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 21 to 40. VIEW ALL

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Species Image Details
Garganey (Anas querquedula) View Image Scarce passage migrant. (HRC)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) View Image Rare passage migrant.
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) Rare passage migrant.
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) the only record is a male which was found on Loch Meodal, Sleat, on 8.5.2016
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) View Image Rare breeding resident. Passage migrant.
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) Rare passage migrant.
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) View Image Common breeding resident.
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) View Image Rare winter visitor.
Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra) Rare winter visitor and passage migrant.
Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) Scarce winter visitor.
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) View Image Common winter visitor in small numbers.
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) View Image Breeding resident in small numbers. Common winter visitor.
Goosander (Mergus merganser) View Image Rare breeding resident. Occurs regularly in winter and on passage.
Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotia) Breeding resident.
Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) View Image Breeding resident.
Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) View Image Previously a well established breeding resident. Few recent authenticate records.
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) View Image Introduced for shooting purposes in the 1990's but few recent records.
Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) Formerly a breeding resident. Again no authenticated record in recent times.
Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) A scarce summer visitor.
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) Breeding resident - local distribution and introduced.

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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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