This page features current news and views from Skye and elsewhere. It will also provide an opportunity for others working locally to report research and results.
May is often a time for unusual records and it is worthwhile explaining the processes involved in dealing with rarities. Species such as Black Stork or Broad-billed Sandpiper, both recorded in 2010, go to the British Birds Rarities Committee. Species such as Black Kite and Rough-legged Buzzard, also reported in 2010, require a description to the Scottish Birds Record Committee. Species such as Nuthatch, because of their local rarity, are dealt with by the Highland Records Committee.
Other species may be rare on Skye such as Crested Tit or Wryneck, which may not require a written description to any committee but which may need a few questions to be answered. In every case it is important to take notes at the time and if at all possible take even a poor photograph. Where descriptions are asked for and not submitted the reports will remain as such, and not become official records. Whilst this all may seem a bit bureaucratic, please dont be sensitive if you are asked a few questions following reports of rare or unusual species. The rules apply to everyone, both novices and experienced birders, and I am always happy to help and give advice.
The annual bird report for Highland for the year 2016 has just been published by Highland Branch SOC. Many of the records contained in this website are included in the report. Sean Morris from Rum wrote the Lochaber summary in the report and ‘yours truly’ wrote the Skye and Lochalsh summary. Several colour images have been reproduced and include several from Bob and Martin Benson. I have a small number of copies available at £9, otherwise contact Highland Branch SOC at www.highlandbirds.scot.