This is our last full day on North Uist and what a bumper one it turns out to be. The skies are rather overcast despite the prediction of sun. Anyway, we have decided to take the Lochmaddy Road and thence to Loch Portain. The journey covers a meandering route amongst some minor lochs until we reach Loch Portain itself.

A pair of Mute Swans were staging what looked like an elaborate courtship dance, with much bobbing and bending of necks.

Here’s the story in pictures:

A particularly pretty lamb earns his place in the blog:


You can tell that there hasn’t been much rain lately by the crazy paving mud.


We have never seen peat stacked like this before:


A bit of a washing theme now. First of all an abandoned machine next to an old telephone box and then a line of clean washing on an old fashioned square line blowing in the wind.


Looking up for some reason, I spotted something strange and angular on the side of a mountain about half a mile away.


Look at these amazing colours…


Everywhere there are May* bushes growing wild – even on islands in the lochs. Such a lovely scent!

*Thanks to my good friend, Dorothy, I now know that these are Rowan and not May (Hawthorn).


Peter suddenly pulled up quickly and grabbed the long lens – just a foot or so away was a Snipe in a garden behind a wire fence.


We both took loads of pics but we were somewhat hampered by the fence! Little did we know that it wasn’t the only Snipe we would see in one day.

Suddenly a male Hen Harrier flew across our vision and Peter managed to snatch a photo quickly.


This area is full of salt marshes:


Another feature of our holiday so far has been the family – in this case, a Greylag couple giving each other loving looks over the heads of their three fluffy goslings.


Didn’t we do well?

One of my favourite photographic subjects – an orange roofed shed – this time with a beautiful reflection.


We felt lucky to see a Hen Harrier and a Snipe in the same day but more was yet to come.

A Short-eared Owl zoomed across our vision and took up residence on a wooden post just in front of Bessie. Needless to say, many photos were taken – these show the handiness of a flexible neck!

In the end a brave Redshank flew at the Owl and forced him to take off in a hurry!


Nearby a trio of Oystercatchers were making their way noisily up a grassy slope…


Then what should we see on another post but another Snipe! Peter stopped Bessie and walked back down the road with his camera to take dozens of shots of it – all virtually the same!


It was wonderful to see two in one day and both so close.

We had to laugh when we suddenly encountered a flock of sheep in front of us being driven up the road by a couple of girls – not for the first time of course. Then a red BMW appeared behind them and impatiently forced its way past them. Oh well, it was a BMW driver…

The sun had eventually shown its face by late afternoon, throwing a wonderful warmth :



And this saltmarsh. Sheep seem to love them…


I had to take this bull with his nose-ring – handsome fellow.


What a day!

Finally, our winner of header picture of the day goes to a lone Redshank taken in the early evening light on our way back to the campsite. It has a simplicity that I love – as Peter so rightly says, it has the look of a Japanese wood-block.

North Uist has certainly lived up to expectations.