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Latest Outer Hebrides Bird and Wildlife Sightings 2020

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31st May:

North Uist: The Lesser Scaup is still on Loch Sandary. A Swift was seen heading south along the dune egde at Paible this morning. A Hoopoe was at Callernish House today

South Uist: A Swift flew south over Daliburgh machair today.

Insects: 4 Buff Ermine, 4 Knot Grass, 1 Powdered Quaker, 4 Shears, 3 Flame Shoulder, 2 True Lover’s Knot, 12 Narrow-winged Pugs, 8 Satyr Pugs, 2 Foxglove Pugs, 6 Common Pugs, 3 Grey Pugs, 1 Scalloped Hazel, 1 Striped Twin-spot Carpet, 1 Monopis weaverella, 1 Falseuncaria ruficiliana, 1 Epinotia immundana, 1 Plutella xylostella, an Anania fuscalis and Pseudotelphusa paripunctella were all caught in South Glendale last night. Also 85 Silver Y nectaring on flowers in a garden in South Glendale the evening before though almost all gone overnight and just one trapped. Over 40 Silver Y seen on Daliburgh machair this morning. At least 4 Painted Lady butterflies were on the machair between Knockintorran and Balemore today plus numerous Silver Ys.

Hoopoe, North Uist Pseudotelphusa paripunctella Powdered Quaker Buff Ermine, Outer Hebrides moths scalloped hazel, Outer Hebrides moths
Hoopoe (Fergus Granville); Pseudotelphusa paripunctella, Powdered Quaker, Buff Ermine and Scalloped Hazel (John Kemp)


30th May:

South Uist: The Woodchat Shrike was apparently seen in Askernish again this morning although strong winds are hampering further observations. The shrike was seen again this evening at 19:55. A Turtle Dove was in Bornish briefly. A Rose-coloured Starling was seen at Carnan (west end of the road just before it turns into a rough track). A Sandwich Tern was at the north end of Loch Bee in the evening before flying north. An Osprey was seen over Eochar this evening.

Barra: A singing Reed Warbler was seen on the island.

Insects: Red Admirals were seen in Carinish, on Baleshare and at Nunton. 100's of Silver Y moths were seen heading north over Barra this morning.

Woodchat Shrike Woodchat Shrike (Andrew Stevenson)


29th May:

Marine Sightings: A Humpback Whale was seen off Tiumpan Head this morning.

Insects: 4 Beautiful Yellow Underwings were seen feeding on prostate cotoneaster in South Glendale today. Moths trapped in South Glendale last night included 1 May Highflyer, 1 Ruddy Highflyer, 4 Common Pugs, 8 Satyr Pugs, 1 Grey Pug, 19 Narrow-winged Pugs, 2 Silver-ground Carpets, 15 Buff Ermine, 1 White Ermine, 2 Elephant Hawk-moths, 1 Dark Sword-grass and 2 Pebble Prominent plus micro-moths Syndemis musculana, Aethes cnicana, 2 Epinotia immundana, 1 Rhopobota stagnana, Notocelia cynosbatella, Acleris hastiana and Agonopterix ocellana.

Aethes cnicana Beautiful Yellow Underwing, Outer Hebrides Grey Pug, Outer Hebrides moths May Highflyer, Outer Hebrides moths Rhopobota stagnana
Aethes cnicana, Beautiful Yellow Underwing, Grey Pug, May Highflyer and Rhopobota stagnana (John Kemp)


28th May:

North Uist: The drake Lesser Scaup is still on Loch Sandary; also a 3rd cal yr Glaucous Gull and a male Ruff there.

South Uist: A Woodchat Shrike was in Askernish this afternoon.

Barra: A male Red-backed Shrike was in Brevig this morning.

Ruff male Ruff, North Uist Ruff (Steve Duffield)


27th May:

North Uist: A drake Lesser Scaup was on Loch Sandary. A 2nd cal yr Iceland Gull was at Bayhead. A 3rd cal yr Glaucous Gull was at Rubh' Arnal.

