We were almost kept awake by the curious song of the Corncrake last night.  One was heard a couple of weeks ago near the jetty but there was no sighting of it as far as I know.  But yesterday evening the unmistakable sound was loud as if it were just inches away.  For those who are not familiar with the Corncrake, it is a bird of the size of a Moorhen and looks rather quail-like.  It’s latin name is Crex Crex after the sound it makes when the male calls for a female to join him in his nest which is built in dense undergrowth.  It’s rather like someone pulling their finger nails over a comb – only much louder.

They have the ability of throwing their voice but we have never heard it as loud as this.  It was particularly noticeable when in the toilet!  However, the morning came and the Corncrake had obviously gone – no sound.  Readers of this blog may remember that as we were leaving Barra two years ago one ran out in the road as we were driving to the ferry and we were able to take several photos.  (If curious, you can check the blog post for one in June 2014.)

I realise that our header photo of two angry Oystercatchers chasing another one could be confusing with mention of a Corncrake but it’s amusing nevertheless!

Although the weather was none too encouraging, we went down on the beach and there was a handful of Sanderlings which we took photos of – naturally.


Over at the jetty Peter spotted a Great Skua (known locally as a Bonxie) being chased by a Gull – no doubt to stop him pinching their eggs.


This plant was growing there – any ideas?  The best we can come up with is Yellow Loosestrife but apparently they don’t grow in the islands!


As we drove down the island we briefly saw a Cuckoo but it flew too fast for us.  We had seen one when we explored the deserted village the other day but he flew off in mid Cuck-oo!

This little calf gave me a curious look as we drove by – makes a change from sheep.


We stopped at Earsary once more – me to paint and Peter to birdspot.  Two paintings to show you this time.  This one I finished off from the other day when the colours were extraordinary.


And this one is a quick rather wild one of the old lobster pots and other paraphenalia!


Peter spotted this female Great Northern Diver with a tasty morsel.  It was hilarious (not for the crab obviously) when she wrestled the wriggling meal.  I have a sneaky feeling that the crab won this time.



The day ended, not with a Corncrake, but with a magnificent sunset again.  Wow.