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 

Opening of the upgraded Bird Observatory facilities

Following a long winter of building work including many volunteer hours of effort, the Bird Observatory redevelopment was officially opened by Ian Ross, the Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage, on Saturday 5th July 2014.  Over 60 invitees were welcomed with a drinks reception and time to inspect both the renovations and extension to the building and explore the isle.  Photos can be found on the latest sightings page

Thank you to everyone who donated funds, materials or time and  particularly to the many funding bodies who gave major grants to the project    

Bird obs news by tweet!

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