By Jon Biddle.
Friday 2nd August 2019: Some great sunny weather, fantastic coastal scenery and marine wildlife were enjoyed by all on our half day trip this afternoon, even though the cetaceans were hiding away beneath the surface. We did however get some fine views of the usually discrete harbour porpoises in an uncharacteristic mood as they sped and splashed in a moment of excited feeding. Just goes to show how nature is so unpredictable. Both grey and harbour seals were also observed on the marine mammal front, but despite plenty of fish showing on the fish finder & many keen eyes, the more glamorous cetaceans didn't want to show themselves (today at least).
It's incredible how fast nature's cycles spin in these latitudes; it doesn't seem long ago that we were reporting the return of sea birds to their breeding colonies. Already many of these birds are completing their annual connection with land, and we are seeing a good number of newly arrived chicks take to the open waters. We saw recently fledged guillemot, razorbill and puffin chicks out on the high seas, all ready for a life on the open seas. Great to see them out there where they are relative safety from the predating "pirates" such as great skuas, (that we also saw fearlessly checking out the chocolate cookies we were eating onboard!).
An Arctic skua - one of the other predatory "pirates" that other seabirds learn to watch out for.
No news can be good new, so it wasn't so bad that the fledgling white tailed eagle chicks that we've watched grow big, were absent today. Only yesterday they were still near their birthplace, but today their first longer flights must have taken them to new horizons. Let's hope that all these new arrivals will return year after year, and in their time breed themselves around the coastlines, islands and seas of the Outer Hebrides.
Although today we only saw white tailed (or sea) eagles in the far distance, we did enjoy a closer view of a magnificent golden eagle flying above the rugged cliffs. Who knows what tomorrow's wildlife hebridean adventures will bring!
If you are looking for things to do in Lewis or Stornoway, then please do come out and join us on a guided wildlife boat trip during your visit. All details and booking via our website at www.hebrideanadventures.co.uk