16th may 2015.
First day of a birding trip to North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist.
Flying Easyjet from Luton to Inverness, pick up hire car and head over to the port of Uig on Skye. A bit of a delay picking up hire car due to a long queue. [note to myself; see if Budget or Avis can match Europcar price next year]A bit of a rush over to Uig meant no birding on route. A text from Calmac ferries said ferry was on amber alert so could be cancelled at short notice. So getting a move on for a ferry that might not go! First noteworthy bird of the trip was a Red Kite near the signpost for Tollie Red Kites and then my first Hooded Crow of the trip at Broadford on Skye. Arrived at Uig about 13:15 to be told that the ferry was going but running 30 minutes behind schedule. A quick look around the harbour produced; Shag, Eider, Great Northern Diver, Black Guillemot, Rock Dove. On board the ferry the captain warned of winds up to gale force 6 but seemed quite calm to me. Lots of good stuff to keep me occupied on the crossing; Puffin (c100), Razorbill, Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannet, Manx Shearwater (25), Arctic Tern, Great Skua, Arctic Skua. Checked in at Bonnieview b&b and straight over to Balranald. I was intending to go straight to Air un Runair for Skua passage but decided to have a quick look for Corncrake. Luckily for me I connected with a Corncrake straight away. It wasn't calling so a stroke of luck. At Aird un Runair it was blowing a gale and everyone seemed to be seawatching from their cars. It wasn't raining so I decided to rough it down near the point. On the walk down a group of c25 Pomarine Skua passed by quite close in. I settled on a "comfortable" rock and over the next couple of hours enjoyed over 100 of both Pomarine and Long-tailed Skua. A handful of Bonxie and Arctic made up the fab four. Late in the evening now so time to feed my face. A rainbow over the old church was a nice end to a long but enjoyable day.