Find out what's around in Glendale, Isle of Skye, with our regularly updated wildlife sighting and nature reports.
If you see any interesting or unusual wildlife in the Glendale area, please or give Andy a call on (01470) 511354.
For the very latest information about recent bird sightings on the Isle of Skye, please visit Bob McMillan's excellent Skye Birds web-site.
I have set up a Facebook page, Glendale Skye Auroras, to provide alerts and information about sightings of the Northern Lights in Glendale, as we are now at the peak of solar activity and likely to see regular auroras in 2012 and 2013.
Click the "like" button above if you want to receive regular updates and remember to "share" with your friends.
See photos of every aurora borealis in Glendale since Autumn 2011 here.
There was a male reed bunting below the top road in Lower Milovaig at mid-day. There first two returning black guillemots on Loch Pooltiel were back today, both in winter plumage.
There was a dipper on the shoreline of the white beach at Upper Milovaig at mid-day.
There were seven goosanders off the white beach at Lower Milovaig until 11am.
There was a group of six fieldfares at Waterstein plus 12 goldeneye and 5 little grebes on Loch Mor.
At Neist Point there were: two stonechats; a red-throated diver and two winter-plumage black guillemots in Moonen Bay, a few small groups of common guillemots out in the Minch. No fulmars on the ledges today.
There was a very late twite in Ann MacKenzie's garden on the top road in Lower Milovaig at mid-day. There was a late common guillemot off Meanish Pier, late morning.
A juvenile white-tailed eagle was circling low over the white beach at Lower Milovaig, mid afternoon. It then flew over Borrodale and on to Lephin, where it spent about 30 minutes circling low over croft 2 Lephin.
There was a single grey wagtail at the seaward end of the Milovaig loop, late morning.
A white-tailed eagle was again on the cliff at the end of the white beach at Upper Milovaig, at mid-day and flew across onto the cliffs on the Scorr Farm side. It is possible that there is a dead sheep there and it is eating the carrion.
There was a merlin beside the road, where it drops steeply into Waterstein at 3:30pm.
There was a white-tailed eagle flying low along the shore at the white beach, Upper Milovaig, at 9:45am that landed briefly on the cliff, before heading off towards Pollosgan.
There was another nice aurora tonight, with three good shows from dusk until 1am.
There was a tawny owl calling in the gardens at 1 and 2 Lower Milovaig all evening.
There was a barn owl hunting around the lighthouse at Neist Point at around 7pm.
There was a large pod of 50+ common dolphins in the Minch off Lower Milovaig, gradually working their way North, at mid-day. They were doing some spectacular acrobatics, with full-body breaches and mid-air rolls.
There was a male blackcap in the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig at 10:40am.
There was a nice aurora from 5:40pm until 8pm, when the moon killed it.
We had the first frost of the winter this morning, with temperatures of 1°C at Milovaig and 0.5°C at Lephin and the car windscreen had to be scraped.
The first woodcock of the winter was flushed in the Hampson's Garden at dawn and two more were flushed along the top road in Lower Milovaig at 6pm.
A small group of around 12 waxwings flew over the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig at around 3:15pm, heading towards Upper Milovaig.
Numbers of redwings have been building up steadily in Milovaig all week and there are now 120+ redwings feeding on the Lower Milovaig crofts. A redshank on the shore at the seaward end of the Milovaig loop flew inland towards Waterstein. There was a late gannet off Meanish Pier, late morning.
2015 GLENDALE CALENDAR
I only have a few copies of my 2015 Glendale Calendar remaining if anybody wants to enjoy a stunning A4 print of one of my landscape or aurora images every month for the whole of next year.
They are £11.99 plus £4.95 UK P&P, alternatively, you can collect from me in either Glendale or Portree.
There was another beautiful aurora borealis.
There was a single, very vocal, whooper swan off the white beach at Lower Milovaig at mid-day.
There was another beautiful aurora borealis.
We've had auroras on the last seven consecutive nights. These pics are some of the best ones from Tuesday night's display.
A flock of seven golden plovers flew west over the top road in Upper Milovaig, late morning.
There was a very late leucorhoa-type wheatear at Upper Milovaig, on the Waterstein Road, at dusk.
There were five redwings at Lephin at 7:45am.
There was a female brambling in the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig at 12:30pm. This is the first known record of this species in Milovaig, although they have been recorded in Fasach before. This is an extremely rare visitor to Glendale.
There was a juvenile white-tailed eagle circling over Beinn Bhuidhe, Upper Milovaig at 3pm.
