Wildlife of the Outer Hebrides
In recent years the Outer Hebrides have become much better known as a fantastic area of Scotland in which to see wildlife. A day tour with 'Out and About Tours' can be tailored to visit some of the best areas on Lewis and Harris for wildlife observation.
The islands are home to a huge diversity of wildlife and a tour or walk with 'Out and About' will bring you into contact with wading birds, moorland birds and coastal birds. A visit to the Butt of Lewis is a must for the keen birdwatcher with Gannet, Fulmar Petrel and Shag just three of the many species to be seen here. Whales, Dolphins and Grey Seal are also regularly seen here during the summer and the mysterious Basking Shark often make a sudden appearance here too at the peak of summer.
The Uig and Bernera District is one of our best areas for seeing Red Deer and Otter, but is also one of the top areas for sightings of Golden Eagle and the less common White-tailed Eagle. Common Buzzard and Merlin are to be seen in this and other areas of Lewis. The Uig and Bernera District has a good population of Red-throated Diver and a smaller number of Black-throated, together with healthy populations of Lapwing, Golden Plover and Skylark.
South Lochs District on Lewis is a haven for wading birds in particular, but is also home to Golden and White-tailed Eagles and a healthy population of Divers and Greylag Geese. During the autumn, winter and early spring months this area is also fantastic for overwintering wildfowl such as Tufted and Golden Eye Duck. This district is also a stronghold at all times of the year for the Otter.
GREAT WILDLIFE ON GREAT BERNERA | September 2012
The landscape of the island continues to turn autumnal and in recent days we have had some very strong winds. As a result of this the trees on our croft have taken a battering and the Alder in particular are looking a bit sorry. The heather which was at its best just a few short weeks ago is still providing a bit of colour on the moor, but this will soon be gone for another year.
One bird there has been no shortage of around the house is the Greylag Goose. Every evening we are treated to a fly past of several dozen as they prepare to settle down for the night on Loch an Fheoir which is just next to our croft. Another bird that is very common around the croft is the Meadow Pipit. This little bird is beginning to think about heading south for the winter and will soon be gone along with the Wheatears.
Recent walks on Bostadh Sands at the north of our island have resulted in sightings of Turnstone and Sanderling, a sure sign of autumn. Over the coming weeks we can expect to see the return of the Redwing along with Tufted Duck and Whooper Swans.
As food becomes a bit more scarce larger numbers of Rock Dove are descending on the crofts and the Stonechat have come down from the higher ground and can be seen around the croft more frequently.