The Smiddy
High-end quality self-catering accommodation with stunning views on Waternish Isle of Skye

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Fulmar in Flight

 

 

 

 
 

Wildlife

Waternish Birds      Plants Mammals

 
 

 It is possible to see in excess of 100 species of bird on the Waternish peninsula during the course of the year   ~   these range in size from the mighty re-introduced white-tailed sea eagle to Britainís smallest breeding bird, the diminutive goldcrest.

We are not noted for large concentrations of birds but there is lots of interest and variety for those prepared to look. Our west coast location and range of habitat types is the key to it.

The lower crofting land and farmland support healthy populations of breeding skylarks and meadow pipits, plus twite, linnets, lesser redpolls and goldfinches, with pairs of stonechats often present amongst gorse bushes. During summer months wheatears are present in open stony ground, and cuckoos range over the whole peninsula during May and June. In addition, we still have a small population of breeding corncrakes present during summer months.

Around the coastline, small colonies of breeding seabirds are present during summer months, along with our resident ravens and, of course, gannets are a common sight off-shore at this season too. Views of a golden eagle, sea eagle or peregrine are always possible.

On higher ground, a few red grouse are resident amongst the heather. This is also the zone where golden plover and merlin nest. And in the burns that drain the higher ground, dipper and grey wagtail are two birds to look out for.

The extensive conifer plantations in the area are frequented by a wide selection of birds. Goldcrests and coal tits nest here in large numbers, with a great many other birds present too along the more open forest rides   ~   for example, robins, wrens and chaffinches. Crossbills, also, nest here, in varying numbers from year to year.

For the sea watcher, there is much of interest, especially during spring and autumn migrations. Sea watching may seem a strange concept to the non-birder   ~   but for the dedicated birder, thatís where a lot of interest and activity is present. Huge numbers of seabirds pass north through The Minch during spring, to nest at higher latitudes, and fly back south again during their autumn migrations. There are many other birds passing through too, such as the predatory great and arctic skuas. Wading birds on the move at these times of year include ruff, bar-tailed godwit and whimbrel.

Sea watching during winter months can reveal great northern, black-throated and red-throated divers. Other birds of interest at this time include occasional views of whooper swans and barnacle geese. The resident greylag geese, cormorants, shags and black guillemots are usually easy to see.

But note things are not always what they seem! Many birds here are Hebridean sub-species of the ones you have at home   ~   song thrush and dunnock, for example. Also, donít pass by those street pigeons too quickly; ours are genuine wild rock doves, from which street pigeons were derived, but the ones you see here are the true blue-blooded original wild stock and they usually nest here in caves along the coastal cliffs.

 

For bookings and further information please contact:

Carmen Meier
Telephone:  0044 (0)1470 592375
Email:   carmen@waternishsmiddy.co.uk


   
 
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