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Recent Sightings

Bird Sightings

The aim of this page is to keep everyone, residents and visitors alike, up to date with what "unusual" birds are about. Observers are asked to contact me on info@arranbirding.co.uk. The intention is to keep the page up to date so that others can benefit from the sharing of observations. In the event of rarities being found, further details will be required from observers.

arranbirding.co.uk has complete discretion as to what information is added to these pages. In particular, any details which might reveal breeding sites of vulnerable species will be excluded. No information will be published which may in any way put birds at risk.

Species

Details

Osprey. On Thursday 29 February there was a report of an Osprey in Brodick Bay giving good views from Fisherman's Walk. This is the first report this year of this pasage migrant and summer visitor. In 2023 there were six records from five locations. All single birds. The first record in 2023 was on 11 March.
Red Kite. On Monday 26 February there was a report of a Red Kite in the afternoon flying above the twelve apostles in Catacol. This is the first report of this occasional visitor this year. In 2023 there were two records both of single birds. The last record was one by Clauchan Water on 20 October 2023. In 2022 there were five records.
Common Scoter. On Thursday 15 February there was a report of a female Common Scoter off Fairy Dell in the north of Arran. This is the fourth report of this occasional winter visitor this year.
White-tailed Eagle. On Monday 12 February a sub-adult White-tailed Eagle was photographed by the coast near Shannochie. This is the fourth report of this vagrant species this year.
Long-tailed Duck. On Sunday 11 February there was a report of a female Long-tailed Duck on the sea off Pirnmill. The last Arran report of this Arctic breeding species was a male off Porta Buidhe on 5 January 2021.

Nuthatch. On Tuesday 30 January there was a report of a Nuthatch in Strathwillan. In 2023 one bird at Cnoc na Dail on 10 October was the only record. There were no records in 2022. In 2021 one over-wintering bird generated forty reports. This species is moving north through the UK. More information here.
Common Scoter. On Wednesday 3 January there was a report of a single Common Scoter off Pirnmill. This is the first report this year of this under-reported species. The last autumn record of this occasional visitor was on Friday 17 November 2023, a male in Catacol Bay. The previous report was a report of five Common Scoter off Machriewaterfoot on 4 May 2023.
White-fronted Goose On Sunday 31 December there was a report of two White-fronted Geese in the Shiskine Valley with Greylag Geese. The last Arran report of this occasional winter visitor was five on 16 March also in the Shiskine Valley.
Gannet. On Sunday 31 December there was a report of a single Gannet in Kilbrannon Sound off Newton. Gannet normally winter further south off Spain or west Africa. The last Arran record was one off Pirnmill on 7 November. Not sure if this latest record is a lingering bird or an early return. The weather in the Atlantic has been very lively of late.

Purple Sandpiper. On Tuesday 21 November there was a report of two Purple Sandpiper on the shore at Silver Sands, Kildonan. This is the first autumn record this year of this regular winter visitor. The last report was a report of two Purple Sandpiper at Dhunan on 7 April 2023.
Little Egret Update. There have been five further November records including reports on Sunday 19 November from two locations. In the morning there was a report of a single bird at Cordon on the east coast and also in the morning a report of a single bird between King's Cave and Drumadoon on the west coast. In the afternoon there was a further report from Cordon. These reports would suggest at least two Little Egret on the island.
Common Scoter. On Friday 17 November there was a report of a single male Common Scoter in Catacol Bay. This is the first autumn record this year of this occasional visitor. The last report was a report of five Common Scoter off Machriewaterfoot on 4 May 2023.
Waxwing Update. In November there have been four further reports of Waxwing, all in the Lochranza area. The largest group was thirteen in trees between the outdoor centre and the church on Saturday 11 November. The last Arran report of this irruptive winter visitor was was one in a garden in Cordon in February 2020. For more information on Waxwing on Arran click here and here
Little Egret. On Monday 6 November two Little Egret were photographed at Drumadoon Point. This is only the tenth autumn record this year of this species which first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996. Its colonization followed naturally from this range expansion into western and northern France in previous decades. The first confirmed Scottish breeding record was in 2020 in Dumfries and Galloway. This year there have been sixty-eight reports on Arran. Almost all have been of single birds. There was a report of two in South Carlo on 8 January and a report of three in Cordon on 8 May.