Lephin saw the first frost this morning, with temperatures down to 2.5 degrees C and cars being scraped at 7:45am.
The first redwings are arriving with a single redwing at Lephin at 7:45am and seven on the Oisgill track at 6:45pm.
There was a pair of adult white-tailed eagles soaring over Dunvegan Head, late morning. A bonxie was attacking gulls across the mouth of Loch Dunvegan at around 11:30am. There were two mistle thrushes on the top road in Lower Milovaig at mid-day.
First fieldfare of the autumn in the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig early morning. Numbers of immigrant song thrushes and blackbirds have been ramping up this week.
There was a barn owl in the garden at 12 Upper Milovaig at 1:15am (Andrea Cross).
A skein of 50 geese, probably pink-footed geese went South over Lephin, late morning.
There was a leucorhoa wheatear at Oisgill Bay (Gordon McCracken).
There was a report of a late swallow heading West at Neist Point (per skye-birds.com).
There was a single dunlin feeding on the shoreline at Meanish in the evening (Gordon McCracken).
An exceptionally rare moth, a slender striped rufous, was trapped at Holmisdale by Andy Harding. This is only the 2nd record ever of this nationally scarce species on the Isle of Skye.
There were two dippers on the shore at Meanish, mid-morning.
There was a juvenile white-tailed eagle at Meanish at 10am that came up from the ground beside the Salt Store and flew at roof-top height over to MacDougall's Spruces, where it almost landed on a tree before spinning round, heading across the pier and onwards to Scorr Farm.
A white-tailed eagle flew over the B884 at Hamaraverin at 5:45pm, heading towards Loch Pooltiel.
There was another beautiful aurora borealis that started at 9:30pm and went on all night, getting stronger after 1am.
There was a pod of 12-20 common dolphins feeding inside the mouth of Loch Pooltiel most of the morning, with some moments of breaching and splashing.
There were 20+ stonechats along the seaward end of the Milovaig loop, late morning. There is still a flock of twites on the top road in Lower Milovaig, today containing 30 birds.
A pine carpet moth was caught in her moth trap at Lower Milovaig (Alison Stables). This is only the fourth ever record for Skye, the previous ones being in August 1969, September 1969 and July 1975, so this is the first one found here for almost 40 years.
A white-tailed eagle flew extremely low over the Lephin Crofts at 3pm, heading towards Hamaraverin.
A tawny owl was calling at Lephin, in the trees opposite the café, at nightfall.
There were two grey wagtails above the bottom road in Upper Milovaig at mid-day.
There were three harbour porpoises off the seaward end of the Milovaig Loop, late morning.
There was a beautiful aurora from 9:35pm until midnight, although hampered by haar and moonlight.
Three juvenile white-tailed eagles flew along the bottom road in Lower Milovaig, heading towards the pier at 11:35am, being mobbed by five buzzards. There are still at least four stonechats at the seaward end of the Milovaig loop.
A bonxie flew North across Neist Point at mid-day. There were c. 10 manx shearwaters off Neist during the morning. There were still four late wheatears at Neist Point and a juvenile male stonechat by the steps at Neist.
There was a flock of 25 twites at the seaward end of the Milovaig Loop at mid-day.
An adult white-tailed eagle flew over the white beach at Lower Milovaig, heading towards Borrodale at 12:15pm.
There was a flock of 18 linnets on Croft 2 Lephin, late afternoon.
There was another beautiful aurora at around 12:30am.
There were two late wheatears on the top road in Upper Milovaig, late morning. There were four juvenile stonechats below the bottom road in Lower Milovaig and an adult male stonechat with a juvenile at An Acarsaid Cottage in the morning.
There was a beautiful aurora borealis in the early hours of the morning. The show began at around 10:45pm but didn't get really good until 12:50am onwards. There have also been a couple of other much weaker auroras so far this month.
There was a single harbour porpoise off the Lower Milovaig grazings, late morning (Alison Stables).
There were 15 common dolphins in Loch Dunvegan, near Husabost Fish Farm, from 12pm until 1pm (Astrid van Eybergen).
There was a linnet outside Skye Quilt at Upper Milovaig, late morning.
There was a pod of 30+ common dolphins at the mouth of Loch Pooltiel from 4pm until 4:30pm and also an adult white-tailed eagle there at 4pm (Andy Radford).
Very few reports this summer but there was a large, adult minke whale in Oisgill Bay from 9pm until sunset.
There were at least 8 immature stonechats spread along the seaward end of the Milovaig Loop, early afternoon, in various states of moult. There were a number of small flocks of twite along the top road in Lower Milovaig totalling around 30 birds, early afternoon.
