Archive for the ‘Who Has Seen What’ Category

Greater Yellowleg seen and filmed

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

A close relative of the Greenshank, but actually a North American shore bird, the Greater Yellowleg, Tringa melanoleuca, was recently seen in our area.

View a short video of the Greater Yellowleg digiscoped by Russell

Greater YellowlegClick image to view

Greater Yellowleg

A Wasp in Winter

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

This is a wasp found on McAllister’s wall today 22 December 2011: Continue reading “A Wasp in Winter” »

Greater Sandplover, Dornoch beach

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Russell has taken very good pictures of a Greater sandplover at Dornoch beach on 16th June 2011.

Continue reading “Greater Sandplover, Dornoch beach” »

Great White Egret

Saturday, May 21st, 2011
An Egret has been seen in Tain Bay.
Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Click image to viewIt was seen by Bill Urquhart on 21st May 2011.
It is large, has dark flesh coloured legs and feet, distinct S-bend neck, dark bill with a little paler at base but few plumes.
We think sub-adult Great White[1] [2].

Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Hemaris tityus; seen at about 14:15 on 17th May 2011 at Oldtown, Ardgay, NH 595 895, feeding on Erysimum nectar.

Weather was sunny, warm and breezy.

IMG_2824Click image to view

Loch Fleet Bird Hide

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

A very pleasant day for visiting this new bird hide.  It is accessed from Golspie, down the Littleferry Road, not far after passing the southern end of  the golf course a stylish wooden gate marks the entrance.

A flat walk of under 1km brings you to the hide.

The path to the Loch Fleet bird hideTwo Arrows Continue reading “Loch Fleet Bird Hide” »

Aspen Trees

Friday, February 25th, 2011

At the new Hope Gate, the western entrance to The Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, David and Heather spotted a local tree.

Well, it is an etching of two local Aspen trees.  Dornoch, Sutherland artist Ian Westacott has an exhibition of ‘Venerable Trees‘ now being displayed at the Hope Gate.

2AspenIanWestacottClick image to view

These Aspen trees are growing west of Ardgay, near a Champion Tree, also Aspen, as described by John Miller.  John Miller has lead two TDFC excursions examining local trees.

Betty Wright has kindly lent a photograph of Ian Westacott’s Aspen trees which gives insight into how they are an inspiring pair.

2AspenBettyWrightClick image to view

These trees can be seen growing in a fenceline by Dounie just west of Gledfield, Ardgay, in plain view of the road.

Another local tree is in Ian Westacott’s exhibition, this one is called the ‘No Worry Tree’.

NoWorryTreeIanWestacottClick image to view

This tree is in the Gearrchoille, Ardgay.  We have no photo of it.  Can you supply one?

First Frog Spawn – 2011

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Who has seen frog spawn this spring in Ross-shire or Sutherland?  Continue reading “First Frog Spawn — 2011” »

Common Crane Sighted

Monday, November 15th, 2010
Info for the birdwatchers among you.  There has been a juvenile Common Crane at Nigg on 14th and 15th November 2010. Continue reading “Common Crane Sighted” »

Grasshopper Warbler in residence at Inchindown

Friday, July 30th, 2010
Sheena Strachan says:
18 July 2010 at 21:00 (Edit)

Hi Folks – Grasshopper Warbler in residence at Inchindown this summer, (Forestry “walkers welcome” path off the road between Scotsburn and Ardross. OS: NH 684 738). Continue reading “Grasshopper Warbler in residence at Inchindown” »

Nacreous Clouds over Sutherland

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Last night, 29th – 30th July, there was a great display of Nacreous Clouds, or 2, at 03:00, early morning of the 30th. Continue reading “Nacreous Clouds over Sutherland” »

Small Blue butterfly at Tarbatness; 27th May 2010

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
SmallBlueatTatbatness 3 SmallBlueatTatbatness 1
Click image to view

Heather & Sparky found a Small Blue today at Tarbatness at the second bay to S of Wilkhaven pier (NH 944 867) which seems to be a completely new site for the SB.

Aspen Catkins – male or female?

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

0391aspen-catkinsClick image to view

Remember 9th of March when John Parrott spoke about aspen?

0384aspen-catkinsClick image to view

On 16th May Marion & Phil spotted a single aspen tree with catkins in a collection of over 60 ramets (stems) mixed with birch, scots pine and alder.  This ratio may be in line with the rarity of Aspen setting seed.

0374aspen-catkin-branchesClick image to view

The only branches showing catkins were quite high up and digiscoping was resorted to in order to get images.

North Highland Forest Trust had information, from which I have purloined these images. (Note from 2018; the NHFT has no website.)


Female Catkin


Male Catkin

I will try to watch the catkins develop to ascertain which sex they are. (Note from 2018; internet searches show the very clear differences between male and female aspen catkins. Male look quite red. Female are green going whitish.)

To confirm which catkin is which sex NHFT advice is to break off a small branch/twig, place it in water so it survives, and watch the catkins develop.

The location of this aspen tree is NH 59692 89843, +/- 7metres, so says the GPS.

That is above Ardgay, Sutherland on Landranger sheet 21.

41 Pilot Whales

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Hi all,

just wanted to mention the pod of long-finned pilot whales, which were reported previously from The Sutors of Cromarty. Steph and I saw at least 41 of them in the outer Dornoch Firth yesterday 5/5/10 very roughly half-way between Carn Liath and Tarbatness lighthouse. Might be worth a look in case they are still about.

Dave Jones/Steph Elliott

28th March 2010 Sightings

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Wheatear at Tarbatness today.
Lots of Whooper Swans, Greylag and some Pinkfeet around Loch Eye.
Osprey back on an East Ross nest site.
by David