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
31st May 2007 Great Skua View Image single at Loch Pooltiel (Alison Stables)
31st May 2007 Whimbrel View Image still a single at Broadford Bay
31st May 2007 White-tailed Eagle View Image as many visitors to the site are aware, privately owned boat trips operate from Portree Harbour and take visitors out to watch and feed the Sea Eagles in Loch Portree. These visitors, like ourselves, will be extremely disappointed that the site has failed this year after hatching possibly two chicks in what was a new nest. Without pre-judging the issue, there are now three separate boat operators going in to the area and surprisingly there seems to be no control on their activities, voluntary or otherwise. It is perhaps opportune to look at the schedules of these trips and develop a code of practice which keeps the boats at a safe distance, will not cause any undue disturbance or put the birds at additional risk. It should be borne in mind that anyone approaching the proximity of the nesting area on foot requires to have a licence, or would risk prosecution under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
31st May 2007 Great Skua View Image single at Ullinish (GLeatherbarrow) and three at Rubha Hunish (Sam Forest)
31st May 2007 Quail one calling in the Kilmuir area of Trotternish (Carol Hawley) - this is an unusual and rare record. The species was inadvertantly overlooked for the 'Skye Birds' book but has only been previously recorded on a few occasions.
28th May 2007 Short-eared Owl View Image pair seen near Prabost (Brian)
27th May 2007 Linnet always sparse in its distribution there were two at Claigan, Dunvegan (Marjorie MacInnes)
27th May 2007 Short-eared Owl View Image report of a bird at Loch Caroy (Ken McMillan)
26th May 2007 Curlew Sandpiper View Image two Curlew Sandpiper at Broadford Bay am to-day - see Martin Benson's image in the Gallery section which clearly show its diagnostic features alongside Dunlin.
25th May 2007 Curlew Sandpiper View Image systematic searching through some 200 Dunlin in Broadford Bay rewarded Martin Benson with a Curlew Sand to-day, only the 2nd record for Skye and the first in spring - see the digi-scoped image with the bird beginning to show the first traces of summer plumage which eventually turns to a brick-red colour.
25th May 2007 Sanderling View Image following up the report of the Curlew Sand, Dave Rogers found 2 Sanderling and also estimated Dunlin nos at 250.
25th May 2007 Long-tailed Skua two birds over Broadford Bay (David Rogers) would tend to suggest there may be a few more to search for round the coast.
25th May 2007 Iceland Gull View Image report from Roger Doble of two between Cuillin Hills and Portree Harbour - both 1st summer birds - and possibly the same birds which wintered.
25th May 2007 Puffin 123 counted at sea from the Tarbert-Uig ferry (Carol Hawley)
24th May 2007 White-tailed Eagle View Image information from Alison MacLennan of the RSPB that the number of pairs on Skye continues to increase and that altogether there are now over 40 pairs in Scotland. Unfortunately it appears that the pair at the public viewing site on Mull (of springwatch fame)have failed. We welcome all sightings on this web site but restrict the information which is posted so that birds are left to breed in peace without the risk of unnecessary disturbance. Many visitors to Skye understandably want to see this majestic bird and as well as visiting the Aros Centre in Portree, it is recommended that they take one of the boat trips which go out from Portree Harbour several times a day with every possibility of getting superb views.
23rd May 2007 Dunlin View Image good numbers passing through with c150 at Broadford Bay - also 2 x Whimbrel and a single Bar-tailed Godwit (MB, RMcM & DR)
23rd May 2007 Kittiwake report from Sylvia Porter from the Ranger Service walk to Rubha Hunish - raft of c1000 birds on the sea which doesn't look to promising given the present crisis in the population.
23rd May 2007 Great Skua View Image resident pair of birds at Rubha Hunish (S.Porter)
23rd May 2007 Chiffchaff one singing at Dunvegan Castle - reports from this far north on the island are scarce (Roger Doble)
23rd May 2007 Great Skua View Image two at Coral Beaches, Dunvegan and also two on the 26th at Neist Point (Roger Doble)
23rd May 2007 Whimbrel View Image two at Ardroag (Jim Guthrie)
22nd May 2007 Dunlin View Image flock of 43 in Broadford Bay (MB)
22nd May 2007 Great Skua View Image single in Broadford Bay (MB)
21st May 2007 Whimbrel View Image anothere 5 over Loch Caroy, Balmeanach (Fiona Reynolds)
20th May 2007 Whimbrel View Image single at Meanish Pier (AStables)
20th May 2007 Canada Goose View Image single bird with a pair of Greylags at Loch Cleat (S.Porter)
20th May 2007 Black Swan report of single still at Loch Mor, Waterstein (Jim Guthrie)
19th May 2007 Spotted Flycatcher View Image sudden arrival with two pairs at Broadford (MB)
19th May 2007 Twite View Image report from Ken Crane of colour ringed bird (red ring on left leg)on telephone wires in Glen Brittle - initial indications are that this bird was ringed in winter in north west England.
19th May 2007 Common Whitethroat View Image single Amar River, Bracadale (Jim Guthrie)
19th May 2007 Linnet 1/2 heard at south end of Dunvegan village (Jim Guthrie)
16th May 2007 Short-eared Owl View Image report from Gilleasbuig Ferguson of a single bird near Borve - there is a special BTO Scotland survey on this year so all sightings of this now scarce owl would be welcome.
