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.
As we have family in Barcelona we holiday regularly in the area and have grown extremely fond of this diverse region which contains a number of terrific birding sites. A winter trip is a bit of a misnomer as the temperatures throughout our stay were probably warmer than a normal Skye summer. Over the three week period I managed to record 159 species which included both Swallow and House Martin, as well as a wintering Dusky Warbler, all indicative of the warm weather. The list total was considerably bolstered by a 4 day trip with Steve West of www.birdinginspain.com which found 118 species including Citril Finch, Wallcreeper, Bluethroat, Moustached Warbler, Lammergeir, Black Vulture, both species of Sandgrouse and both species of Bustard. Thanks Steve for all your efforts. Though we were close to Dupont's Lark and heard them singing they failed to show so thats for another visit. Trips to the Ebre Delta, Aguamolls and the local reserve Llogrebat at Barcelona helped swell the list. There are several websites but the most useful for keeping you up to date locally is www.ornitho.cat and this helped me find two stunning Snowfinches well south of their normal winter range, just 45 minutes north of Barcelona. This proved a lifer and one of the highlights of the trip. In contrast, but equally memorable were the 1000+ Cattle Egrets in morning sun at the dump in Lleida. There are a number of images in the Overseas Gallery.
Are you interested in the animals and plants of Skye and beyond? The Skye Region Group of the Scottish Wildlife Trust organises a series of talks on Natural History during the winter and a number of excursions during the summer, including a boat trip. Why not come to the next talk on Thursday 17th March - “A look at what lurks beneath the sea” – at Tigh na Sgire, Portree at 7.30 and find out more?
The Group has been running for over thirty years but now needs an injection of fresh blood to help organise meetings and to undertake limited administrative duties. Would you like to help? If so, please contact Stephen Bungard (com or 01478 660 248).
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.