There was an adult white-tailed eagle riding thermals over Ferinquarrie at around 1:45pm.
A white-tailed eagle flew West over the White Beach at Milovaig at 8:20am.
A tawny owl at Hamara Lodge was flying during the daylight again at 7:15am.
There was a very agitated otter at the shoreline on the white beach at Lower Milovaig at 00:45 hours.
There was a single redshank on the black beach, Ferinquarrie at dusk.
A large pod of 50+ common dolphins came into Loch Pooltiel at around 9:30am, as far up as Pollosgan and stayed for about 30 minutes, giving a spectacular display of breaching and splashing, before heading back out to sea.
There was a major display of Noctilucent Cloud this morning from 1am until 2:30am.
There was a pod of 20+ common dolphins off Waterstein Head in the afternoon (Andrew Marsh).
There were two bonxies at Neist Point and two red-throated divers on Loch Mor in the afternoon (Andrew Marsh).
There was a pair of stonechats with four fledged young at Meanish, late morning.
There were three specimens of Northern Marsh Orchid in bloom at Lower Milovaig. This is the first time we have ever encountered this species in Milovaig.
A yellow shell moth was found today at Lower Milovaig (Alison Stables). There are only a few known records for this species on Skye. Click here for a pic.
A tawny owl is still being seen every morning between 7am and 8am in the trees at Hamara Lodge carrying small mammals.
A juvenile white-tailed eagle flew West across the mouth of Loch Pooltiel, heading towards Rubha Ban at around 11:50am. Another, or the same bird was seen again at 12:55pm, heading East over the bottom road in Lower Milovaig, over Loch Pooltiel to Scorr Farm.
A juvenile white-tailed eagle flew East over the bottom road in Lower Milovaig at 1:45pm, heading over Loch Pooltiel to Scorr Farm.
There was a tawny owl sitting in a tree beside the road at Hamara Lodge at 7:45am.
There is still a singing male whinchat on croft 2 Lephin, behind Lephin Cottage.
A late, singing male whitethroat arrived back in territory at Lephin today.
A harbour porpoise and a distant minke whale were seen off Neist Point this afternoon (Andy McLean - Skye Wildlife Tours).
There was a pod of 50+ common dolphins in Loch Dunvegan, off Borreraig, at around 11am (Ian MacLean & Robert Pancic).
There were two harbour porpoises in the mouth of Loch Pooltiel just before 10pm.
A juvenile white-tailed eagle flew low along the shore at the seaward end of the Milovaig loop just before 10pm, heading towards Rubha Ban.
There were two minke whales off Neist Point, the first report of the season (Gillian Cooke).
The first midges were out and biting in Glendale today.
There was a singing male whinchat on croft 2 Lephin (behind Lephin Cottage) all day.
A pod of 20-30 common dolphins came into Loch Pooltiel, mid morning, and put on a spectacular display of splashing and breaching, with up to 10 individuals breaching simultaneously. They came in as far as Greg's mooring for the Moyra Jayne, before heading back out into the Minch, where they were still feeding at 11:30am.
There were at least 8 male leucorhoa wheatears around the Milovaig loop being attacked by the local race birds.
The first early purple orchids have come into bloom at Lower Milovaig.
There were two bonxies back at Neist Point tonight and a group of four white wagtails at Waterstein.
The first singing male sedge warbler was back in territory at Lephin at dusk.
The first broods of house sparrows have fledged now at Lower Milovaig.
A singing male whinchat is now back in breeding territory at Hamara Parks.
A grasshopper warbler was back and reeling at the bottom of crofts 3 & 4 Lephin at 10pm. Weirdly, there was a cormorant standing in Murdo's sheep park, over half a kilometre from the sea, at Upper Milovaig, opposite Carter's Rest, in the morning that took off inland, flying low over the ground, towards Borrodale when disturbed.
A noisy whimbrel at the seaward end of the Milovaig loop, mid morning, headed off over the Minch towards Harris. There were 12 puffins in the mouth of Loch Pooltiel, three of them being as far in as the big waterfall, mid morning.
A Barnacle Goose, carrying a yellow ring on its left leg, has turned up amongst the greylags at Loch Mor, Waterstein (Rhona & Brian Smith). The ring has been checked out with the WWT and confirms that this bird is not a true wild goose, it has escaped from a waterfowl collection somewhere.
Several early purple orchids were in bloom on the cliff edge at the summit of Waterstein Head.