Waxwing. On the morning of Tuesday 31 October three Waxwing came into a garden in Newton, Lochranza, along with Fieldfare and Redwing. The observer managed to get this photograph through binoculars. The last Arran report of this irruptive winter visitor was was one in a garden in Cordon in February 2020. For more information on Waxwing on Arran click here and here
Brent Goose pale-breasted. On Sunday 15 October a solitary Brent Goose was photographed in the shallow water from Sandbraes road, just past the Kingscross burn. This is the first autumn record this year of this occasional winter visitor. The last autumn report received was two on Cleats Shore on 5 October 2021. For more information on Brent Goose on Arran click here.
Wigeon. On Wednesday 11 October there was a report of eight Wigeon at Cosyden. This is the first autumn record this year of this regular winter visitor. Last year the first autumn report of this winter visitor was 29 October.
Ring Ouzel. On Wednesday 11 October there was a report of a male Ring Ouzel by the Narachan track to Laggan. ( See also Friday 15 September) This is only the third Arran record this year of the scarce summer visitor and passge migrant. Last year there were eight records from six locations and one of those locations was Newton on 22 October 2022.
Goldeneye. On Monday 9 October there was a report of a male Goldeneye in Brodick Bay. This is the first autumn record this year of this regular winter visitor. Last year the first autumn report of this winter visitor was 8 December.
Great Skua. On Monday 9 October there was a report of a Great Skua alongside the Caledonian Isles approaching Brodick Bay. This is only the second Arran record this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there were two records both in July.
Brambling. On Monday 9 October there was a report of two Brambling with Chaffinch in Fairy Dell. This is the first autumn record this year of this irruptive winter visitor not seen every year. Last year the first autumn report of this winter visitor was 23 October.
Rook. On Monday 9 October there was a report of thirteen Rook on Cleats Shore. This is the only the second autumn record this year of this regular winter visitor. Last year the first autumn report of this regular winter visitor was 10 September.
Fieldfare. On Monday 9 October there was a report of Fieldfare from High Kildonan. There had been an earlier report of a mixed flock with Redwing in Sannox on 27 September. Last year the first autumn report of this regular winter visitor was on 16 October.
Redwing. On Sunday 8 October there were reports of Redwing from Newton and from Sliddery. On Monday 9 October there were reports from Cleat shore, Lagg distillery and Sliddery.  The largest group reported was over five hundred. There had been an earlier report of a mixed flock with Fieldfare in Sannox on 27 September. Last year the first autumn report of this regular winter visitor was on 29 September.
Whooper Swan. On Sunday 8 October there was a report of four Whooper Swan flying over Kilpatrick. This is the first Arran record this autumn of this regular winter visitor and passage migrant. Last year the first autumn report was on 28 September.
Arctic Skua. On Monday 25 September there was a report of a dark phase Arctic Skua flying off Drumadoon Point. This is the first Arran record this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there was one record of an Arctic Skua off Pinmill on 19 December.
Ring Ouzel. On Friday 15 September there was a report of two Ring Ouzel in Newton, a male and a female type.This is only the second Arran record this year of the scarce summer visitor and passge migrant. Last year there were eight records from six locations and one of those locations was Newton on 22 October 2022.
Great Skua. On Tuesday 12 September there was a report of a Great Skua attacking Gannets just south of Pladda. This is the first Arran record this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there were two records both in July.
Yellowhammer. On Saturday 9 September two Yellowhammer were reported calling and flying by the car park for the Machrie Standing Stones. This is the first Arran record of this species since one in Sliddery in March 2023. Yellowhammer used to breed on Arran. For more information read this article from 2020 by clicking here
Knot. On Saturday 9 September a single Knot was reported on the shore by Drumadoon Point. Last year there was only one Arran report of this regular passage migrant. This autumn there have already been three reports.
Osprey On Monday 14 August in the morning an Osprey was photographed flying above the hill at Rubha Airigh Bheirg on the west coast. The image was captured by photographing into direct bright sunshine. It is a good record shot. This is the fifth sighting this year of this passage migrant. Before this sighting there was one in each of March, April, May and June. Their nearest known breeding ground is the Isle of Bute.