Insects: 3 Flame Carpet, a May Highflyer, a Narrow-winged Pug and a Red Chestnut were caught at Carnan last night. An Elephant Hawkmoth was seen on Grimsay today.

Marine Sightings: 2 Orcas were seen this afternoon heading south (distantly) off Brevig, Barra.

male Lesser Scaup, North Uist Lesser Scaup, Outer Hebrides Lesser Scaup 2nd cal yr Iceland Gull, N Uist Sanderling, Outer Hebrides
Lesser Scaup, Iceland Gull and Sanderlings (Steve Duffield)

Elephant Hawkmoth Northern Marsh Orchid
Elephant Hawkmoth and Northern Marsh Orchid (Anne and David Morton)


26th May:

North Uist: A Long-tailed Skua flew north-east over Scotvein, Grimsay this morning. A Chiffchaff was in Carinish and 5 Whimbrel flew north this afternoon. A male Blackcap was at Langass Lodge.

Insects: An Argent & Sable,  Small Purple-barred, Clepsis senecionana and Anania fuscalis as well as a Satyr Pug, 2 Neofaculta ericetella and a Crambus lathoniellus were seen to the east of South Glendale today.

Argent & Sable, Outer Hebrides Moths Small Purple-barred moth, Outer Hebrides Argent & Sable and Small Purple-barred (John Kemp)


25th May:

Lewis: A Swift was seen at Tiumpan Head.

Sedge Warbler Snipe Snipe Sedge Warbler and Snipe (Joe Newman)


24th May:

South Uist: 2 Long-tailed Skuas were seen drifting south and then north over Bornish machair this morning. A male Ruff was at Loch Bornish and 3 Brent Geese were at Ardvule.


23rd May:

North Uist: 14 Long-tailed Skuas, 12 Pomarine Skuas and a Storm Petrel flew north at Aird an Runair between 07:00 - 11:30 today; also a 2nd yr Glaucous Gull and 1st yr Iceland Gull were present.

South Uist: A Common Redpoll and Siskin were at Carnan this morning. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen in Askernish.

2nd yr Glaucous Gull, Outer Hebrides Long-tailed Skua, North Uist Pomarine Skua, Outer Hebrides Pomarine Skua, Balranald Pomarine Skua, May 2020 Purple Sandpiper in summer plumage Glaucous Gull, Long-tailed Skua, Pomarine Skuas and Purple Sandpiper (Steve Duffield)


22nd May:

Marine Sightings: A young Minke Whale beached on the south side of Loch Euport today and sadly died.


21st May:

Lewis: 2 Snow Buntings were seen at the Butt today.

South Uist: A Common Redpoll was at Carnan.

Barra: The Magpie was seen at Brevig this morning.

Insects: 7 species of moth were caught at Carnan last night including 4 Fox Moths, a Broom and a Common Carpet, amongst others. 34 moths and 19 species were trapped in Carinish including a Silver Y, 2 Glaucous Shears, a Common White Wave and Ancylis geminana amongst others.

Ancylis geminana, Outer Hebrides moths Common White Wave, Outer Hebrides moths Shears and Glaucous Shears, Outer Hebrides moths Corncrake Corncrake
Ancylis geminana, Common White Wave, Shears with Glaucous Shears (Steve Duffield); Corncrake (John Love)


20th May:

Lewis: A Wood Sandpiper was seen in Stornoway between Sand Street and Steinish.

Insects: 29 Brown Silver-line, 2 Puss Moths, 4 Red Chestnuts, 4 Knot Grass, 1 Light Knot Grass, 1 Broom Moth, 1 Flame Shoulder, 1 Glaucous Shears, 1 Buff Ermine, 4 Dark-barred Twin-spot carpet, 3 Flame Carpet, 4 Striped Twin-spot Carpet, 2 Satyr Pugs, 1 Common Pug, 5 Narrow-winged Pugs, 4 Foxglove Pugs, 1 Acleris hastiana and 1 Blastobasis lacticolella were trapped in South Glendale last night.

