The 50mph gale currently blowing and heavy rain over the past two days is trying to hide the fact that, despite Mother Nature’s best efforts otherwise, Spring has sprung on Uist. There are daffodils (bent over in the wind), lambs (cowering in whatever shelter they can find) and all the birdsong you could hope to hear.
I was excited to hear snipe calling last week. I’ve never, to my knowledge, seen one but it was a thrill to hear, especially as the drumming was echoing against the buildings near by. They’ve a few names in Gaelic, like so many things. The name I know for them is one of my favourite Gaelic bird names: gobhar-adhair. Pronounced in English like go-er ah-er (yes, most of the consonants are silent), the literal translation is ‘sky goat’. Never let it be said that the Gaels don’t have a sense of humour.