News archive

November 2006

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Goldfinch on seed feeder

Mussel Farm Proposed for Chanonry Point

There is a proposal to establish a 145 ac. (59 ha.) mussel farm off Chanonry Point (site 8 in 'The Top 52 birdwatching sites in the Highlands'). The area is probably one of the best places in Britain to see bottle-nosed dolphins and is a good site for seeing skuas in the spring and autumn as well as manx shearwaters, and storm and Leach's petrels in the later summer. The area is also a Special Conservation Area. Scottish Natural Heritage has asked for information on the likely impact of the proposal, which, if it goes ahead, is expected to produce 1000 tonnes of shellfish annually. However, as far as is known, nothing has been decided and SNH has asked that local people be consulted.

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Wetland Bird Survey

Dave Butterfield has sent the following counts for the Wetland Bird Survey High Tide Count on the 8 October.
Munlochy Bay (site 6 in 'The Top 52 Birdwatching Sites in the Highlands') - 16 black-tailed godwit and 2 ruff. Udale Bay (site 11) 33 slavonian grebes, 62 scaup, 305 bar-tailed godwit, 400 redshank, 420 knot and 3000 wigeon.
Nigg Bay (site 15) - a little stint, 6 grey plover, 500 redshank, 530 curlew, 550 lapwing, 900 golden plover and 4000 wigeon.
Loch Fleet (site 24) - 1750 greylags and 737 curlew.
Brora (site 26) - 85 sanderling and 120 ringed plover.
Gruinard Bay (site 49) - a long-tailed duck, 6 great northern and 16 black-throated divers, and 40 black guillemots, a good record for the west coast.
Broadford Bay (site 52, stop 1) - over 550 redwings

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Blue tit perched on frost-covered conifer

Twitchers' Corner

Dave Butterfield reports that in late September a pectoral sandpiper was spotted at Dornoch (site 23 in 'The Top 52 Birdwatching Sites in the Highlands'), whilst in early October a laughing gull and white-billed diver were spotted at Brora (site 26). The ring-billed gull was spotted for the third successive year at Dingwall

Saturday, 4 November 2006

View of mountains through trees, RSPB Loch Garten nature reserve

Late Departures and Early Arrivals

The later onset of Autumn has seen our summer visitors delaying their departures from our area. In mid-September there were 500 common and arctic terns still feeding between Avoch and Fortrose, on the Black Isle, and at the end of the month there were still some house martins about. Yet by early October the winter migrants were beginning to arrive.