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 101 to 120. VIEW ALL

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Species Image Details
Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus) View Image A single record in 2010. (BBRC)
Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) scarce north American vagrant with a single record in 2012
Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima) View Image Rare winter visitor.
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) View Image Breeds. Common passage migrant. Winters in small numbers.
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) Rare passage migrant
Jack Snipe (Lymnocryptes minimus) View Image A regular passage migrant and winter visitor.
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) View Image A common breeding resident. Also occurs on passage.
Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) Breeds in small numbers. Common passage migrant and winter visitor.
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) View Image A rare passage migrant in late summer.
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) View Image A regular passage migrant. Small numbers winter.
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) View Image A common passage migrant, particularly in late spring.
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) View Image Breeds locally. A common passage migrant and winter visitor.
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) View Image A scarce passage migrant.
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) View Image A rare breeding resident. Common passage migrant and winter visitor.
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) View Image Breeds commonly. Passage migrant and winter visitor.
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) View Image Accidental North American visitor. (BBRC)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) View Image Scarce passage migrant.
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) Very rare passage migrant.
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucus) View Image Very common summer visitor.
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia) This extremely rare and accidental visitor from North America has attempted to breed. (BBRC)

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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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