at Loch Euphort. 15 White Wagtails were on the shore at Aird an Runair whilst a flock of 11 Barnacle Geese and 1 Pink-footed Goose flew south. 2 Whimbrel were also at Balranald.

South Uist: A Serin and Blackcap are in South Glendale. 4 Whimbrel (including a colour-ringed individual) were on the machair at Kilpheder. A White-billed Diver was seen off Eriskay today along with 2 Black-throated Divers.

Insects: 14 Belted Beauties (10 male and 4 females), 8 Small Tortoiseshell, a Red Admiral and 2 Green-veined White butterflies were seen on Eriskay today.

                                      Serin, Whimbrel, White Wagtail and Robin (John Kemp); White Wagtail - 2 photos (Tom McKinney)

20th April:

Lewis: A female Black Redstart was at the Butt today. 2 White-billed Divers were off Skigersta. 33 Black-tailed Godwits and 500 Golden Plover were on the machair at Ness.

North Uist: A Chiffchaff and redpoll were in Carinish this morning. The 2nd winter Iceland Gull is still at Loch Euphort and a Whimbrel was there this evening. 30 Black-tailed Godwits and 250 Golden Plover were at Borve, Berneray. A Water Rail was calling at Carinish in the morning. 3 Iceland Gulls were at Balranald.

South Uist: A 1st yr Iceland Gull, adult and 1st yr Glaucous Gullsand were 2 Chiffchaff were at Ardivachar, plus a female Blackcap this morning. 23 Brent Geese were seen heading north off Ardivachar in the evening and a Long-tailed Skua was reported heading north off there. 74 Black-tailed Godwits were at Loch an't-Saile.

Insects: 2 Small Tortoiseshells butterflies, a Red Admiral and a Silver-Y were at Carinish today. 16 Hebrew Character, 3 Clouded Drab, 5 Red Chestnut, an Early Grey, 6 Dark Sword-grass and 2 Early Tooth-striped were caught at North Loch Eynort last night. An Early Grey was also trapped in South Glendale.

      House Sparrow, Wren, Willow Warbler, Dark Sword-grass, Early Grey, Red Chestnut and Early Tooth-striped (John Kemp)

19th April:

Lewis: 3 Snow Buntings were on the summit of Beinn Lite, west of Stornoway this morning. 300+ pale-bellied Brent Geese were off Steinish around 12:45 although they didn't settle. Also at least 46 Pink-footed Geese in the fields at Steinish and another 70 dropped in at the Tong side of the estuary. A pair of Scaup were on Loch Branahuie and the Greenland White-fronted Goose was present. 304 Pink-footed Geese were on the machair at Fivepenny all morning, and flew off towards the Butt at 14:30. A mile to the south, 900 were in fields at the southern end of Loch Stiapavat. In the evening flocks of 200 and 100 appeared over Loch Stiapavat at 19:00 and 19:05 and came down near Eoropie cemetery. 2,200 Golden Plover were also around Ness as well as a Whimbrel, 60 Black-tailed Godwits and the immature Iceland Gull. 2 Snow Buntings were at the Butt along with 7 White Wagtails and 2 Chiffchaffs. A Blackcap and 3 Chiffchaffs were at Eoropie whilst a Willow Warbler and 4 Chiffchaffs were at Port of Ness. A Stock Dove was around Loch Stiapabhat.
 

Harris: 183 Pink-footed Geese were resting on the sands off Luskentyre this afternoon. 70+ Great Northern Divers and at least 7 Slavonian Grebes were in the Sound of Taransay. 40 Greenland White-fronted Geese and 11 Black-tailed Godwits were at Northton.

Sound of Harris: 95 Great Northern Divers, 11 Slavonian Grebes and at least 12 Arctic Terns were seen from the ferry this evening.

