Monday 1 April 2013

Hebridean scenery

One more photo-heavy post from the Hebs – the birds are great, but the backdrop is pretty awesome too!

The night after seeing the Harlequin, we stayed at the Gatliff Trust hostel on Berneray – a small island connected to North Uist by a causeway. It’s somewhat off the beaten track, but after Suzanne and I spent nearly two weeks there the summer after graduating, I’ve got a very soft spot for the place. The hostel is located right on the shoreline, overlooking the Sound of Harris; you can look for divers, seaduck and otters from a bench outside the front door! The accommodation is basic – but with cooking facilities, a hot shower and a bed to sleep in, how much do you really need? Especially when the sunrise is this good….


Nick getting in some early morning Otter-watching – though sadly the only animal we saw this trip was the thatched one on the roof!


And then we headed over to the island’s glorious west beach. Unbroken white sand extends for about four miles, with a view out over an ultramarine bay to Boreray, Pabbay, and Harris in the distance.


As the day brightened up, the views were pretty awesome down on South Uist, too. The following couple of photos were taken from the southwest corner of Loch Bee – first, looking north-east to the whaleback mountain of Eaval, and then looking south to the three peaks of Hecla, Beinn Choradail and Beinn Mhor (from left to right). The latter is the highest point on the Uists, at 620m above sea-level, less than two miles from the sea!


Sadly, it was all too soon time to say goodbye to the Hebrides again, leaving Lochboisdale behind, and switching to seawatching for a few hours.


The islands are still a simply stunning place to go, and I’d completely recommend them to anyone (birder or otherwise) who loves unspoilt, wild places.