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.
Records for a Marsh Warbler at Uig Bay between 17-28 June, 2013, and a Black Kite at Bernisdale on 21 June 2013, have been accepted by the Scottish Birds Rarities Committee (SBRC). The Marsh Warbler is a first for Skye, and was reported through Birdguides. It was followed up by RMcM and remained in the area until June 28. The bird was difficult to see and photograph, and the main identification criteria is a distinctive song full of mimicry, which included in this case songs of Swallow and Nightingale. The song was recorded using mobile phone and these recordings were important in having the record accepted.
The Black Kite record is a 2nd for Skye with the first recorded in 2010. It was seen by Sarah Harris and her father Alan from a holiday cottage the family were using at Bernisdale. The description submitted in respect of the record was of the highest standard including a sketch and field notes by Alan which are shown above. Records of this nature are always challenging but this illustrates the importance of using field notes and sketches in the absence of photographs. It obviously helps if you are a professional artist such as Alan - see the website http://www.alanharrisbirdartist.co.uk/
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.