A female emperor moth was photographed in her garden at Upper Milovaig by Clare Gray.
The first cuckoo of the summer was heard this morning at Upper Milovaig (Andrea Cross).
There were two collared doves in the garden at Upper Milovaig (Clare Gray). These are rare visitors to Milovaig, although fairly numerous in other parts of the island. There was a late redwing at Lower Milovaig.
There was a beautiful aurora borealis from 11pm last night (20th) until around 2:30am.
The first common sandpiper was back on the white beach at Lower Milovaig, late afternoon.
There was a male goosander off the white beach at Lower Milovaig at 9am. The first pair of twites was back on the top road in Lower Milovaig, late morning. There was a male and two female redpolls back in breeding territory at Lower Milovaig for the first time today. There were two swallows around Carters' Rest and An Acarsaid, Upper Milovaig, late morning.
The first swallow was back at Lower Milovaig today.
There are now at least 3 singing male willow warblers at Lephin.
There was a very late 1st/2nd year Iceland Gull roosting on the white beach at Lower Milovaig at 6:20pm.
There was a flock of 10 skylarks on the bottom road in Lower Milovaig, mid-morning and there are many small groups of meadow pipits and wagtails around the Milovaig loop, which attracted a female merlin on the top road in Lower Milovaig at mid-day. The first linnet was back at Lower Milovaig, mid morning.
The first white wagtail of the spring was at the seaward end of the Milovaig loop at mid-day.
There was a white-tailed eagle above the bottom road in Lower Milovaig, heading towards Waterstein at around 7pm.
There was a single redwing doing its migration sub-song in the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig, mid morning.
There was a group of four white-tailed eagles and three golden eagles circling together over Lephin, being mobbed by a buzzard, mid afternoon. The white-tailed eagles were yelping louding.
There first redpoll was back at Lower Milovaig, mid morning.
The yellowhammer was again seen in a garden at Upper Milovaig (Anna Cleland).
The first willow warbler of spring was in the garden at Kathy's Cottage on the top road in Lower Milovaig, mid morning. There were singing male chiffchaffs at MacDougal's Spruces and in the garden at Carter's Rest. There were two pairs of wheatears on territory at Upper Milovaig, with males singing.
There was an adult white tailed eagle over the Minch off Dunvegan Head, mid-morning. Two greater black-backed gulls squabbling over a fish in the mouth of Loch Pooltiel, dropped it and had it stolen by a juvenile white-tailed eagle that steamed in and snatched it from the surface of the water. The juvenile white-tailed eagle was seen over the Upper Milovaig grazings heading towards the Ramasaig Cliff at around 11:30am.
The first peacock butterfly of the year was on the wing below Waterstein Head today (Brian Smith).
The first female wheatears are starting to arrive, with a male and female together at Upper Milovaig at mid-day.
There was a pair of eiders off the white beach at Milovaig all day.
The first lambs are starting to appear in Milovaig, with at least three born from Calum Matheson's flock today.
There was a report of a male yellowhammer at Upper Milovaig (Bob Cleland).
Still very scarce, there was a report of a wheatear from Upper Milovaig, mid afternoon (Steve & Julie Carter).
The first pipistrelle bat of the year was out of hibernation and on the wing at Waterstein at sunset.
The first white-tailed bumblebee of the year was on the wing at Lephin at 6pm.
The first returning chiffchaff of the spring arrived in the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig this afternoon and promptly got itself tangled in the mesh of the fruit cage. It was safely released unharmed.
There was a white-tailed eagle over Glasphein, near the Community Hall, heading towards Fasach, at 5pm
A white-tailed eagle flew extremely low above the bottom road in Lower Milovaig at 11:45am, heading towards the pier. Later, a pair of white tailed eagles flew along the bottom road in Milovaig, heading towards Borrodale, just after 1pm.
Our first male wheatear was back today below the bottom road on croft 2 Lower Milovaig.
The first returning gannet of the spring was off Neist Point at sunset.
There was a woodcock circling around croft 2 Lephin at dusk.
There was a great northern diver very close to shore on the seaward side of Meanish from 6pm until dusk.
The first four returning lesser black-backed gulls of the summer were on Hamara Parks at 6pm.
There was a black-throated diver off Meanish Pier, mid morning. A white-tailed eagle was low over the white beach at Upper Milovaig at around 11:30am and went over Loch Pooltiel to Scorr Farm. A pair of peregrines flew high over the bottom road in Lower Milovaig, heading towards Ferinquarrie at around 11:45am.
