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.
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)
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.