Isle of Lewis and Harris trip 18th – 25th May

I am now briefly back at Kindrogan after the first trip of our three trips to the Outer Hebrides this summer.

The weather was very mixed, with a couple of beautiful days – but we also had rain, hail, sleet and strong winds. When will this winter end! The season is several weeks behind, so very few flowers are showing and summer migrants are still arriving, but hopefully things will catch up.

Baile-na-Cille (pronounced Bal-na- Killy)proved to be an excellent base for the week, with Richard and his staff doing a great job looking after us. The food was absolutely top class, and the location is just stunning. There were corncrakes in the garden, and we were able to watch them creeping about during the day and listen to the male craking all night. We even had golden eagles close overhead on a couple of occasions.

Despite the weather we managed a day trip out to St Kilda with Sea Trek. The general feeling  was that it is a long day, but a once in a lifetime experience well worth the effort. In addition to the history of the St Kilda community, cruising around the huge stacks alive with gannets, fulmars and puffins is very special. As a bonus we saw about 40 long-tailed skuas heading north to arctic breeding grounds, quite a sighting in the UK.

Aside from St Kilda, for many the highlight of the week was the close views we had of all three diver species in magnificent full summer plumage – red-throated, black-throated and great northern. This is entirely appropriate as Arthur Ransome was inspired to write his novel ‘Great Northern?’ while staying at Baile-na-Cille.

Martyn

Esteemed Leaders Lewis 2013 blog

Above (Martyn Jamieson and Robin Sutton – team leaders)

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Giant Lewis chessman

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All wrapped up for summer !

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It wasn’t sunny every day though! This was the
day the ferry was cancelled – storm force 10

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Then there is always Luskentyre beach .. !

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Just to prove we had some sunshine …

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Soay Lamb

 

 

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