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

262 results.   Displaying 241 to 260. VIEW ALL

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Species Image Details
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) View Image Has bred but recent records relate to wandering birds.
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) View Image Common breeding resident.
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) View Image An irregular winter visitor in small numbers.
European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) View Image Common breeding resident.
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) View Image Breeding resident and evidence of population expansion.
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus) View Image Common breeding resident.
Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) View Image Local breeding resident though population has significantly declined.
Twite (Carduelis flavirostris) View Image Breeds commonly though main population absent in winter.
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret) View Image Common breeding resident.
Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) occurs annually as a migrant and winter visitor
Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) View Image Breeding resident in small numbers.
Common Rosefinch (Carpodacus erythrinus) View Image A scarce vagrant. (HRC)
Common Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) View Image Common breeding resident.
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) A scarce vagrant
Blackpoll Warbler (Dendroica stiata) A north American vagrant recorded in 2005. (BBRC)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) Rare north American vagrant recorded in 2012
Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus) View Image Rare passage migrant.
Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) View Image A winter visitor in small numbers.
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) Formerly bred but now very rare and local.
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) View Image Rare breeding resident - population possibly in decline.

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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 been 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 has been ratified by HRC.  Up to two birds remained for a fortnight.  Phil Knott found another bird on his croft in Drumfearn.  Bob McMillan also found two birds at the Point of Sleat.

Mandarin Duck

 Information was received from Euan Anderson in 2016 that a bird was seen on a pond in the Meodal plantation in Sleat in 1996.  The only other record was a bird which appeared briefly in Broadford Bay on 17.5.2017.  These are thought to be truly wild birds as there are no known collections of wildfowl nearby.  The species has been added to the Skye list.  Record shot from Martin Benson.


 This is a species whose range is expanding in neighbouring areas of Highland so its arrival was predictable.  It may have been recorded in Lochalsh previously but is regular in the Morar area.  It was anticipated that it might arrive in the woodlands of Sleat so an observation in Harrapool on 29.5.2017 was a bit of a surprise.  This is the first record for Skye.

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