WAMBC North Uist Trip – May 2024.

Nick Skilbeck

The Uists, part of the Outer Hebrides offers a chance to see what our landscape in England could be like. The fields are full of nesting waders, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Lapwings. The beaches swarm with Godwits, Sanderling, Dunlin and Turnstone with some stunning summer brick red Curlew Sandpipers, and the scarce Pectoral Sandpiper and America Golden Plover, both from America. The sea held Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, Fulmars, Auks, exciting Skuas, Minkie Whales and dolphins. On the higher moorland the numbers of Short-eared owls and Hen Harriers were astonishing. We had Golden and/or White-tailed Eagles every day.

In addition to this background of tremendous wildlife we saw some of the superb local specialities, Twite, Corncrakes, which showed well, everyone saw them.

Red-necked Phalaropes nest on a single loch on South Uist, and we had great views of a stunning Female, they are the brightly coloured sex. We saw all three diver species, most in their beautiful summer plumage.

The arrangements for the trip worked without a hitch, thanks to Mike Hails who spent hours organising and planning. A great crew on the holiday, of beginners and experienced birders, worked hard to see the birds and make the most of our time on the islands, the weather was kind and the birds fantastic.

I’ll let the photos and videos do the rest of the talking, it was a wonderful trip, WAMBC will be going back.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 : Worcester to Dumbarton stopping at Leighton Moss

Day 2 : Dumbarton to Oban stopping at Lochawe/Kilchurn castle. ferry Oban to Lochboisedale

Day 3: RSPB Balranald, Loch Mor ( RN Phalarope), Aird a Machair, Loch Mor

Day 4:RSPB Balranald, Balemore (corncrake), Sollas and Cheesebay, committee road 

Day 5: Loch Olabhat (Black-Throated diver), Locheynort & Arinaban wood, Smercleit ( Pectoral Sandpiper).

Day 6: loch Olabhat, loch Bi, RSPB Loch Druidbeag, Loch Skipport, Rubna Aird a Mhuile (Long Tailed Duck) & the range ( American Golden Plover)

Day 7: RSPB Balranald ( Skua watch), Committee road, Bernaray ( east beach and loch Bhrusda) 

Day 8: lochboisedale to Mallaig and on to Carlisle

Day 9: Carlisle. To Worcester stopping at WWT Martin mere.

A further set of images to complement the trip by Simon Ashley