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 Jun 2008 Leucistic Rook this is probably the appropriate term for the Brown Rook which has been previously discussed on the site and the image is shown under recent reports. Murray MacDonald has written with a photograph showing a young brown Rook begging for food from an older normal coloured black Rook in their Portree garden. There is clearly a genetic strain which produces brown coloured Rooks in Portree and anyone who can contribute to this discussion is welcome to do so. Some leucistic birds can be very light coloured but the Portree birds seem to be a uniform chocolate colour. Because our population is isolated this strain may well persist.
25th Jun 2008 Swift a single over Isleornsay is only the 2nd for the year (RCottis)
24th Jun 2008 Linnet report from Andy Stables of at least three pairs in territories around Glendale - this is a scarce and localised breeder on Skye.
24th Jun 2008 Linnet report from Andy Stables of at least three pairs in territories around Glendale - this is a scarce and localised breeder on Skye.
22nd Jun 2008 Rook View Image we carried a story regarding the brown Rook at Portree some time ago and it is still obviously going strong - Murray MacDonald suggests there may be two, one with stronger plumage characteristics than the other.
22nd Jun 2008 Great Spotted Woodpecker View Image adult feeding fledged youngster in garden at Kyleakin (A&EH)and also two young in garden at Isleornsay (RCottis)
22nd Jun 2008 Hobby this is an extremely scarce species for Skye having only been recorded once previously in 2002. A lovely male was seen and photographed near Broadford by Pete Jones (see image in recent reports). The exact location is being withheld for the time being.
21st Jun 2008 Barn Owl View Image report from Murray MacDonald of a Barn Owl hunting at Kiltaraglen, Portree. Further report from Bill Peppe of a dead bird found below cliffs between Talisker & Fiscavaig. Most Barn Owls on Skye use natural crevices in rock, very often near the shore.
20th Jun 2008 Great Skua View Image Duncan Ritchie e.mailed with a list of 'Bonxie' sightings with up to 5 on Wiay, Loch Bracadale on 13/6 and other reports from Loch Scavaig, Kilt Rock and Staffin Island. A regular visitor, Duncan has been struck by the steady colonisation of Skye during the last few years. Just to repeat what has been said previously that it will be important to try and get some confirmed breeding attempts.
18th Jun 2008 White-tailed Eagle View Image for visitors coming to Skye it is suggested that they use the boats going out of Portree Harbour on a daily basis to see the birds. We have been critical of the management of these trips in the past but reports suggest they are operating in a much more bird-friendly way which is encouraging. It appears that breeding birds are not doing so well this year with only 4 nests still active. There are however lots of wandering juveniles including an East of Scotland bird which is fitted with a radio transmitter and also has a wing tag White 5. This is at least the second East Coast bird to reach the west coast and the second batch of chicks for this project will arrive in Fife later this week. No coloured wing tags will be fitted this year though birds will be fitted with coloured darvic rings
17th Jun 2008 Manx Shearwater View Image on a day of strong westerlies 52 flew south past Neist Point in under an hour (Duncan Ritchie)
16th Jun 2008 Arctic Skua View Image single bird harrying Terns at Claigan (Kate Smart)
15th Jun 2008 Hen Harrier View Image interim report on the study area in Central Skye - has found 9 pairs either on eggs or small young. Some birds have been very late in settling to breed. This is a similar number of pairs to 2007 when there was a serious problem with nest predation of young by foxes. See latest image in Gallery. (RMcM)
12th Jun 2008 Leach's Petrel single seen from the Uig-Tarbert ferry - also two Storm Petrels (about half way across) - Simon Dix
11th Jun 2008 Turtle Dove still visiting a bird table in a garden at Rhenetra, Kensaleyre (Simon Dix)
11th Jun 2008 Storm Petrel approx 20 seen from fishing boat between Soay and Rum - similar number on the 8th - during north westerlies. (Howard Eastcott)
10th Jun 2008 Blackcap View Image singing bird at Willowbank, Portree (SHolliday)
10th Jun 2008 Dunlin View Image 5 at Loch Brittle, possibly late migrants (SHolliday)
9th Jun 2008 Manx Shearwater View Image few reports still but group of 15 still frequenting the Sound of Raasay (Carol Hawley)
9th Jun 2008 Black Guillemot View Image 18 in Loch Portree from the Lady Bee (SHolliday)
8th Jun 2008 Turtle Dove this rare migrant has been found more regularly in recent years and Simon Dix found a single this afternoon at Rhenetra, Kensaleyre - seen later by RMcM.
8th Jun 2008 Great Skua View Image 4 off Kilt Rocks, Staffin (SHolliday)
6th Jun 2008 Whinchat View Image at least 3 pairs on the fringes of Coishleadar Forest near Edinbane (see Gallery) (RMcM)
6th Jun 2008 Short-eared Owl View Image singles early morning near Sligachan and at Greshornish (RMcM)and at the Black Lochs on the 7th (Liz Phillips)
6th Jun 2008 Rubha Hunish - Seabirds Bill & Deirdre Peppe commented on the lack of seabirds at this site - only a few Fulmars, virtually no Kittiwakes and a few auks mainly at sea. This is extremely disappointing but seems part of a declining trend and we will check it out on an SWT fieldtrip visit early next month (Bob)
6th Jun 2008 Corncrake View Image bird calling in area near Dunvegan (Ann Sime)
5th Jun 2008 Great Skua View Image Brian Neath has reported interesting behaviour of Bonxies in Broadford Bay where there are thought to be two pairs with a particular bird being hand fed by a fisherman. Reflecting increasing activity round Skye Sylvia Porter reports 10 birds on Staffin Island, all active in territorial display and courtship flights. Breeding and territorial records of this species would be of value to try and track their colonisation (Bob)
4th Jun 2008 Greenshank 4 in Portree Bay (Derek Forshaw)
4th Jun 2008 Puffin 12 at Bornesketaig (Derek Forshaw)
3rd Jun 2008 Great Skua View Image further reports from the Staffin area with 12 seen including 10 nest prospecting over Staffin Island (Derek Forshaw)
3rd Jun 2008 Raven 19 including a group of 17 seen on the Staffin-Uig hill road (Derek Forshaw)
2nd Jun 2008 Ring Ouzel View Image more records than normal with singing birds reported from the Suisnish peninsula (RCottis) and the head of Kylerhea Glen on the 1st (SHingston)
2nd Jun 2008 Hawfinch report of a bird in a garden in Glen Brittle - which is only about the 3rd record for Skye of this rare and spectacular finch (KC&KN)
2nd Jun 2008 Greenshank 4 in Portree Bay (Derek Forshaw)
1st Jun 2008 Barn Owl View Image report of a single at Portnalong (Jean Thomas)
1st Jun 2008 Puffin 11 past Neist Point (Derek Forshaw)
1st Jun 2008 Swift a single at Trumpan, Waternish is the first report we have received in a couple of years (Derek Forshaw)

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