A sad day today when we leave the Isle of Barra after 19 days living on this beautiful and enchanting island. We have almost felt part of the community while we have been staying here and it is somewhere which will always have a special place in our hearts.
And we had a send off from one of the most elusive and mysterious residents as we travelled along the road to Ardmhor and the ferry to Eriskay.
A Corncrake! He was in the road not far from Cille Bharra where we had been tantalised by his call on our walk from the jetty up to the church. Luckily, no-one came behind us or towards us and we were able to photograph him to our hearts’ content until he got bored and flew over the hedge, disappearing as if by magic into the undergrowth. They really are masters of this art.
We passed Traigh Mhor and the cockle pickers out on the sand (featured image).
There was quite a queue at the ferry – a lot of people chancing it by not booking by the looks of it. We were given priority and were waved on to the Loch Brusda first! Probably because we were the only motorhome that had booked. A lot of vehicles were left on the quayside as we departed.
I was wearing a fetching combination of warm furry jacket and sun hat!
The short 40 minute crossing proved productive on the wildlife front with a whole island rock of Eiders, several Grey Seals, both types of Guillemot, Black and Common, and a bird we haven’t seen on our travels in the Isles, a Shag – similar to a Cormorant but smaller and with different markings.
I was lucky enough to capture some close-ups of a Gannet as he swept by – a magisterial bird if ever you saw one.
As Barra slipped away into the distance through the mist, we were looking forward to the next stage of our adventure – The Uists. First of all, of course, there was Eriskay – that island famous for Bonnie Prince Charlie, love songs, ponies and, of course, the inspiration for MacKenzie’s tale, Whisky Galore. I am, at present, reading the true story of this famous incident in 1941, called very appropriately, Scotch on the Rocks, by Arthur Swinson. And a very good book it is too.
It being so very misty on Eriskay, we decided to return on a better day as it is another beautiful little island and easily accessed by causeway from our next campsite on South Uist at Kilbride.
We did, however, decide to go into the rather dire looking AM Politician pub, a modern building with a conservatory – totally misplaced on a Scottish island.
We had resisted it last year but felt we probably should at least go in. There was a big television in the bar with Sky Sports News, silent but still dominating, and some Scottish music on a sound system. We had a nice lunch of mixed seafood platter to share and I took this photo of the old bottles of whisky at the back of the bar. I couldn’t bring myself to ask but I know that they do have some of the genuine relics of the wreck and these looked old and without labels (terrible photo as I was trying to be surreptitious!).
Kilbride Campsite looks pretty busy – mostly motorhomes but a few tents as well and quite a culture shock after Croft No 2. We decided not to waste time and drove up to Loch Eynort. On the way we spotted a Short-eared Owl putting the frighteners on a startled Buzzard, some cute lambs and some chilled-out Common Seals.
The woodworker still lives on the north bank of the loch – I love the imaginative use of the driftwood.
On our way back, we stopped at the famous Polochar Inn near the campsite and booked a table for dinner tomorrow night.
Wow! What an amazing day for wildlife! Surely another first – a Corncrake. Super shot of the Gannet. You’ve even got a Short Eared Owl with a Buzzard. This day is possibly my favourite from an ornithological point of view.
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That’s a great photo of a Gannet.
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The motorhome looked very out of place on that boat.
Bessie’s most upset you didn’t mention her by name Guy. 🙂