Sooty Shearwater On Friday 11 August an all dark looking shearwater was observed and photographed in Machrie Bay. The birds flight was completely different from the more familiar Manx Shearwaters which were also in Machrie Bay. That together with the shape of the bird and its colour lead the observer to the conclusion that it was a Sooty Shearwater. The rare bird record form with a full description of the observation together with supporting photographic evidence will be subitted to the appropriate rarities committee for consideration. If confirmed this will be the first Arran report of this rare vagrant from the southern hemishere since September 2009.
Black-tailed Godwit On Thursday 27 July a Black-tailed Godwit still in breeding plumage was photographed on the shore at Cordon. This is the first Arran report this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there was only one record and it was from Cleats Shore on 29 September 2022.
Rook On Friday21 July there was a report of a Rook in Corriecravie. This is the first Arran report since 2 May when there was one on Cleats Shore. This common and widespread crow on the adjacent mainland does not breed on Arran but is regularly seen in the winter. Last year there were twenty-five records from seven locations.
Greenshank On Saturday 15 July there was a report of a Greenshank on Sliddery Shore. This is the first Arran report this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there were five records from four locations.
Spotted Flycatcher On Saturday 20 May there was a report of a Spotted Flycatcher by the Lagg water. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 17 May.
Pale breasted Brent Goose On Monday 15 and on Tuesday 16 May there was a report of a Pale breasted Brent Goose on the shore at Blackwaterfoot. This is the first Arran report this year of this occasional winter visitor. The last Arran report was two on Cleats Shore on 25 October 2021.
Garden Warbler On Friday 12 May there was a report of a Garden Warbler in North Sannox. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. In 2022 there was only one report of Garden Warbler and it was on 21 May.
Redstart On Thursday 11 May there was a report of a Redstart singing in North Kiscadale. This is the first Arran report this year of this scarce summer visitor. The last Arran report was a juvenile on Burrican Hill on 10 August 2022.
Wood Warbler On Sunday 7 May there was a report of a Wood Warbler in Brodick Country Park. This is the first Arran report this year of this summer visitor. There were no Arran reports of Wood Warbler in 2022..
Tree Pipit On Sunday 7 May there was a report of a Tree Pipit in Glen Rosa. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 24 April.
Common Scoter On Thursday 4 May there was a report of two male and three female Common Scoter off Machriewaterfoot. This is the first Arran report this year of this occasional visitor. Last year there were three reports from two locations.
Swift On Monday 1 May in the evening there was a report of two Swift flying in the Shiskine Valley. This is the first Arran report this year of this summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 6 June. The earliest ever Arran report was 1 May 2009. Last year there were seven Arran Swift records in the whole summer which is typical. On Monday 1 May there were at least four other Swift records in the Clyde area.
Sedge Warbler On Friday 28 April in the evening there was a report of a Sedge Warbler by Silver Sands, Kildonan. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 16 April.
Whitethroat On Friday 28 April there was a report of a Whitethroat by the Sliddery Water. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 19 April.
Whinchat On Wednesday 26 April there was a report of a Whinchat  on a fence post on the Machrie Moor road. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 24 April.
Grasshopper Warbler On Saturday 22 April there was a report of a Grasshopper Warbler reeling in Bennecarrigan. There was a further report on Tuesday 25 April from the same area. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 17 April.
Bar-tailed Godwit On Saturday 22 April there was a report of a Bar-tailed Godwit on the shore at Porta Buide, Kildonan. This is the first Arran report this year of this uncommon passage migrant. In 2022 there were only three Arran records, all of single birds.


Whimbrel On Thursday 20 April there was a report of three Whimbrel on the shore at Porta Buide. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular passage migrant.
Whimbrel A2 arrived on Arran on Tuesday 25 April. It was fitted with a little leg flag with the symbol A2 on it on 30 April 2017 on a shore on the south of Arran. Last winter on 24 November 2022 it was reported wintering on the coast at Bank a’ Arguin, Mauritania in West Africa, having been seen on Arran virtually in the same week in the spring for the last six years! From 26-28 April 2022 A2 was on a Kildonan shore where it was photographed again.
Cuckoo On Wednesday 19 April there was a report of a Cuckoo in Glen Rosa. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 17 April.
Common Sandpiper. On Monday 17 April there was a report of a Common Sandpiper in Catacol Bay. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 14 April.
House Martin. On Tuesday 11 April  there was a report of a House Martin in Brodick. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 6 April.
Manx Shearwater. On Saturday 8 April there was a report of seventy-nine Manx Shearwater in Whiting Bay. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 1 July.
Swallow. On Thursday 6 April  there was a report of a Swallow over Sliddery Shore. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was also on 6 April.
Willow Warbler. On Wednesday 5 April  there was a report of a Willow Warbler at Clachaig. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 28 March.
Sandwich Tern. On Monday 3 April  there was a report of a Sandwich Tern on Sliddery Shore. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular summer visitor. The first Arran report last year was on 10 April.
White Wagtail (alba). On Monday 3 April  there was a report of three White Wagtail on the shore at Porta Buidhe. This is the first Arran report this year of this regular passage migrant. The first Arran report last year was on 13 April.
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