Mike Cullen has sent several photographs of a Hooded Crow seemingly 'grooming' a black-faced lamb's ears and face, presumably in search of ticks. This has occurred in the last few days at Kinloch Camp Site, Dunvegan. None of the images showed the animal to be in any distress and there is no evidence of pecking. 'Hoodies' have a somewhat unenviable reputation when it comes to their impacts on livestock, especially on lambs. Could this be an instance where they are actually doing some good? Has anyone else seen this kind of behaviour?
Andy Stables has added - " I see starlings doing it all the time around Milovaig and I've also seen jackdaws doing it too. The sheep being pecked always seem to be in very good health but I wonder if the birds are taking blowfly larvae rather than ticks. Not much meat in a tick."
The Red-rumped Swallow seen at Talisker in June has now been accepted by the Scottish Birds Rarities Committee and has become No. 246 on the Skye List. There was an interesting history to this bird in that it was first seen on Sanday, Orkney on 9th June. It was then seen at Talisker by Steph and Ray Hamilton on 17th June. David and Christine Hammond saw and photographed the bird on 25th June though at the time were unaware of the significance of their observation. It was only when Ian Fulton saw and photographed the bird on 29th June that news of its presence broke, unfortunately too late for a couple of local twitchers! The story does not end there as there is a suggestion that the bird may belong to an eastern sub-species yet to be recorded in the UK. The record will now be assessed by the British Birds Rarities Committee and the British Ornithologist's Union Record Committee - dont expect a decision too soon!
Identification and survey techniques for farm and croft birds at Drumbuie - 7.30am - 10am, followed by coffee and cake in Erbusaig ...and, a bacon roll if you're lucky! Led by Bob McMillan - meet at the Station Car Park
A great opportunity to visit the National Trust for Scotland owned Isle of Canna. Visit the Small Isle that has it all... unsurpassed views to the other Small Isles, Skye and the Western Isles, incredible wildlife and a rich cultural heritage. Sailing from Armadale onboard the ‘Western Isles’ Saturday 15th of June 2013 8.15am-6.00pm £25 (children £12) NON-MEMBERS WELCOME . Information & booking forms from the SW Ross Field Club Meetings Secretary: Rule Anderson, National Trust for Scotland, Kintail & Morvich, IV40 8HQ.
Tel: 01599 511231 E-mail: www.swrfc.org.uk
The Highland Bird Report for 2009 has just been published. Produced by the Highland Branch of the SOC the reports contains records of the 225 species recorded in the region in 2009. Three species were recorded for the first time - Red-rumped Swallow, River Warbler, and Sandhill Crane. There are 150 pages, with regional summaries (including Skye and Lochalsh), and a number of colour photographs. The website holds a small number of copies which are available at a cost of £8 ....or £10 including postage.