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
29th Jun 2006 Razorbill View Image following the recent general reports Hugh Scott reports a raft of 700 Razorbills at Kyleakin many of which moved eastwards into Loch Alsh and were later seen returning in smaller groups. By any standards this is a huge count and must represent birds which otherwise should be at breeding colonies.
29th Jun 2006 Black-tailed Godwit View Image Alan & Elaine Horner report flock of 19 at Ardnish, Broadford - this is earlier return passage than expected, perhaps reflecting failed breeders.
27th Jun 2006 Auks Still reports coming in of large numbers of Auks - Guillemots/Razorbills/Puffins - on our east coast sea lochs from Loch Carron through Broadford Bay to Lochs Ainort and Sligachan. Though they appear to be finding plenty food it is unusual to see such numbers at a time when they should still be at breeding sites - falling last years poor breeding season it all looks rather ominous.
27th Jun 2006 Great Skua View Image pair in residence at Waternish point but do not appear to be breeding (John Phillips)
27th Jun 2006 Arctic Skua View Image following the recent report from Alan Sillence there were 3 Arctics at the head of Loch Bay - a dark phase and 2 light phase - harrying Terns. Confirming earlier reports that the birds are obviously summering.
26th Jun 2006 Ring Ouzel View Image Report of female carrying food on Bla Bheinn, near the normal ascent route - there was a confirmed breeding in the same area last year - records of this species are scarce.(Brice Ebert & Emma Williams)
25th Jun 2006 Whooper Swan View Image report from Simon Dix of a pair on Loch Beag(tidal) near Struan. This is an extremely interesting summer record causing some speculation that the pair may have attempted to breed on one of our hill lochs. Whilst a few pair of Whoopers breed in Scotland there is no breeding record for Skye.
23rd Jun 2006 Linnet Report from Valerie Hunkin of a pair feeding 2 young at Skinidin - always good to get reports about what can be a scarce species on Skye.
23rd Jun 2006 Greenshank report from Brian Neath of 7 at Shiel Saltings, a much larger count than normal.
23rd Jun 2006 Reed Bunting View Image two singing males at Lundie Bay, Loch Cluanie (BN)
23rd Jun 2006 Storm Petrel report from a local fisherman of 4 birds off Soay
22nd Jun 2006 Hen Harrier View Image We have had some terrible weather on Skye over the last week with rain and gales. At the start of this period there were 5 Hen Harrier nests containing a minimum of 22 young. All the sites were checked to-day - two had failed completely - and all the others had lost young chicks - in all there were only 7 young left. Even by our normal wet conditions this level of mortality is exceptional. All the larger chicks managed to survive. Young birds probably died as a result of chilling and food shortages. It is difficult for the male bird, which provides all the food at this stage, to hunt and find food in bad conditions. It is not just Harriers which would suffer in such conditions but obviously other ground nesting birds. (Bob)
22nd Jun 2006 Arctic Skua View Image report from Alan Sillence of 2/3 harrying Terns in outer Loch Bay area - continuing a run of interesting summer reports of this species.
21st Jun 2006 Gannet Following unseasonal westerly gales there were about 50 Gannets feeding in Loch Slapin - unusually most were 1-3 year old birds.
20th Jun 2006 Sandwich Tern View Image group of 4 in Broadford Bay (MB)
19th Jun 2006 Dunlin View Image small group of c8 in summer plumage at Harrapool (Loraine Card) - difficult to know whether they are late migrants north, early migrants south or local failed breeders?
19th Jun 2006 Short-eared Owl View Image report from Graham Leatherbarrow of a single at Ullinish.
17th Jun 2006 Great Skua View Image Alan and Elaine Horner report a single near the Skye Bridge.
17th Jun 2006 Arctic Skua View Image Peter Elford reports a single bird still in Loch Dunvegan which was seen off Uignish Lighthouse - now that Great Skua are beginning to colonise, could Arctic be following the same course?
16th Jun 2006 Dotterel View Image report via Jean Thomas of birds seen on Sgurr Dearg in the Cuillin - trying to establish more detail. As yet there is no breeding record for Skye although birds are reported annually.
11th Jun 2006 Great Skua View Image report from Hugh and Margaret Scott of a pair at Rubha Hunish - not apparently breeding.
11th Jun 2006 Swift single bird on the moor to the west of Bernisdale - only report of the year.
9th Jun 2006 Red Kite View Image report from John Jones of a Red Kite near Torrin - this is the third such report in the last few weeks suggesting that a bird is summering in the area.
8th Jun 2006 Sandwich Tern View Image report from Dave Rogers of 2 in Broadford Bay
8th Jun 2006 Arctic Skua View Image single bird harrying terns in Loch Dunvegan at the Coral Beaches
7th Jun 2006 Kittiwake very interesting record from Dave Rogers of 250+ Kittiwake and 200+ Razorbill in Broadford Bay. At this time it would be reasonable to expect these birds to be in breeding territories - is this an indication of birds which have either nested and failed to breed - or have not even attempted to breed - is shortage of food a problem again this year?
6th Jun 2006 Corncrake View Image Alan Sillence is the summer warden for RSPB monitoring Corncrake numbers. Alan reports that surveys started on 20th May and so far birds have been calling at 11 sites, mainly in the north of the island. Though early days numbers in Trotternish seem to be down. If you have heard birds that Alan may not be aware of please let Alan know direct or pass the details through the site and I will let him know.
6th Jun 2006 Grasshopper Warbler Alan Sillence has also commented on the shortage of Grasshopper Warblers - most of my Bob's time is currently spent in forestry plantations where I have had good numbers of these warblers in the past few years - I certainly agree with Alan that numbers seem to be down.
4th Jun 2006 Great Spotted Woodpecker View Image this species is largely confined to Sleat - report from Carl Farmer from Coille Dalavil.
1st Jun 2006 Great Northern Diver View Image still a single in Talisker Bay (R.&P. Canning)

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