Comments and Wildlife Sightings book

Here are some extracts from our visitor book and comments on the wildlife visitors spotted whilst staying with us in Grimsay and touring throughout Uist.

Otters in North Uist1) List of species seen from An Taigh Fiodh

Mammals: red deer, otter
Birds: starling, stonechat, greylag goose, common sandpiper, herring gull, cormorant, grey heron, common gull, pied wagtail, mallard, house sparrow, raven, lapwing, collard dove, oystercatcher, great black-backed gull, red throated diver, hooded crow, buzzard, blackbird, red breasted merganser, feral pigeon,
hen harrier,skylark golden eagle (distant over Eaval)

2) Not a single midge was seen!

Clydesdale, shires, heavies,highlands, eriskays, connemara cross, shetlands, and donkeys.

  Saw otters in loch across road during week 2..

  Short-eared owls seen on Grimsay - 3 on one evening.

  Also on Grimsay - on several evenings -a family of four golden eagles (adults and two noisy youngsters). Didn't see the youngsters hunting - just gliding from rock to to fence post and preening themselves in the evening sun.

Heard corncrakes at Balranald.
Enjoyed watching gannets dive,starling chase peregrine, swans, geese (greylag), eiders and shelducks with their young. Oystercatchers and lapwings in abundance.Droopsnoops and woodcock.

Other rapters: buzzards, hen harriers.

Beaches,rocks and wildflowers also very stunning.

3) Otters galore!  At last, after almost 20 years of coming to the Uists and Benbecula on holiday we have been able to see otters here on Grimsay, right in front of  the house. A large dog otter came on a nightly basis from the sea loch over into the freshwater lochan and having swam up and down for a while would then come out just above the gate of the cottage opposite and go back into the sea loch. We think there was also a smaller female otter following the same course.
We have always enjoyed the wildlife, flora and fauna of these islands and this experience has now added to that enjoyment.

Water Lillies4) Visited all the main islands, twice a sighting of a stag (right beside the road), some eagles and lots of seals especially from the ferry to Harris.

And very much at home, here.....
The Hebrides are very special. The openness and the bare lands, a very special beauty. New houses right beside ruins.New cars shining next to Grandad's rusting wrecks. The old and disused exists right next to the modern. An atmosphere of authenticity and forgiveness, so seldom found in this world. You can be what you want to be, here, because it has been so for thousands of years. Past and future in complete harmony....We'll be back.

Oh well....back to Amsterdam, the city of Smiles.With 15 paintings and over 2000 photographs.

5) A wonderful stay; this is a very special place.We saw a golden eagle, our first ever, on the coast near Sollas. A few buzzards, a kestrel, a female hen harrier and an unidentified bird of prey that was quite white-breasted (like a peregrine?) Plenty of deer on the moors.
On a clear day, the views of St. Kilda from the viewpoint (off the Sollas Road) were magical. We spent a very rewarding afternoon learning book binding techniques from Corinna Krause of Sollas Bookbinding.
Also a pleasure to hear people speaking Gaelic - mor sibh a laochra Gaeil! - and to visit the magical Hut of Shadows just outside Lochmaddy. Uist is a true island experience, and standing on top of Eaval (research your route very carefully) you will feel you are surveying a magical but also very unspoiled little kingdom.

P.S.Apologies for the overuse of word 'magical - justified in the circumstances,however! We do know other words!