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 266, and an effort has also been made to comment on status.

266 results.   Displaying 1 to 266. 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)
Tundra 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.
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsi) single with Barnacle Geese between Duntulm & Kilmaluag on 7.4.2009 - not accepted by BBRC until 2019
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.
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) the first record was at Meodal, Sleat in 1996. Drake Broadford Bay 17.5.2017
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..

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Lesser Yellowlegs

 A juvenile bird was found in Broadford Bay at Harrapool on 24.10.2018 by David Darrell-Lambert.  It remained in the area for several weeks.  The record has been ratified by BBRC.

Yellow-legged Gull

 An adult was found by Andy Stables on Loch Pooltiel at Lower Milovaig on February 23rd 2019.  It has now been ratified by SBRC and is the first record for Skye and only the third record in Highland.

Cackling Goose

 a single with a flock of Barnacle Geese between Duntulm and Kilmaluag on 7.4.2009 was accepted by BBRC in 2019 - it was under review until that time.  Found by P.Dolton and M.J. Learoyd.

Cliff Swallow

 on August 27, 2019, Sam Langlois found this american species at Meanish Pier, Loch Poolteil.  It only remained for a couple of hours but was also seen by Andy Stables.  The record is subject to acceptance by BBRC.

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