Most years we venture up north into Scotland somewhere or other, so have covered most corners at sometime, but we have never travelled to this far flung western corner of Europe. A couple of years ago we were at Uig ( Oo-ig) on Skye and could see Harris over on the horizon, and vowed that one day we will travel across the Minch.
We travelled up to the Cluanie Inn last Friday to stay over night so we only had a reasonable drive up to the ferry in the morning. Saturday was a glorious day, with clear blue skies and a nice cool breeze to keep the midges at bay. There wasn't much to be had around the Inn during our short stay but I did find a nice Northern Eggar caterpillar...
After disembarking at Lochmaddy, North Uist we headed towards our cottage for the week. On route, almost the first bird seen was a male Hen Harrier flying alongside the car. At the cottage, at least 3 Corncrakes were 'crexing' just over the garden wall, but were invisible in dense iris and grass vegetation.
|Our cottage - An t-Seann Dachaidh. No I dont either...|
Around the house ( and everywhere really) were lots of Starlings. They looked very dark, particularly the juveniles, reminding me of the Shetland birds?
Driving north along to Solas ( the site of the main shop - the 'Co-op of Sollas') 2 Short eared Owls hunted near the road, the first of many sightings.
On the shore were lots of Sanderling, Dunlin and Turnstone and nearby, a first summer Glaucous Gull.
Eiders and Arctic Terns were common but a Sparrowhawk surprised me a bit, there are hardly any trees here. A Red Admiral flew around the nettles outside the information centre.
2 Ravens and a Golden Plover were in the coastal fields.
Back in the house for the evening watching 'Springwatch', a male Hen Harrier flew just over the road hunting the field opposite. What a bird to get from inside the living room! It was mobbed away without success. As darkness fell at 11pm, 5 Corncrakes were still calling....