"A glorious little gem"
1. Loch Cill Chriosd (NG610214) This reedy roadside loch is always worth a look at any time of year. In winter it is a good place to see Whoopers, Goldeneye and Tufted Duck. Reed Bunting and Little Grebe breed. Moorhen and Coot, extremely rare on Skye, formerly bred here and both have been seen again in recent years. In late summer evenings Swallows and Pied Wagtails can be seen coming to roost in the reed beds. Good numbers of Lapwing breed nearby in Suardal.
2. Loch Slapin (NG565220). The head of the loch can be easily watched from a number of roadside vantage points. It is worth watching all year round and Greenshank, Turnstone and Ringed Plover can usually be seen. Wildfowl include Wigeon, Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser. However, in favourable conditions in late spring, Scaup, Shoveler, and Brent Geese have dropped in. It is a good area to see Black Guillemot at any time of the year. Access to the lochside is also possible further west at Kilmarie (NG565170) from where it is possible to walk westwards along a coastal path to Drinan and Glasnakille. In late summer this is a super area for Auks, Gannets and Gulls. Autumn and winter bring all three species of Divers with counts of 20 Black Throats and 30+ Great Northerns.
3. Strathaird Point (NG530114) This headland is properly known as Rubha na h-Easgainne and is accessed via an indistinct coastal path from the west end of Glasnakille or by the coastal link from Elgol. This is an area of spectacular limestone cliffs, which along with Eilean na h-Airde, have scattered breeding colonies of Shags, Black Guillemots and increasing numbers of Fulmars. Strathaird Point is excellent for sea watching and Pomarine Skuas have been recorded in May. Arctic and Great Skuas are regular in summer and autumn when the areas hosts thousands of Shearwaters from Rum, as well as huge numbers of Auks, Gulls and Kittiwakes.
4. Camusunary (NG585186) Reached via a good path which starts at the car park beside the road near Strathaird Farm (NG545173), this is a spectacular location, set in the heart of the Cuillins. During the summer there is every likelihood of seeing Merlin or Golden Eagle. Golden Plover are scarce but listen for them on Am Mam or neighbouring hills. The bay is a good spot for Turnstone and Ringed Plover as well as other waders such as Dunlin which enjoy brief stopovers. In spring and autumn Pink Feet Geese stream over the Cuillins during migration. In winter the coastal path to Elgol is excellent for viewing Great Northern and Black Throated Divers in nearby Loch Scavaig.
"A book such as this has to look backwards and the author does so succinctly, looking at the work of several of the pioneering naturalists before picking out the publications of JA Harvie-Brown and the Rev. Hugh Macpherson. I know this book fills a real gap in the information available for the Isle of Skye and it will surely sell well at local bookshops."
Andrew Currie Miscellany West Highland Free Press
"A total of 238 species have been recorded, with 14 of those 'red listed' as of high conservation concern ... another innovation has been the inclusion of Gaelic names for some birds. While this is not uncommon in a few other books, the addition of some regional Gaelic names is very unusual and very welcome."
Ray Collier Country Diary 'Up in the Skye' The Guardian
"Illustrated with beautiful photographs of current birdlife on the island, the publication also features sketches by Jean Thomas of The Little Gallery, Portnalong, stimulating the reader's interest further and allowing them to identify species they encounter on Skye."