Narrow-winged Pug, Outer Hebrides moths Flame Shoulder, Outer Hebrides moths Broom moth Satyr Pug, Outer Hebrides moths Light knot Grass, Outer Hebrides moths Wood Sandpiper, Outer Hebrides
Narrow-winged Pug, Flame Carpet, Broom, Satyr Pug and Light Knot Grass (John Kemp); Wood Sandpiper (Tristan ap Rheinallt)


19th May:

Insects: A Fox Moth and Shears were trapped in Carinish last night.

Fox Moth Shears moth, Outer Hebrides Slow-worm, South Uist Slow-worm, Outer Hebrides
Fox Moth and Shears (Steve Duffield); Slow-worm (Danny Rafferty)


18th May:

North Uist: A 1st yr Bonaparte's Gull was at Baleshare late this afternoon / early evening. Initially it was on the beach before feeding off-shore and finally flying north around 6 pm.

Bonaparte's Gull, Baleshare 1st yr Bonaparte's Gull, Baleshare Bonaparte's Gull, N Uist Goldfinch Bonaparte's Gull and Goldfinch (Steve Duffield)


17th May:

Lewis: 10 House Martins were seen at Loch Branahuie.

Benbecula: 12 Whimbrel were just inland of Stinky Bay.

South Uist: 2 Common Redpolls were at Carnan. A Little Stint was at Ardvule.

Insects: A Common Pug, Knot Grass and Glaucous Shears were trapped in South Glendale last night.

Common Pug, Outer Hebrides Knot Grass moth, Outer Hebrides Glaucous Shears, Outer Hebrides moths Common Pug, Knot Grass and Glaucous Shears (John Kemp)


14th May:

Lewis: 3 Black-tailed Godwits were seen at the Butt.

North Uist: A White-billed Diver was reported off Carinish.

South Uist: A Common Redpoll is at Carnan. Birds flying N at Ardvule this morning included 4 Whimbrel, 240 Gannets (+49 s), 26 Fulmars, 24 Kittiwakes, 156 Auk sp., 45 Razorbills, 4 Guillemots, 2 Puffins. Also a Great Skua and a Great Northern Diver south.

Barra: The Magpie was seen in Castlebay and a Spotted Flycatcher was at Creachan.

Fulmar Whimbrel, Outer Hebrides Lesser Yellow Underwing
Fulmar, Whimbrel and Lesser Yellow Underwing caterpillar (John Kemp)


13th May:

North Uist: 58 Pink-footed Geese were at Balranald. 3 Black-tailed Godwits were at Loch Sandary. At least 2 immature Iceland Gulls and 2 immature Glaucous Gulls were at Rubh' Arnal. A Redwing was in Bayhead.

Dunlin Dunlin (Ted Smithies)


12th May:

Barra: A Wood Warbler was singing in Castlebay this morning.


11th May:

North Uist: A male Blackcap was singing at Langass Lodge; also a Siskin there. A Pink-footed Goose was on Baleshare.

male Stonechat, Outer Hebrides Stonechat (John Kemp)


10th May:

North Uist: 28 Arctic Terns were on the North Ford off Carinish this morning.

South Uist: A House Martin was sheltering in South Glendale. An Osprey was seen fishing at Loch an Eilein, Drimsdale this evening. A Goosander was on the Howmore River this evening.

House Martin House Martin (John Kemp)


9th May:

South Uist: A Common Redpoll was at Carnan.

Barra: A Swift was around Bolnabodach at lunchtime.


8th May:

North Uist: A 1st yr Iceland Gull was on Loch Sandary and a male Ruff was in fields nearby. 2 immature Glaucous Gulls were at Rubh' Arnal.

