• Would members please give due consideration when thinking about posting information and sightings relating to Schedule 1 species during the breeding season. Records of these species can be submitted privately to the county bird recorder by email to recorder@outerhebridesbirds.org.uk or via BTO BirdTrack marked as sensitive. For updated guidance on this subject from the Rare Breeding Birds Panel please download the PDF from the Resources section

  • When here in the Outer Hebrides and looking at a bird, have you ever wondered how rare it is? The status of all species can vary enormously from island to island. How rare is Shoveler on Barra, has Stock Dove been seen on Harris, does Dotterel occur on Benbecula in the autumn, and how common is Blue Tit on North Uist? Well, fret no longer! The Status and Distribution of birds here on the Outer Hebrides has been completely updated and summarised for every species and each of the main islands and outliers. Available now as an online resource at https://status.outerhebrides-birdreports.org/ or via our shop

Exceptional skua passage in the Outer Hebrides, May 2015

Hawkeye

Eyes and Ears Everywhere
Every year, birdwatchers head for the Outer Hebrides in May in the hope that they will experience the thrill of witnessing the spectacle of hundreds of skuas passing our shores. For those that were here in 2015, it was a once in a lifetime experience. That experience has been captured in this BirdGuides article detailing the events of that exceptional year.

The most spectacular spring seawatching event that Britain and Ireland can offer is without doubt the Arctic-bound passage of everyone's favourite kleptoparasites, the elegant Long-tailed Skua and its far burlier relative, Pomarine Skua. Either one of these species is often enough to headline a seawatch, even when sightings involve comparatively frumpish juveniles in the autumn, but spring adults are among the most beguiling ocean-goers and are capable of putting on a performance nothing short of staggering as they pass our shores.

In both species, it is the peculiar central tail feathers which make them so characterful and sought after, those of Long-taileds being delicate and wavy, adding sometimes upwards of 20cm to the bird's length, while Poms' are spoon-shaped and twisted in an otherwise unfamiliar fashion. The birds we see in the spring are making headway for their breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra where they will feed on anything from smaller birds to insects and berries after spending the winter in the South Atlantic.

The full article can be read in full here
 
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