Tiree is a great place for bird-watching – its rich machair, grasslands, beaches and lochs are home to a wide variety of birds throughout the year. The land is enriched by crofting practices which enable large populations of birds such as Lapwings, Skylarks and Starlings to thrive in densities that are rarely seen these days on the mainland, whilst the island is now home to over a quarter of all the Corncrakes in Britain.
Tiree has a nationally important population of breeding waders. Lapwing, oystercatcher, redshank, Snipe and Ringed Plover are all in evidence, while on the surrounding sea, auks, shearwaters, divers, Eiders and terns can be seen feeding,
As well as hosting a wide range of breeding birds, the island is ideally placed to observe bird migration in full swing in both spring and autumn, as waders, ducks, geese and swans, as well as smaller birds such as thrushes and warblers, pass through on their journeys to and from their more northerly breeding grounds.
Mild winters enable large numbers of Greenland geese, ducks and waders to winter on the island, so there is much to see at all times of year.
There is a bird hide above the west shore of Loch Bhasapol, and there is a resident RSPB warden on the island.
For a detailed record of recent sightings on Tiree see the monthly bird diary on the community website.
The photos on the right are courtesy of Chris Briggs. You can see more of Chris’s work HERE