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Visiting South Uist



Harriet wrote about her special place in nature for our Brambly Hedge competition - South Uist in the Outer Hebrides!

We loved her story and asked her to write a blog post to share it with you all...


My name is Harriet and I am 7 years old. I live in Rutland and I'm a member of the Rutland Water Wildlife Watch group. We can see lots of amazing wildlife in Rutland like ospreys, but my favourite place to see wildlife are the Outer Hebrides. We have been on holiday there three times so far and are going again this year. It takes us two days of driving and a long ferry ride to get there but it's worth it.


Sometimes when we are on the ferry we see dolphins or basking sharks. This year we want to go on a special whale watching boat trip. We would love to see orca or a minke whale but the sea can be quite choppy and I can get sea sick.

Beautiful beaches and bone hunting!


The best thing about the Hebrides are the beaches, especially those on South Uist. They are really long and beautiful, with white sand and turquoise sea. If it wasn't for the weather you would think you were in the Caribbean. I also like the beaches because you can find lots of interesting things, like bones.

I love beach combing and on our first holiday there I found two large vertebrae in the sea weed. We thought they might be from a cow but then realised they were much too big.

When we got home to Rutland we put a picture on a website called Askabiologist.org.uk and I was really excited to find out that they were different types of dolphin vertebrae. These were the first bones in my collection. That holiday we also found a rabbit skull. I now have quite a few bones including skulls of sheep, deer, pheasant, mouse and other bones from birds and a frog.


We've seen some amazing birds of prey such as golden eagles and a marsh harrier. We went on a special boat trip to watch white tailed sea eagles and were lucky to see two together. They are really huge and their wing span is bigger than me.

Searching for an otter...


The animal I would love to see most is an otter. We know there are lots in the Hebrides although they are very shy. We have been looking for signs of them in places we think they would like, such as the path down to a beach. We have found their footprints in the sand and we have even seen some spraint (poo!) but we still haven't seen an actual otter.

I think we would need to sit very still for a long time and I'm not that good at being quiet! On our last otter hunting expedition we had to walk a long way down a very windy track and clamber over lots of rocks. It was really cold and we still didn't see an otter but we did see a seal colony. We watched them popping their heads out of the water and basking on rocks.


I can't wait to go back again this year. Maybe we'll finally get to see an otter.

Harriet Ambler



Read more from our inspiring Wildlife Watchers here!