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.
This has been the best year for breeding success for some years with 5 successful nests in the north Skye study area fledging at least 14 young. Four nests failed early in the season and again predation by foxes remains a problem with an adult female killed on a nest and the young chicks taken. At another site two chicks near fledging were killed by a fox but luckily one of the brood managed to survive. It appears to have been an exceptional year for voles and this may have contributed to the breeding success. Outwith the study area a pair bred in Strathaird for the first time in 10 years but unfortunately failed early. More promisingly a pair successfully fledged two young in Lochalsh. As far as can be established this is the first time breeding has been recorded in Lochalsh.
It is amazing to think that it is almost 8 years since the website was first launched and in that time the site has grown as have the number of regular followers and contributors. It was my son Colin who first suggested the website and he had the technical skills to pull all the pages and ideas together. Many people have commented favourably on the site and the ease with which it could be used. The upgraded version has been in the pipeline for a couple of years and the new platform allows me to manage the content more readily. The new design is the work of my daughter-in-law Fiona and with Colin handling all the technical bits, it is very much a family effort. Without their support the site would not exist. We hope you like it and find it just as easy to use as the last one. There are still some loose ends to tidy up, including the search engine, so bear with us until we get everything up and running and we will try to deal with glitches quickly. Thanks to everyone for their support in the past and hopefully this will continue. We are happy to get any feedback.
as the Atlas reaches its closing stages, it is extremely important to try and upgrade breeding codes. July is a good month to see fledged young and the image attached is a typical example showing an adult Willow Warbler feeding a brood of chicks. Though it can be easy to establish breeding birds present and probably breeding, actual confirmed breeding can sometimes be more difficult to prove. Please make a special effort at this final stage.
Bob (local Atlas Organiser)
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.