Skye Birds - A Birding Guide to the Isle of Skye

The Skye Birds Species List

For those new to lists of this nature, the species list and scientific names which follow are listed in the Voous sequence. Some of the names may be unfamiliar, but follow the recent recommendations of the British Ornithologists Union which have been adopted by the Scottish Ornithologists Club.  Historical records have been included where there is a reasonable provenance. Otherwise, rarer species have only been included where the record has been published in official reports such as the Atlases, or accepted by the Local Recorder or, in appropriate cases, the Scottish Records Committee.  Three committees oversee rare records.  The Highland Records Committee (HRC) for local rarities; the Scottish Birds Records Committee (SBRC) for scottish rarities (; and the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) for british rarities (  Rarities have been identified in the species list by the use of the appropriate committee initials.  In respect of these rare birds, and others not listed, a full description will be required.  Photographic evidence can also be extremely helpful.

Because Skye has never been a recording area in its own right, and is part of the wider Highland recording area, it is accepted that this 'list' may be incomplete.  We welcome any additions and will update things as we go. As things stand the Skye species list shown below stands at 258, and an effort has also been made to comment on status.

260 results.   Displaying 1 to 260. VIEW ALL

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Species Image Details
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) View Image Annual vagrant.
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) View Image Common winter visitor and passage migrant in small numbers. Has summered.
Bewick's Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Historically, a regular winter visitor, now extremely rare. (HRC)
Snow Goose (Anser caerules) only a single record in 2009. (HRC)
Bean Goose (Anser fabalis rossicus) Very rare winter visitor - single record in 2012
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) View Image Regular passage migrant in spring and autumn- rarely lands!
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons flavirostris) View Image Winter visitor in small numbers.
Greylag Goose (Anser anser) View Image Breeding resident and increasing.
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) View Image Becoming a regular vagrant.
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) View Image Winter visitor in small numbers.
Brent Goose (Branta bernicla (hrota)) View Image Regular passage migrant in autumn, rarer in spring.
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) View Image Breeding resident in small numbers. Passage migrant.
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) View Image Winter visitor in small numbers.
American Wigeon (Anas americana) Scarce vagrant. (HRC)
Gadwall (Anas strepera) View Image Has bred. Scarce migrant and has wintered in small numbers.
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) View Image Breeds annually in small numbers. Winter visitor in small numbers.
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) very rare american vagrant - single record in 2000. (HRC)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) Breeding resident in small numbers. Passage migrant..
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) View Image Historical breeding record. Scarce passage migrant.
Garganey (Anas querquedula) View Image Scarce passage migrant. (HRC)

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Ring-necked Duck

A drake Ring-necked Duck was found on Loch Meodal, Sleat, by Kev Clark and Richard Webb on May 8, 2016.  It was seen later by MB and RMcM but was not present the next day.  This is a north american species and a regular vagrant to Scotland, usually in winter.  Its arrival coincided with several american visitors so it may have been a completely new bird, as another was present on Islay.  This is a first record for Skye  which has been ratified by the Highland Records Committee.

Black-headed Bunting

A male Black-headed Bunting was found by Susanna Robson on her garden feeders at Galtrigill, Glendale, on June 10, 2016.  The bird remained for several days and was best viewed from within the house.  A stunning bird it was seen by a small number of visiting birders.  The species is extremely rare and this is the first record for Skye, though one was present in Mallaig in 2011.  It breeds in south-east Europe, in Italy and Greece, so was well off course.  The record has been verified by the British Birds Rarities Committee.

Great White Egret

 A bird was found by Andrew Gouldstone on the Hamara River, Glendale, on 27.9.2016.  Though it was searched for the following day there was no trace.  This is a first for Skye and the record has to be ratified by the HRC - fortunately this image was taken.

Yellow-browed Warbler

 A bird was found by Neil Bennett and Martin Benson in Broadford on 4.10.2016.  This is a first record for Skye though the record still has to be ratified by HRC.

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