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 Highland Bird Report 2014, published by Highland Branch of the SOC has just been published. The majority of the records submitted to this website are forwarded for compilation into this report, which represents all the records which have been accepted as occurring in the Highland recording area. Skye and Lochalsh district is part of this region and the report contains a summary of the highlights for the district. There is also a summary of records from Lochaber which includes the Small Isles. Sean Morris from Rum has compiled this summary and we regularly carry records from the Small Isles and Morar. Please contact me if you need a copy as I have a few available at £9 or £11 including postage.