Customised Tours of The Landscape and History of the Isles of Lewis and Harris

Snow, Sunshine and Cuckoo’s

As I sit here this morning we have a bright fresh spring like day. I was outside the house a little earlier and heard Willow Warblers calling from my neighbours croft. The contrast from a week ago today could not be more stark. I was over on North Uist and it rained pretty much the whole time, however when I got over to Harris I had to contend with White Out conditions on the Clisham. The Clisham is our highest hill in the Outer Hebrides, but in May you don’t really expect Snow!

Just two days later and I am seeing my first Cuckoo of the year and now a few days further on and I have been hearing them too. Visitors to Lewis are often surprised that we have Cuckoo’s given our lack of trees, but we have a fairly good population of them most years.

I have seen or heard most of our summer visitors by now, but the cold weather seems to have held back the Common Sandpipers. I have not seen or heard this active little bird so far, but I’m sure this will change over the next day or two. We still have small groups of Red Breasted Merganser and Tufted Duck around and the Red Throated Divers are starting to appear on some of their favourite feeding lochs.

The cold spring has held our plants back, but finally the leaves of the Hawthorn, Rowan, Alder and Crack Willow I have planted around the croft are beginning to open and the grass has shot up over the past few days. Time to get the mower out!

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