RARE breeding birds in Scotland are facing an increasingly higher risk of extinction in the UK because of climate change, according to a new report.

The State of the UK’s Birds (SUKB) 2017 shows that a number of Scotland's species have already been affected by rising temperatures over the last few decades.

The Scottish crossbill, the UK’s only endemic bird and only found in Scotland, is at risk of becoming extinct based on projections around the impact of global warming.

Birds such as the dotterel, whimbrel, common scotern snow bunting -- whose UK breeding populations are found almost entirely in Scotland -- are in danger, say experts.

The breeding success of the Slavonian grebe, which mainly takes place in the north and south of the Great Glen and in Strathspey, has also been impacted.

Conservationists say these birds are becoming "increasingly vulnerable" because of the changing habitats caused by warmer and wetter summers.

The study, which is produced by the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), along with various statutory nature conservation bodies, compiles the latest results from bird surveys and monitoring studies.

It found that UK average summer temperatures having increased by nearly 1°C since the 1980s while Scotland has been 11 per cent wetter between 2007-2016 than 1961-1990.

Periods of very heavy rainfall during breeding seasons have meant smaller populations of some species.

Dr David Douglas, Principal Conservation Scientist at RSPB Scotland said: “The recent research compiled in this year’s The State of the UK’s Birds report shows that many birds in Scotland are being affected by a changing climate.

"For some birds this means they are becoming increasingly vulnerable to UK extinction, including many species where most, if not all, of the breeding population is found in Scotland."

A species is considered to be at risk if the UK’s future climate is expected to become very unsuitable for it and its population has declined here since 1990.

Most of the species thought to have a high likelihood of extinction are already particularly rare as breeders in the UK.

The Scottish crossbill currently has amber status, yet the projected shifts in suitable conditions mean that the Scottish climate will become less suitable.

It is the UK's only endemic bird species -- one found nowhere else in the world -- and is confined to the Scots pine forests of the Scottish Highlands.

The report also highlighted that highlighted that migratory birds were arriving in the UK earlier each spring and leaving later each autumn.

It said: "Birds in the UK are showing changes in abundance and distribution, predominantly moving northwards, in a way that is consistent with a changing climate.

"Migratory birds are arriving earlier and egg-laying dates have advanced such that swallows, for example, are arriving in the UK 15 days earlier, and breeding 11 days earlier, than they did in the 1960s."

It went on: "The UK's kittiwake population has declined by 70% since 1986 because of falling breeding success and adult survival.

"Climate change has reduced the availability of the sandeels they rely upon in the breeding season.

"Other species that feed largely on sandeels, such as Arctic skua, Arctic tern and puffin, are at high risk of climate-related decline."

However, birds which have been thriving in the warmer and wetter climate include the nuthatch, goldfinch and chiffchaff, and have expanded their range into Scotland over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile the UK cuckoo, whose population has declined by 43 per cent between 1995 and 2015, has increased by a third in Scotland over the same period.

Similar patterns have also been noted in numbers of willow warbler, house martins and tree pipits in Scotland.

Colette Hall, monitoring officer at WWT, said: “It is vital we continue to monitor our bird populations so we can pinpoint where, and subsequently try to work out why, these changes are happening.

"We also need to think beyond the UK and make sure that the protected site network continues to cover the right places throughout Europe and that they’re monitored elsewhere as thoroughly as they are in the UK."