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Uists in May 2012

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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 12:54   #1
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Arrow Uists in May 2012

I am going to Uist next year and was thinking around May 20 ish for a week

Looking at the rainfall stats it seems to be the wettest month, so maybe not a good idea ?

Would April be ok for bird photos? It seems a lot drier than May, and after my visit to Mull last MAY ( WETTEST ON RECORD !!) I dont want to end up with another washout with no sun !

I can go almost any time as I am retired now, but I get the impression accommodation may be limited so I may have to book in advance without a forecast for the next week......

If you have any thoughts I would appreciate your advice

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Old Wednesday 21st December 2011, 13:15   #2
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If you don't really want to book in advance and are prepared to 'rough it' a bit, you could do worse than try the Gatliff Hebridean Hostels Trust properties.

We stayed a few nights at the one on Berneray and were very reluctant to leave - a beautiful spot right on the beach.

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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 07:35   #3
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Having lived on Benbecula for 2 years 88 - 90, I found the best time of year was end of May beginning of June. Not only was the weather at its best but with long hours of daylight, you can fit more into your day. I also noticed that around 7pm the wind always dropped and the sun came out, (obviously no sun in winter though at that time of day.) Unfortunately, I wasn't into birding then so I missed out on some great oportunities. A great place on N.Uist is up on the Machair by Claddach Kirkibost,( not sure of the spelling), the beach up there is probably one of the best in the world and the dunes are certainly a place of great interest from an ecological point of view. I arrived on Benbecula in August and the summer was already over. We had rain every day till May the following year, and whilst on St Kilda in winter, Jan or Feb, i think, we had winds of 182 knots on top of the hill. The Dark Island Hotel was a good place to stay, and if you like whisky, the Creagory (again spelling) had a great variety. In fact, I remember if you could manage to drink every whiskey in the top row of optics, you didn't have to pay. Many brave fools tried, but none succeded in my time. Its remote up that way, but one of my favourite places to be, with St Kilda topping the bill.


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Old Thursday 22nd December 2011, 08:35   #4
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Although the Outer Hebs do get a fair bit of rain, the climate is totally different to that of Mull, Skye etc. which suffer much more from "relief rainfall" caused by the hills which just makes it hang around much more. On the Outer Islands it passes through much quicker, so you get much more changeable weather with actually quite a bit of sun. I have been on the Hebs many times basking in glorious sun while looking across the the misty wet hills of Skye and Mull !!

There is just no point planning a visit to these islands based on advance weather forecasts or climate statisitics, it's just not relevant, best just go!
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Old Friday 23rd December 2011, 10:11   #5
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Ive been a few times to the western isles as a visitor and I would say one of the great marvels of the place (among many other great marvels) is the remarkably changeable weather. It's sunny every day, it's also rainy, windy, calm and overcast every day. I suggest going when the days are long so that you get more hours of nice weather per day time, whilst also developing an alternative hobby, such as solitaire, for whilst you are waiting out the rain periods.
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Old Friday 23rd December 2011, 10:35   #6
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My wife and I having been going to North Uist in May for several years now. This May was the worst weather we have ever had but the Skua passage was fantastic. Last year the weather was mostly sunny and the Skua passage whilst we were there was poor although we did see a few Long-tailed and Poms. Whatever the weather if you want to see lots of good birds including Corncrake and Red-necked Phalaropes, then North Uist is hard to beat. Stay as near to Balranald as you can. We are already booked for May 2012. Hope to see you there. Roger
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Old Saturday 24th December 2011, 18:27   #7
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I agree with others; the end of May is a great time to go. A fantastic show of flowers as well on the machair.
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Old Sunday 25th December 2011, 15:45   #8
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You might find April a bit too early for Corncrake but end of May will be fine.

I agree with the others: the weather will always cheat you, best to have long days and preferably plenty of them.

Stinky Bay and the sewage outfall by Balivanich camp on Benbecula are both pretty good sites, also Langass Loch.

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Old Sunday 25th December 2011, 16:09   #9
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Thanks all for your kind replies, and have a great 2012
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