Monday 12th August: After a very stormy and wet weekend here on the Isle of Lewis it was a blessing to see the sun return for our Monday morning boat trip from Stornoway. The low tide exposed two stone blocks just off Arnish Point covered in resting shags, some with their wings hung out to dry.
Although we had blue skies and sunshine, a strong breeze made the water fairly choppy as soon as we got out of Stornoway harbour. It can be pretty tricky spotting in between the waves and the glare of the sun on the water does not help either, so we decided to spend some time exploring the sheltered inlets of Loch Eireasort. As soon as we entered these calmer waters a juvenile white-tailed eagle was spotted perched on one of the islets, then one more was spotted, a sibling of the first, and we even got a view of both eagle's impressive wingspans of around 2 metres. The past few times we visited this area only one of the pair had been spotted so it was great to see them both flying and healthy. After watching them for a time we circled around behind the islet in hopes of finding the adults of this family however these big kids appeared to be home alone so we continued exploring and amid the stunning coastline spotted three herons.
A black guillemot, also known locally in Scotland as a tystie.
Back out to sea we encountered gannets, skuas and 2 black guillemots – unlike the more common guillemot who fly south after breeding the black guillemot, or tystie, stay around Scotland year-round. Heading home we spotted two more eagles first an adult perched just below the skyline of the cliff, then a juvenile a little further along. Our experienced guide Muriel also spotted two porpoise just before the Arnish lighthouse, and although we circled the area where they had emerged these stealthy animals didn’t reappear. A heavy rain shower gave the boat a good rinsing just before we made it to the harbour, thank goodness for the saloon to take shelter until we got back to the marina.
A big thank you to our expert skipper and to the great group of guests who came along for this Hebridean Adventure. If you are looking for things to do in Stornoway and the Isle of Lewis, we really hope you too will come and join us soon.