August Meteors

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Go some place dark.  August is a really good month for meteors with the return of Perseid Shower. See earthsky.org/tonight/the-radiant-of-the-delta-aquarid-meteors  And of course after weeks of light skies and short nights, the nights are ‘fair drawing in”.  We would love to hear of any of your experiences of meteors or Dark Skies whilst visiting Waternish.

Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights

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These copyright pictures were taken by Ray Reeder in 2003 from Waternish on Skye. We are currently (2010) moving towards the sloar maximum (2011-2013) which is when you are most likely to see such amazing displays. You can read more details regarding the Aurora Borealis in the Dark Skies section of Wild Waternish. Click to see

Aurora Borealis March 17th 2015 – WOW

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Waternish Peninsula – home to three Dark Skies viewing sites has been the perfect location throughout our stormy winter from which to view the Aurora Borealis. When the skies have been clear we have enjoyed numerous light shows that have been on display since October (even when there have been no aurora warnings). However nothing

Award for completing ‘Our Night Sky’ Course

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A significant core group of Waternish residents have completed a basic course via DVD called ‘Our Night Sky’. The youngest member of this group, Murdo MacGilvaray, received a very personal letter of congratulations from the course tutor, Professor Edward Murphy of the University of Virginia, and a certificate. The picture shows Murdo with his proud

Award for Isle of Skye Sea Salt

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Quote from Chris watts of isle of Skye Sea Salt: ” We were really delighted to receive a Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Award for our sea salt in May 2015, to add to the Great Taste Award and the Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Environmental Award that we won in 2014. After four

BBC Stargazing Photograph

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This is the photo of the sun, taken on Waternish by Robert Arnold, which was shown on the BBC Stargazing Live TV program on January 8th 2013. It is taken using a Calcium K line filter, which shows only a very narrowband of light near the UV end of the spectrum, the Calcium emission line.

Comparing winters in Waternish to Oregan

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Thoughts from Diane Hoff-Rome         (Picture 1 is of the view from of Isay, Mingay and Clett) (Picture 2 is of Diane’s garden in Oregan in the winter) (Picture 3 is of the garden at on Waternish in the winter, looking across to Dunvegan head) I didn’t know it, but the Zipline

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

Dark Skies (Not Dark Clouds) Report

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We’ve had a report from a local couple: “We sat in the garden from 1850hrs till 1930hrs 27th Jan 2012 and this is what we have observed: Clear skies, waning/ or waxing moon( can not recall lecture) and Venus reflecting over Loch Bay to the west. Using the bins I could see the craters and

Dark Skies in December

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What a fabulous week we have had for Dark Skies. For once everything seemed to come together this week. We had a new moon which made the night sky really dark. But who needs the moon when Jupiter is dazzling the night sky. We had some clear nights which meant spectacular viewing. This all coincided

Dark Skies Lectures

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About 20 local residents attended the first in a series of DVD lectures in the Waternish Hall last night on ‘Our Night Sky’. It would be fair to say that the audience was fascinated by the lecture although a little shocked by the amount of information. Nonetheless this has continued our interest in the heavens

Dark Skies on Waternish

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Prepared in a personal capacity for us by Dr Simon Hodgkin of the Astronomical Survey Unit, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. Truly dark skies are only found far away from the urban concentrations where most of us live. From a city centre location we are lucky to see even 100 stars, while under a dark sky we

Dark Sky events on Skye in March

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Dark Sky events on Skye in March Friday March 9th 2012: Dark Skye Launch Event: Destination Skye and Lochalsh presents Dark Skye Discovery starting at 7:30 pm at the Broadford Hotel, Broadford. £8 per ticket. “Dark Skye Discovery Launch – Isle of Skye Nine sites on the Isle of Skye have been accredited with Dark

Dark Skye Star Party – October 25th 2014

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Please phone 01599 577 219 for further details including tickets.

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.  

