Last Friday I joined Dave Gray, Colin Green and John Waters on a weekend away to North Uist. We arrived at Uig on the Isle of Skye in plenty of time to catch the ferry. Unable to get a breakfast, as everywhere was shut, we decided to do a bit of birding, but boy it was cold. The wind was strong and it had a northerly element to it - enough said.
On board the ferry we braved the cold and were rewarded with views of three White-tailed Eagles. They were distant, but we could make out their white tails. Loads of Puffins were loafing about on the sea, as well as both guillemot species and small numbers of Razorbills.
Arriving on Skye we headed straight to Balranald RSPB reserve where we eventually managed to get good views of Corncrake.
Nearby on the beach were a couple of first-summer Glaucous Gulls which posed for photos. A large flock of waders fed along the shore-line and in the sea weed that had been pushed up onto part of the beach by storms. We also saw three White-winged Black Terns close to the RSPB reserve.
|First-summer Glaucous Gull|
Close to the beach we saw several Corn Buntings and Twite. The Corn Bunting below landed right by our feet.
As well as visiting Balranald we also drove along the Committee Road where we had really good views of a couple Short-eared Owls and a male Hen Harrier, which had made kill. Short-eared owls proved to be fairly common, which was really good.
On Saturday we had more of the same plus we visited a site for Hebridean Marsh Orchid. Dave has seen most of the orchid species seen in Britain, but this one was a tick for him.
|Hebridean Marsh Orchid|
Despite trying we failed to see the breeding Red-necked Phalaropes, but that gives us a reason for trying again in the future.
Sunday's highlight was a couple of Golden Eagles. One flew straight over our heads although quite high up.