North Uist: The 2nd year Iceland Gull was at Loch a Ghoill, Loch Euphort again today. 300 Black-tailed Godwits were between Loch Grogarry and Loch nam Feithean and a further 85 were at Loch Sandary. The Pied-billed Grebe was seen at Loch nam Feithean. 109 Brent Geese were on the machair at Aird an Runair whilst an adult Glaucous Gull and 1st yr Iceland Gull were on the beach.

South Uist: 11 Greenland White-fronted Geese and 12 Brent Geese were at Balgarva. 2 whimbrel were at Ardivachar and 215 Black-tailed Godwits were on the ranges at West Gerinish. 14 Barnacle Geese were on Bornish machair, and 90 flew north at West Gerinish earlier.c1500 Golden Plover Bornish along with 74 Pink-footed Geese  and 57  Black-tailed Godwits by the west side of Loch Bornish. 48 Whooper Swans were on Bornish Loch and 160 Brent Geese were at Loch Ardvule. 550 Barnacle Geese and 1,350 Brent Geese passed Ardivachar today. Also 85 Great Northern Divers off Ardivachar and 4 - 5,000 Golden Plover on the range.

Iceland Gull (Tom McKinney); Otter (Steve Duffield); Stock Dove (Tony Marr)

18th April:

Lewis: The 1st yr Iceland Gull is still around Port of Ness; also 5 Chiffchaffs in a garden here. 80 Pink-footed Geese, 800 Golden Plover and 51 Black-tailed Godwits were on the machair near Fivepenny.

North Uist: At least 280 Black-tailed Godwits were on Loch Grogarry this morning and 2 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Aird an Runair. An immature Iceland Gull was on Loch a Ghoill, Sidinish, Loch Euport this afternoon.

South Uist: 138 Pale-bellied Brent and 6 Barnacle Geese were at Ardvule whilst  47 Whooper Swans and 5 Shoveler were on the flooded machair. 150 Black-tailed Godwits were on the range pools at West Gerinish. A 2nd winter Iceland Gull, 1st winter Glaucous Gull and an interesting dark-type Glaucous which may be a Glaucous x Herring Gull. Also a Chiffchaff in a garden at Ardivachar plus 5 White Wagtails and 3 Whimbrel. 52 Pale-bellied Brents were off Heb Jewellery.

                                                                                    Golden Eagle (Tom McKinney); Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull and possible hybrid gull (John Kemp)

17th April:

Lewis: A 1st yr Iceland Gull was in the inner harbour at Stornoway. A pair of Scaup were on Loch Tiumpan. 2 Pink-footed Geese were at Sand Street, Stornoway whilst a Sand Martin was seen by the municipal tip in the evening. The 1st yr Iceland Gull was still around Port of Ness today. 60 Pink-footed Geese, 1,000 Golden Plover and 37 Black-tailed Godwits were on the machair near Fivepenny.

South Uist: A sea-watch at Ardvule (0710 - 1130) produced: a southerly movement of 34 Kittiwakes, 52 Fulmars, 5 Manx Shearwaters and 278 Razorbills and a northerly movement of 190 Gannets and 15 Great Skuas. Also 281 Pale-bellied Brents present as well as 133 Black-tailed Godwits on the machair (60+ at Loch Ardvule later probably part of the same). Also 99 Pale-bellied Brents at Smerclate. The drake American Wigeon was on Bornish machair this evening along with a pair of Gadwall, 2nd yr Iceland Gull and 37 Black-tailed Godwits.

Insects: An Emperor moth was seen on the moors to the north of the Pentland Road today. A Gypsy Cuckoo Bumblebee was seen in Lews Castle Grounds.

Iceland Gull, Swallow and Stonechat (Steve Duffield)

16th April:

Lewis: The 1st yr Iceland Gull was back at Port of Ness. A pair of Pintail, pair of Shoveler and 7 Gadwall were on Loch Stiapabhat. 3 House Martins and 9 Swallows were over the flooded machair at Fivepenny whilst 800 Golden Plover were nearby.

