Saturday, 14 July 2012

Wildlife Day Tour in Benbecula and South Uist

Fine weather and decent day out looking at the wildlife with many of the beasties that Uist is renowned for: 3 otters showing well for over half an hour was a good start followed by a pair of Black-throated Divers with a chick and 2 Golden Eagles circling over a low hill. Add to that good numbers of Red-throated Divers, an immature White-tailed Eagle, a Merlin and a couple of Short-eared Owls and most people would be happy (I was). Also spotted during the day were Corn Bunting (still showing a worrying decline); 3 Black-tailed Godwits, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Lapwing plus plenty of Arctic and Common Terns amongst others. What was also pleasing was the good numbers of young birds about with what appear to be good survival rates this year. At Stoneybridge we found a Red-breasted Mergsanser with 11, well grown young which seems astonishing with all the large gulls that are normally found in the area.

At Drimsdale young Sand Martins were on the wing with this relatively new colony growing from strength to strength after an absence of around 20 years as a breeding species in the Outer Hebrides.

The wildflowers were also striking with many of the roadside verges adorned with vetches whilst the machair crops had an abundance of wildflowers such as Corn Marigold, Charlock and Long-headed Poppies. Orchids included Hebridean Spotted Orchid and Lesser Butterfly Orchid whilst at Drimsdale we found Rest Harrow in bloom. The latter is found in just two locations throughout the whole of the county.

All in all a very pleasant day out: Western Isles Wildlife

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