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.
Next to Fair Isle which I was lucky to visit last autumn, North Ronaldsay is perhaps the next most important migration hotspot in Scotland establishing a reputation for attracting very rare visitors. The bird observatory provides excellent accommodation and manned by seasonal staff and volunteers who systematically search the island daily, there is invariably a good range of species in habitats much more diverse than Fair Isle. I joined a friend for a few days in glorious weather not exactly the best for bird migration, but there were still birds to be found. The highlights included Lesser Whitethroat, Black Redstart, Barred Warbler and perhaps the pick, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper which had been around for a few days. Nothing new for my Scottish list but a few additions to my year list which now stands at 208. At the north of the island is a seawatching hide where we were able to view Sooty Shearwaters and a passing pod of Risso's Dolphins. Over 70 species in three days was not a bad total. We also bumped into a couple from Tasmania who were visiting the Lighthouse at Dennis Head - part of a trip to Scotland visiting Lighthouses...so its not just bird twitchers!! There are images in the Gallery.
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.