I've been involved in studying Hen Harriers on Skye for over 10 years now. The study is mainly in the north of the island but a bonus this year was that a pair returned to breed in Strathaird on JMT ground. Unfortunately this pair failed and weather may have been a problem. With superb settled weather in April birds bred earlier than normal. Unfortunately the weather through May was extremely wet and windy which may have accounted for some losses with four out of nine nests located failing. It appears that at least one nest fell to fox predation with a female killed on the nest. There are now cameras on three of the five remaining nests as part of a long-term study on predation by red foxes. A further update will be provided at the end of the season.
The RSPB has announced that Sea Eagles are worth £5 million to the Mull economy every year. Figures for Skye are not available but with the Aros exhibition and boat trips from Portree Harbour it is increasingly important. The Portree birds currently have two young and there are 6 occupied nests on the island. All the chicks have recently been ringed (see Gallery)and despite the terrible weather in May there is every chance that the fledging rate will be good. (SB,JG)
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.