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Birding : Hebrides : Contacts

Some contact details that may be useful if you are out and about birding in our area.
Store the ones you are most likely to need quickly in your mobile phone etc

Police RSPB Vets Lewis BTO Ringer
Coastguard Live strandings Dead strandings Ringed birds
Mountain Rescue SSPCA County Recorders Dead birds
      This web site



Oiled or injured birds? SSPCA


If you find an oiled bird please do not take it home and start washing it. It is very important that it receives medication internally as soon as possible and only experienced people should do this.



Worried about Egg thieves? Contact the Police

Stornoway (Lewis)

01851 702222

Barvas (Lewis) 01851 840222
Benbecula (Uists) 01870 602374
Barra (Uists) 01871 810276
Carloway (Lewis) 01851 643222
Lochboisedale (South Uist) 01878 700261
Lochmaddy (North Uist) 01876 500328
Ness (Lewis) 01851 810298
Tarbert (Harris) 01859 502002
Bird Sightings - Osprey
Photo by John Hamilton taken on Osprey Watch at the Abernethy Osprey Centre

Egg thieves are still a major problem, in 2001 an egg collector from London was arrested for disturbing Golden Eagles. He was trying to steal eggs from a nest on South Uist. It is illegal to disturb most breeding birds.

There is a BBC article written in 2008 about another egg-collector caught with more than 7,000 eggs in his collection,  653 of those eggs were from the UK's most protected species such as the Red-necked Phalarope. He also had eggs from Barn Owls, Golden Eagles, Ospreys, Choughs, Peregrine Falcons, and almost 40 Black-necked Grebe's eggs. (RSPB estimates there are only 40 - 60 breeding pairs of Black-necked Grebes in the whole of the UK....)



Worried about egg thieves? (or found another Purple Martin!) RSPB

Balranald (North Uist) 01463 715000 Jamie.Boyle@rspb.org.uk



Mountain Rescue or Coastguard

Dial 999

S.L.B found a Tawny Pipit at Gallan Head in Uig. He also later died of a fatal fall in the same area.
(Peter Cunningham 'Birds of the Outer Hebrides')


Stornoway Coastguard

01851 702688



Live stranded whales/dolphins/seals? BDMLR (24hr number)

01825 765 546

Seal and Dolphin Rescue
Read more about the Western Isles branch of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, or join and receive training in how to save the life of a sea mammal. You do not need to be a diver. 70% of all the UK's live sea mammal strandings happen in the Western Isles.



Dead strandings of sea mammals? Scottish Strandings Co-ordinator

01463 243 030

Dead sea mammals can be unpleasant and a health hazard, but from them researchers can learn about the causes of death and develop better strategies to protect the future of the species.




Stornoway 01851 705900
Benbecula (Uists) 01870 602262
Lochmaddy (North Uist) 01876 580350




County Bird Recorder

Outer Hebrides:
Brian Rabbitts: rabbitts@hebrides.net

Brian would like to receive details of your rarity sightings

A list of emails addresses for the other County Recorders who may like to hear of bird rarity sightings from elsewhere in the UK.



BTO Bird Ringer

Grahame Thompson is one of two British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) ringers on the Isle of Lewis.

More about bird ringing on the Isle of Lewis, and how to join Grahame at a session.  


Ringed Swans: Swan Database Officer

Anna Jordan
Swan Database Officer, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
Telephone 01453 891900

When Andy saw a Whooper Swan with a coloured ring, he reported it and the record got sent to Anna, who sent back the history of the bird. It gives a family history of a Whooper Swan going through Lewis and shows how much we learn from the ringing and tag reading as well as how far these birds travel.

Anna would appreciate it if we could send any further sightings of swans with coloured rings to her


Other Ringed Birds

Reporting ringed birds : types of rings

Other ringed bird details can be sent to the BTO who are co-ordinating Bird Ringing thoughout Europe (Euring).

There are examples of the different types of rings and details can be logged in on the BTO web site.

Visit the BTO page about reporting ringed birds


Dead Birds? RSPB are interested

Balranald (North Uist) 01463 715000 Jamie.Boyle@rspb.org.uk

'Best option is to email a pic to me first and put bird in freezer till ID confirmed.

I do have access to larger freezers for larger specimens, and there are various projects that arise now and again looking for specimens. Rarer and good quality specimens we send in batches to the Royal Museum in Edinburgh who have a skin collection.

Raptors we often get post-mortems done on in case of foul play etc

Martin Scott




Suggestions for additions or amendments to this list are welcomed

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