Day trip to St Kilda
24th July 2014
With the settled weather I managed to fulfil a long held ambition to visit St Kilda, now possible on a day trip out of Uig - http://www.gotostkilda.co.uk. St Kilda is a National Nature Reserve and World Heritage Site and of course the bird interest lies in its seabirds with 140,000 pairs of Puffins, 68,000 pairs of Fulmars and the largest gannetry in the world on Boreray with an estimated 60,000 pairs. On a day trip with 4 hours ashore it is an almost surreal experience. The weather was positively benign but despite that there was a fair Atlantic swell as we circled the towering stacks of Boreray, a truly amazing experience (see image). There are also significant numbers of Great Skuas breeding as well as a few Arctic's. Although I heard a St Kilda Wren it remained out of view. Such a remote group of islands will also pick up a few migrants so a female Whinchat seemed to be well out of normal range, and some Wheatears also looked to be on the move from further north. An image of a moth was id'd by Steve Duffield as a Nettle-tap and we are waiting to find out if this is a first for St. Kilda. On the journey out and back we picked up a small pod of Common Dolphins, a couple of Minke Whale and nearer Uig, good numbers of Harbour Porpoise. Bird highlights included a few Storm Petrels but all this paled to insignificance alongside the special atmosphere which makes St Kilda a world apart. Thanks to Derek and Nicola for an extremely professional and safe trip.