15th May 2007 Black-throated Diver View Image displaying pair in Loch Slapin at Torrin (JJ)
15th May 2007 Whinchat View Image single male at Portnalong (Will Brown)
15th May 2007 Arctic Skua View Image single at Broadford Bay - either tame or exhausted - see photograph (MB)
14th May 2007 Whimbrel View Image still moving through with 4 at the head of Loch Slapin and a single at Armadale.
14th May 2007 Purple Sandpiper View Image two late birds at Ardnish (A&EH)
14th May 2007 Ring Ouzel View Image single bird singing at the Old Man of Storr (Helen West)
13th May 2007 Tufted Duck View Image pair of probable passage birds in Broadford Bay (MB)
11th May 2007 Common Crossbill View Image nice party of 10 birds in VicAskill Forest near Balmeanach, including juveniles, which indicates successful local breeding (see photograph)
11th May 2007 Puffin good numbers seen from 'The Waverley' in the Sound of Raasay between Portree and South Rona - at least 50 near the boat and probably many more overall (Hugh Scott)
10th May 2007 Common Whitethroat View Image reports from Lochalsh with first two singing Carr Brae - then later 6 at Plockton on 14th and single Dornie on 17th (BNeath
8th May 2007 Whimbrel View Image most birds seem to by-pass Lochalsh so 5 at Ardelve Point was interesting (BN)
7th May 2007 Pink-footed Goose View Image flock of 44 resting on Ardnish - though skeins regularly fly through in big numbers we rarely get good numbers like this landing - probably reflecting the weather. (A&EH)
7th May 2007 Waders a nice variety at Ardnish with 20 Golden Plover, 10 Whimbrel, 19 Ringed Plover and 29 Dunlin (A&EH)
7th May 2007 Common Whitethroat View Image singing bird at Portnalong - also Sedge Warbler (Will Brown)
7th May 2007 White Wagtail View Image report of 10 at Ardmore, Waternish (Sam Forrest)
7th May 2007 Whimbrel View Image 10 on Ardnish (A&EH) and a similar number at Ardmore, Waternish (Sam Forrest) - the widespread records of this species indicate the strong passage through Skye of these Icelandic breeding birds.
6th May 2007 Seawatching with the strong westerlies to-day a two hour seawatch at Strathaird Point produced c60 Puffin, 150-200 Gannet, c150 Kittiwake, 4 Great Northern Diver, as well as Manx Shearwater, Fulmar, Common Guillemot and Razorbill + a single Whimbrel - unfortunately no Skuas. (RMcM)
6th May 2007 Corncrake View Image information from Alan Sillence, RSPB Corncrake Officer that there is now a calling bird at Trumpan, Waternish - this is a good location to listen for the bird by going to the Church carpark - and nor straying beyond it! Unfortunately this is a species which is often subjected to unnecessary disturbance.
5th May 2007 Redstart singing bird on Carr Brae,Lochalsh, our first report for the area (BN)
5th May 2007 Brambling View Image male in summer plumage at Torrin (Tracey) - this is extremely unusual and is presumably a late passage bird - however Brambling have bred in Scotland previously.
5th May 2007 Ring Ouzel View Image singing bird near the summit of Sgurr Thuilm in the Cuillin is our only report so far this year (Stuart Benn)
4th May 2007 Whimbrel View Image 4 at the head of Loch Sligachan flying off west (RMcM) and an excellent count of 19 at Rubha Hunish (Sam Forest).
4th May 2007 Corncrake View Image bird still calling at Broadford (Carol Benson)- most of our birds are normally found in Trotternish and Waternish.
4th May 2007 White Wagtail View Image good passage through with 7 at Milovaig and 3 at Meanish Pier (AStables)
3rd May 2007 Whitethroat View Image a singing bird at Plockton is Brian Neath's 2nd earliest record on Lochalsh to date - also 3 Sedge Warblers.
3rd May 2007 Mute Swan View Image following the previous reports the three young birds are on the River Drynoch (Jean Thomas)
3rd May 2007 Golden Plover interesting flock of 20 at Ardnish presumably migrants - also 3 Whimbrel (DR)
2nd May 2007 Common Sandpiper View Image birds still passing through with 6-8 in Uig Bay (Sam Forest)
2nd May 2007 Grasshopper Warbler reports from Ullinish (GLeatherbarrow) and also on the 3rd from Plockton and Inverinate on Lochalsh - collectively we have had more reports of this species than ever before from throughout the area. This is an elusive species and Martin Benson's image is now available - he has been tearing his hair out trying to get a good pic!
2nd May 2007 Whimbrel View Image two at Ardnish to add to John Phillips's 'kayak list'
2nd May 2007 Whimbrel View Image 6+ between Waterloo - Ardnish - also 2 Bar Tailed Godwit still in winter plumage (DR)
1st May 2007 Whooper Swan View Image there was a straggler at Faoilean which disappeared around the 20th April - there was a single bird at the head of Loch Slapin to-day (same bird?)
1st May 2007 Sedge Warbler View Image two calling birds in the Broadford area (MB)
1st May 2007 Grasshopper Warbler two separate reeling birds at Kensaleyre (Gilleasbuig Ferguson)
1st May 2007 Whimbrel View Image further report of 8 at Claigan, Dunvegan (Marjorie MacInnes)
1st May 2007 Great Skua View Image single over Harrapool (DR)
1st May 2007 Grasshopper Warbler report of a bird reeling in Portnalong (Will Brown)

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