View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday 23 February

Although the day started cloudy, the sun came out before midday and we held on to sunshine until sundown. It was by no means warm, we barely scraped 5C / 41F, and there was a little more wind than yesterday. Still, a nice day by any winter standard.

Watched a couple of detective stories on television - one very old Columbo story and a Midsomer Murder which I had actually seen before. Birdlife remains very subdued; no starlings and only a few sparrows. Just as well the RSPB Garden Birdwatch has been and gone. And to completely bore readers: I had a curry for dinner.

Friday 22 February

An overcast day with not much sunshine. Although elsewhere in the islands (and the country) there was a keen southeasterly wind, we had no wind to speak of. Neither did we have any of the usual birdlife; I suspect the starlings and sparrows have taken a serious fright from yesterday's sparrowhawk. There is none of the usual chittering and chattering that can be heard around the birdfeeders.

Yesterday, an mayday was received from the fishing vessel Achieve which was foundering off Toe Head in South Harris. The lifeboats from Leverburgh and Stornoway rushed to the scene, accompanied by the Coastguard helicopter from Stornoway. Three crewmen were rescued from their liferaft, but one had been in the water for a prolonged period of time. It being February, the water temperature is very low. All three were taken to the Western Isles hospital in Stornoway, where one of them sadly passed away. My sincere sympathies and condolences go out to the friends and family of the deceased.

This morning, the Coastguard helicopter and Stornoway lifeboat were seen going out together, but it is not known to me whether it was an exercise or a 'shout'.

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