Reed Bunting and Little Grebe breed. A ferry service connects Uig on Skye with Tarbert on the Isle of Harris and Lochmaddy on North Uist. We also have regularly sighting of Seals and Dolphins. With some free time I took a trip to Inverness yesterday, and couldn’t resist a quick phone pic … Autumn and winter bring all three species of Divers with counts of 20 Black Throats and 30+ Great Northerns. Stop in at the Serpentarium , or seek sea life on a Glass Bottom boat for even more wildlife. This interesting peninsula, a classic example of a tombola, is easily accessible from Gedintailor, Braes at NG525350. Armadale Castle Policies (NG640047) Though full of exotic tree species this is an excellent sheltered garden, good for warblers and other passerines in spring and summer. Unfortunately however, egg collecting, a real threat in Victorian times, remains a genuine problem. From the neighbouring car park at Kilt Rock ou are likely to see Fulmars, Kestrels and maybe even a Peregrine along the sea cliffs. Wildfowl recorded include Scaup, Pintail, Common and Velvet Scoter, Greenland Whitefronts and Brent Geese. The following are examples of sites which have been watched regularly over the last few years. Broadford Bay (NG650250), can be watched from numerous points including the New and Old Pier, and the Co-op Car Park. A Golden Eagle is near the top of any bird watchers list. Other records have included Storm and Leach's Petrel, Sabine's Gull, and several species of Skuas and Divers. There are public footpaths to a number of these woodlands. Though on occasions twins may be hatched, because of sibling competition for food, the chances of both young birds surviving is very low. 4. Though never large concentrations of birds, the turnover can be significant, so it values regular watching. Nearby Loch Corterach is good for Goldeneye. There is a public car park located on the east side of the roads which provides access to fine viewpoints across the sea to Raasay and Wester Ross. Sleat, the long peninsula which stretches from Kinloch to Armadale, and eventually on to the Point of Sleat, enjoys a relatively sheltered position from which derives its reputation as the ‘garden of Skye’. The boat has both an outdoor elevated viewing deck and comfortable seating indoors (with a toilet onboard). It has taken over a century to reverse some of the imbalances created at the time and although vestiges of the ignorance, killing culture, and illegal persecution remain, we are fortunate that on the Island of Skye, few sporting estates remain, and the bad practices associated with them have largely disappeared. Loch Harport normally has good numbers of Great Northern Diver and a Velvet Scoter recently wintered. In winter many of the lochs here hold Whooper Swans. Though rarely containing large numbers of birds it is a good place to see Shelduck. Dedicated watchers will no doubt be rewarded with a few ‘firsts’ for Skye. Fish are thrown to entice the adult birds to scavage and this can allow for fantastic views and photographic opportunities. The area is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) for Golden Eagles and has 8 pairs in the wider Cuillin area. Loch Slapin (NG565220). I'm looking to visit the Isle of Skye after being told by many people that they have regular visitors of Golden Eagles and White Tailed Sea Eagles. This is probably the best birding spot on Skye, and because of its location and feeding opportunities, regularly picks up migrants on brief stopovers as well as the occasional scarce vagrant. The area lies to the north of the A87(T) public road, the main throughway from the Skye Bridge to Portree. 4. Personal highlight was a Sea Eagle sitting on a rock, not unusual, but it’s a rock that for 8 years I’ve felt was a perfect perching place, but the Eagles clearly had disagreed until Saturday! The MV Brigadoon and her crew have been operation out of Portree since 1996 being the first to bring sea eagle feeding to the UK public. Over the years it has picked up a number of scarce wildfowl including Garganey and Green Winged Teal, so check everything thoroughly. The Hebrides generally lack the biodiversity of mainland Britain, but like most of the larger islands, Skye still has a wide variety of species. Golden Eagles breed in the neighbouring hills and there are several pairs of breeding Greenshank. For those patient enough to sit and watch on still, sunny days, it may be possible to watch several pairs of Golden Eagles interact at the margins of their territories. There are public footpaths to a number of these woodlands. During the summer there is every likelihood of seeing Merlin or Golden Eagle. Favoured by good numbers of Lapwing, presumably on passage, because it is not a common bird in Skye. Golden Eagles breed in the neighbouring hills and there are several pairs of breeding Greenshank. Cruising out of Portree Harbour on the Isle of Skye we'll get you up close with the largest and rarest bird of prey in the UK, the White-tailed eagle. Mull Charters operates out of Ulva Ferry and the skipper of the boat trip has a uniqe relationship with the local Sea Eagles. The Red Hills are one of the best locations on the island to see Ptarmigan. Waders include Black Tailed and Bar Tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Knot, Grey Plover, Greenshank, Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper and Whimbrel. Their studies have found that although the population is fairly stable, annual breeding success was around .50 young per breeding pair but is currently showing a slow decline. Watching Eagles requires a great deal of patience but it is equally possible for the visitor to encounter birds whilst simply driving round the island. Skye is an island to the north west of Scotland and it's about 55 miles tall and about 25 miles wide. It also picks up waders on migration including Knot, Black and Bar Tailed Godwits, Greenshank and Dunlin. The Free Church car park at Bernisdale (NG406490) is a good observation point. There are a number of areas worth observing:- Consequently a collaborative project commenced in 2000 between Scotland and Ireland, 'The Irish Golden Eagle Reintroduction Project' which removes a small number of these surplus but at risk birds from their Scottish eyries, for eventual release in the wild to re-establish a breeding population in the mountains of the west of Ireland. There are currently a number of Eagles participating in this project, from all accounts doing well, a fine example of conservation collaboration along the celtic fringes and it was a Skye bird which provided the first Irish breeding record. Because twins are now rare on Skye, birds no longer go to the project. Sleat, the long peninsula which stretches from Kinloch to Armadale, and eventually on to the Point of Sleat, enjoys a relatively sheltered position from which derives its reputation as the ‘garden of Skye’. Golden Plover are scarce but listen for them on Am Mam or neighbouring hills. The Isle of Skye is a great place to see them in the wild. On your boat trip to from Elgol you will be in an ideal situation to see a huge variety of bird-life. The A87 trunk road links the Skye Bridge with Uig, towards the north of the island. However, it is a special island well worth a visit in its own right with some superb walks through contrasting landscapes. Natural Feature. Easy access is available from a number of centres such as Sligachan and Glen Brittle. Spindrift Boat Trips offer wildlife watching trips operating from Portree harbour on the Isle of Skye. Though many of these are geared to see cetaceans, they will provide opportunities for good birding though the knowledge of crews varies considerably. Portree the capital of Skye is 30mins away by car as is the Talisker Distillery in Carbost. Easily viewed from the access road from Roag village to Ardroag. Rarities regularly turn up at garden feeders. South Rona is also well worth a visit and there are regular boat trips in summer from Portree Harbour. Eagle or Otter Experience - £260 (full day) Eagle Photography Hide - £195 / person / day. You are always likely to see Eagles, Merlin or the occasional Peregrine. 2. This sheltered sea loch (NG550280) is easily watched from various parking spots alongside the A87(T), though a telescope is helpful. Good numbers of common waders such as Curlew and Oystercatcher occur as well as regular Greenshank and Bar Tailed Godwit. On the West of Skye, at the foot of the Black Cuillins in Glenbrittle, can be … The River Drynoch enters Loch Harport at NG406314, creating a small estuarine habitat with some saltmarsh. Now, it might also be possible to observe White-tailed Eagles in the same thermals. It contains a number of remnant woodlands of oak, ash, hazel and birch as well as formal gardens and scatterings of exotics at Armadale Castle and other locations along its eastern edge, adjacent to the A851. 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. Get closer to… Eagles Get closer to… Pine Marten Get closer to… Otters Get closer to otters, eagles & more on the Isle of Skye Wildlife Watching & Photography Tours with expert Stewart Dawber WILDLIFE WATCHING PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS PORTFOLIO I’m Stewart Dawber As a professional photographer living on Skye for over … Their diet includes mice, rabbits, and annoyingly for the local farmers, as … It is quite possible to sit with Golden Eagles and Ptarmigan on the Cuillins and with a good scope, watch rafts of Manx Shearwaters on Loch Scavaig below. Point of Sleat (NG563992) This involves a moderate walk, round trip 6 miles, by track and footpath to eventually reach the lighthouse. Observing the abundance of game birds Martin wrote: This is also a prime location for seawatching, with the chance of seeing passerines on the move. It is also worth mentioning the policies of Dunvegan Castle contain some attractive mature woodland with a rich variety of passerines. The unclassified road at NG543268 also provides various vantage points to overlook the mudflats at the west end of the loch. A small ferry also runs from Sconser, on Skye, to the neighbouring island of Raasay. Calmac operate a number of services and all provide fantastic opportunities to see birds and cetaceans. One of the few areas on Skye where there are resident Great Spotted Woodpeckers. At low tide it is possible to wade across to Ardnish. Camas na Sgianadin (NG625255), easily observed from large roadside lay-by or from the forest walk which starts beside the cemetery. You will therefore find woodland species here which are difficult to find on other parts of the island, and the greater density of species probably reflects the available shelter and cover. It is a superb spot for watching Gannets which feed close inshore. A number of species, scarce elsewhere on the island, are likely to be found including ChiffChaff, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, and Wood Warbler. A factor in this success is the level of human disturbance to nest sites, and it is absolutely critical to avoid any disturbance during the breeding season which lasts from March through until August. The Bay itself can look pretty empty at times, but there are many nooks and crannies such as Ardnish, Ashaig and Camas na Sgianadin which are well worth exploring, and which are all part of the wider Bay ecosystem. It’s a quiet time of the year for Tours , even more so with the current restrictions, but we’re still operating “as and when”. This is a stark landscape and it is difficult to see how much wildlife can survive. The site can be reached from several footpaths originating at Duntulm and Kilmaluag. The fields at Claigan often contain good flocks of Barnacle Geese which spend most of the winter on the nearby island of Isay. The head of the loch can be easily watched from a number of roadside vantage points. 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