Thursday 22 October 2015

Isle of Lewis Adventure

Wilson's Warbler.

News broke on Tuesday the 13th October that a first winter male Wilson's Warbler had been found on the Isle of Lewis at Port Nis , this was only the 2nd record for Britain (3rd record for Britain & Ireland) and a 1st for Scotland ,  plans were put into place to go on the following Friday if the bird was still present , an anxious wait and then Friday arrived and the news was positive , the bird was still there !!!!

Lovely bright yellow underparts.

Blackcap & olive green upper parts.

I arrived at the Uig ferry terminal in the very early hours of Saturday morning the 17th October , i tried to get some sleep in the car , i think i managed about an hour at most , morning soon came around and there was car load of birders both in front and behind  in the queue for the ferry ,  then news broke from the guys in the car behind , one of their mates was on Lewis and phoned to say the Wilson's Warbler was still there !!!! 

The joy on all our faces was unbelievable , one of the things i like about twitching is that you meet and make friends with like minded people , now all we had to do was get there .

The ferry was on time and plenty of birds were seen on route including , Black Guillemot , Great Northern Diver , Great & Arctic Skua , Shag , Kittiwake and Fulmar , however the main highlight was a close Minkie Whale which breached 3 times.

Quite stunning Wilson's Warbler.

There were a couple of distant Eagles as we approached Tarbert ferry terminal , bit to distant to get a positive id however some were suggesting Golden Eagle .

A very fast drive to Port Nis ensued , passing a White Tailed Eagle on route , i was greeted by one of the joint finders Tony Marr (Roy Dennis being the other finder) who took me into the garden which the Wilson's Warbler has been using as part of it's feeding routine , i had missed it by 10 mins so the wait  begun , some 45 minutes later i was getting anxious and then the wait was over as the Wilson's Warbler gave it's self up and performed for it's awe struck audience.

Feeding in the apple tree.

I watched it for approx 15 mins feeding in the apple tree , constantly moving picking off insects from underneath the leafs , i found it hard to get a decent photo as i was torn between being star struck in watching it & trying to get a photo.

I watched this cracking bird on & off for a few hours plus i saw a Yellow Browed Warbler close by to the garden , lot's of Redwings overhead and plenty of Stonechats were nearby.

Eventually i dragged myself away and went  to find some accommodation in Stronoway , a decent meal and a few drinks to celebrate that night were of course taken , and then some much needed sleep soon followed !!!

Hooded Crow.

Sunday morning soon came around and i went back to Porth Nis to have another look at the Wilson's Warbler however sadly the bird had taken the clear previous night sky to carry on it's journey to who knows where , i decided to check out some other areas to see what i could see , lot's of Hooded Crows & Raven's , i also checked out a area where there had been a dead sheep that  eagles had been coming down to feed on but all what was left of the sheep was a bundle of fur , i did see lots of Golden Plover & Lapwing plus a female Merlin flew through scaring 50+ Twite into complete panic .

Very close Hooded Crow.

i headed there and sure enough we saw 15 cracking looking Snow Buntings feeding in the long grass.

Snow Bunting.

Time caught up with me so i headed back to Tarbert ferry terminal , i had some time to look around the area which has fantastic rugged scenery , then i was back on the ferry very happy and plenty of fantastic memories of one of the best birding trips i have ever been on ,   many thanks to Tony Marr for accommodating us all , what a true gentlemen !!



  1. That's a very very vivid warbler. Love the hooded crow too, where I was in Scotland last week wasn't far enough North to see them.

    1. Hi Simon , yes very bright indeed , those Hooded crows are real smart looking birds to.


Thanks for taking the time to add a comment on my blog.