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 2009 Manx Shearwater View Image huge rafts feeding off Neist Point estimated 2-4000 + 2 dark phasa Arctic Skuas (AS)
30th May 2009 Knot 3 at Ardnish + 13 Golden Plover (A&EH)
28th May 2009 Corn Bunting View Image currently following up reports of a Corn Bunting at Attadale, Ross-shire - this bird was colour ringed and there is a possibility it is from the small resident Uist population (per BN)
27th May 2009 Sanderling View Image another report of 8 at Traigh, Mallaig + 50 Dunlin, 20 Ringed Plover and a single Whimbrel (S.MacDonald)
27th May 2009 Black-throated Diver View Image three off Moll (Megan Bentall)
24th May 2009 Greenshank possibly 4 pairs in an area of Inverinate Forest, Lochalsh, including a nest with 4 eggs - conversely Golden Plovers absent from an area where several pairs had previously been recorded (BN doing Atlas work) - last few days for first visits into breeding Atlas tetrads!
24th May 2009 Sanderling View Image single in summer plumage at Harrapool along with 18 Dunlin (MB)
23rd May 2009 White-tailed Eagle View Image most will be aware that Skye has a good population of breeding pairs but it again appears to be a poor breeding season (per RSPB)with the high winds and poor weather a few weeks ago taking their toll. The Portree nest has been successful and we are pleased that Peter Urquhart is now offering daily trips on the Brigadoon. Peter has a long experience of working with the local Sea Eagles and his boat will be skippered by Peter Elford a regular contributor to this site. We have previously been critical of other boat operations and Peter will be operating to a long-awaited code of practice produced by RSPB and SNH - for bookings contact 01478 612641.
22nd May 2009 Tree Sparrow one visiting feeders at Hallin, Waternish - see Gallery(AM) - this is an unusual record - one visited feeders at Lower Milovaig in May last year - these are the only records for some years.
22nd May 2009 House Martin View Image one over Greshornish Forest with the nearest house several miles away (RMcM)
22nd May 2009 Osprey View Image report of a bird flying south over Loch Ainort from Moll, probably a wandering sub-adult (David & Joan Hawkswell)
22nd May 2009 Whooper Swan View Image another straggler at Camas Ban, Portree Harbour - Peter Elford - Brigadoon.
22nd May 2009 Redwing View Image another bird seen in an area of suitable breeding habitat in Lochalsh (BN)
22nd May 2009 Black-throated Diver View Image three at Portnalong (Terry Fenton)
21st May 2009 Grasshopper Warbler 2 reeling birds at Portnalong (Terry Fenton)
20th May 2009 Whooper Swan View Image single straggler still on Loch Cleat, Duntulm (RMcM)
20th May 2009 Common Scoter single in Camus a Mhor, Braes (WM)
19th May 2009 Lesser Redpoll View Image lots of recent reports of birds visiting gardens - this species is migratory so disappears over-winter returning now to breed. With so many feeding in gardens it begs the question as to whether natural food supplies such as seeds are scarce.
18th May 2009 Red-throated Diver View Image lot of reports around the coast at the moment and these are probably local breeding birds - 3 pairs in Camus a Mhor, Braes, including courtship display + 70 Kittiwake, 2 Puffin, 4 Arctic Tern and a Great Northern Diver (WM)
18th May 2009 Great Spotted Woodpecker View Image report from Orla Broderick of at least a pair coming to feeders at Skeabost - though we have had reports of singles this far north on the island this is the first occasion a possible pair has been reported.
18th May 2009 Sanderling View Image single in summer plumage + 3 Dunlin & 7 Great Northern Divers (Terry Fenton)
17th May 2009 Black-throated Diver View Image two at Talisker Bay (Terry Fenton)
16th May 2009 Black Grouse View Image report of a single cock bird on the shore of Loch Niarsco, Glen Bernisdale - there are occasional reports of this species in Skye and possibly involve wandering non-breeding birds.
15th May 2009 BTO Atlas still two weeks to get the first breeding visit in to tetrads and lots of gaps in coverage so volunteers needed, surprisingly around places like Portree. In a tetrad at Portree to-day 37 species were recorded in a visit lasting little more than an hour - contact Bob for information.
