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 Nov 2007 Whimbrel View Image further report from Alex Turner that the bird reported a month ago is still at Loch Treaslane in the company of Curlew. In the winter Atlas 1981-84 there was only a single record for Scotland and already we have two for Skye alone - a real sign if we need one, of climate change.
25th Nov 2007 Whimbrel View Image records of this species are extremely unusual in 'winter'- there was a single on Loch Mor at Waterstein (AS) - also a count of 8 Goldeneye on the loch.
25th Nov 2007 Common Crossbill View Image two in Greshornish Forest (Helen West)
24th Nov 2007 Dipper recent reports include 2's at Ashaig (A&EH) and at the Otter Haven, Kylerhea (H&MS), and singles on the Torvaig Burn at Achachork (C&M Lomas)and the Red Burn, Greshornish (Helen West).
23rd Nov 2007 Velvet Scoter single male still present on Loch Harport.
20th Nov 2007 Barn Owl View Image there have been few reports this winter so a single at Colbost (AS) is welcome.
20th Nov 2007 Merlin View Image a good day for raptors at Neist Point/Waterstein where as well as Merlin, there were two Hen Harriers and a Peregrine (George & Sarah Cairns)
19th Nov 2007 Gadwall View Image there are now 2 pairs at the head of Loch Sligachan, associating with Wigeon.
19th Nov 2007 Purple Sandpiper View Image 6 near Duntulm, Trotternish (see Gallery)
18th Nov 2007 Waxwing View Image 2 at Scullamus and 5 at Waterloo are the first reports this winter of our attractive Scandinavian visitor (MB)
17th Nov 2007 Knot 3 in Broadford Bay (MB)
17th Nov 2007 Barnacle Goose View Image 18 on the island of Clett - 'scoped' from Waternish (A.Mearns)
17th Nov 2007 Pheasant most reports come from the south of Skye where this species is reared for shooting in Sleat - a report of a cock bird at Staffin (Sylvia Porter) is therefore unusual.
15th Nov 2007 Blackcap View Image male on fat balls in Staffin garden since 6th (M.Perry) - fewer reports this autumn.
15th Nov 2007 Woodcock good count of 8 on the Kylerhea road at dusk (H&M Scott)
14th Nov 2007 Black-throated Diver View Image wonderful still day for sea-watching so good count of 10 Black-throats in Loch Slapin & 7 in Loch Scavaig off Elgol - also 15 Great Northern Divers in Loch Slapin.
13th Nov 2007 Purple Sandpiper View Image nice group of 11 at Ardnish during WeBS count in greater Broadford Bay - also 6 Greenshank, 30 Greenland Whitefronts, 26 Turnstone, 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and c90 Ringed Plover. (RMcM)
13th Nov 2007 Mute Swan View Image adult pair at the mouth of the Broadford River - this remains a scarce species on Skye.
12th Nov 2007 Arctic Tern View Image single at the Skye Bridge this morning continuing the trend of unseasonal records (JPhillips)
12th Nov 2007 Whimbrel View Image another late record with a single at Lower Milovaig (Alison Stables)
12th Nov 2007 Pochard a group of 5 (3mm&2ff) at Camas Mor, Loch Greshornish (Helen West) - this species used to occur with regularity but reports are now extremely rare.
11th Nov 2007 Hen Harrier View Image report of a male on the 10th and a ringtail to-day in the Milovaig,Glendale area (A&AStables)- with a further ringtail in the Lealt area (Helen West)
11th Nov 2007 Kestrel reports of 6 Kestrels around Milovaig and also 2 at Waterstein, suggesting an influx (A&AStables) - this has become a scarce breeding species on Skye and such wintering numbers are extremely unusual.
11th Nov 2007 Leach's Petrel excellent record of 3 in the Narrows of Raasay off Aird, Braes (Bill Marshall) - also 70+ Kittiwake.
11th Nov 2007 Common Crossbill View Image group of 6 in forest near Kyleakin (H&MScott)
8th Nov 2007 Pomarine Skua View Image with north westerly gales blowing Broadford Bay (late am) produced 11 Pomarine Skuas, a Storm Petrel, 350+ Kittiwake and a Gannet which had presumably been blown south into the Bay and were returning north. (RMcM) Birds still about in early afternoon when 10 counted (MB).