North Uist: 3 x 1st yr Iceland Gulls were on the beach at Aird an Runair this morning and a Bonxie flew north. A male Blackcap was in Carinish this evening.

Benbecula: 65 Black-tailed Godwits were by Coot Loch and 6 were at Loch Mor. 500+ Golden Plover were on the machair at Borve.

15th April:

Lewis: 400 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west off the Butt this morning in 3 hours. The 1st yr Iceland Gull was at Loch Stiapabhat and 42 Pink-footed Geese came down nearby. 7 Swallows were at Fivepenny this evening.

North Uist: The Pied-billed Grebe is still on Loch nam Feithean; also 11 Black-tailed Godwits there. A big passage of Barnacle Geese this morning involved over 2,230 over Carinish / Claddach Baleshare. A Willow Warbler was at Carinish. A Swallow was at Malaclate and a Chiffchaff at Grenitote. A Little Tern was at Grenitote yesterday. A 1st yr Glaucous Gull was at Aird an Runair this afternoon and a House Martin was also seen there. A Sand Martin was over Balranald.

Little Grebe and Golden Eagle (Steve Duffield)

14th April:

Lewis: A 1st yr Glaucous Gull is in Stornoway harbour.

North Uist: 3 Glaucous Gulls (an adult and 2 juveniles) and an adult Iceland Gull were between Kyles Paible and Rubh' Arnal this morning. An Arctic Tern was also off Rubh' Arnal. A juvenile Iceland Gull and 2 drake Scaup were at Loch Sandary. 60 White-fronted Geese flew west over Grimsay just after 6 pm this evening.

South Uist: The female Serin is still in South Glendale.

Insects: A Small Tortoiseshell was by Loch Sandary this morning.

Serin (John Kemp)

13th April:

Lewis: A 1st yr Iceland Gull was in Stornoway harbour today. 2 Great Tits, 12 Bramblings, 7 Goldfinch and 4 Siskin were in Willow Glen, Stornoway today.

North Uist: 4 Pomarine Skuas, 20 Great Skuas and an Arctic Skua flew north off Aird an Runair this morning. 5 Glaucous Gulls (2 adults and 3 juveniles) and 2 1st yr Iceland Gulls were at Traigh Iar, Balranald. 3 Black-tailed Godwits were on Loch nam Feithean. 2 drake Scaup are on Loch Sandary.

Benbecula: 50+ Black-tailed Godwits and a drake Scaup are at Coot Loch.

South Uist: The Serin is still in South Glendale. 2 Great Skuas were off Ardvule and a juvenile Iceland Gull was in the south bay there before heading onto the machair. 36 Black-tailed Godwits were on Bornish machair.

Serin and Greenfinch (John Kemp); Black-tailed Godwits (Steve Duffield)

12th April:

Lewis: The Greenland White-fronted Goose was at Loch Branahuie again today.

North Uist: 4 Pomarine Skuas past Aird an Runair this morning along with an Arctic Skua, 12 Bonxies, 6 Manx Shearwaters and 172 Kittiwakes. A Whimbrel was on the beach at Balranald. The Pied-billed Grebe is on Loch nam Feithean. A Chiffchaff was in Langass Wood. A 1st yr Iceland Gull was on Loch Sandary. 23 Greenland White-fronted Geese were at Claddach Kirkibost. 

Benbecula: 46 Black-tailed Godwits and a drake Scaup were at Coot Loch.

South Uist: A female Serin was in South Glendale today (1st for Outer Hebrides and 8th for Scotland) and was in Askernish yesterday. 38 Whooper Swans flew west though Sound of Eriskay this afternoon. A juvenile Glaucous Gull was at Ardivachar. A sea-watch from Ardvule (0755 - 1030) produced 28 Pale-bellied Brents heading north, 15 Long-tailed Duck south and 1 north; 59 Fulmars south and 10 north, 21 Manx Shearwaters south, plus 1 north; 86 Gannets south, 50 north;93 Kittiwakes south and 2 north; 5 Great Skuas north and 1 south; 2 Arctic Skuas north and 76 Razorbills south. 15 Black-tailed Godwits were on Bornish machair.

