Welcome

Welcome to Birds in Moray and Nairn.

This is the place to find out everything to do with birds and birding in Moray and Nairn.

RECENT UPDATES 
BIRDS IN MORAY & NAIRN 2015  Published 31 January 2017 (under ‘Bird Reports’ – ‘2011 onwards’). The report is only available on this website, from which it may be printed if desired. 
Recent records  updated 22 November 2017 (under ‘Bird recording’)
‘Photos’  updated 20 November 2017
Ringing recoveries
updated 17 November 2017 (under ‘Ringing in Moray and Nairn’)
‘Sites’  updated 18 September 2017 (volunteering opportunities at Loch Spynie)
Accepted records updated 28 August 2017 (under ‘Bird recording’)
Moray Bird Club updated 16 August 2017 with winter 2017-18 activities (under ‘News and Events’)
Moray Bird Club surveys (River Spey) updated 24 October 2016 (under ‘Surveys’)
‘Links’  updated 23 September 2016
Birds at the Spey estuary in August and September 2015  new on 27 Oct 2015 (under ‘Sites’)
BTO Surveys  information updated 13 April 2015 (under ‘Surveys’)
 The district of Moray and Nairn stretches along the southern shore of the Moray Firth from Cullen in the east to Nairn in the west. The area then extends southwards in a broad triangle with its apex in the Cairngorms mountains. Nearly half of the land exceeds 250 m altitude and is therefore upland in nature. Higher hills, exceeding 600 m, represent 7% of the land; and this includes the arctic-alpine Cairngorms plateau, home to Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting and Dotterel. The extensive lower moorlands hold a good variety of scarcer species such as Black Grouse, Merlin, Short-eared Owl, Twite and Ring Ouzel. Golden Plovers are locally numerous, joined by a few Dunlin in wetter bogs. There are extensive woodlands largely composed of conifer plantations. In many areas however these are sufficiently mature to have been colonised by Crested Tits, Siskins and crossbills. Capercaillies persist in very small numbers. The birchwoods of the upland glens ring with the song of Willow Warblers and Tree Pipits in spring; Redstarts and Spotted Flycatchers also breed. Two wonderful rivers, the Spey and the Findhorn, lend much to the character of the area and many smaller rivers and streams drain the interior into the Moray Firth. Typical breeding species are Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper. Goosanders inhabit the smaller upland tributaries with a few Red-breasted Mergansers breeding on the lower reaches. There is relatively little standing water in Moray and Nairn but Lochs Oire, na Bo, Loy and Spynie provide winter wildfowl interest; Loch Spynie supports a rich wetland breeding bird community in summer and sometimes holds a winter goose roost. The coastline consists of a rich mosaic of habitat types. Short stretches of cliff run from Hopeman to Covesea and from Portknockie to Findochty. Here may be found good populations of Fulmars and Kittiwakes with a smaller number of Shags, Razorbills and Black Guillemots. The best rocky shores are between Burghead and Hopeman, at Lossiemouth and between Portgordon and Findochty. Winter waders, which include Purple Sandpipers, are often well accustomed to people and easily watched. There are three muddy estuaries, the wide expanse of Findhorn Bay and the smaller, but more intimate and easily watched, estuaries of the Lossie and Spey rivers. A wide variety of wildfowl, gulls and terns feed and roost on the estuaries and fishing ospreys are a regular feature in summer. Offshore, Burghead Bay and Spey Bay are well known for their flocks of wintering sea ducks including Common and Velvet Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks and Eider.