14th May 2009 Redwing View Image tetrads in Wester Ross and Lochalsh have found Redwing in suitable breeding habitat so something well worth looking for - in Lochalsh a tetrad also had 3 Redstart and 2 Grasshopper Warbler (BNeath, ITurnbull)
12th May 2009 Arctic Tern View Image first reports with 2 at Loch Erghallan, Skinidin (AS)
12th May 2009 Brent Goose View Image single straggler pale bellied on Loch Slapin near Faoilean (N&S Laughton)
12th May 2009 Arctic Tern View Image c30 in Loch Eishort at Ord (N&S Laughton)
12th May 2009 Blackcap View Image nice male singing at the Broadford Industrial Estate (MB)
12th May 2009 Whooper Swan View Image straggler near Duntulm (Tina & Doug Holden)
11th May 2009 Glaucous Gull View Image long-stayer still at Dornie and regularly going for a garden feed (BN)
11th May 2009 Common Whitethroat View Image one singing near Torrin (RMcM)and another on Lochalsh at Inverinate (BN)
11th May 2009 Jack Snipe View Image a bird flushed from the open hill near Torrin is a very late migrant (RMcM)
11th May 2009 Pink-footed Goose View Image 5 heading north ovr Balmeanach, Braes (WM)
11th May 2009 Knot 5 in Broadford Bay (MB)
11th May 2009 Kingfisher report from Ann Galbraith of a pair of birds on the Treaslane River near Bernisdale. This is an exceptional record - the species turns up every few years but usually singly.
10th May 2009 Snow Goose white morph flying north over Isleornsay with c120 Pink-feet Geese at around 1900 hours (RCottis)- this is the 1st record of a Snow Goose on Skye.
10th May 2009 Whimbrel View Image flock of 14 at Neist Point (N&S Laughton)- also a Minke Whale.
10th May 2009 White Wagtail View Image 4 on high tide line at Hallin, Waternish (AM)
10th May 2009 Puffin a few birds now being seen close inshore with reports from Loch Slapin, Loch Bay and Neist Pount.
10th May 2009 Common Whitethroat View Image first report with one singing at Fasach (A&AS)
10th May 2009 Pink-footed Goose View Image c300 in several skeins moving north over Ord at 0800 (Rob Ware)
10th May 2009 Long-eared Owl View Image another report from Fanks, Edinbane, bird seen in broad daylight (per AS)
9th May 2009 Knot 3 in summer plumage at Harrapool (RMcM)
9th May 2009 Barn Owl View Image pair in a rock cleft near Mallaig - this is a typical nest site for the area - (see Gallery for image - Stephen MacDonald)
9th May 2009 albino Common Gull an interesting all white gull at Balmeanach, Braes, which we are confident is an albino Common Gull (WMarshall - see image in Gallery)
9th May 2009 Dunlin View Image 60 at Harrapool and 40 heading north through the narrows of Raasay (RMcM, WM)
8th May 2009 Linnet 6 + a Lesser Redpoll at Ullinish (PElford)
8th May 2009 Whimbrel View Image 23 at Traigh, Mallaig + 50 Dunlin, 17 Turnstone & 2 Sanderling (SMacDonald)
8th May 2009 Long-eared Owl View Image this is an elusive species on the island so a report from Vatten, Dunvegan, in broad daylight is very interesting (Neil Biles)
7th May 2009 Great Skua View Image 3 north in strong westerlies at Strathaird Point (RMcM)
7th May 2009 Gannet reports from Narrows of Raasay, Broadford Bay off Lusa with a peak count of 100 in two hours off Strathaird Point (WM, A&EH, RMcM)
7th May 2009 Whimbrel View Image 17 on the shore at Lochcarron near the golf course - a very good count for the area (BN & Josephine Dean)
6th May 2009 Canada Goose View Image report of two in Broadford Bay (DCJ) - probably the same birds reported in The Obbe, Kyleakin on the 7th (A&EH)
5th May 2009 Turnstone 14 at Balmeanach Bay + 2 Whimbrel (WM)
5th May 2009 Siskin on 25th May 2008 a ringed Siskin visited Alan Mearns's feeders at Waternish and by photographing the leg he was able to read the number and establish it was originally ringed as a 2nd year female at Highley, Shropshire on 11.2.2006 - it is back again (see Gallery)
4th May 2009 Whimbrel View Image still good numbers passing through with 5 at Balmeanach Bay (WM) and 17 at Traigh, Mallaig (SMacDonald)
3rd May 2009 Ring Ouzel View Image one singing at Trotternish (CHawley)
2nd May 2009 Grasshopper Warbler two reeling at Tote (CHawley)
1st May 2009 Whimbrel View Image 4 on the shore at Balmeanach Bay (WM)

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