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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

  Image

Details

Chiffchaff
On Thursday 28 November a Chiffchaff was photographed at Oakbank, Clauchlands, Lamlash, showing the characteristics of the sub species "tristis", commonly called Siberian Chiffchaff. This sub-species breeds east of the Urals and normally winters in India but does turn up in the UK most autumns/winters. There has been no previous Arran record.
Surf Scoter
On Sunday 24 November in the morning a female/immature Surf Scoter was photographed in Catacol Bay. This is the first ever Arran record of this American species which is a rare vagrant to Europe mainly recorded in autumn and winter. The appropriate form has been submitted to the rarities committee along with photographs.
Iceland Gull
On Sunday 24 November there was a report of a first winter Iceland Gull washing at the river mouth in Catacol Bay along with around fifty other large gulls. This is the first Arran report this year of this Arctic breeding gull that is an uncommon winter visitor. Last year there were twenty records from fifteen location.
Black Redstart
On Thursday 21 November there was a report of a male black Redstart in a garden in Porta Buidhe, Kildonan. The last Arran record of this scarce passage migrant was at Cordon on 24 June 2017.
White-tailed Eagle
On Thursday 21 November at around 8.00am there was a report of an adult White-tailed Eagle flying north past Pirnmill. This is the third Arran record this year. The first was a sub-adult over Lochranza on 18 August. More recently there was a distant photograph of two flying birds close to the North Sannox car park on 14 November.
Purple Sandpiper
On Monday !8 November there was a report of two Purple Sandpiper on Silver Sands. This is the first Arran record since March of this regular winter visitor. Last year the first returning Purple Sandpipers were reported on 17 November
Snow Bunting
Also on Saturday 16 November a different Snow Bunting was photographed on Cleats Shore on the south of Arran. It certainly seems to be a good time to be looking out for Snow Bunting on Arran!
Snow Bunting
On Saturday 16 November a Snow Bunting was photographed on the shore by Fisherman's Walk, Brodick. This follows four records of Snow Bunting on the northern hills. The first of these was on 12 October.
Goldeneye
On Thursday 14 November there was a report of a male Goldeneye on Mossend Pond. It was disturbed by a group of kayakers. This is the first autumn record this year of this regular winter visitor, whose numbers appear to be on the decline on Arran.
Grey Plover
On Saturday 26 October a Grey Plover was photographed on Cleats Shore. The last Arran record of this uncommon passage migrant was on 3 March 2018 also on Cleats Shore.
Brent Goose
On Monday 21 October a solitary Brent Goose was photographed on Cleats Shore. This is the first Arran autumn record of this occasional winter visitor. There were three Arran records in January this year all at Silver Sands and none in 2018.
Red Kite
On Thursday 17 October there was a report of a Red Kite lifting off a roadkill pheasant between Dougarie and Imacher on the west coast of Arran. This is the first Arran record this year off Red Kite. Last year there twelve records from eight locations of this occasional visitor. One of the records last year was of two birds together.
Fieldfare
On Wednesday 16 October there was a report of about ten Fieldfare with a larger group pf Redwing in Brodick (NS0135). This is the first Arran autumn record of this regular winter visitor this year. The first Arran autumn record in 2018 was 14 October.
Velvet Scoter
On Monday 14 October in the late morning a male Velvet Scoter was reported off Cosyden on the west coast of Arran.  The bird was first seen in flight with the distinctive wing pattern showing clearly. It landed on the sea and in the forty minutes of observation dived on three occasions and one occasion further showed the wing pattern by wing flapping. The last Arran record of this rare vagrant was of two off Catacol on 5 April 1998.
Ring Ouzel
On Monday 14 October in the morning a female type Ring Ouzel was watched at close range in a garden in North Newton. While this is the eighth Arran Ring Ouzel record this year, it is the first autumn one. Probably making its way from a more northern breeding ground to a winteriing area round the Mediterranean and North Africa.
Snow Bunting
On Saturday 12 October there was a report of two Snow Buntings on Caisteal Abhail in the northern hills. This is the first Arran record of this occasional passage migrant and winter visitor since 2016.
