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
24th Jul 2005 Arctic Skua View Image Two birds harassing Kittiwakes in Broadford Bay and a single off Strathaird Point, all dark phase.
24th Jul 2005 Great Skua View Image Report from Hugh Scott of 2/3 Bonxies at Waternish Point - one at Broadford Bay same day.
22nd Jul 2005 Gannet Report from Martin Benson of 60+ Gannets in Broadford Bay which probably accounts for the separate report from Alan Horner of a Great Skua at Ardnish.
20th Jul 2005 Great Skua View Image single bird moving north across country on west side of Ben Aketil, Balmeanach - 5kms from the sea.
16th Jul 2005 Knot Report from David Rogers single bird in summer plumage at Waterloo, Broadford
15th Jul 2005 'Seabirds' None of our seabird colonies are monitored annually so it difficult to understand what the situation is year on year. Bob Swann has been monitoring the large populations on Canna for over 20 years and reports that birds are doing badly this year. Kittiwake numbers are well down, and Gulls generally are in major decline. Many will be aware of the major 'auk crash in late summer and autumn last year and there still appear to be major food shortages. Many Guillemots have failed with chicks well underweight and there is a similar picture with Razorbills. Reports from other major colonies on the west and north coast are apparently similarly bad.
14th Jul 2005 Black-tailed Godwit View Image Nice flock of 34 in terrific summer plumage at Harrapool, Broadford Bay, in the late evening - no doubt Icelandic birds heading south. There were also 24 Redshank so wader passage is building up.
13th Jul 2005 Corncrake View Image Though it is still too early to get overall results, Alan Sillence, Corncrake Monitoring Officer for the RSPB suggests that numbers in the Skye strongholds in the north of the island may be slightly down on last year. Elsewhere Bill Peppe reports a bird calling at Carbost and there are at least two diferent birds calling at Elgol.
12th Jul 2005 White-tailed Eagle View Image Report from Dave Monks that 'Blue T' is back around its favourite haunt at Loch Slapin - ready to put on a show for all the visitors.
10th Jul 2005 Merlin View Image In a survey of breeding Merlin in central Skye 4 pairs have been successful fledging a minimum of 13 young. Most of the nests have been located in old 'hoodie' nests in lodgepoles pines, usually near the edge of plantations. The distance between nest sites is approx 2kms. This is a comparatively high breeding density as knowledge of other sites on the island has tended to suggest pairs were much more widely scattered. This is a difficult species to survey but with young on the wing at the moment family parties can be very noisy, especially when there are Ravens and other large raptors about. Territorial Merlins are extremely feisty and will even 'see off' White tailed Eagles.
10th Jul 2005 Sandwich Tern View Image Group of 3 in Broadford Bay.
10th Jul 2005 Great Skua View Image Report from Broadford Bay.
6th Jul 2005 Linnet Carrying on the Linnet theme there was a pair feeding fledged young in Bob's garden at Elgol to-day, a family group of 6 - which have obviously been nesting under his nose! Despite this, it is certainly the first record in the Elgol area in 6 years. With the increasing reports one is tempted to suggest that numbers may be recovering on the island.
4th Jul 2005 Linnet Lovely cock bird seen at Ose and a pair seen at Lower Milovaig. Birds also seen over previous fortnight at Kyleakin.
4th Jul 2005 Great Skua View Image Report from Andy Stables of 6 heading south at Neist Point would suggest early passage.
4th Jul 2005 Bar tailed Godwit View Image Early passage with 3 at Harrapool, Broadford - this is a super location in July and August to see this elegant wader on return migration. Also look out for Black tailed Godwit on return from their breeding grounds in Iceland.
3rd Jul 2005 Manx Shearwater View Image Strong southerly winds brought big numbers of into Broadford Bay with an estimated 450+ counted by Martin Benson.
3rd Jul 2005 Sandwich Tern View Image report of 2 in Broadford Bay
2nd Jul 2005 Great Skua View Image report from Andy Stables of a single at Loch Pooltiel

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