• 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

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Eyes and Ears Everywhere
Western Isles / Outer Hebrides bird sightings for today, 12th January 2020. Updated throughout the day

Balranald, North Uist
The drake Pintail was again on Loch a Roe

Loch Sandary, North Uist
A Coot was on the loch today

Baleshare, North Uist
A juvenile Glaucous Gull and 30 Snow Buntings were on the island.

Ruhba Ardvule, South Uist
Counting period: 08:15 - 10:15
Weather: Wind WSW f6-7, mix of showers and bright spells. Temp 6-6C.

A 2 hour seawatch this morning produced 2 Eider (S), 2 Red-throated Divers (S), 1 Great Northern Diver (S), 15 Gannets (13S 2N), 33 Shags (31S 2N), 1 Cormorant (S), 3 Kittiwakes (S), 18 Common Gulls (S), 17 Great Black-backed Gulls (S) and 53 herring Gulls (S).
Also present in the area were Wigeon 105, Teal 9, Tufted Duck 8, Red-breasted Merganser 3, Red-throated Diver 1, Cormorant 26, Ringed Plover 32, Common Gull 45, Hooded Crow 3 and Raven 1

Chris Johnson

Senior Member
A blustery day for the WeBS count on the Ardivachar coast with a large number of gulls, mainly herring and common, both on the shore and on the flooded machair. A group of 70 turnstones flighting between the rocks but no sign of the purple sandpipers.
North Bay was rather more sheltered and had the resident flock of bar-tailed godwits for the area (c650) and an outstanding count of c1000 sanderlings. We often have several hundred sanderlings on the Ardivachar side, so I asssume these have supplemented the North Bay population for more shelter.

For the whooper swan survey, we had just two at Loch an Os - NF792459


OH Bird Recorder
WeBS was challenging again today with a stiff breeze and squally showers of sleet and hail but I wanted to get out as it was also International Swan Census weekend. I'll include a quick summary of observations of swans - thanks to all those who braved the weather and got out to look for swans.

Loch Bee was fairly quiet with Mute Swan numbers down to around 300 though Wigeon were in plentiful supply at c800 birds. 7 Scaup were bobbing wildly about out in the open water and I was pleased to see a total of 123 Greenland Whitefronts. I have noticed this winter where there used to be one large flock of whitefronts there now seems to be smaller groups spread throughout the site. Plenty of Greylags with probably c400 in the vicinity and 37 Barnacle Geese. Waders were few with Lapwing, Golden Plover, Turnstone and Redshank present. 2 Goldeneye and a single Long-tailed Duck were on the loch.

South Ford had good numbers of Grey Plover with 220+ out on the sands with c150 Dunlin there too. A lot of Shelduck in the area and I counted 52.

Whooper Swans

Thanks go to the many volunteer counters for the information. Your efforts, particularly in the current weather conditions are much appreciated!

  • 6 on Loch Tangasdale

South Uist
  • Smerclate to Daliburgh, 2 on Loch Hallan
  • Loch na Liana Moire, Frobost - 1
  • Loch Aird an Sgairbh, Milton - 7
  • 151 birds in total, from Howmore to Bornish, most were on the flooded north bit of Bornish machair and Ormiclate.
  • Lochs Grogarry, Stilligarry and Druidibeg were counted but I don't have the exact figures yet.
  • Loch Bee 20
  • Loch an Os - 6
  • Small loch near the South Ford 6 birds

  • Coot Loch, Lochs Mor and Fada were covered but I don't have the figures to hand
  • Loch Stiapabhat, Ness 4
  • Loch na Duine, Aird 5
  • Back Pools was going to be counted but I have no figures yet.
Great coverage considering there aren't too many of us here! :)

I've copied this swan survey information and posted in "Chatter" so that I can update it when I have more information, see https://www.outerhebridesbirds.org....onal-swan-census-2020-january-11th-12th.1530/

A family group of Whoopers today