Little Egret
On Saturday 12 October there was a further report of Little Egret on Arran. This is the fourth year that this species has been recorded on Arran but the first time that two have been reported together. This record was from the salt marsh grass at Rubha Salach car park , just south of Corrie at around high tide. More info see page 28 of Arran Bird Report 2018.
Whooper Swan
On Saturday 12 October there was a report of three Whooper Swan in Whiting Bay and also a flock of seven flying over Lagg Distillery and Clachaig Farm. These are the first Arran autumn records of this regular winter visitor and passage migrant this year. The first Arran autumn record in 2018 was 23 September.
Brambling
On Wednesday 9 October there was a report of two Brambling at Pirnmill. This is the first Arran autumn record of this irruptive winter visitor this year. The first Arran autumn record in 2018 was 14 October. Also on 9 October there was a report of two Swallow at Machrie. Could this be the last record this year of this summer visitor?
Redwing
On Friday 4 October there was a report of a single Redwing by Sliddery Shore. This is the first Arran autumn record of this regular winter visitor this year. The first Arran autumn record in 2018 was 30 September.
Pink-footed Geese
On Sunday 29 September there was a report of a flock of around twenty Pink-footed Geese flying over Sliddery. This is the first Arran autumn record of this regular winter visitor and passage migrant. In 2018 the first autumn record was on 23 September.
Bar-tailed Godwit
On the evening of Sunday 1 September a Bar-tailed Godwit was photographed at Cosyden. This is the first autumn record of this uncommon passage migrant. In the spring this year there were fifteen records. In 2018 there was only one record in the whole year.
Little Egret
On Sunday 25 August there was a further report of Little Egret. On this occasion the report was from the south of the island at Torrylinn to the east of Lagg, NR964216. The bird was seen at around one o'clock flying south over the fields and road towards the coast.
Pied Flycatcher
On Wednesday 21 August there was a report of a male Pied Flycatcher in North Sannox This is the second record this year of this irregular summer visitor. The first was on 3 May at Corriecravie. The previous record was more than twenty years ago in 1998.
Little Egret
On Wednesday 21 August there was a report of a Little Egret in Lochranza, fying from castle area across the loch to Newton shore and back around midday. This is only the fourth year that this species has been reported on Arran, the third year in a row. Last year there were reports from twelve different locations between 27 September and 20 December the last location was Rubha Salach. More info here. See also page 28 of Arran Bird Report 2018.
White-tailed Eagle
On Sunday 18 August a subadult White-tailed Eagle was photographed overhead by the distillery in Lochranza. This is the first Arran record this year. In 2018 there were four records from four locations.
Knot
On Saturday 10 August there was a report of a Knot with Dunlin and Sanderling on Sliddery Shore. This is the first autumn report of this northern breeding species on migration to its wintering grounds. The last record was on 13 May at Drumadoon Point.


White Wagtail
On Saturday 10 August there was a report of two White Wagtail along with twenty Pied Wagtail on Sliddery Shore. This is the first autumn report of this northern breeding species on migration to its wintering grounds. The last record was on 13 May on the shore at Blackwaterfoot.
Rook
On Tuesday 30 July there was a report of three Rook in Sliddery. This is an unusual summer record as this species does not breed on Arran. It is a regular winter visitor.
Chough
On Monday15 July there was a report of two Chough on the coast near Fairy Dell, Lochranza. This is the first Arran report of this rare vagrant since 2011 when a single bird was by the Narachan track, Lochranza, from 5 to 29 September. ( Decision of Clyde Rarities Committee was non-proven)
Tufted Duck
On Monday 24 June a male Tufted Duck was photographed on Mossend Pond. This is the first Arran record this year of this species. It is an occasional visitor to Arran.
Black-headed Bunting
On Thursday 6 June in the evening a Black-headed Bunting was photogrphed with House Sparrows in the garden of Brandon Farm, Starthwillan NR0235, Isle of Arran. The photographs were sent to the local bird recorder for identification on Saturday 8 June in the evening. It had only been seen on the Thursday evening. On Saturday 8 June there was a report of a Black-headed Bunting on the Isle of Gigha. Probably the same bird.
