Skye Birds - A Birding Guide to the Isle of Skye

Bird sightings on the Island of Skye and the neighbouring area

The objective of this page is to keep everyone, locals and visitors, up to date with what birds are about. It is therefore dependent on everyone contacting me as quickly as possible to ensure I can update the site so that others might benefit from the observations. In the case of rarer species details would also be passed on the Highland Recorder John Poyner (  who may require a full description before the record was accepted. This website will very much be locally focused but some records will be included in the SOC Highland website and may also reach national sites.  We have complete discretion as to what information is added to these pages and will try to avoid any details which might reveal breeding sites of vulnerable species.  It is impossible to record everything reported and for the more regularly observed species, we would encourage the use of 'Birdtrack' -  Records sent to us are also submitted to Birdtrack.

Date Species Image Details
30th Sep 2004 Twite View Image Flock of 64 on at Lower Breakish, nr Broadford.
30th Sep 2004 Oystercatcher A 'delinquent' type 'Oyk' has been attracting attention in Harrapool by some odd behaviour. A juvenile bird, it is feeding on its own along the roadside, frequently approaching passers-by and calling noisily. It was tame enough for Alison MacLennan to catch it, and was found to be wearing a Danish ring.
29th Sep 2004 Rock Dove This species is in a relatively 'pure ' form on Skye. It has been noted feeding at bird tables throughout the island, often in good numbers. Dave Monks from Feulin on Loch Slapin as been feeding birds with seed for some time and now has a regular flock of 45-50 every morning.
27th Sep 2004 Whooper Swan View Image Report from Alan Horner of 5 birds at Ardnish flying into Broadford Bay - probably the same birds seen shortly afterwards at Loch Cill Chrioisd in Strathaird. First report of the autumn.
26th Sep 2004 Great Skua View Image Still good nos about and 7 off Strathaird Point during strong westerlies.
24th Sep 2004 Leach's Storm-petrel There were 3 separate sightings of single birds in the Broadford area - Camas na Sgianadin, the Bay itself and off Ardnish. Excellent views in calm conditions, it is suspected these birds have been blown in by the recent weather. Unfortunately there may also be a few casualties as Martin Benson found a dead bird in Broadford. It has now been established from Angus McHattie that there were 25-30 birds in Broadford Bay on the 23rd during strong northerlies and feeding close inshore. This is a scarce pelagic species and such numbers are extremely unusual.
24th Sep 2004 Pale Bellied Brent Goose small flock of 22 feeding on Glas Eilean off Harrapool
24th Sep 2004 Red Knot View Image still a few stragglers about with 3 on Ardnish, Broadford.
24th Sep 2004 Grey Plover View Image single on Arnish Broadford, the first of the autumn.
21st Sep 2004 Northern Gannet View Image Large movement of 400+ in strong westerlies off Strathaird Point.
21st Sep 2004 Great Skua View Image 3 off Strathaird Point.
21st Sep 2004 Pale Bellied Brent Goose Despite the weather excellent report from David Rogers of Brents on the move, with a group of c130 resting off Broadford, a skein of 18, and later a large group of 150 flying across Broadford Bay NE to SW. These birds are of the (hrota) form and probably originate in Greenland and winter in Ireland, making the journey via Iceland. It is likely that they have been blown slightly off course by the westerlies and are now continuing their journey.
21st Sep 2004 Black-tailed Godwit View Image still a single at Harrapool.
20th Sep 2004 Manx Shearwater View Image With the current stormy weather there have been several reports of 'grounded' birds at night. This is not unusual and many get disorientated by street lights. Most recover quickly, and the best advice is to try and keep them in a box overnight and release them to the sea the next morning
20th Sep 2004 Arctic Tern View Image Late 2 off Elgol Pier
17th Sep 2004 Goshawk Report from Roger Cottis of a bird hunting over croftland at Isle Ornsay. This is a species which is rare on Skye and as far as can be established, there is no breeding record.
15th Sep 2004 ChiffChaff A late bird still singing on Carr Braes, Dornie.
15th Sep 2004 Northern Wheatear View Image still a few stragglers about with a single at Neist Point
15th Sep 2004 Tufted Duck View Image Small flock of 11, probably migrants, off Aird Point, Loch Snizort Beag.
12th Sep 2004 Northern Gannet View Image With the sudden change in the weather to gales from the west, Gannets have re-appeared with 150+ off Strathaird Point this morning.
12th Sep 2004 Great Skua View Image 2 off Strathaird Point
12th Sep 2004 Storm Petrel Count of 16 in 2 hours flying west out of Loch Slapin at Strathaird Point. Probably significant that this followed westerly gales.
9th Sep 2004 Northern Gannet View Image Though this species currently features on the homepage, it has become decidedly scarce round the south of Skye with only a single bird seen on a sea watch off the Point of Sleat to-day. Could this scarcity be attributed to a shortage of food?
9th Sep 2004 Storm Petrel single bird only off the Point of Sleat
9th Sep 2004 Whimbrel View Image single bird at the Point of Sleat
9th Sep 2004 Rock Dove On Skye we are fortunate to be able to watch apparently 'pure' Rock Doves. Most nest and roost in sea caves and 20 were flushed from caves near the Point of Sleat to-day with a watchful Peregrine nearby!
8th Sep 2004 Goosander View Image Count of 23 at the Sheil Saltings in Lochalsh - much more than can normally be found on Skye at this time.
6th Sep 2004 Common Sandpiper View Image Brian Neath had a late bird near Balmacara.
5th Sep 2004 Black Throated Diver View Image Group of 9 in Kilmarie Bay, Loch Slapin - this is an early report from a regular winter haunt.
5th Sep 2004 Auk Wreck The scale of fatalities is becoming apparent with a count of 90 dead Guillemots at various beaches on Loch Slapin. On Loch Bracadale Neil Roberts counted 124 Guillemots as well as a few Razorbills and other species at Caroy, Harlosh and Ardroag. Though some birds have been dead for c2 weeks, others are fresh and some birds still barely alive.
5th Sep 2004 White tailed Eagle View Image Passengers on the Bella Jane had a special treat when a juvenile WTE gave them wonderful close up views on an islet in Loch Scavaig close to the departure point for Loch Coruisk. The bird was feeding on a Guillemot, probably a casualty in the current 'wreck'. The bird had blue tags with a black T, a 2002 juvenile which was previously reported from the Loch Slapin area on 10th June 2004.
4th Sep 2004 Whimbrel View Image flock of 6 heading w. down Sound of Sleat (seen from Mallaig-Armadale Ferry)
4th Sep 2004 Guillemot It began to emerge earlier this week that there was the potential for a large 'wreck' of Auks off the west of Scotland. Alison MacLennan of the RSPB is trying to organise emergency Beached Bird Survey counts round the coast of Skye. Random counts around any of our shorelines would be extremely welcome and either contact Alison direct or pass them to Already to-day Ken Crane has reported 27 dead birds on the beach at Loch Brittle comprising 24 Guillemots and 3 Razorbills. Though too early to say, it appears that food shortages may be a factor as many of the birds appear to be emaciated.
2nd Sep 2004 Canada Goose View Image 2 at Ardelve

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