Today is fairly bright although still chilly.  As usual, Peter went to have a look at the sea with his binoculars and managed to photograph this Great Northern Diver (he was some distance away).  He also saw another Twite and a Wheatear.


Driving down to Castlebay, we thought we might pop into the Heritage Centre to have a look round.  Unfortunately, though, we discovered that it was about to close (3pm) so decided to go back tomorrow.

At a bit of a loose end, and observing that neighbouring Vatersay seemed to be getting the best of the sunshine, we went over the causeway once more to the island.  The weather was certainly brighter there and, as usual, I couldn’t resist these sheep by the roadside:

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We took the right-hand road this time although to call it a road was a slight exageration, even for the Hebrides.  There were, as ever, frequent passing places and we have found the vast majority of drivers in these islands to be unfailingly polite and considerate.


We parked Bessie up on the grass verge, watched curiously by this cow and calf – both with identical expressions!


While Peter made some late lunch, I wandered off along the water’s edge with the camera.


There were the usual Oystercatchers and gulls but then I noticed a pair of Shelducks flying in and landing in the water.  They came into shore and made a handsome couple striding along in the shallows.  I hadn’t realised how much larger the male is to the female.


After lunch we headed back over the causeway to Barra and, as the weather had brightened up generally, decided to walk across to the dunes at Tangasdale where we had spent much of our time in 1971 and where 2-year-old Sally had sat in her sand boat, decked out in jaunty sailor hat and neckerchief.  A pity that we had to wear our anoraks this time as the wind was still cold but the sand was just as white as we remembered it, made up of cockle shells ground to a fine dust by the Atlantic waves.

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The Hooded Crows roamed the machair and what appears to be a tiny ruined tower in the middle of the nearby loch, gleamed in the late afternoon sun.  I have since found out that that it was built by an early Macneil and is called Sinclair Castle – the loch being Loch Clair.



Driving back past the airport, we saw a couple of light planes parked up.


We can never resist driving down to the jetty at Eilogarry and weren’t disappointed when a large posse of Brent Geese flew in and settled for a while on the shore, along with a lone Redshank and a flypast of Cormorants.  Brent Geese are a rarity in Barra apparently.

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We have not had a disappointing day here since we arrived a week ago and today was no exception.