South Uist: 2 Common Redpolls were at Carnan.

Barra: The Magpie was seen in Brevig today.

Insects: 81 Brown Silver-line, 3 Flame Carpet, 4 Striped Twin-spot Carpet, 1 Dark barred Twin-spot Carpet, 1 Foxglove Pug, 1 Common Pug, 1 Shears, 1 Powdered Quaker, 2 Clouded Drab and 1 Early Grey were caught in South Glendale last night.

Iceland Gull, Loch Sandary male Ruff, North Uist Hebridean Song Thrush Iceland Gull, Ruff and Hebridean Song Thrush (Steve Duffield)

Snipe Foxglove Pug Powdered Quaker Shears
Snipe, Foxglove Pug, Powdered Quaker and Shears (John Kemp)


7th May:

North Uist: A House Martin was in Carinish briefly this morning.

South Uist: 2 House Martins were flying around in South Glendale at 09:30 pm.

Barra: 2 Tree Sparrows are still coming to feeders at Brevig. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen at Morghan.


6th May:

North Uist: 9 Whimbrel flew north-west at Carinish this afternoon. A Siskin was flying around at Scolpaig this morning.

South Uist: 3 Common Repolls were seen at Carnan. 9 Brent Geese, 2 Common Scoters and 18 Whimbrel were at Ardvule.

Barra: The Magpie was seen in Castlebay again today.

Insects: 10 Hebrew Characters, 5 Flame Carpet, 3 Red Chestnut, 2 Puss Moths, a Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet and a Glaucous Shears were trapped at Carnan last night.

Puss Moth Skylark Whimbrel Puss Moth (Lilian MacLennan); Skylark and Whimbrel (Ted Smithies)


5th May:

North Uist: 2 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west over Carinish and 50 flew north-west over Baleshare early this morning. Another 60 geese (probably Pink-feet) flew north-west over Baleshare this evening.

Benbecula: 29 Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit were at Borve.

South Uist: 2 Common Redpolls are still visiting feeders at Carnan.

Barra: 3 Blackcaps, 3 Grasshopper Warblers and a Siskin were at Brevig. The Magpie was also reported from Castlebay yesterday.


4th May:

Lewis: 250 Pink-footed Geese flew north at the Butt this afternoon.

North Uist: A Waxwing made a brief visit to Carinish late this morning. A Redwing is also lingering in Carinish.

South Uist: 2 Common Redpolls were at Carnan again today. 7 Brent Geese, 15 Whimbrel and 4 Black-tailed Godwits were seen at Ardvule today.

Waxwing, Outer Hebrides Waxwing, Carinish Waxwing, North Uist Whimbrel, North Uist Waxwing and Whimbrel (Steve Duffield)


3rd May:

South Uist: A Common Redpoll was at Carnan again today. 2 Common Redpolls are also coming to feeders in South Glendale.

Common Redpoll, Outer Hebrides Common Redpoll (John Kemp)


2nd May:

Benbecula: 4 Corncrakes were heard calling this morning with 1 on the outskirts of Balivanich and 3 between Coot Loch and Stinky Bay. 4 Black-tailed Godwits were on the machair, south of Coot Loch.

South Uist: 2 Common Redpolls were coming to a feeder at Carnan this morning.

Barra: A Whitethroat, at least 3 Grasshopper Warblers and 2 Tree Sparrows were at Brevig.

White Wagtail, Outer Hebrides Wren, Outer Hebrides White Wagtail and Wren (Steve Duffield)


1st May:

South Ust: A Common Redpoll was coming to a feeder in Carnan this morning. 33 Kittiwakes and a Great Skua flew north at Ardvule while 6 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Whooper Swans and 9 Black-tailed Godwits were present.

Flame Carpet Striped Twin-spot Carpet Flame Carpet and Striped Twin-spot Carpet (John Kemp)