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Outer Hebrides Birds

At least these multiple lockdowns I have been able to get on with some non-Hebridean Imaging related projects – namely editing the Outer Hebrides Bird Report 2017. Hebridean Imaging is a major sponsor of both the Outer Hebrides Birds website www.outerhebridesbirds.org.uk and the bird report.

Report has finally gone to print and is available to purchase at The Shop on the OH BIrds website. The report has a stunning cover photo of a Hen Harrier food pass taken by Dean Eades www.birdmad.com

I’ve also taken this opportunity to update and revamp the Outer Hebrides Birds website which is now looking fresh and modern following it’s upgrade. This site make a great resource for bird sightings and information in the Outer Hebrides / Western Isles

Outer Hebrides / Western Isles Birds bird sightings and information

Further restrictions…

As of today the Outer Hebrides joins the rest of Scotland on a “stay at home” lockdown due to a covid outbreak on Barra. Like the rest of the UK I think we are all getting a little weary of this situation and finding it hard to cope with this second major lockdown (we’d been placed in Scottish tier three on Boxing Day). I’m going to miss the freedom of being able to go for a drive out or head up to Lewis to visit friends.

Taken on our last birding trip up to Benbecula, fabulous light at this time of year 🙂

Otter and Eagles

After the wet and windy weather over Christmas it made a pleasant change to have a cold, calm spell. Most of the lochs were frozen over, often with just a small ice free area where all the birds were congregating. While birding at Loch Bee we noticed movement which turned out to be an Otter running across the frozen loch – it must have been out to the unfrozen area to fish and was heading back to dry land. Just as it reached land we noticed there were also two White-tailed Eagles sitting out on rocks near the shore. Amazing to get both otter and eagles in the same shot!

I posted the photo on Twitter and I think it’s been the most popular photo i’ve ever put on there and has currently received 3.3K likes and 365 retweets!

Yvonne Benting Hebridean Imaging Photography Otter and two White-tailed Eagles on frozen Loch Bee South Uist Outer Hebrides
Otter and White-tailed Eagles, Loch Bee

Video production

Had a great week up in Lewis – I was able to get my wee van MoT’d and serviced and the garage also fixed the persistent oil leak.

Another reason for my visit was to have a catch up with my lovely friend Jane – we love to do creative things together and lately have been working together on her website. Jane was keen to make a video where she could talk about her mixed media printmaking process. So we set up a mini tripod with my iPhone and away we went. Very little post-production editing was needed, Jane is a natural when it comes to being filmed 🙂

Jane and I have plans for a joint art project which we’ll be working on during 2021. Can’t say much more than that but all will be revealed later in 2021 hopefully 😉

Finally home!

We were finally able to get a flight back out of Cyprus on the 2nd August 2020 when the government there unbanned flights in from the UK. Sadly there were still no direct flights back to Scotland for the forseeable future so we had rather a convoluted route home: Paphos -> Gatwick, overnight there in a hotel, Gatwick -> Glasgow, overnight there in a hotel then Glasgow -> Benbecula the next day.

After three days travelling, three flights and two hotel stays we though we should quarantine ourselves for 14 days on returning home as the last thing we wanted to do was spread this thing around our island when they’ve fought so valiantly to keep it out (thankfully, as there are NO intensive care facilities here!).

So today, 18th August we are finally free to go out and about and do our own shopping! Our neighbours Bill and Norma have been fantastic – with both looking after our house while we were away and getting shopping and supplies for us while we were in quarantine. We always looked forward to our weekly Zoom chat with them while we were away 🙂

The weather has been incredible since our return – warm and mostly calm – quite a lot of mist.
I’m not sure whether the cattle were cooling down or whether the midges were less by the water than out on the machair.

Covid-19

The world has officially gone crazy…

I’m currently stranded in Cyprus, for how long, I really don’t know! Hopefully my lovely neighbour Bill Neill will be able to sort out any online orders for me, if I can remember where i’ve put all my stock…

The Uist Craft Producers committee (i’m secretary again this year) decided very early on to keep the shop closed. Just after mid-March Calmac ferries were advising that ferries would only be for essential journeys for island residents and for essential supplies to the island and Loganair have suspended all but essential flights. So, no tourists anyway… Happily there have been very very few cases on the island which is just as well as we don’t actually have any intensive care facilities. The museum and cafe will also be closed. This will all be for the forseeable future.

Meanwhile MisterT and myself are well and enjoying the birds and the sunshine in Cyprus. It’s a little difficult being away from all the family – worrying about mum and dad, Sara and wee Sidney and also with Kat getting so close to having our new wee grandson. We’ll most certainly all be having a massive party together when all this is done with!

Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides sheep cyprus
Lots of sheep, not too different from Uist…
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides cyprus laughing doves
Laughing Doves
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides flowers poppies
Roadside poppies
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides flowers geraniums
Geraniums
Hebridean Imaging art and photography outer hebrides Bluethroat
Stunning Bluethroat

Closing September/October

PLEASE NOTE: I am away from home from 24th September to early November 2019 – any orders placed via the web shop will not be dispatched until I return home.

I’m heading away to catch up with all the family, visit Yarndale with my daughters on the last weekend of September – super excited about this as we have been planning it for a year!

Ian and I will also be having a wee two week break in Mallorca for birding and sunshine during October.

Our annual visit to friends in Lincolnshire during school half-term.

Packed:-

  • Binoculars
  • Sketchbooks
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Paints
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Ready to go then….. 🙂

I’ll no doubt be updating my Instagram feed during the time i’m away.

Make sure to come and visit me at Carinish Hall on the 9th November 2019, noon until 4pm. This is a fundraiser for Cuimhne, tea, coffee and cakes will be available and there are some brilliant raffle prizes!

 

Studio CLOSED 27th June to 2nd July 2019

Apologies in advance for any inconvenience – the studio will be closed on the following dates:-

  • Thursday 27th June
  • Friday 28th June
  • Saturday 29th June
  • Closed Sunday and Monday as usual
  • Tuesday 2nd July 2019

I’m heading up to Lewis for a long weekend of arty fun, possibly a little wild camping and sea swimming, plus as we had such fun last year there may even be a day trip to Ullapool thrown in as well if Jane is up to it 🙂