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
27th Feb 2005 Slavonian Grebe Good count of 9 in the Ardnish area of Broadford Bay.
24th Feb 2005 Red throated Diver View Image Report of 5 at Shiel Saltings including a bird in full summer plumage - probably an indication that birds are moving back up the sea lochs prior to going back to breeding lochs.
24th Feb 2005 Brambling View Image Brian Neath reports 7 with Chaffinches at Glenelg - a regular site for a finch which seems to be extremely rare in the area.
22nd Feb 2005 Knot Report of single bird again at Balmacara Bay.
20th Feb 2005 Little Auk Brian Neath reports 5 from Lochalsh, 2 off Port-an-eorna and 3 flying into Loch Carron - possibly brought in by the cold northerlies.
20th Feb 2005 Skylark View Image Flock of 40 at Drumbuie/Port-an-eorna - and smaller numbers in Strathaird - undeterred by the current cold snap.
20th Feb 2005 Garden Birdwatch A recent news release from the BTO suggests that bird tables have been extremely quiet this winter especially in England - probably resulting from the mild weather and the massive seed crops produced last autumn. With the current cold snap Skye and Lochalsh bird tables should be busy and there is already a report from Janet Donaldson in Broadford of Goldfinch, Bullfinch and Treecreeper in her garden. Any unusual sightings would be welcome.
17th Feb 2005 Mandarin Duck Report of a drake in Lochalsh at Loch Long beyond Sallochy. Mandarins in Scotland all originate in captive-bred stock though have bred in the wild for many years.This is an extremely unusual record for the west coast bringing a touch of the exotic during cold February.
17th Feb 2005 Greater White fronted Goose View Image Small group of 5 at Strollamus flew off towards Scalpay.
17th Feb 2005 Black throated Diver View Image Group of 7 between Scalpay and Raasay.
17th Feb 2005 Bar Tailed Godwit View Image Count of 10 at high tide roost in Loch Portree. This is the best count known here.
17th Feb 2005 Twite View Image Flock of 35 at Linicro. Normally scarce in winter, probably the best area to see them is Trotternish at this time.
15th Feb 2005 Black throated Diver View Image Count of 9 in Kilmarie Bay, Loch Slapin.
15th Feb 2005 Meadow Pipit View Image Another sign of spring - a flock of 50 at Elgol.
11th Feb 2005 Grey Plover View Image single at Ardnish, Broadford during WeBS count and 2 the following day.
11th Feb 2005 Slavonian Grebe Numbers normally peak in February and there was a count of 10 between Camas na Sgianadin and Ardnish in Broadford Bay.
11th Feb 2005 Purple Sandpiper View Image At high tide at Ardnish, Broadford, there was a small flock of 21 - this is the best count on Skye and Lochalsh for some years.
10th Feb 2005 Skylark View Image Despite gales from the north west bring snow showers there were 2 Skylarks at Glasnakille, the first of the year.
10th Feb 2005 Gannet A single adult bird of Strathaird Point is another scarce winter record.
10th Feb 2005 Fulmar During the 'bird race' we were surprised (some of us) to see Fulmars back on their nesting ledges at Kilt Rock near Staffin. To-day there was a steady movement of birds heading north at Strathaird Point (50+ per hour).
6th Feb 2005 Highland Bird Race A team from comprising Martin Benson, Roger Cottis, Bob McMillan, Brian Neath and John Phillips spent the day chasing round Lochalsh and Skye trying to see different species as part of the Highland Bird Race. Luckily the weather was reasonably kind and we managed to see 72 species - the highest total was 90. Highlights were 20+ Yellowhammers and a Twite at Ardelve; a Knot at Balmacara Bay; 3 Slavonian Grebes at Scalpay Slip; 3 Golden Eagles near the Storr and 3-4 Hen Harriers in the Trotternish area. Though we missed a few more common species, we were pleased with our total, reflecting that even in the middle of winter we have pretty good bird diversity.
1st Feb 2005 Bird Song Reports from throughout the area of song from Blackbirds, Song and Mistle Thrush, Robins, Goldcrests, Tits etc - obviously the current mild and settled spell of weather is inducing activity.
1st Feb 2005 Whooper Swan View Image Report of 12 birds on Loch Suardal at Dunvegan - with only 2 for most of the winter it must be asked where these birds arrived from - clearly a mobile species even in winter.
1st Feb 2005 Barnacle Goose View Image Flock of 56 counted at Staffin.

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