Saturday, 20 August 2016

Summer migration 2016: Cornwall to Outer Hebrides

We have just returned to reality and the promise of a long long academic term ahead after our annual summer migration.  This year saw us spending three weeks down in Cornwall via Exmoor each way and then north to Outer Hebrides - Berneray, Uists via Kielder Forest, Cairngorms, Applecross and Skye and then back via Raasay and Arisaig before a final lovely week on Mull.

We have had all kinds of weather including dreadful rain and storms with gusting winds of up to 60 mph.

Mainly what stands out for us this summer is the many wonderful people we have met along the way.  Most notably the craic at the Bernaray Hostel (as usual!)  This time we were joined by Davey and his young son Stevie from Dunfermline, a reet pair of characters! Also Becky and Brett a couple of young pals from Oxfordshire with a great sense of humour, Welsh sisters from Carnarvon who were inspirational -cycling all through outer Hebrides and keen kayakers and mountaineers as well.  A lovely chap who was making his 3rd attempt to get to St Kilda (We so hope he made it this time)  Also a fab Dutch couple who shared our love of cheese, wine and wildlife.

Also down at Kilbride Campsite on South Uist so many stalwarts who all helped each other and us through the storm of the summer.

Finally, on Mull, the awesome Fidden Farm Friends: Caroline, Jill, Davina and Michael who were so open and quick to invite us for drinks and shared stories of wildlife encounters and travels.-  We really enjoyed meeting you all- so funny and easy-going- we hope you chaps enjoyed the remainder of the summer.

Secondly the wildlife was fairly awesome in terms of the range of species we were privileged to see.  

A basic list would include: otters, white tailed eagles, golden eagles, slow worms, a fox, mountain hares, short eared owls, bats, adder, red deer, roe deer, bottlenose dolphins, porpoise, seals, sail by the winds, peregrines.  Pretty awesome!

To start the photo roll call some starlings for sister, Dr Jess Walkup -Base Leader at Halley Research Station, Antarctica - who did her doctorate research on these chatty bright little birds and may be missing them now she has been in the frozen south so long.

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