Barra: 34 pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Traigh Mhor today.

                                     Serin (Steve Duffield); Brent Geese, Great Skua and Serin (John Kemp)

11th April:

Lewis: A 1st yr Iceland Gull was at the Butt today. 170 Redwings were around Ness. 5 Manx Shearwaters were seen feeding off the Butt with 150 Kittiwakes. A Swallow was seen over Stornoway today. The Greenland White-fronted Goose was at Loch Branahuie.

Insects: An Angle Shades, 4 Red Chestnut and 26 Hebrew Characters were trapped in South Glendale last night.

                                                            Angle Shades and Red Chestnut (John Kemp); White-tailed Eagle (Glyn Evans); Iceland Gull and Redwing (John Nadin)

10th April:

North Uist: The Pied-billed Grebe and a pair of Pintail are still on Loch nam Feithean. A 1st yr Iceland Gull is at Aird an Runair. 2 drake Scaup are still on Loch Sandary.

        Iceland Gull and Shovelers (Steve Duffield); Bar-tailed Godwits (Bob McMillan); Corn Bunting and Hen Harrier (Glyn Evans); Buzzard (John Nadin)

9th April:

North Uist: The female Ring-necked Duck was still on Loch Tormasad Beag (NF 826652) this morning. 22 White-fronted Geese were at Borve, Berneray.

Benbecula: A drake Scaup is on Coot Loch.

Black Guillemot, Wheatear and Greenshank (Glyn Evans)

8th April:

Lewis: A 2nd yr Iceland Gull was in Stornoway harbour today.

North Uist: The female Ring-necked Duck was on a small loch near the Langass Lodge turning today.

South Uist: A 2nd winter Iceland Gull was on Bornish machair this morning. A sea-watch from Ardvule (07:15 - 10:15) produced 101 Kittiwakes south, 10 north; 123 Gannets north, 25 south; 42 Fulmars north and 44 south; 3 Manx Shearwaters south, an Arctic Skua north and a Great Skua south. A Manx Shearwater and Great Skua were also seen off Ardvule in the evening. 49 Whooper Swans were on Loch Bornish. Juvenile Glaucous Gulls were on the Range and Howmore River. A Sand Martin was also seen along the Howmore River.

                                                                                   Buzzard and Goldfinch (John Kemp); Kittiwake and Red-throated Diver (Glyn Evans)

7th April:

Lewis: A White-billed Diver was off Tiumpan Head near the lighthouse in the afternoon and a Bonxie flew past. A 1st yr Iceland Gull was in Stornoway harbour today.

North Uist: The Pied-billed Grebe is still on Loch nam Feithean.

South Uist: A 1st yr Glaucous Gull and 2 Sand Martins were at Stoneybridge. An immature Glaucous Gull was along the Howmore River. A drake Goosander was on Loch Rog. An immature Glaucous Gull and immature Iceland Gull were at Ardivachar.

                                                                                            Eiders, Purple Sandpiper and Red-throated Divers (Glyn Evans)

6th April;

Lewis: A juvenile / 1st winter Iceland Gull was off Port of Ness and a juvenile / 1st winter Glaucous Gull was on Eoropie machair.

Flannan Islands: A Sooty Shearwater was reported off here today.

South Uist: 3 Glaucous Gulls were at Howmore this morning. 2 Iceland Gulls were reported from Ardivachar and a Kumlien's Gull was seen at West Loch Ollay.

Insects: An Early Grey moth was trapped in South Glendale last night.