Black-headed Bunting
This is the first Arran record of this UK rarity. Black-headed Bunting breeds in southeastern Europe from Italy and the Balkans east to the Black and Caspian Seas. It occurs south to Turkey, Israel, Iraq, and Iran and winters in India. It is a rare vagrant to the UK and Ireland. In recent years there have been around five records a year in the UK and Ireland.
Rose-coloured Starling
On Tuesday 4 June in the late afternoon there was a report of an adult Rose-coloured Starling with Common Starling feeding on the shore at Blackwaterwater close to the road junction of the A841 with the golf course road(NR8928). In both 2018 and 2017 there was a report of this rare vagrant in Sliddery in July. The bird in 2017 was caught and ringed. I would be pleased to have any further reports of this bird this year.
Coot
On Friday 30 May on a dreich evening a Coot was photographed on Mossend Pond. The last report of this occasional visitor to Arran was one on the pond at Port na Lochan on 14 August 2016.
Marsh Harrier
On Saturday 18 May there was a report of a female type/juvenile Marsh Harrier by Machrie House.  The last confirmed Arran record of Marsh Harrier, a rare vagrant here, was August 2004.
Wood Warbler
On Friday 17 May a Wood Warbler was heard, seen and photographed near Pirnmill. This is the first Arran record this year. This summer visitor is in serious decline in the UK. There were no Arran records in 2018, only two in 2017 and none from this part of Arran during the bird atlas work in 2007-2012.
Arctic Tern
On Tuesday 14 May there was a report of at least four Arctic Tern on Pladda. This is the first report this year of this long-distance migrant. The first report in 2018 was on the 20 April and the earliest record is 14 April 2013.
Knot
On Monday 13 May there was a report of a single Knot in non-breeding plumage towards Drumadoon Point. This is the first report this year of this passage migrant. In 2018 there was only one record from one location.
Spotted Flycatcher
On Monday 13 May there was a report of a Spotted Flycatcher at Pirnmill. This is the first Arran report received this year. The first report received in 2018 was on 30 April. The earliest record received was 21 April 2011.
Osprey
On Sunday 12 May there was a report of an Osprey close to the shore by North Sannox picnic area. It was flying north along the coast. This is only the second record of this occasional passage migrant this year. The first record was on 7 April ifrom Lamlash Bay.
Arctic Skua
On Saturday 11 May there was a report of an Arctic Skua just off the shore at Blackwaterfoot. This is the first recod this year of this uncommon passage migrant. In 2018 there were two records from two locations.
Magpie
On Saturday 11 May there was a report of a Magpie in Kildonan. This is the first Arran report this year of this vagrant.  Last year there were were twelve reports, in 2017 three, in 2016 none, in 2015 one and in 2014 one.
Green Sandpiper
On Saturday 11 May there was a report of a Green Sandpiper in Blackwaterfoot. The last Arran record of this uncommon passage migrant was in High Thunderguy on 1 August 2008.
Swift
On Friday 10 May there was a report of a single Swift in Glenscorrodale. This is the first report this year of this non-breeding summer visitor. Last year there were six records from six locations.
Sanderling
On Sunday 5 May there was a report of Sanderling at Drumadoon Point. This is the first report of this regular passage migrant this year. Last year there were six records from six locations.
Greenshank
On Sunday 5 May there was a report of a Greenshank with Whimbrel on the shore at Porta Buide. This is the first report this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there were eight records from five locations.
Dotterel
On Saturday 4 May and Sunday 5 May there were reports of two Dotterel on the northern mountain range of Arran. The last report of this uncommon passage migramt was in June 2012.
Pied Flycatcher
On Friday 3 May there was a report of a male Pied Flycatcher in a garden in Corriecravie. This is an irregular summer visitor to Arran. The last record was in 1998.
Lesser Whitethroat
On Wednesday 1 May there was a report of a Lesser Whitethroat singing by Fairhaven in Catacol. On Friday 10 May there was a further report of this species singing in Glenscorrodale. These are the first reports of this scarce summer visitor. Last year there were only two records from one location.
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