Corncrakes

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The corncrake is a divisive bird; exotic rarity, or noisy pest!  Whichever camp you’re in, here are a few things you always wanted to know about corncrakes but were too afraid to ask… What’s a corncrake?   a pigeon-sized, brown,  migratory bird, the corncrake is famous for its repetitive song  “crex-crex; crex-crex… ”. This is the

Dolphins in the bay!

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WOW!!!!! We’ve had somewhere between one and two dozen dolphins playing off the West coast of Waternish today. I spotted tham around lunch time around the Carnach area and they were around for about three hours, but I have also been told that they were seen slightly further south during the morning. They were dolphins rather

Examples of birds seen in a local garden

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Personally I did not do very well when I took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Watch this year, only had 5 birds in the garden in the hour that I watched. But here a a few pictures of birds that can be seen, although I struggle with Starlings these days.  

Heather on the Hill

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At this time of year the hills and glens of Scotland are covered in a purple hue – heather is in bloom and the Highlands and the Isle of Skye are no different. It is almost as if there is a carpet of purple. Locally there seem to be at least 4 different varieties, all

Local flowers

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Beautiful flowers! I am told that these are: A rare Butterfuly Orchid – taken on Waternish, Common Spotted Orchid & Common Orchid (with bug!).

Local natural dyes – by Eva of Shilasdair Yarn

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Locally (Waternish) the plants you use will give yellows; there are berries that give reddish or blue-ish tones, but they fade. I use meadowsweet for the softer yellows, tansy for a brighter yellow and ling heather for a slightly brown-ish yellow. With those three yellows, by combining them with indigo (imported from Africa or India

Recent Sightings

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As well as the sparrow hawk, I’ve also just had a report of a corncrake in another garden locally. Here is photographic evidence, but the bird was rather coy and turned it’s head away just as the picture was taken! Other reports: Large Otter on the shore below the coastal walk to Waternish Point. Otter

Red Deer

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Red deer have been present in Scottish highlands since the Ice Age and therefore are a truly native species. Adult males (Stags) and females (Hinds) lead separate lives for most of the year even to the extent of occupying different areas of their range and generally interacting only during the rut. Female groups tend to be

Siskins

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Siskins are small members of the Finch family.  A few stay on Skye all year round, but most migrate to the south of the UK for the winter before returning here to breed.  For the last three years Waternish has welcomed one particular female Siskin.  When she first arrived on a bird feeder in the

Springtime and the Sea 1

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For those of us who earn a living from the sea, the seasonal changes  can be every bit as marked and varied as the seasons ashore, and can be one of the most exciting and interesting of elements with surprising and incredible moments presented when you least expect them.            

Springtime and the sea 2

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The slow moving Basking shark, being the second largest fish in the sea can reach an incredible size of 10 metres,(although the average adult length is from 6.5 to 9metres) considering that they survive by trawling with open mouth for the smallest of life, the planktons. Other species of cetacean who visit our waters are,