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.
Following last year’s exceptionally poor numbers, there was some recovery in 2014 with probably six territorial pairs in the study area. Another immature male also held a territory. At least five pairs nested and hatched young but two of these subsequently failed, and predation by red fox was a factor in at least one of the failures. The remaining three pairs successfully fledged at least ten young. One pair fledged five young which although recorded previously on Skye, is a rare event. It appeared to have been a good year for voles so this probably assisted breeding success, and the dry spring enabled birds to breed earlier than normal. Unfortunately numbers remain about 50% below their peak of several years ago. A pair may also have bred again in Lochalsh but precise details are unknown.
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.