Experiencing Hubble

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Starting on Tuesday 15th October, the first of a six week programme being shown by Gill Williams. It will feature another ‘Great Courses’ Course called ‘Experiencing Hubble – Understanding the Greatest Images in the Universe’, where a lecturer will explain the images coming back from the Hubble telescope. The previous lecture course last year on

Fabulous Aurora

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On the 27th February the country experience a very widespread aurora. Waternish was part of that, for at least half an hour. There was some colour in the sky to the naked eye, but through the camera the colours were staggering. To the naked eye the shimmering effect was incredibly clear and at times covered

Finding Transients with Gaia

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Thank you to Dr Simon Hodgkin of the Astronomical Survey Unit, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge for this very interesting article.Artist’s impression of Gaia14aae. Credit: Marisa Grove/Institute of Astronomy Gaia is the European Space Agency’s mission to map the Milky Way, measuring positions, distances, velocities and spectra for 1 billion stars spread in our Galaxy and

Greshornish Point

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Length: 6 km (3.75 miles) Time: 2 – 3 hours Terrain: Grassy paths, which can be very boggy in paces, and heather slopes. The path is rugged with a fair amount of up and down as it follows the coastline. Summary: The Greshornish Peninsular is a spectacular but rugged outcrop of land jutting into Loch

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

HRH The Princess Royal visits Waternish

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A wonderful hot and sunny day here on Waternish today for the visit of HRH The Princess Royal to Skyeskyns. Princess Anne was given a tour of the tannery and then met with representatives from the local area including Visit Waternish. The picture is of Princess Anne meeting with some of the Visit Waternish committee,

Hubble spots a galaxy smiling at us

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The Hubble Space Telescope is producing pictures on a daily basis which are just wonderful and awe-inspiring.  They recently shared this picture on Facebook. Hubble spots a galaxy smiling at us http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1506a/ Credit: NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration & ESA – European Space Agency

Isle of Coll – Awarded Dark Sky Community Status

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Visit Waternish would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the Isle of Coll who this last weekend were awarded the status of Dark Sky Community. This will have entailed a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve this – it truelly is a dark place! However don’t forget that Waternish have its own

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

Lochbay Restaurant

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Congratulations to our new member Michael Smith and his wife Laurence, who in just a few months of business at Lochbay Restaurant were featured in The Times Weekend in an article about the 20 Best Places to Eat by the Sea. If you are unable to see the article in our tiny photo have a look at

NASA Photo of Aurora over Scotland

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A Nasa Astronaut (Terry Virtis) photographs the aurora borealis over Scotland from the International Space Station.   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-31440059  Absolutely fabulous – if only it could be as clear as this from Waterish (and with the naked eye)

Noctilucent Cloud – from Stein

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A wonderful photograpgh taken by Angus McGhie of the Stein Inn here on Waternish, very early one morning on his way back home after closing the Inn.

Noctilucent Clouds

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Noctilucent clouds (NLC’s) are the highest clouds in Earth’s atmosphere and are visible in a deep twilight, mostly observed in the summer months at latitudes between 50º and 70º north and south of the equator. They are made of crystals of water ice. They can only be seen when the sun is below the horizon.

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

Sgorr Horan or Beinn an Sguirr cliffs

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Summary:This circular walk takes you along the dramatic escarpment of Beinn an Sguirr, where Golden and Sea Eagles can often be seen riding the thermals or perched on the inaccessible crags. At various points on the route you can see both sides of Waternish. To the east you have views of the Ascrib Isles, Uig

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

Skye – The hottest part of the UK!!!

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Wow, the BBC have just announced that The Isle of Skye was the hottest part of the UK today! 10 degrees C!!! The last two days have been calm and sunny, a good rest from the rain that we had beforehand!!!

Spectacular night skies over Waternish

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If the hype delivers, this coming November could produce one of the most spectacular natural sights ever witnessed in the night sky. Discovered in September last year by two Russian astronomers, Comet Ison is currently between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, some 400 million miles from the sun. Come next autumn, this city-sized ball

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,

Sun, sun and more sun!!!!!!!!!

