September Birds and request for sightings

As reported by Arran Birding :

Knot. On Saturday 9 September a single Knot was reported on the shore by Drumadoon Point. Last year there was only one Arran report of this regular passage migrant. This autumn there have already been three reports. See featured image.

Yellowhammer. On Saturday 9 September two Yellowhammer were reported calling and flying by the car park for the Machrie Standing Stones. This is the first Arran record of this species since one in Sliddery in March 2023. Yellowhammer used to breed on Arran. For more information read this article from 2020 by clicking here


Ring Ouzel. On Friday 15 September there was a report of two Ring Ouzel in Newton, a male and a female type.This is only the second Arran record this year of the scarce summer visitor and passage migrant. Last year there were eight records from six locations and one of those locations was Newton on 22 October 2022.


Arctic Skua. On Monday 25 September there was a report of a dark phase Arctic Skua flying off Drumadoon Point. This is the first Arran record this year of this uncommon passage migrant. Last year there was one record of an Arctic Skua off Pinmill on 19th December.


Look and Listen for Geese over Arran – Request for sightings from Arran Birding 

It is that time of year again when migratory geese are heading south from their breeding grounds in the north. In the morning of 13th September a flock flew across the Shiskine in the early morning in V formation calling.

The two main species of grey geese that we get on Arran are Greylag and Pink-footed. This link gives some information on how to tell them apart. Their calls are different if you want to check that out in Google.

There have already been reports of Pink-footed Geese moving into south-west Scotland the week 11th September. Looking at Arran autumn records for Pink-foot, the first Arran report to me in 2020 was 16th September, in 2021 it was 5th September and in 2022 it was 21st August. These were all flying flocks. They did not appear to stop.

Greylag are not straightforward because as well as the migratory geese that turn up in the winter in the Shiskine Valley and other places, there are naturalised Greylag Geese on Arran that are here throughout the year usually in Lamlash Bay and the south-end of Arran. There is more information on this link Greylag Geese.

I would be delighted to receive any sightings of returning migratory geese….with the usual “what, when, where” and an approximate number. Email to

September is the peak migration season. Passage migrants like Wheatear and Sandwich Tern are passing through. Some of our winter visitors like Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swan are beginning to arrive while some of our summer visitors like Swallow and House Martin are still around. I am interested in all signs of migration Re Swallow and House Martin, please report the last date that you have seen each of these species. In addition birds like Goldfinch, Linnet, Kittiwake and Starling are beginning to flock together, often in preparation for migration. I am not just interested in rare or unusual birds, but also the common birds which are often overlooked. Anything that is of interest to you will be of interest to me.

The latest annual bird report is available now – Arran Bird Report 2022 . The following outlets are stocked with copies; Arran Active, Brodick tel. 302113, the Book and Card Centre, Brodick tel 302288, Inspirations, Brodick tel. 302990, the Harbour Shop, Blackwaterfoot tel. 860215, The Wee Book Shop, Corrie tel. 810531, COAST Discovery Centre, Lamlash tel. 600656, the Pillar Box Whiting Bay tel. 700205 and Pirnmill Shop and Post Office tel. 850235. It is also available directly on line through Arran Active. Please click on this link to order your copy.

All images accessed at