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The Outer Hebrides in Spring

A week exploring the Uists with Martyn Jamieson

Availability: Places available

Dates: 06 May - 14 May 2022

Full cost: £2495 per person,

Deposit required now: £450 per person

Book Now ...

© Robin Sutton

The Uists are alive with wildlife in spring, it is a time of change and new life.

There are over 50 pairs of eagle, both golden and white-tailed, holding territory on the Uists, well into their breeding season by May. By contrast, 340 male corncrakes have recently returned from African wintering grounds, and are calling night and day to attract a mate. Their crex crex call and the drumming of snipe is the sound of a Hebridean spring.

The machair, that special Hebridean west coast habitat, is home to the densest population of breeding waders in Europe, and yet more shorebirds, now in colourful breeding plumage, are streaming north to Arctic breeding grounds.

Hen harriers and short-eared owl quarter croft and moor, red and black throated divers are nesting on loch and lochan. Offshore, a few great northern divers are still present, along with gannets, terns and skuas.

Otters fish both loch and sea, competing with grey and harbour seals around the coast.

The ferry crossing out from Skye is a mini wildlife cruise. Watch out for seals, cetaceans, gannets, terns, kittiwakes, shearwaters, petrels, puffins and other auks.

The Outer Hebrides share a Norse/Gaelic history and folklore, indeed Gaelic is the first language of many islanders. We will encounter duns, brochs, burial cairns, a stone circle and black houses as we explore the islands.

The Uists, the southern half of the Outer Hebrides or Western Isles, is a chain of islands now all linked by causeway – Berneray, North Uist, Grimsay, Benbecula, South Uist and Eriskay. During the course of the week we will visit all of the islands and will spend time at the two RSPB Reserves, Balranald on North Uist and Loch Druidibeg on South Uist.

We will also visit Martyn’s croft and discover why traditional crofting is such an important part of island life and crucial for the unique biodiversity of these ‘islands on the edge’.

There will also be an optional boat trip to St Kilda, for an extra cost TBC.

This price is fully inclusive of accommodation and all food. Accommodation will be exclusive use of a traditional lodge situated on South Uist amongst the machair. Rooms are a combination of single, twin and doubles, with shared bathrooms.

Also includes Friday night hotel and dinner in Inverness, as well as travel to Uist including ferry crossings. Group will gather in Inverness for dinner on Friday 6th May, before travelling in an Aigas minibus to the islands on the morning of Saturday 7th May for the week.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office: info@aigas.co.uk

06 May - 14 May 2022 Book Now ...