At around 3:15pm, there was a pair of adult white-tailed eagles circling and talon-grappling high over Loch Pooltiel, gradually drifting over towards Borreraig.
There was a pair of stonechats on the top of croft 10 Upper Milovaig, late morning.
There was a white-tailed eagle very low over Loch Pooltiel by MacDougall's Spruces, mid morning, that headed over to Scorr Farm. The first two returning meadow pipits were near Meanish Pier. The skylarks were in full song on the Milovaig grazings for the first time this year. There was a lapwing performing its display flight behind Borrodale School, early afternoon.
A hooded crow was seen collecting nest materials (Alison Stables).
There was a tawny owl perched in the trees at Hamara Lodge at nightfall.
There was a report of a juvenile white-tailed eagle soaring over the top road in Milovaig, early afternoon (Steve & Julie Carter).
The first lesser celandines have come into bloom today at Lower Milovaig and the buds on the daffodils are just starting to open.
There was a small influx of returning pied wagtails at Waterstein, with several males along the road at the Neist Point end of the township.
The first returning pied wagtail was on croft 2 Lephin, late morning.
There was a flock of 30 skylarks on the loch-side parks at Waterstein just before sunset.
There was a beautiful aurora borealis from 10:50pm onwards.
More skylarks are returning, with a group of three on the top road, outside Kathy's Cottage, mid afternoon.
For anyone that isn't following the Glendale Skye Auroras Facebook page, here are some of my photos from Thursday's aurora, which was ranked as G2 and one of the best displays ever seen in Glendale. This aurora was photographed as far South as Essex.
The aurora was extending almost to the South, which can be seen clearly by the presence of the constellation Orion in the fourth photo.
There was a beautiful aurora borealis from 7:15pm onwards.
The first skylark of the spring was singing on Beinn Bhuidhe, Upper Milovaig this morning (Clare Gray).
There was an aurora showing from 7:45pm onwards.
Severe flooding occurred in Glendale after two inches of rain fell before dawn. The Hamara had burst its banks by 8am, flooding the Community Hall and surrounding crofts. This is the worst flooding seen in Glendale since the Hall was built.
You can now sign up to receive text alerts directly to your mobile phone when there is an aurora here in Glendale by following my twitter feed at : https://twitter.com/SkyeAuroras and enabling SMS notifications.
An adult white-tailed eagle came off the Lower Milovaig grazings, out into the mouth of Loch Pooltiel, before returning onto the cliffs there at 2pm.
There was a white-tailed eagle at the top of croft 2 Lephin at mid-day being attacked by a buzzard. It made off onto the Lephin Grazings.
There was a flock of 16 lapwings back on the nesting grounds at Borrodale at mid-day.
The jack snipe is still using the drainage ditch on the bottom road in Lower Milovaig at dusk.
More black guillemots are returning now with seven on Loch Pooltiel today, one of which was in summer plumage.
Two golden plovers flew south-east below the bottom road in Milovaig heading towards Borrodale at 12:40pm.
There was a dipper on the shore of Loch Mor at dusk.
There was a jack snipe in the drain beside the bottom road on croft 4 Lower Milovaig at 6pm.
There were two black-throated divers and a red-throated diver on Loch Pooltiel at mid-day.
The snowdrops have come into bloom in the garden at 2 Lower Milovaig, which is a week earlier than last year.
There were a pair of woodcocks circling around the gardens at 1 & 2 Lower Milovaig at dusk.
There were 64 grey seals hauled out on the skerries in Loch Pooltiel at mid-day. This is an incredible record count for the loch, the previous highest count was 34.
There was a peregrine falcon at Rubha Ban at 3:45pm. There was a flock of 30 redwings at Biod Ban and there has generally been an influx of thrushes around Milovaig and Waterstein over the last day or so.
A flock of 9 lapwings and a flock of 13 curlews have been over-wintering on the crofts around Loch Mor at Waterstein throughout December and are still there now.
The first black guillemot, in winter plumage, was back on Loch Pooltiel today. There was a pair of goosanders off the white beach at Lower Milovaig at 9am.
There was a male goosander on the shoreline of the black beach at Ferinquarrie, early afternoon.
A group of four male bullfinches flew the full length of the top road in Upper Milovaig heading towards Borrodale. There is still a group of three great northern divers on Loch Pooltiel, this morning out in the mouth of the loch.
There was a white-tailed eagle circling low over Moonen Bay and the Neist Car Parking area from 3:20pm until 3:30pm before heading off towards Ramasaig.
A very happy New Year to all the regular readers of this blog and a warm welcome to new visitors!