8th Nov 2007 Woodcock a single escaping the gales in a garden at Lower Milovaig (Alison Stables)
7th Nov 2007 Otter predating Shag Roger Cottis gave a talk on Otters in the Brightwater Centre at Kyleakin last night in which he recalled watching an Otter take a Cormorant on Mull. Coincidentally, I was watching an Otter with prey at Glasnakille this afternoon and was amazed to discover it had caught a Shag. It was holding the shag by the neck, although the bird was still struggling - the otter dragged its prey amongst some boulders where it would no doubt be quicky dispatched. For details of the Brightwater Centre Winter Talks see the Events pages. (Bob)
7th Nov 2007 Kittiwake c50 flying north in the Sound of Raasay (J.Phillips)
7th Nov 2007 Mourning Dove this american species has been present on the Uists for the last week attracting birders from far and wide. There was a further report of a possible bird at Borriedale House near Arisaig - for details of both see
6th Nov 2007 Common Crossbill View Image party of 7 at Keppoch, Strathaird.
6th Nov 2007 Little Auk 2 from the Uig-Lochmaddy ferry - also 2 Pomarine Skuas (per
5th Nov 2007 Grey Wagtail View Image another species which is recorded widely in winter and the Atlas is likely to show significant changes - 2 at Kilmarie and reports from Portree (Helen West) and Glen Brittle (KC&KN)- see recent Gallery shot.
5th Nov 2007 Greenland White-fronted Goose first report from Broadford Bay area with flock of c38 - presumably our returning wintering group (DR)
4th Nov 2007 Redwing View Image heavy passage through Strathaird with c300 on 3rd and c200 to-day + smaller numbers of Fieldfare - also 100+ Redwing at Milovaig (AS).
4th Nov 2007 Chiffchaff excellent report of a single in trees at Meanish Pier, Milovaig (AS - see
4th Nov 2007 Greylag Goose View Image count of 63 at Ardelve (BN)
4th Nov 2007 Song Thrush View Image report from Andy Stables of 20-30 around crofts at Milovaig which he suspects are migrants - this species has also been evident around Strathaird and is probably moving through with Redwing.
4th Nov 2007 Starling flock of 96 at Lower Breakish (Lis Phillips) - interesting that as well as many thrushes moving through there seem to be lots of Starlings - probably again migrants.
4th Nov 2007 Common Sandpiper View Image an extremely late bird at the mouth of the Broadford River continues a run unseasonable records (MB)
4th Nov 2007 Common Crossbill View Image report from Peter Elford & Linda Henderson of a party of 20+ in Dunvegan Woods - this is one of the largest groups recorded on Skye for some years.
3rd Nov 2007 Stonechat View Image this is a species which is thought to be wintering much more widespread than in the past and there were 6 in neighbouring 'Atlas tetrads' at Glasnakille and Elgol which is an indicator of this - lots of tetrads still to be covered so log into or contact Bob through this site for more information - the winter Atlas started on 1st November. Covering your local area can bring the occasional bonus and a ringtail Hen Harrier and a Peregrine were unexpected records for me.
3rd Nov 2007 Black-throated Diver View Image group of 6 in Loch Slapin at Glasnakille.
3rd Nov 2007 Whooper Swan View Image still moving with 12 south over Edinbane (Sylvia Porter)
3rd Nov 2007 Woodcock single at Coishleadar Forest Edinbane is our first autumn report (Sylvia Porter)- not quite - as a single reported in the same area on the 2nd (Helen West)
3rd Nov 2007 Twite View Image good count of 10 during Atlas work at Kirkton, Lochalsh (BN)
2nd Nov 2007 Whooper Swan View Image Report of 6 birds (3 adults & 3 young) resting in Broadford Bay (MB) am and 17 later in the day (DR) - many of the Whooper Swans which pass through Skye are bound for Galloway and Ireland where they spend the winter. Their migration from Iceland will feature on the forthcoming 'Autumnwatch' programme. Because of recent bad weather on Iceland the movement of some groups has been delayed but birds have been streaming through in recent days sometimes not in the best of conditions. A radio-tagged bird 'Conn' flew from Iceland on 30/10 and was in north Scotland 12 hours later. It was then recorded north of Inverness but then re-orientated west and was recorded flying south in the Sound of Raasay on 1st November, perhaps one of the birds seen by our many observers in the last few days. To follow this story in full please go to
2nd Nov 2007 Black-headed Gull 25+ on mud at Harrapool (DR)
1st Nov 2007 Brent Goose View Image 24 over Ardnish + 4 Whooper Swans and 36 Wigeon (A&EH)

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