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What lovely weather we are having up here in the North West of the UK and particularly on Waternish on the Isle of Skye whilst there is snow and damp and cold “down South”. Wall to wall sunshine and warm temperatures (in the sun) are bringing the daffodils out into a spectacular display, I am told

Synchronicity – further thoughts from Diane Hoff-Rome

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What is synchronicity? Synchronicity’ is a concept developed by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe ‘a perceived meaningful coincidence.’ Do you believe in synchronicity? I do. Especially after receiving an overseas letter (in response to two catalysts: Waternish and the word ‘Highlands’) in my article in the Winter Newsletter. It seems like the Highlands and

The GAIA Project Lecture – 4th August 2014

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A very interesting lecture was held at Waternish Hall earlier this month, given by Dr Simon Hodgkin of the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.  The lecture was very well attended so thanks to all those who supported it. Simon began his lecture by telling us how he got into astronomy at a very young

The Transit of Venus

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This is so exciting. For the only time in our lifetime there is a transit of the sun by Venus early on the morning of June 6th. If the clear skies that we have had recently continue it may be possible to see the transit from Waternish (if you are up early enough). The next

Trumpan, Waternish Point and Geary circuit

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Distance: 21.5 km (13.5 miles) Time: 6 – 8 hours Terrain: Straightforward walking to Waternish Point; much tougher and very challenging return walk across pathless ground with bogs, knee deep heather and some steep slopes above cliffs, before the finish on minor roads. Summary: A challenging circuit of Waternish Point with plenty of interest and

Visit of HRH The Pricess Royal to Skyeskyns

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HRH The Princess Royal was offered a guided tour of the tannery and showroom by Jess Hartwell, whose family own and run the business, before being given the chance to meet Skyeskyns staff, as well as members of the Waternish community, at a marquee reception.             She was also introduced

Waternish – Place of the Healing Waters

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…I will wait for the birch wood until it comes up by the cairn….”(1) Sorley MacLean. From the Druids, to the Vikings, to Johnson and Boswell – travellers continue to be drawn to Waternish for its ‘specialness’: not only that it offers the oldest Inn on Skye, gifted artists and artisans, a ‘celebrity’ chef to

Waternish and Skye promote Dark Skies

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Dark Sky Discovery, a pioneering new national and regional partnership of astronomy and environmental organizations, has just unveiled a series of Dark Sky Discovery Sites throughout the UK. Led by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) the partnership aims to pinpoint the great range of local spots that people can use for stargazing. Two

Waternish Point

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Summary:  Waternish Point is a wild but beautiful spot with wonderful sea views. In the summer months, it is an excellent place to see whales and dolphins as they feed in the turbulent waters off the point. This walk is generally level and easy to follow, first on a clear track but then a short

Waternish Sheep Dog Trials – July 8th 2017

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These popular trials form part of the Hebridean Sheepdog Circuit and take place on Waternish Farm with spectacular views across the Minch towards Harris and North Uist. All visitors are welcome to this rural event and entrance is free. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. This year the Waternish Sheepdog Trial is supporting the

Waternish Sheepdog trials – July 11th 2015

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These popular trials form part of the Hebridean Sheepdog Circuit and take place on Waternish Farm (near to the War Memorial) with spectacular views across the Minch towards Harris and North Uist. All visitors are welcome to this rural event and entrance is free. Refreshments will be available throughout the day, starting at 08:30. This

Waternish Tea Towels

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We have produced a high quality Waternish tea towel which is for sale at a RRP (Recommended Retail Price) of £7.00. It is available in purple (for the heather on the hill). Liz Myhill (of Dandelion Designs) was commissioned to do the design for us. We have chosen a company to produce the tea towel which

Waternish world-best sunsets!

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Travel magazine named Broad Reach in Waternish, Skye, as the tops for a “sunset-view stay”.  Second in the six places named by Travel was Sri Panua in Phuket followed by properties in the Maldives, Brittany, Cornwall and Tuscany. From its elevated position in Waternish, the house has wrap-around views of the conservation fishing village of

We’re REALLY dark here!

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Look at this picture from NASA, how dark are we here on Waternish on the Isle of Skye? Can you even see Skye??? We are currently having clear skies and are seeing lots of stars and planets and the moon is fabulous!!! There are reports of Northern Lights!!!

Wild Waternish in Bloom – March to April

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After the very poor early months of 2020 we are looking forward to the early spring when the wild blooms are begin to show themselves on the banks around Waternish. As with a cultivated garden when snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils mark the progress of the year to Spring, it is the wild primrose which does