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 81 to 100. VIEW ALL

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Species Image Details
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Breeding resident.
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticu) Breeds in small numbers. More widespread in winter.
Spotted crake (Porzana porzana) Very rare summer visitor. (HRC)
Corncrake (Crex crex) View Image Summer visitor which breeds in small numbers.
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) Breeds in small numbers and rare winter visitor.
Common Coot (Fulica atra) View Image Bred formerly. Rare vagrant.
Common Crane (Grus grus) View Image Rare and accidental passage migrant. (HRC)
Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) View Image Common breeding resident, passage migrant and winter visitor.
Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) View Image Breeding resident. Also occurs on passage and as a winter visitor.
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) Rare vagrant. Only a single record in May 2014.
Dotterel (Charadrius morinellus) View Image Rare passage migrant.
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) View Image Breeds. Passage migrant. Rare in winter.
American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) An agult with Golden Plover at Sconser on 6.10.2014 is the only Skye record.
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) View Image A regular winter visitor in small numbers.
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) View Image Breeds in small numbers. Occurs as a passage migrant, rare in winter.
Red Knot (Calidris canutus) View Image Regular passage migrant in late summer/autumn.
Sanderling (Calidris alba) View Image Rare passage migrant in late summer/autumn.
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) View Image Very rare passage migrant.
Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) Scarce North American vagrant. (HRC)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) View Image Passage migrant which is now recorded annually.

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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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