An Ornithologist Paradise
The Isle of Eigg is home to a current bird list total of 196 species, an impressive and varied number for an Island of her size and location. Approximately 130 species are normally recorded in an average year, of which half of that number breed on Eigg, finding the habitats on the Island conducive to rearing their young.
As with most northerly European sites, in the spring months there is a dazzling display of West Coast species such as Golden Eagles, Ravens, Buzzard, Red Throated Divers and Stonechat to fascinate the keenest of ornithologists interest. Colourful cascades and displays mounting to crescendo of feathered frenzies in particular in May and early June. High summer visitors to the Island include Cuckoo, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Twite and many more.
With the onset of August and September one should look towards the sea to catch the magnificent displays of the Great Northern Diver and Jack Snipe with October too being very full or aerial acrobatics, there is always something of interest to be seen throughout the year as resident bird species on the Island include a fair-cross section of woodland and shoreline birds.
Birds of passage, like our sapient visitors, too grace our Island with their presence; geese, waders and various passerines, move through the Island in spring and autumn and real rarities can occur. In the last five years, more unusual species have included Leach Petrel, Quail, Pomarine Skua, Glaucous and Iceland Gull, Black Tern, Little Auk, Subalpine Warbler, Red Breasted Flycatcher, Arctic Redpoll, Common Rosefinch and Black Headed Bunting! Crowning this year’s unusual fowls were a small family of Black Ibis which rested for a little over a month in February. Showing Eigg as a destination that truly exotic birds reach.