• Please be aware that avian influenza has been confirmed in the Western Isles. Great Skua and Gannet are the worst affected currently but a range of other bird species can be infected. Please avoid contact with dead birds, give sick and dying birds space, keep dogs on leads and report all such instances to Defra (03459 335577). RSPB and Nature Scot are working together to collate all records of birds with suspected avian influenza on the islands. If you see a suspected case of avian influenza please email a record to robyn.stewart@rspb.org.uk, including date, species (if known) and location.
  • When here in the Outer Hebrides and looking at a bird, have you ever wondered how rare it is? The status of all species can vary enormously from island to island. How rare is Shoveler on Barra, has Stock Dove been seen on Harris, does Dotterel occur on Benbecula in the autumn, and how common is Blue Tit on North Uist? Well, fret no longer! The Status and Distribution of birds here on the Outer Hebrides has been completely updated and summarised for every species and each of the main islands and outliers. Available as an online resource at https://status.outerhebrides-birdreports.org/ or via our shop

    New - now available as an ebook

YvonneB

OH Bird Recorder
Very variable weather for todays WeBS count - from sunshine to horizontal rain in the blink of an eye and the 10C temperature giving it a somewhat wintry feel!

A total of 39 species at Loch Bee which I didn't think was too bad for the time of year. It was fairly quiet duck-wise though there was a decent count of 17 Shoveler. Also present were 36 Mallard, 13 Teal, 6 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Tufted Duck and a single wigeon. By far the highest count of any species was Mute Swan with c330 present, mostly adults, very few juveniles. There were 5 Whoopers, 4 in the southern part of the loch and a single bird in the northern area.

Plenty of Common Gulls, c100 with approximately 10 non-flighted young that I could see. 5 Arctic Terns were active in the area. The only raptor was a single Short-eared Owl. A very distant Little Egret made a brief appearance. Large numbers of Greylag (216) were present with a good number of goslings amongst them.

The usual waders were there with the highest count being Oystercatchers (88). Also present were 49 Redshank, 50 Lapwing, 3 Ringed Plover, 13 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 1 Curlew and 16 Black-tailed Godwits on Loch an t-Saile which is also part of the count area.

The South Ford was fairly quiet due to the high tide and apart from 198 Bar-tailed Godwits i'm not sure where most of the other waders were hiding. Arctic and Little Tern were both present and Corncrake was heard. Good to see 6 female Eider with a total of 14 ducklings.

Heron in the wind - Loch Bee.jpg
Grey Heron Loch Bee
 
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