Today’s header picture is a quick painting using my new Sennelier acrylics. I like the effect of the pearlised white – perfect for sea foam!

The sun is out and the sky is blue and there’s really not a thing to spoil the view (in the words of the inimitable Buddy Holly) on the exquisite Isle of Barra. Down at the old jetty a rock pippit is doing what rock pippits do – singing on a rock!


It’s so difficult to tell the difference between rock, meadow and tree pippits that I’ve decided on a rule – if we photograph them on a rock that’s what they are and likewise with meadow and tree. Not that there’s much in the way of trees on Barra. That’s not the end to the confusion though, as pippits are very similar to skylarks. The main difference here seems to be the little quiff on a skylark’s head:


Not that it’s always sticking up!

A redshank on a post is fairly unusual I think but, of course, it is right next to the sea.


And one of Peter’s favourites and a speciality of the islands, the hooded crow:


Down at the jetty, one of my favourite views – the curved path leading to the fabulous white beach and turquoise sea:


An elderly couple come round the corner with bikes and cycle helmets. ‘There’s a shower coming soon’ they announce as they rush off to find some shelter. Sure enough, within minutes there is a heavy downpour and the brilliant blue sea turns grey and then, after about five minutes, the rain stops and the sea morphs into violet and then blue again.


Not quite sure what these two are nattering about – we think they’re linnets but, again, not overly certain!


This pretty pony looks on while one of the linnets (we think) picks up some handy sheep’s wool from the fence for a potential nest.


Down at Castlebay, the boat is taking some passengers to the castle – something we have done on a previous visit…

…And the boys from the senior school are practising their football skills – this is specially for our grandsons, Harry and Guy!


Over on the island of Vatersay again, we take the main road (if you can call it that as it’s still single track) and spot a couple of Eider duck…


… And a gang of unruly Red-breasted Mergansers who had obviously come across a shoal of fish judging by all the rushing about and diving going on!


Just one person on this beautiful sandy bay – this is where I found the jelly fish on our last holiday here.


It’s quite a hairy drive along the coast.


… But Peter of course takes it all in his stride. However, he still manages to spot this Stonechat on a power line.


And I love these two lambs sunning themselves.


I always think you can never have too many photos of one of my real favourites out here – the Wheatear looking so pretty in the grass.


A fishing boat is in the bay as we leave Vatersay and drive back to the campsite after another lovely day.


But not before we spot this mother Lapwing with two small feathery chicks.


What an exciting time of the year this is.