RSPB Scotland is planning to showcase the birds of prey of Uist to the thousands of visitors expected to visit the islands during the spring and summer.
North Uist is one of the best wildlife areas in the country and is especially good for birds of prey due to years of sympathetic management by local landlords North Uist Estate.
“This is a welcome development, as the number of people coming to the Island simply to watch to wildlife is increasing,” commented George Macdonald, Manager of the 50,000 acre Estate.
The RSPB has recruited local woman Marion Ferguson to lead wildlife walks and to show nature-lovers the birds. Golden eagles, hen harriers and short-eared owls are all particularly numerous on the Islands, the latter two species taking advantage of the large vole population.
Marion said: “I am from Uist and never tire of experiencing the beautiful and diverse environment we live in.
“I believe wildlife tourism is extremely important for the economy of the Uists. It’s great that the RSPB is increasing the opportunity for people to see these wonderful birds in their natural environment and I look forward to showing them to people visiting the island.”
She continued: “In addition to the birds of prey we will also be leading walks that take people to see other special wildlife such as otters and corncrakes. Some of the walks will take place at the RSPB reserve at Balranald but we also plan to organise events at other places in the islands. Details can be found on the RSPB website at: www.rspb.org.uk/balranald”