The Isle of May Bird Observatory
Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation - Scottish Charity Number SC001783




The Isle of May Bird Observatory is Scotland’s oldest bird observatory, founded in 1934 The observatory is administered by a charitable trust (The Isle of May Bird Observatory and Field Station Trust) and manned by volunteer observers between March and November. The Observatory was founded by a group of young Scottish ornithologists and has continued to depend on the enthusiasm of amateurs who come to the island, usually for a week at a time, to maintain observations. The living accomodation is housed within the Low Light (pic on left), a former navigational lighthouse
The Island lies 5 miles off the Fife coast in eastern Scotland. It is a National Nature Reserve owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage and is internationally important for its populations of breeding seabirds particularly Puffins Fratercula arctica and is well placed to monitor migration of passerines and other birds in spring and autumn, often attracting large numbers of passerines in the right conditions. 

The island is a major landmark from many coastal locations in eastern Scotland sitting low in the water at the mouth of the Firth of Forth. It is best seen from the Fife coast where it dominates the seascapes from the fishing villages of the East Neuk; Crail, Anstruther and Pittenweem 

Explore this website further to learn more about the observatory, the island and its birds

Island power!

A recent addition to the renovations at the bird observatory came in the form of a dedicated electrical supply. This solar powered system charges from sunlight only and supplies enough power for visitors ot the low light to enjoy, electrical lighting, power sockets for charging and when there is a surplus of generation, a hot water supply. This has meant a significant reduction in bottled gas use and thus a reduction in our carbon emmissions Find out more about the system at this link 

2014 Season at an end

The observatory is now closed for the winter and only occasional visits for checks and maintenance from now until re-opening in late March. 

Thanks to all our visitors for keeping the logs up to date and reporting news to us to keep the website as up to date as possible as well as maintaining all of the other operations of the observatory during each occupied week of the season.   

Bookings for 2015 re-open for IOM trust members on 1st January and to all others in February. Full details on how to book for 2015 can be obtained on the How to visit page.

Bird obs news by tweet!

Do you follow the Isle of May Bird Obs on Twitter?? we now have over 1000 followers who get to see tweets from us with latest news and items of interest from the 'twittersphere'...why not come and follow us too