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Some birds on North Uist in the first week of the New Year

Posted: 07 Jan 2017, 20:13
by BrianR
Long-stayers from 2016 were American Wigeon (Aileodar or nearby Oban Trumisgarry), American Coot (Loch nam Feithean) and Little Egret (North Ford). The last, however, is more often to be found on the Benbecula side of the causeway. Iceland Gulls were at Locheport and Baleshare with two or three Glaucous Gulls here and at Rubh' Arnal and single birds at Claddach Kirkibost, Loch Sandary and Balranald NR.
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1st-winter Glaucous Gull
Not many Redwings appear to be wintering and even fewer Fieldfares. On the 3rd there was no sign of the 61 Pale-bellied Brent Geese in the Rubh' Arnal area at the end of December but this flock moves around a bit. Of the flock twelve were juveniles indicating a good breeding season (wintering numbers of this species have increased on North Uist in the last couple of years). Staying with geese there is a hybrid Canada x Barnacle Goose in the Sollas area. There were a couple of such hybrids that alternated between here and Balranald NR several years ago. A Tree Sparrow in a Bayhead garden shows a bit of greyish on the fore-crown so perhaps this may also be a hybrid (with House Sparrow). Jamie mentioned unusual numbers of Grey Herons at Loch nam Feithean recently (into double-figures). There are probably more than we realise wintering around the coast - for example on the 4th at Sponish two White-tailed Eagles flew over putting up a flock of 35. A ♂ Blackcap is coming regularly to a feeding-station at Mishigarry (Sandi mentions that it is very aggressive driving the other birds away when feeding).
Common Gull with plumage aberration that has been around for a while now
At the end of Eachkamish yesterday

Re: Some birds on North Uist in the first week of the New Year

Posted: 08 Jan 2017, 17:15
by BrianR
There are now six Glaucous Gulls on Baleshare beach. Photo of what I think is a 3rd-winter bird attached. Taken in rather misty conditions.

Re: Some birds on North Uist in the first week of the New Year

Posted: 08 Jan 2017, 22:17
by YvonneB
Hi Brian, and thanks for the info. Mr.T and I spent the first four days of the year birding and amassed 87 species (me, Mr.T got 88 as I missed out on Goldcrest).

We managed, thanks to your good self to see the American Wigeon. We also managed to see the American Coot at Balranald. Our other highlights were both Glaucous and Iceland Gulls at Ardivachar on the 2nd, 38 Greenland White-fronts at Iochar machair, a single Black-tailed Godwit and a Scaup at Coot Loch, a further 9 Scaup at Loch Bee and a Common Scoter here at Askernish

All in all an enjoyable few days! :)
Glaucous Gull, Ardivachar
Black-tailed Godwit, Coot Loch
Slav Grebe, Otternish