• 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

Patch Birding Yvonne's Local Patch - 2022

YvonneB

OH Bird Recorder
Well here we go again... Well done to @Bruce who was the Outer Hebrides top PWC patchbirder in 2021.

Due to ongoing problems with the Patchwork Challenge website this year i'm going to try something different, BirdGuides are running a Local Big Year initiative (using #LocalBigYear on social media) so I thought I would give that a go for a change. You choose your own criteria as you are, like PWC, only really in competition with yourself (or in my case in competition with @MisterT and Bill next door ;)). I have defined my area as within a 3 mile radius of home, for me this can easily be walked or cycled, it covers from Kilpheder in the south to Kildonan in the north and includes Daliburgh, this is a more realistic representation of my local patch. BirdGuides are encouraging people to aim for 150 species for the year which is probably a bit unrealistic for me - the most i've ever seen doing PWC is 133 in a year. But never say never, just got to put the effort in and see what pops up :)

LocalBigYear_3-miles-from-home.jpg

A real shame about PWC and having supported that for the last 11 years I'm a bit sad to see it gradually head downwards into oblivion.

A very grey and dreary day with winds gusting to 70+mph made for very challenging conditions on the first day of the year!

1. Blackbird
2. House Sparrow
3. Goldfinch
4. Starling
5. Rock Dove
6. Redwing
7. Lapwing
8. Greylag Geese
9. Common Gull
10. Herring Gull
11. Turnstone
12. Oystercatcher
13. Sanderling
14. Golden Plover
15. Ringed Plover
16. Raven
17. Gannet
18. Great Northern Diver
19. Cormorant
20. Guillemot - I didn't see one at all on patch in 2021 :)
21. Twite
22. Skylark
23. Whooper Swan
24. Curlew
25. Mute Swan
26. Tufted Duck
27. Wigeon
28. Mallard
29. Greenfinch
30. Dunnock
31. Dunlin
32. Long-tailed Duck
33. Great Black-backed Gull
34. Black-headed Gull
35. Teal

20220110_Out-on-the-patch.jpg

Grey and blustery meant most birds were keeping their heads well down!

Weather_20220101.jpg

Things can only get better! :)
 
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YvonneB

OH Bird Recorder
Out and about on the patch this morning, a few welcome additions :)

38. White-tailed Eagle
39. Hooded Crow
40. Shag
41. Shoveler
42. Grey Heron
43. Buzzard
44. Bar-tailed Godwit
 

YvonneB

OH Bird Recorder
47. Purple Sandpiper - several on the beach
48. Eider - flyby of 10
49. Goldeneye - At least 5 on Loch Hallan
50. Shelduck - 2 on Loch Hallan
51. Red-breasted Merganser - 1 at sea
 

YvonneB

OH Bird Recorder
Well since my last post things went rapidly downhill and i've barely been at home to do any patching. Early Feb I had to head down to look after my elderly parents who were both hospitalised - one with the covid and the other with a broken leg! Thankfully now both hale and hearty again :) I ended up being away for seven weeks and not too long after I returned I went off on a walking holiday to Spain for eight weeks (a 620 mile route, of which I walked around 550 miles).

Anyway, back to patching and my first day back home I picked up two new birds :)

61. Cuckoo
62. Willow Warbler
 
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