Skye Birds - A Birding Guide to the Isle of Skye

The Skye-Birds Blog

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.

Corncrakes on Skye

27th April 2019

Corncrake time again! The unmistakable ‘Crex Crex’ call of a male corncrake has been heard on the island in the last couple of days indicating their successful return from migration. This also triggers the start of the annual summer survey. Their repetitive and persistent calling is the male looking for a mate. If you hear or see a corncrake please can you contact me or Skye Birds, with the date, time and location that you heard or saw it. All reports from Skye Birds are extremely helpful with the summer survey which we carry out across the corncrake’s Scottish range.They nest on agricultural land and you are most likely to find them on the in-bye of crofts. These birds are extremely rare and vulnerable and it is important that you don’t disturb or approach them.  Best way is to keep out of the meadows and stay on the roads. Good luck!

If you would like to know more about the work RSPB is doing on Skye for corncrakes please get in touch.

Thanks and have a great summer!


 RSPB Corncrake Project Officer, Isle of Skye

07771545409  or '+var1+var2+'@'+var3+var4+''+var5);uk">/span>

A birding trip to Cyprus

2nd April 2019

 Steve from Western Isles Wildlife was doing a spring reccy trip to Cyprus in the last week in March, and I took the chance to tag along.  Unfortunately Cyprus has a reputation for trapping and eating wild birds but I am pleased to say things seem to have improved and we saw little evidence of it.  The weather was mixed with sun, wind and thunderstorms, but this helped holding up migrants and the visit proved one of the finest examples of visible migration I had ever observed with thousands of birds passing through.  There are also several endemic species and we managed to see them all during our brief stay including the Cyprus Scops Owl.  During the visit we recorded 143 species.  Cyprus is located on the easter flyway with species moving into the Baltic countries and further east.  I managed to see over 20 lifers.  As a Harrier enthusiast the highlight was probably the Pallid Harrier with a superb male shown in the image.  More images from the trip are being uploaded into the Overseas Gallery.

Highland Bird Report 2017

Published by Highland Branch of the SOC, the 2017 report is now available at a cost of £9.  The report extends to 180 pages and contains a Skye and Lochalsh year summary provided by yours truly.  There are also several images in the publication from Martin Benson and myself. 

© 2019 Skye Birds