                                                             Early Grey and Hebrew Character (John Kemp); Golden Eagle, Purple Sandpipers and Otter (Glyn Evans)

5th April:

Lewis: A male Hen Harrier was along the Pentland Road this afternoon. 1,200 Redwings were estimated between Port of Ness and the Butt today. 60 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west over the Butt this morning. A pair of Gadwall were on Loch Stiapabhat and a Swallow was nearby at Fivepenny.

Sound of Harris (ferry): 230+ Long-tailed Ducks, 14 Slavonian Grebes, 64 Great Northern Divers, a Great Skua and juvenile / 1st winter Iceland Gull were seen from the ferry this evening.

North Uist: 12 White-fronted Geese flew south at Knockintorran this morning.

Insects: A Common Quaker was trapped in Lew's Castle Grounds last night (first records for Outer Hebrides).

          Merlin, Glaucous Gull, Goldeneye, Buzzard, Stonechat and Wheatear (Glyn Evans); Common Quaker (Steve Duffield)

4th April:

Lewis: A Great Skua flew east over the Pentland Road this morning. A juvenile / 1st winter Iceland Gull was again at the Butt. Also in Ness 20 Pink-footed Geese came in during the day as well as several flocks of Redwings with 50 in Knockaird and 150 on the machair near Lionel School. At 1800 a flock of 500+ were in fields beside the road between Eoropie and the Butt. Also arriving today were 7 Wheatears, 8 Pied Wagtails, 25 Meadow Pipits and at the lighthouse in early evening a female Stonechat inside the lighthouse compound. Golden Plovers on the machair reached 650 by evening

Harris: A Corncrake was heard calling in Northton this morning.

Sound of Harris (ferry): 200+ Long-tailed Ducks and 4 distant white-winged gulls by the fish farm (probably Iceland).

North Uist: 100+ Pink-footed Geese flew north-west over Bayhead this afternoon at 14:45.

Monachs: On Shillay today there was a Swallow, a Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtails, 50 Redwing, a Blackbird and a Robin.

Black Guillemots and Grey Seals (John Kemp)

3rd April:

Monachs: 27 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 300 Barnacle Geese, 5 Whooper Swans, an adult Glaucous Gull and 20 Redwing on Ceann Ear. On Shillay there was 72 Redwing, a Robin, a Blackbird and a male Blackcap.

2nd April:

North Uist: 3 Iceland Gulls were at Balranald this morning.

South Uist: 3 Glaucous Gulls an Iceland Gull and 2 Sand Martins were at Howmore.

Insects: Moths trapped at North Loch Eynort last night include an Early Grey, 103 Hebrew Characters, 10 Clouded Drab and the micro - Agonopterix ocellana.

Marine Sightings: A group of Bottle-nosed Dolphins were off Howmore / Peninerine today.

                                  Early Grey and Agonopterix ocellana (John Kemp); Corn Bunting, Skylarks, Wren and Bottle-nosed Dolphin (Glyn Evans)

1st April:

North Uist: 28 Whooper Swans were resting on the tidal area north of Baleshare this morning. The Pied-billed Grebe is still on Loch nam Feithean along with 3 Pintail (2 males and a female). 34 White-fronted Geese also dropped in there this afternoon. A Tundra Bean Goose was with Greylags near the visitor centre at Balranald. 25 White-fronted Geese were resting on the North Ford off Carinish early this evening before continuing north-west. A Bullfinch flew north-west over Ben Risary plantation today. Good numbers of Redwings around with 500+ on north side of the island. 2 drake Scaup are on Loch Sandary.

South Uist: 6 Barnacle Geese were on the edge of Loch Bornish. A Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests and 56 Redwings were in South Glendale. No sign of the Wood Duck today

Insects: 193 Hebrew Characters, a Clouded Drab and 4 Red Chestnut were trapped in South Glendale.

                            Clouded Drab, Chiffchaff, Peregrine, Red-breasted Merganser, Goldcrest and Willow Warbler (John Kemp)

Bean Goose (Steve Duffield)