Author: Ian_T6523X

Shore Lark

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Golden Oriole

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Update 3rd para on both web & eBook to

Hobby is a very rare autumn visitor between August and October to South Uist (1992, 1994, 2003), Barra (2003, 2005, 2010, 2013), and St. Kilda (1990) when a bird was found exhausted.

Remove last para from both web & eBook starting “Occasional records

Additional images available. Move one of the existing images here + add a new to the summary

Within the range of Hobby, the nominate subbuteo breeds from Northern Africa through Europe and Asia to the sea of Okhotsk. It winters in Africa south of the equator, the Indian sub-continent and south China. (see map)

In Scotland, Hobby is a scarce passage migrant although numbers have increased over recent years. It is also a rare breeding bird having established itself as recently as the 1990s.

Historically, there were many records of Hobby here on the Outer Hebrides, but these observations are now thought to be mis-identified Merlin. Harvey-Brown observed – “There have been many records, especially from the north of Lewis, but none are trustworthy, the adult Merlins having been constantly mistaken for Hobbies. Mr. Greenwood, in all his letters and lists, was strong in the belief of the occurrence “in numbers” of the species, but all reason is against it, and reputed records since then are undoubtedly erroneous. We have had several opportunities of examining female Merlins sent as Hobbies from Gress in The Lews”. (Harvie-Brown J A and Buckley T E 1888: 89-90)

The first record of Hobby was on Lewis in 1965 when a male was found dead in Stornoway Woods. Hobby has increased its breeding range in the UK since then and records in the Outer Hebrides have similarly increased.

Nearly all records have been in May / June and from August to October with just two in July, albeit one on South Uist in 2012 occurring on the 1st of that month. The only reference a to bird in April is an exceptionally early unsubstantiated record in 1988 on North Uist.

All sightings have been of single birds, the only exception being in 2011 on South Uist when two birds were seen together.

1965Stornoway Woods, Lewis, male found dead, 9th May. (Cunningham: 81)
1977Loch Sandary, North Uist, 17th May. (Scottish Birds Vol.10 No3/4: 127)
1980 St Kilda,  7th  June. (Stevenson A unpublished)
1988Newton Ferry, North Uist, 2nd April. (Heb Nat No.10: 59, OH Bird Report 1988) – unsubstantiated. (Stevenson A unpublished)
1990St Kilda, one, exhausted  30th August. (OH Bird Report 1989 and 1990: 41)
1992St Kilda, first-summer, photo, 19th May. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

North Loch Eynort, South Uist, 25th July, possibly same Peninerine, South Uist, 2nd August. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

Drimsdale, South Uist, juvenile, 30th September. (Scottish Bird Report 1992: 22)
1993St Kilda, 6th May. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

Steinish, Lewis, 9th June. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

Ormiclate, South Uist, 22nd June. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)
1994St Kilda,  8th May. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

Loch Druidibeg Plantation, South Uist, juvenile, 29th October. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)
1997St Kilda, 18th May – unsubstantiated. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

St Kilda, 29th May – unsubstantiated. (OH Bird Report 1997: 33)

St Kilda,14th June. (Scottish Bird Report 1997: 27))
2002St Kilda, 26th May. (OH Bird Report 2002: 22)
2003Mingulay, first-summer , 11th June. (OH Bird Report 2003 & 2004: 33)

Carnan, South Uist, 10th September. (OH Bird Report 2003 & 2004: 33)

Brevig, Barra, Juvenile, 18th October. (OH Bird Report 2003 & 2004: 33)
2005Gleann, Barra, juvenile,  17th October, same, Northbay, Barra, 21st October. (OH Bird Report 2005/2006: 72)
2006Committee Road, North Uist, 4th June. (OH Bird Report 2005/2006: 72)
2008Vallay Strand, North Uist, 23rd May. (BirdGuides) – unsubstantiated
2009Stoneybridge, South Uist, 1st June. (OH Bird Report 2008-10: 47)

Committee Road, North Uist, 22nd June. (OH Bird Report 2008-10: 47)

Ben Risary plantation/ Scolpaig, North Uist, 8th & 12th August (BirdGuides) – unsubstantiated. (OH Bird Report 2008-10: 147)

Balmartin, North Uist, 17th October – Not proven. (OH Bird Report 2008-10: 147)
2010Gramsdale, Benbecula, 16th June – unsubstantiated.  (OH Bird Report 2008-10: 146)

Northbay/Skallary, Barra, 9th – 13th October. (OH Bird Report 2008-10: 47)
2011Eriskay, 7th June  – unsubstantiated. (OH Bird Report 2011-13: 365)

Loch Teanga area, South Uist, two, 11th June. (OH Bird Report 2011-13: 236)
2012South Glendale, South Uist, 12th May. (OH Bird Report 2011-13: 236)

Bornish, South Uist, 1st July. (OH Bird Report 2011-13: 236)
2013Aird an Runair, North Uist, 18th May. (OH Bird Report 2011-13: 236)

Brevig, Barra, 26th September, presumed same, Northbay House, Barra, 10th October. (OH Bird Report 2011-13: 236)
2016Loch Carnan, South Uist, 12th May (BirdGuides) – unsubstantiated. (OH Bird Report 2014-16: 215)
2018Lochcarnan, South Uist, 21st June, (BirdTrack) – unsubstantiated. (OH Bird Report 2018: 159)
2019Clettreval, North Uist, 29th June. (BirdGuides) – unsubstantiated
2020Aird, Point, Lewis, 25th May. (OHRC 008-2020)

Gleann, Barra, 11th June. (OHRC 009-2020)
2021Lochmaddy, North Uist, 23rd June. (BirdGuides) – unsubstantiated
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