We awoke this morning to a cold but sunny day.  In the distance the hills of South Uist were sprinkled with snow which had already started to melt. They rarely experience snow in the Outer Hebrides but it all seems part of the strange weather that the rest of the country is having at the moment.

However, the sun is out and Bessie is happily chocked up!


What to do first?  Well, for me, writing this blog and for Peter, doing everything else!  In case any new reader thinks this unfair, it’s simply a matter of playing to our strengths.  Peter loves the organisation of our miniature world while I much prefer telling the story.

After writing the blog, choosing and assembling the photos (I have usually edited them all the night before) I lay it out as best I can as the internet is still rare on Barra, particularly in the north east of the island where we stay.  Castlebay, as the capital, has more coverage but not for the casual user.  None of the providers actually cover the island – something which is being promised but not yet.  The local people get special contracts but the experience is still patchy I gather.

So, for us, it usually means a trip to the airport at Traigh Mhor where their cosy café, which acts as a inward and outward lounge and booking office all in one, serves delicious home-made snacks and meals, not forgetting cake!  Plus, most importantly, the free use of their internet.  This is the handiest place to publish our blog – it could be worse!

Before this, however, we make for one of our favourite places on the island, the old jetty.


Rounding the corner I was pleased to see the sign still there which some wag erected many years ago now.


We have seen many different birds here on our previous visits to Barra and are hoping that this, the first we have been here in April, we will get to see more unusual migrants as they arrive on these shores from Russia and the colder parts of the world.  Maybe it’s because it’s still pretty cold here this year, though, but they are not yet thronging to these shores.  Even Ben Heaval (the island’s own ‘mountain’) is covered with snow today – something we have never seen before.


We found a sunny spot out of the wind and sat in our chairs with cameras ready.  Not numerous but a sprinkling of birds on the shore:



And Peter is fortunate to catch a small flock of Whimbrel flying overhead.  It’s a start anyway.




Courting Redshanks!


Female Wheatear


Pied Wagtail

The airport cafe is almost full with legitimate travellers and also people like us who are just there to sample the culinary delights and use the free internet!  Today we ordered sweet potato chips with chilli sauce, finishing off with a large piece of caramel cake – which we shared please note!  As usual, the connection wasn’t terribly fast but I managed to get yesterday’s blog published before we left.  Looking at the weather forecast, we are due to have a wonderfully sunny day tomorrow.  Hoorah!

We decided to go back to the campsite at this point.  As Peter had done a lot of driving over the last few days and we still have another 27 days on this wonderful island, it seemed the sensible thing to do.  Peter slept and I painted.

Later on the snow started to fall in large flakes and we wondered what the landscape would look like in the morning.  Snug in Bessie with our electric hot air heater we ate our salad dinner and looked at our latest photos…